Costco Merchant Services Review
Costco Merchant services is based out of Issaquah, Washington, at 999 Lake Dr. Ste 200. It was founded in 1976, and no acquiring bank is listed.
The president and CEO of Costco is W. Craig Jelinek. Upon reviewing their website and business, it does not document whether it is an ISO/MSP. Complaints and reviews of Costco Merchant Services tend to outline issues with poor customer support, sudden account closures, and high tiered rates.
|Swipe Rate||1.22% + $0.12- 3.35% + $0.29|
|Keyed-in Rate||1.99% + $0.25|
|Early Termination Fee||None|
|Contract Terms||3 Years|
Costco Merchant Services Overview
Costco Merchant Services uses a company called Elavon for transaction processing and all aspects of maintaining merchant accounts. All elements include billing and customer support. As well known as Costco is, the company itself is favorable with many customers. With merchant services, this tends to be a different story. Elavon has been rated very poor, especially with the customer support aspect. When it comes to merchant services, Costco Merchant Services offers a tiered pricing structure, which tends to be one of the most expensive pricing plans amongst merchants.
Costco Merchant Services Pros & Cons
No early termination fee
Robust POS system available
Multiple hardware options
Expensive tiered pricing processing rates
Poor customer support
Costco Merchant Services Products & Services
Costco Merchant Services offers various products and services to help retail, restaurants, healthcare, and services businesses.
Hardware & Software
- POS System: Offers a custom terminal with a robust set of features.
- POS Tablets: The Ingenico Moby is a hand-held POS tablet that Costco Merchant Services offers to its merchants. This tablet provides EMV and contactless payments and offers encryption security.
- Credit Card Terminals: The credit card terminal that Costco Merchant Services offers is the Ingenico Desk 3500. It accepts PIN debit, credit, EBT, and electronic gift cards.
- Smart Terminals: Costco Merchant Services offers a fully mobile smart terminal through Poynt Mobile. This system accepts magstripe, EMV, and NFC-based payments. It is hand-held and has a QR code scanner, and allows you to view customer insights and sales data.
- Restaurant POS: Talech offers options geared explicitly towards restaurants and includes seat and table management, order modifications, and splitting checks.
- Mobile Processing: It offers a mobile app through Converge, Elavon’s mobile payment processing system.
- Online Payments/eCommerce: Costco Merchant services offer a payment platform through Converge. This platform combines a payment gateway and virtual terminal, which includes a payment page. Billing and invoicing is also an option through Converge to track and collect payment in real-time. It also offers some reporting and analytics functions.
- Security: The hardware and software you will receive is via Elavon and is said to be secure in its protection. Elavon guarantees encryption for all data and ensures compliance with the latest security standards. Elavon also uses tokenization for secure payment information through data transfer.
Supported Payment Types / Services
- Debit and Credit Cards
- Visa, Mastercard, and Discover only
- Electronic gift cards
Costco Merchant Services Advertising & Sales
Costco Merchant Services appears to market its services using mailed, online, and in-store promotions. The merchant is so large that it can sell directly to customers versus other merchants in its industry. This reduces the need for independent sales agents, which its processor Elavon employs.
There is mixed feedback for Costco Merchant services, especially relating to deceptive rates. The website outlines two rates of 1.22% plus $0.12 and 1.99% plus $0.25 per transaction. These rates are listed as qualified rates for swiped and keyed transactions. One item the website does not mention is the higher rate for rewards cards. This may lead the consumer to think one set of rates applies to all transactions, which is not the case.
Another item to note is that Costco Merchant Services does not have its own BBB profile. Accounts for Costco Merchant Services are located under Elavon’s BBB, which is hard to decipher CMS’s accounts from the other accounts Elavon processes.
Truth in Marketing
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||Yes|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
|Public Pricing Available||Yes|
Costco Merchant Services Pricing, Rates & Fees
Costco Merchant Services does list a lot of their prices on their website. It offers different options for pricing listed below:
An item to point out with Costco Merchant Services pricing is its rates are for qualified transactions, and non-qualified transaction rates could be higher. Those rates are not disclosed to the general public.
Clear and Simple Pricing Plan
Costco Merchant Services also offers another pricing plan for customers with average ticket sizes of $10 or above at its terminal. The rates for this pricing plan seem to be much higher but are also somewhat more predictable. This plan includes:
- Swiped/Dipped: 2.49% plus $0.07
- Keyed-In Transactions: 3.49% plus $0.17
Zero-Cost Credit Card Transaction Pricing
Like a small majority of other merchants, Costco offers a newer plan that introduces no additional transaction fees. It is not available in all states. This pricing plan is only available if the customer uses the Ingenico terminal.
- Debit Card Transactions: 1% plus $0.25
- Dip/Swipe: Your customer cardholders pay a 3% surcharge on credit card transactions, which covers your acceptance costs.
Pricing At A Glance
|Pricing Model||Tiered Pricing|
|Swiped Rate||1.22% + $0.12- 3.35% + $0.29|
|Keyed-in Rate||1.99% + $0.25|
|Mobile Payment Rate||Undisclosed|
|Virtual Terminal Rate||1.22% + $0.12|
|Payment Gateway Fee||Undisclosed|
|Early Termination Fee||None|
|PCI Compliance Fee||None|
|Equipment Lease Terms||48 Month (locked)|
|Address Verification Service (AVS)|
|Account Setup Fee||$0|
|Gateway Setup Fee|
Costco Merchant Services Contract & Terms
The company offers the following as a standard contract:
- Contract Length: Automatic renewal for a 1 or 2 year timeframe
- Early Termination Fee: None
Costco Merchant Services has done away with the early termination fee that most merchant services charge, and that typically ranges from $300-$450.
Costco Merchant Services Setup & Support
Something that a potential customer might take into consideration is the customer support for Costco Merchant Services. It does not have its customer support and instead uses the customer support team from Elavon. Based on reviews of Evalon’s BBB page, most of the complaints center around its poor customer service and support for customers. Costco Merchant Services does not provide educational support materials directly through them.
Costco Merchant Services Complaints, Ratings & Reviews
Costco Merchant Services does not have an account with the Better Business Bureau. It’s processor, Elavon, currently sports an A+ rating. The reviews on Elavon’s BBB page are for many accounts, making it hard to discern which are for Costco Merchant Services. Based on general online research of Costco Merchant Services, approximately 10 were found. Most centered around poor rates, difficulty canceling service. Some newer complaints describe fund holds and expensive equipment fees. It is important to note that most of these complaints fall under the Elavon BBB page.
|Total Online Reviews||100+|
|Total Online Complaints||10+|