TSYS Merchant Solutions Review: Rates, Fees, Complaints and Lawsuits
Founded in the late 1800s as a bank in Omaha, Nebraska, TSYS Merchant Solutions was reformed as a credit card processing company. It is currently headquartered in Columbus, GA, with multiple international offices. After the acquisition of the parent company (Total System Services Inc.) by Global Payments in 2019, the provider was absorbed by Heartland (Global Payment’s processor.) It is a verified ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, Deutsche Bank, and Synovus Bank.
The provider, catering to multiple industries in over 80 countries, is the second largest in size and one of the oldest payment processors. With a specialty in eliminating the need for third-party services, TSYS Merchant Solutions expanded by acquiring many big processing companies, including TransFirst, Card Tech Ltd., ProPay, Cayan, and Clarity Payment Solutions, among others. It offers microservice-enabled solutions to the retail industry, financial institutes, and fintech companies.
Molding its services to the client’s changing requirements, TSYS provides tailored solutions to preserve the essence of every business it deals with. It aims to surpass merchants’ expectations by purveying configurable solutions adaptable to the always-evolving demands of the industry. Merchants are offered expert assistance in the technical and strategic areas of the business to reach their goals without facing setbacks.
Even though the company’s name will eventually be absorbed into Global Payments consequent to the merger, it stands tall with its own brand name. Here is a detailed TSYS Merchant Solutions review to list what the company has to offer its clients;
Features and Services
The company prides itself on its API-driven solutions enabling merchants to deliver a seamless and connected experience to their customers. It purveys tech-savvy services and cloud-native programs to ensure consistent growth. Merchants are facilitated with real-time portfolio analytics and data reporting to help them stay ahead of the game. They are offered out-of-the-box solutions, including risk management, back and front-end processing, and digital onboarding.
TSYS Merchant Solutions reviews portray that consumers can access industry insights into the latest trends and be always prepared for anything. Their business can benefit from the integrated payment platform with its EMV-compliant terminals, online and mobile payment solutions, tablet-based POS, and multi-currency acceptance services. Since the provider directly manages merchant accounts, it is convenient for handling account issues and chargebacks. Here is an overview of its products and services;
Recurring Billing Solutions
As convenient as it sounds, recurring billing can sometimes frustrate merchants. Customers may forget to update their new credit card information, causing declined payments. Their negligence forces consumers to go out of their way and request missing details from the members when the whole idea of recurring payments was to avoid that. This detour wastes considerable time and energy that could be utilized for something productive.
According to TSYS Merchant Solutions reviews, the company has EnsureBill, a service that automatically updates the new credit card information for membership customers. The service ensures successful transactions allowing merchants to build a smooth relationship with their clients instead of running after them for payments.
The company provides an integrated payments platform through Global Payments called Unified Commerce. It facilitates omnichannel payment processing solutions comprising wireless, mobile, and countertop terminals that accept all major credit and debit card brands. Consumers can receive electronic checks and sync all transactions to view on their devices with the cloud-based system.
The provider’s mobile payment solutions include a magstripe card reader (connectable through the headphone jack) and a mobile payment acceptance app compatible with iOS and Android. This payment method is fast and highly recommended for merchants running their businesses remotely and receiving payments in different locations. The provider protects customers’ data with end-to-end encryption to minimize fraudulent activities.
TSYS tablet POS system is compatible with iPad and Android tablets and has a card reader, a tablet, and a stand. It should be noted that currently, the company does not offer NFC and EMV acceptance in its mobile payment package. According to TSYS Merchant Solutions reviews, consumers are bound to pay additional charges for this service.
Merchants can utilize the company’s payment gateway or access the services of Authorize.Net if they don’t want to use the proprietary equipment. Users can integrate the Autorize.Net gateway with the company’s processing system. MultiPASS is a TSYS gateway that offers standard features such as online reporting, API integration, and a customer information database. Merchants can also accept in-person and card-not-present payments.
TSYS Merchant Solutions reviews suggest that the provider offers PCI-compliant WebPASS virtual terminal that does not require additional hardware or expert programming. Consumers can track each transaction on their smartphones or computers and accept payments by swiping customer cards with a USB-connected credit card reader, MegTek Dynamag. However, it is not EMV-compatible.
Hosted Payment Platform
The provider frees merchants from storing sensitive information in their system by hosting payment forms. Merchants are accommodated with a personalized hosted page that matches their brand’s theme and website. Customers are redirected to that page at checkout to process a seamless transaction. The provider automatically runs updates to ensure all security regulations are met.
Traditional Payment Processing
The provider has partnered with several renowned companies, including Verifone and Ingenico facilitating traditional EMV-compliant terminals and PIN pads. Merchants can choose between wired and wireless options and avail of NFC contactless payments through Apple Pay and Android Pay. However, not all models support NFC payments.
Multiple TSYS Merchant Solutions reviews indicate that buying the terminal from another source instead of leasing/buying it from the provider costs a reprogramming fee to sync it with a merchant account.
Rates and Fees
Depending on its processing volume and size, the company offers variable pricing customized for each business. Moreover, the agent setting up the account can sometimes alter the rates. The official websites for Global Payments and TSYS do not give insight into the processing rates for qualified, mid-qualified, and non-qualified transactions. Merchants are advised to request a complete breakdown of the provider’s incidental, one-time, and recurring fees to avoid unexpected charges.
Merchants are offered both tiered and interchange-plus pricing. However, most transactions are only applicable to mid-qualified or non-qualified rates, and some small businesses will be downgraded to non-qualified transactions, unqualified for interchange-plus pricing structure. Moreover, the company initially forces customized pricing (another name for tiered pricing) that is ridiculously expensive. Instead of settling for whatever they are offered, merchants should insist on an interchange-plus pricing model to land an affordable deal.
As deduced from TSYS Merchant Solutions reviews, the provider binds its clients to a three-year contract length with a one-year automatic renewal clause. Consumers who wish to cancel the contract must immediately return all the equipment and submit a written notice 90 days before closing the account. However, there are many consumer complaints regarding unjustifiable withdrawals after account cancelation.
The provider has mentioned three pricing plans on the official website:
- The ‘Pursue’ plan charges a swiped and keyed-in rate of 2.5% plus $0.20 and 3.5% plus $0.20 per transaction.
- The ‘Grow’ plan lists 1.99% plus $0.20 for swiped transactions and 3.1% plus $0.20 for keyed-in transactions.
- The ‘Accelerate’ plan charges 1.7% plus $0.20 for swiped and 3% plus $0.20 for keyed-in transactions.
It should be noted that these charges are only applicable to specific transactions. Non-qualified and mid-qualified transactions will receive much higher rates, not disclosed anywhere. This revelation is hidden at the bottom in small print, a lame attempt to avoid backlash.
As TSYS Merchant Solutions reviews suggest, consumers are also introduced to additional charges, including gateway, virtual terminal, batch, and technical support fees. Rates are not disclosed for any of these services.
Merchants are subjected to a quarterly $18.80 PCI compliance fee that adds up to an annual $75.20. The official website mentions a PCI non-compliance fee for consumers unable to pass the Annual Assessment Questionnaire and Quarterly Network Scan. The exact charges are not mentioned.
Early Termination Fee
Users who fail to cancel the contract during the short grace period before the auto-renewal are charged an early termination fee having a liquidated damages clause. Depending on the time of account cancelation, the ETF ranges from $295 to $500. Many consumer complaints suggest an even higher fee.
Merchants can negotiate to exclude the ETF from the agreement. However, it requires a written waiver before the contract is signed. There are many negative TSYS Merchant Solutions reviews pointing out the complications caused by the company in this matter.
There are multiple complaints against TSYS customer service. The company offers 24/7 phone support by hiring U.S.-based customer service representatives. It has dedicated an email address for consumers to address their queries. The provider’s self-service options include an FAQ page and a merchant support page. This portion of the website contains informative articles regarding the services and equipment and does not cover troubleshooting ideas.
Sales and Marketing Approach
After the TSYS Merchant Solution’s website was merged with the main TSYS Inc. website, significant parts of the content were chopped off. The provider no longer discloses its rates and contract details on the website. One thing that improves the rating of the company’s sales practices is the absence of independent sales representatives.
The provider trains an in-house sales team to market its services. It also practices telemarketing and tries to benefit from strategic partnerships. Merchants signing up through a partner company or sub-ISO will likely face contradictory rates.
TSYS maintains an active social media presence. Even though users looking up its LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles are now redirected to Global Payment’s social media handles. The provider shares a YouTube channel with Global Payments posting regularly updated educational videos and client testimonials.
TSYS Merchant Solutions Lawsuits
Even though there aren’t many mentionable FTC reports cited against the company relating to its merchant accounts, TSYS Merchant Solutions reviews show a few lawsuits filed by its former employees and shareholders.
From 2016 to 2019, TSYS fought a class-action lawsuit by Adam Gardiner and others accusing the company of making unsolicited telemarketing calls. The suit also shed some light on the TCPA violations by the provider. Allegedly, TSYS sends prerecorded voice messages through automatic telephone dialing systems, which is against the law. Over the years, the provider received countless similar reports. In 2019, TSYS was ordered to pay $3.5 million and renew its policies to ensure TCPS compliance for settlement.
In 2018, a class-action lawsuit accused the company of forcing merchants to accept more expensive card options by concealing important information regarding debit transactions.
In 2019, after the company’s acquisition by Global Payments, a former shareholder filed a federal lawsuit against TSYS. The stockholders were guaranteed an allotment of 0.8101 shares in the Global Payments stock. They claimed that this statement was omitted from the SEC filing and was stated to mislead the shareholders.
In 2020, another lawsuit by a group of investors accused TSYS of making false statements and failing to disclose material information that caused an inflation in the stock prices.
TSYS Merchant Solutions Reviews and Complaints
Even though most consumer complaints cited online are against any of the company’s subsidiaries or partner companies, some legitimate complaints against TSYS have a serious tone.
There are over 125 online complaints posted by infuriated clients on various consumer protection websites, which is not alarming since TSYS is one of the largest processing companies. Merchants have shown displeasure for the provider’s poor customer service and have posted online about hidden charges, high ETF, ridiculous equipment lease terms, technical issues, integration complications, and inconvenient compliance policies.
The complaint rate against the provider rapidly increased after its acquisition by Global Payments. Consumers have protested against equipment malfunction, difficulty in account cancelation, and unwarned rate increments. TSYS Merchant Solutions reviews indicate a $4.5 million fine by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for endorsing deceptive practices in selling one of its products.
Below-Average Customer Service
The provider’s customer service has received a maximum number of complaints. Even though it promises 24/7 phone support, the quality of this service is below average. Considering the large clientele, a single active helpline and email address is inadequate for responding to all the queries. Consequently, most calls go unanswered, and the complaints remain unresolved.
TSYS does not offer a live chat feature, and its self-service options are restricted to educational purposes. The company fails to make any effort to improve its customer service despite having the financial resources to do so.
The provider lists a $295 ETF that could be increased to $500 based on the liquidated damages clause. However, TSYS Merchant Solutions reviews portray an early cancelation fee ranging from $750 to $1000. The company justifies it by stating that consumers can waive the ETF clause of the contract. What it fails to mention is that the waiver comes with its drawbacks. Moreover, merchants removing the ETF clause cannot avail of a month-to-month agreement.
TSYS does not disclose most of its fees, and its rates are uncertain. Although the company lists its credit card processing rates, they can always vary from business to business. Moreover, the many TSYS sub-ISOs and partners set their rates individually, which can be confusing.
It should be noted that the company only displays its qualified rates, whereas most businesses receive much higher transaction rates. Resultingly, consumers choosing TSYS for its rates are taken aback by the list of undisclosed and escalated charges they never heard of before.
Complicated Account Cancelation
An average TSYS agreement has an auto-renewal clause, offering a short time to cancel the contract without penalty. Merchants must submit a written notice within the time limit and return all their equipment immediately. Consumer protection websites are flooded with complaints about the deduction of monthly fees after the account is closed.
Some consumers have hinted at being forced to pay equipment lease even after it is returned on time. The provider makes unreasonable excuses and prolongs the process to keep charging its clients. Merchants are advised to keep receipts and evidence of every minor detail.
Many TSYS Merchant Solutions reviews show that the company displays misleading rates to attract new clients. It mentions low rates on the website but hides a long list of f in the fees ne print of the contract. Moreover, merchants are unaware that the disclosed pricing is only for qualified transactions.
The provider attracts merchants by offering customized and interchange-plus pricing plans. It conceals the fact that its default pricing module is tiered pricing and that very few businesses are offered interchange rates.
Consumers have to log in to review each statement to ensure they are not subjected to hidden charges. The provider does not update account statements online until after multiple requests and phone calls. Merchants have complained about several fees cleverly hidden in their monthly reports. After months of follow-ups and several emails, there is no guarantee that they will not be added again.
Irresponsible Sales Practice
Although there aren’t many negative TSYS Merchant Solutions reviews concerning its sales team, the provider’s partner companies, and sub-ISOs have attracted many complaints in this area. Taking advantage of the variable pricing, they sometimes portray unreasonable rates, and their sales agents fail to disclose important contract terms. The company’s telemarketing sales practices have received severe backlash from merchants receiving numerous un-consented sales calls throughout the day. Moreover, TSYS fails to deliver crucial information, causing discomfort for its clients.
Over the years, the company has received some serious negative reviews from former employees. Lack of job security, zero employee benefits, inconsistent management, sub-standard training, and low pay are commonly cited reasons behind the complaints.
According to the TSYS Merchant Solutions reviews, the provider uses dated equipment and micromanages its employees, firing most new hires within months. This constant reconstruction reduces job efficiency and productivity. The workers are underpaid, overworked, and mistreated. Bullying and micromanagement also appear to be the cause of some employee complaints.
TSYS has over 11 BBB profiles, whereas the main profile was removed after its acquisition. The company has received over 132 complaints regarding its sales tactics, billing issues, unauthorized withdrawals, and product malfunctioning. Considering the severity and number of these complaints, the A+ rating on the review platform hardly makes sense.
Several consumers have hinted at unwarranted withdrawals from their accounts and the regular deduction of monthly charges after they ended ties with the provider. The company keeps taking money without consent and fails to refund it. In some cases, TSYS kept charging fees for a three-year agreement even when a consumer canceled the contract without penalty.
Fraudulent Sales Practices
The provider deliberately hides charges and significant terms from the contract forcing merchants to pay more than expected. Mostly, merchants won’t know about the hidden fees until they log in to thoroughly review each transaction. TSYS Merchant Solutions reviews suggest that sometimes, the company keeps adding unjustifiable charges until the merchant calls to get them removed. Furthermore, the subsidiaries construct their own rules and display deceptive quotes to lure new clients.
Expensive Equipment Lease
Another common issue concerns the expensive noncancelable equipment lease lasting four years. Even if you cancel the contract, the company will still charge you for the entire term. Apparently, TSYS expects consumers to return the terminals the second they decide to end the agreement. As suggested by the complaints, the provider finds unreasonable excuses to charge them for delayed returns.
The provider needs improvement in various departments to score good ratings. The high early termination fees combined with the auto-renewal clause and a long-term contract do not help retrieve the company’s good reputation. TSYS Merchant Solutions reviews from former clients suggest that the provider steals from its clients, scams them, and offers poor assistance. Moreover, the exorbitant rates are unaffordable for most small and medium-sized businesses.
Even though a company with a large clientele is bound to receive some complaints, the nature of these complaints determines if it is worth taking the risk. Merchants should thoroughly review the contract clauses and read between the lines to avoid future inconvenience. They are advised to follow the agreement to the letter and get everything in writing to eliminate the risk of any foul play by the payment facilitator.