leaders merchant services review

Leaders Merchant Services Review: Rates, Fees, Complaints and Lawsuits 2024 Update

Leaders Merchant Services (LMS) is an online payment platform designed to help businesses process credit card payments quickly and securely. It offers various services, including payment processing, merchant accounts, and more. This Leaders Merchant Services review with 2024 update will examine the company’s features and services to guide you about a suitable payment processor for your business. It will discuss the features and pricing and highlight user experiences to help you make an informed decision.

Services and Features       

Services and Features 

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Leaders Merchant Services is a service provider offering businesses payment processing and related services. Claiming to be a “one-stop shop” for business owners, the company seeks to provide businesses with everything they need to take payments and streamline their customer service. It provides the following services and features:

Point-of-Sale Payments

Leaders Merchant Services offers POS solutions that allow businesses to take payments in various ways. However, this service is expensive and may require additional setup or equipment. Thus, it may not be ideal for new businesses with tight budgets.

E-commerce Solutions

With LMS e-commerce solutions, businesses can accept payments online. It supports major gateways that can process a variety of payment types. However, transaction fees are higher than other services, and additional setup fees may exist. It might not be practical for businesses with lower online sales volumes.

Mobile Payments

Leaders Merchant Services allows businesses to take payments on the go with their mobile payment solutions. It offers a secure, fast, and reliable way for businesses to process payments. But, it is limited to accepting only a few payment types, and transactions may take longer to process than other services.

Electronic Check Conversion

The company’s electronic check conversion feature allows businesses to accept checks and quickly convert them into digital payments. Though this is a convenient payment method, it may also be expensive and require additional setup fees.

Cash Advances

Leaders Merchant Services also offers businesses the option to get cash advances for future credit card sales. It can provide businesses with a quick influx of capital. However, it is costly and may require businesses to pay high-interest rates for the cash advance.

QuickBooks Integration

With the QuickBooks integration feature, business owners can access sales and customer information from QuickBooks. It is a great way to integrate payment processing into their accounting system easily. The drawback is that this feature might not be available for all businesses and may cost more than other services.

Credit and Debit Card Payment Acceptance

Leaders Merchant Services also offers credit and debit card payment acceptance. It allows customers to pay with these cards, but businesses may have to pay additional fees for processing these transactions. Additionally, the service may have stricter regulations around which cards can and cannot be accepted.

Mobile Payments Processing

The company also allows businesses to process mobile payments. This feature is convenient, allowing customers to pay directly from their phones, but it may also come with higher transaction fees and longer processing times. Thus, it may not be the most cost-effective option for businesses.

Integration of Shopping Cart

The integration of the shopping cart feature allows businesses to accept customer payments on their websites. It is convenient for customers, but the service may not be comprehensive enough for more complex websites. Additionally, it might not be compatible with all website platforms. Thus, businesses may have to pay more for custom integration to include the shopping cart option.

about leaders merchant services

BBB Rating

Leaders Merchant Services do not get an excellent rating from the Better Business Bureau. It has secured an average score, meaning there are certain grey areas where the company could improve. Various customer complaints have been filed against the company, mostly regarding customer service and billing.

The company has been slow in responding to inquiries and resolving complaints. Additionally, some customers have reported being charged excessively high fees for their transactions. The BBB has noted these customer service issues have resulted in a lower rating. Thus, when reviewed by the BBB, Leaders Merchant Services received a “B+” rating.


The rates and fees charged are a major consideration for any merchant service provider. Leaders Merchant Services is no different in this regard. While the company does offer convenient, secure payment processing services, their rates and fees may not always be the most cost-effective for your business. This section will review the rates and fees this merchant service provider charges.

Tiered Pricing Model

When using LMS, you will be charged one of three rates depending on the type of card your customer uses to pay. The three tiers are qualified, mid-qualified and non-qualified. This three-tier pricing model can lead to higher costs per transaction for businesses that accept a large variety of cards.

Using Quote-Based System

Usually, Leaders Merchant Services provides quotes based on the specifics of your business. It can benefit you since it allows for more customization to suit your needs. However, comparing quotes from different providers can be difficult and determining the best for your business. Thus, it is important to thoroughly research and compare different quotes before deciding.

Interchange-Plus Pricing Plan

Leaders Merchant Services offers interchange-plus pricing plans. This plan charges a fixed rate plus the actual interchange cost for each transaction. It can be cost-effective for business owners who want predictable and transparent fees. However, it might be more expensive than flat-rate plans.

Merchant Account Fees

In addition to the above rates and fees, the company charges various merchant account fees for various services. These include monthly service fees, application fees, setup fees, and statement fees. Reviewing these fees and ensuring they align with other providers’ offers makes sense.

Gateway Fee

With the Leaders Merchant Services gateway fee, you will be charged $25 monthly. Merchants who process many transactions may find this fee too expensive and should consider shopping around for better rates. It is important to remember that some gateway fees may be waived or discounted depending on the company you choose.

PCI Non-Compliance Fee

When running a processing account with Leaders Merchant Services, it is essential to remain compliant with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards. To ensure that you are compliant, the company offers a variety of security tools and services. If your account is out of compliance, you may be charged a monthly PCI non-compliance fee of $40.

Variable Annual Charges

In addition to the regular monthly fees, this merchant service provider also charges a variable annual fee. This fee is typically around $99 per year and covers the cost of account maintenance and other fees associated with running a processing account. Merchants should know this fee and factor it into their calculations when picking a merchant service provider.

Monthly Account Fee

Finally, Leaders Merchant Services charges a monthly account fee. It is typically $25 monthly and covers the basic costs of running an account. Merchants should know this fee and ensure it is included in their calculations when deciding on a payment processor. Moreover, some providers may offer discounts or waive this fee depending on the provider and the type of account being used.

Lawsuits and Fines

One of the important aspects to consider when reviewing a service is its reputation. Consumers should always take the time to investigate any company they are considering working with. Before making a decision, it’s important to research lawsuits and fines associated with the company. In this Leaders Merchant Services review, we will look at any lawsuits or fines issued to the company.

Pacific Coast Business Solutions Lawsuit

In 2021, LMS was sued by Pacific Coast Business Solutions for failing to provide services as promised. According to the lawsuit, Leaders Merchant Services had failed to provide services as agreed, including activating new merchant accounts and providing customer service.

As a result of the lawsuit, LMS was issued a permanent injunction banning any future violations of the law and must pay a total of $1 million in civil penalties, as well as $250,000 in restitution to Pacific Coast Business Solutions.

Other factors that may have paved way for the lawsuit include an alleged lack of proper customer service, slow processing times and unresponsiveness when problems arise. While this lawsuit was settled in 2021, it’s important to note that Leaders Merchant Services has a history of customer service complaints.


Despite its long history of providing quality payment processing solutions, LMS has been subject to numerous customer complaints in recent years. This review will examine some of the most common complaints about their services. It will also discuss some of the company’s practices that may be seen as unfair and provide readers with an overall opinion on how Leaders Merchant Services stacks up against other companies in the space.

Early Termination Fee

Customers agree to a three-year contract when signing up with Leaders Merchant Services. They must pay an Early Termination Fee (ETF) if they terminate their service early. The ETF can be substantial and troublesome, making it challenging for customers to switch to another provider.

Absence of a Concise Contract

The Leaders Merchant Services contract is long and vaguely worded. Customers often find it difficult to understand the terms and conditions outlined in the agreement. It can lead to confusion and frustration, particularly when customers need to cancel their service or change their account.

Poor Technical Support

LMS has been criticized for its poor technical support. When customers experience issues with their payment processing system, they often have difficulty getting help from the company’s customer service representatives. In some cases, customers may wait days or weeks to get a response from support staff, which can be incredibly frustrating.

Hidden Charges

With merchants often finding hidden fees on their monthly statements, Leaders Merchant Services has been accused of exploiting customers. The company sometimes charges fees not disclosed when customers sign up for their services and even adds additional fees to contracts without the customer’s knowledge or consent.

Problematic Tiered Pricing

With the tiered pricing structure of Leaders Merchant Services, customers may pay higher rates than expected. It is because the company sometimes categorizes transactions with different risk levels into the same tier, leading to higher rates for all transactions in that particular tier.

Overpriced Leasing

The company has been criticized for offering more expensive leases than competitors. Customers may sometimes pay up to double the market rate for their leased equipment. It causes customers to question the company’s pricing structure and whether they get a fair deal when signing up with LMS.

Below Par Customer Support

Customers often complain about the lack of customer support Leaders Merchant Services offers. Representatives are known to respond slowly, and many customers feel that their inquiries are not promptly handled. In addition, there is a lack of comprehensive information on the company’s website. Thus merchants may find it challenging to get the answers they need.

Trouble Closing the Account

When customers decide to switch services, they often find it difficult to cancel their account with the company. The company does not provide a simple way to close the account, and customers may be subjected to a long process of paperwork and documentation before they can terminate their contract. Hence, this review of Leaders Merchant Services is not very favorable.

Using “Teaser” Rates

With teaser rates, this merchant service provider has been accused of luring customers with promises of low processing fees that may not be sustainable in the long run. The company may offer lower rates to attract customers, only to increase them when the customer signs up for the contract.

Poor Credit Card Processing

Leaders Merchant Services has also been criticized for its poor credit card processing. Customers report that their transactions are often declined or delayed, which can lead to lost revenue and customer dissatisfaction. Merchants in need of reliable payment processing solutions may look elsewhere.

Deceptive Marketing Tactics

The company has been negatively reviewed for using deceptive marketing tactics to lure customers into signing up for their services. For example, the company may not disclose certain fees customers must pay or fail to inform customers of the three-year contract. These practices can be seen as unfair and make it hard for customers to make an informed decision when signing up with Leaders Merchant Services.

Unauthorized Debiting

Customers have also complained about the company debiting their accounts without authorization. It can happen if customers do not keep track of their processing fees and the company automatically processes payments without informing the customer. It can be a very troublesome experience, as customers may have to dispute the charges and wait for refunds.

Withholding Funds

Customers have reported that Leaders Merchant Services has a practice of withholding funds from accounts. It can lead to cash flow issues for customers, as they may not have access to the money that is rightfully theirs. It can be a huge inconvenience, and customers may find getting their money back from the company difficult. Therefore, customers must proceed cautiously when signing up to use its services and features.

Poor Employee Sentiment

Employees of Leaders Merchant Services have also spoken out about the company’s poor working conditions. Sometimes, staff has complained about job security and inadequate pay for the required tasks and assignments. It can be concerning, as it indicates that the company may compromise on customer satisfaction to maximize profits. As a result, customers may be wary when considering Leaders Merchant Services as a payment processing provider.

Incompetent Independent Resellers

The presence of independent resellers further complicates the review of Leaders Merchant Services. Though the company does not directly provide services to customers, it works with a network of independent resellers known to be unreliable and incompetent. Customers may find themselves dealing with unhelpful sales reps or receiving inadequate customer service from resellers, further tarnishing the company’s reputation.

Lack of Transparency

A lack of transparency also mars the review of Leaders Merchant Services. Businesses needing payment solutions may find it difficult to get reliable information about the company’s fees, terms and conditions. In addition, there is little clarity on the company’s policies. Thus, customers may be left in the dark when understanding the products they are signing up for. Customers need to know this issue before considering LMS as a payment processing partner.


Leaders Merchant Services review reveals that the service provider has several drawbacks. They have high processing fees and require customers to sign long-term contracts. Additionally, their customer service is lacking, and they do not offer the latest technology services. Ultimately, this merchant service provider may be a viable choice for some businesses.

Still, there are likely better options on the market for those who want convenience, competitive rates, and customer service. It is necessary to research thoroughly before signing up with any merchant services provider.

Hence, merchants should carefully weigh the pros and cons of the company before deciding on using these services. If you decide to sign up, read the terms of service and familiarize yourself with all the fees involved. Careful consideration of its features can help you make the best decision for your business.

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