Review of Bank of America Merchant Services
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If you’re looking for small business merchant services, you may want to consider established brands. There are more providers of merchant services than ever before, and if you’re already a Bank of America customer, it makes sense to consider Bank of America Merchant Services. But is it your best option?
What does Bank of America Merchant Services include?
Bank of America Merchant Services is a subsidiary of Bank of America and Fiserv (formerly First Data). Bank of America is a reseller of Fiserv, simply packaging and pricing its products rather than creating and selling its own.
Bank of America Merchant Services includes providing Clover products, e-commerce, card and check processing, mobile payment and payroll services.
Bank of America Merchant Services gives you the option of integrating your point of sale (POS) system with its credit card processing. But if you need POS hardware or software, you will be choosing from Clover products.
If you’re looking for a tablet-based POS system, you can opt for the Clover Station, which includes the tablet, cash drawer, cables, receipt printer and printer paper. In short, it’s everything you need to get started.
If you’re looking for countertop terminals instead, Clover offers a number of options. Depending on the terminal, you can enjoy including built-in printers, LCD touch screens, USB ports, encryption, integrated PIN pads and check readers.
If you accept payments online, BoA Merchant Services could be a big help. It offers real-time authorization in transaction processing using the Compass Platform. Another option is the Global Gateway e4, a PCI compliant payment gateway that can integrate with your website.
Bank of America Merchant Services will also allow your business to accept all major credit cards, including Mastercard, American Express, Visa, Discover, JCB and Diners Club. Most debit cards can be used as well.
TeleCheck, which allows you to accept checks electronically is also available. Additional security is provided by using one of two processing systems. The Verification option minimizes the risk of having checks returned. The Warranty option requires authorization, which helps reduce fraud. Both of these systems allow you to receive paper checks in addition to electronic checks.
Bank of America Merchant Services offers Mobile Pay as a way to accept mobile payments. An Internet Mobile Pay System or a Mobile Pay app uses advanced security to keep your data protected. This feature helps protect against fraud and also allows you to send your customers a receipt through email.
BoA Merchant Services offers Money Network solutions for electronic payment for employees. This payment system complies with all state payroll requirements and features checks and cards that are widely accepted.
Bank of America Merchant services fees
Choosing the best merchant services solution for you often comes down to cost. And as you can probably guess, your costs will depend on your needs.
As a result, it’s tough to estimate your costs without discussing details with a Bank of American Merchant Services sales rep. Bank of American Merchant Services features are priced on a quote-basis, with your price varying based on your business needs.
While it is difficult to come up with accurate estimates, you can count on fees for software and processing of credit cards.
Standard software plans include:
- Register: Starts at $39.95 monthly per device and $9.95 monthly for each additional device
- Register Lite: Starts at $9.95 monthly per device
- Payments Plus: Starts at $4.95 monthly per device
- Counter Service Restaurant: Starts at $39.95 monthly per device and $9.95 monthly for each additional device
- Table Service Restaurant: Starts at $69.96 monthly per device and $9.95 monthly for each additional device
Credit card processing fees
There are two processing rates depending on how you accept payments. The first option features a 2.7 percent fee per transaction that applies to dipped, tapped or swiped payments. However, a 3.5 percent fee plus $0.15 applies to transactions that use hand-keyed, phone, or Internet payments involving card no-present payments.
Pros of Bank of America Merchant Services
There are many benefits to choosing Bank of America Merchant Services, including:
- Variety of solutions: BoA Merchant Services offers many options that may work for your business in processing payments.
- Next-day deposits: Fast processing time is one of the primary advantages of choosing BoA Merchant Services. If you already bank with BoA, card payments can be accessed the following business day.
- Preferred Rewards: Being a BoA client in addition to choosing BoA Merchant Services could entitle you to Preferred Rewards benefits, which include fee waivers, rewards bonuses on eligible business credit cards, cash rewards and rate discounts on services that may vary depending on the program tier.
Cons of Bank of America Merchant Services
Like any decision, there are some negatives aspects to consider. Here are some of the downsides of Bank of America Merchant services:
- Terminal lease contracts: Terminal leasing seems unnecessary, and some merchants have reported inadvertently signing a noncancelable terminal lease.
- Lack of transparency: There is limited information about the program’s costs available on the Bank of America website, making it tough to determine the costs of implementing Merchant Services.
- Hidden fees and high fees: Some Merchant Services clients say the program has higher fees compared to competitors, and some have claimed fees were not properly disclosed.
Bank of America Merchant Services vs. QuickBooks
If you’re like many small business owners, you use QuickBooks to keep track of your finances. If so, QuickBooks POS is a viable alternative to Merchant Services. It works with your current accounting software to make tracking your revenue extremely convenient.
There are three packages available for QuickBooks POS:
- Multi-Store Plan: Starts at $1,900 and allows you to manage and transfer inventory across multiple stores and conduct advanced reporting.
- Pro Plan: Starts at $1,700 and features basic point of sales capabilities, employee and payroll management, layaway capabilities and advanced reporting.
- Basic Plan: Starts at $1,200 and facilitates basic point of sale functions.
How does Bank of America Merchant Services stack up?
Overall, it is difficult to recommend Bank of America Merchant Services. A company this large should do better than simply repackaging another company’s products at high prices. Given its high prices, lack of transparency and expensive leases on equipment, BoA Merchant Services can be a very costly option for small business owners.