Mercury Payment Systems started out as just a sales channel for Global Payments. It is based in Durango, Colorado, and was founded in 2001. Today it is owned by Vantiv, who bought them in May 2014 and functions as an executive reseller for them. Mercury Payment Systems has grown to be the backend processor for several POS systems in the financial market, and this review of the provider will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision about them.
Mercury Payment systems pricing model varies depending on the type of business that registers with the provider. It provides processing services to small and medium-sized companies in industries such as food and retail. The reputation of the company is a mixed bag with 60 online complaints, most of which are because of their resellers. Although the use of resellers is the norm in the payment industry, it is still concerning for merchants.
Services by Mercury Payment Systems
With the use of Mercury Pay, merchants can receive payments in almost every modern payment method including credit/debit cards, EBT cards, checks, eChecks, and ACH. Merchants can accept card-based payments in person or using the virtual terminal offered by Mercury Payment Systems by using a computer with an internet connection. The provider offers all the essential services a business needs to thrive, along with some additional offerings. Below is a review of their value-added services:
The Mercury StoreCard is a gift card and mobile payment option combination with rewards. MPS claims that this card will help reduce checkout times and help build brand loyalty with customers. The card offers cashback rewards, protections against loss or theft, and can be personalized. Customers can even use the Mercury StoreCard for online purchases from the merchant.
Mercury Gift Card
Through the Mercury gift card service, merchants get unlimited transactions and customization options. There are two packages for the gift cards: custom and express. Both include 500 pre-designed carriers for the gift cards and a double slot display rack. The custom package includes 500 custom made cards to match the brand’s aesthetic, while the express package includes pre-designed cards with the merchant’s logo on the back.
PCI Compliance and Data Security
Mercury Payment Systems relies on Trustwave for PCI compliance and protection of online transactions. Mercury offers up to $100,000 if a merchant suffers from a security or data breach, which can be used to pay fines by credit card organizations, card replacement costs and penalties incurred due to data breaches in audits.
Pricing of Mercury Payment Systems
Mercury Pay does not openly discuss their rates or fees on the internet, so reviews are the best option to get an estimate on pricing. Based on this, it is clear that he company offers both interchange plus and tiered pricing models, although they don’t promote interchange-plus pricing. Additionally, PCI compliance fees are not included in their pricing default; merchants should expect to pay close to $150 annually in that department as well.
Mercury Payment Systems offer contracts ranging from one to three years in length, the time frame of which is decided at the time of the agreement. There are some rare cases where clients are offered month-to-month contracts, but these contracts incur an early termination fee as well. Some clients report it as being $295, others $495, and a few even claim they took $900 in cancellation fees. These exorbitant fees can be in part attributed to the resellers.
Problems with Mercury
There are approximately 73 negative Mercury Payment Systems reviews on BBB by clients. The most common ones are discussed below:
Increase In Prices without Prior Notification
One client review revealed that they were already being assessed $150 in PCI compliance and $99 in annual fees, only to be further enraged by a 6-month notice to existing customers of increased prices – including an additional $99 maintenance and $42.25 yearly data security fee. These grievances are commonly found in customer complaints and most can be attributed to Vantiv acquiring the processor.
Deceptive Pricing and Fees
Mercury Payment Systems have had two lawsuits filed against them that claim deceptive pricing. One lawsuit was made against them by rival payment processor Heartland Payment Systems, who claims that MPS added their own fee to the interchange fee to make it appear that they are charging less than their rivals in order to deceive customers into buying their services. Hidden fees are a top complaint in numerous customer reviews.
Misleading Marketing Tactics
Mercury Payment Systems relies on independent sales agents to promote its services, who often mislead their clients into signing the contract, much like at several other merchant service providers. Several customer complaints about misleading marketing tactics include sales agents not disclosing the early termination fee and not being shown the entire contract at the time of the agreement.
Unhelpful Customer Care Staff
The most significant complaint merchants have with payment processors is that customer care representatives rarely come to their aid. One customer review describes a terrible experience in which the customer service representative was very friendly when explaining the 30-day notice of cancellation and what must be done in order to cancel. The client claims they followed the customer service representatives instructions, but later upon calling they were met with a rude and unprofessional stance, and denied any previous claims.
This Mercury Payment Systems review aims to give you a neutral and unbiased opinion about the provider’s services. There are too many red flags with MPS, from deceptive tactics to misleading/hidden fees. Such a merchant service provider cannot be recommended as they can mislead merchants at any time.