First Data Review

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Rates and Fees
60/100
Truth in Advertising
60/100
Consumer Reviews
40/100
Customer Support
80/100
3

Best for

Low-to-mid-risk, high-volume businesses

Specializes in

Large business solutions

Pricing Summary

Setup Fee: Free

Monthly Fee: $19.61

Swipe Rate: 2.69%

Keyed-in Rate: 3.69%

Early Termination Fee : $250+

Contract Terms:

No Contract Required Month-to-month 1 Year 3 Years
Visit First Data

First Data Merchant Services Review (Now Fiserv) is a financial services and merchant services provider headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Founded in 1971 in Omaha, Nebraska.  After several mergers the company has grown to be a major player in the merchant services industry.

First Data Overview

 

First Data is a full service merchant account provider that has been in business since 1971. In 2019 they were acquired by Fiserv. Hence why the First Data website says they are now Fiserv. They are one of the largest merchant services companies in the world due to their numerous partnerships with Bank of America, Wells Fargo, third party resellers and sub-ISOs.  It has been stated that 45% of credit transactions in the U.S. are processed by First Data, and they boast 6 million merchants worldwide. 

First Data provides processing solutions for education sectors, government, healthcare, human services, financial institutions, and small & large businesses in several industries. 

They offer solutions for almost every conceivable product and service a merchant may need. However, pricing for First Data and their resellers is not widely advertised, and varies greatly depending on merchant business details and which reseller the merchant is working with (if they are not working directly with First Data).

First Data also offers strategic partnership programs.

Quick Facts

Head Quarters

Atlanta, GA

Year Founded

1971

CEO

Patricia Ramos (Former CEO) Himanshu A. Patel (CFO)

Employees

19000

Merchant Provider Risk Tolerance

What We Like

Full line of Clover terminal, mobile, and POS systems

Competitive interchange-plus rates available to high-volume businesses

Extensive online knowledgebase

What We Don't Like

Numerous incidents of dishonest business practices with ISOs/resellers

High recurring account fees

Overpriced equipment leases

A four-year standard contract with liquidated damages clause

Industries Served

  • Accounting & Tax Prep
  • Airlines
  • Cigars & Tobacco
  • Clothing & Apparel
  • Convenience Store
  • Credit Repair
  • Dating
  • Debt Consolidation
  • E-Cigarettes / Vape
  • Education
  • Educational Seminars
  • Electronics
  • Gaming
  • Gas Station
  • Healthcare
  • Hunting & Outdoor Equipment
  • Legal
  • Marketing Agency
  • Medical
  • Moving Companies
  • Nutraceuticals & Supplement
  • Personal Service
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Property Management
  • Restaurant / Bar
  • SAAS
  • Self Defense, Tasers & Stun Guns
  • SEO & SEM Services
  • Smoking Accessories
  • Telemedicine
  • Thrift Store
  • Travel
  • Web Design Services

Business Types Served

  • B2B
  • Digital Downloads
  • Ecommerce
  • High Volume
  • Information
  • Low Risk
  • MLM
  • Mobile
  • Mom & Pop
  • MOTO
  • Non Profit
  • Online
  • Retail / Card Present
  • Small Business
  • Subscription / Continuity
  • Tech Support

First Data Products & Services

 

First Data claims to offer highly customizable solutions and low credit card processing rates for its merchants. First Data offers the full line of Clover products along with equipment from several other brands including Pax, Verifone, and of course their own First Data (FD) products. They are also compatible with hundreds of brands and software if a merchant wants to keep existing equipment and simply integrate it onto the First Data platform. Ecommerce solutions are offered in the form of virtual terminals, payment gateways, and integrations for businesses large and small. Additionally they offer ATM solutions for ATM ISOs. Pricing for physical terminals and eCommerce solutions will vary depending on which channel you go through to purchase.

First Data has several programs including gift card & loyalty, cash advance, cash discount, payroll, check acceptance & digital ACH, franchise solutions, B2B enterprise payments, and student loan technology solutions.

First Data merchants will enjoy access to multiple online databases and platforms where they can do everything from running business analytics and fighting chargebacks.

First Data Payment Processing

  • ACH Check Transactions
  • Cash Transactions
  • Chargeback & Fraud Prevention
  • Contactless NFC
  • Credit Card Processing
  • Credit Card Terminals
  • Debit Card Processing
  • EBT Acceptance
  • EMV Processing
  • Gift & Loyalty Program
  • Merchant Cash Advance
  • Mobile Card Reader
  • Mobile Commerce
  • Mobile Payments App
  • Online Payments
  • Online Shopping Cart Integration
  • Payment Gateway
  • Payment Processing Services Integration
  • POS Equipment
  • Recurring Billing
  • Retail Payment Processing
  • Shopping Cart Integration
  • Virtual Terminal

First Data Billing & Invoicing

  • Contingency Billing
  • Customizable Invoices
  • Mobile Payments
  • Online Invoicing
  • Online Payments
  • Payment Processing
  • Project Billing

First Data Advertising & Sales

 
First Data as a company does not appear to be using any misleading advertising or deceptive marketing through its own in-house sales force.  

However, most of their very large sales force is made up of ISOs and independent sales agents. In general, this is a red-flag that you are dealing with an individual more concerned with closing deals and obtaining commissions than representing the company ethically. Due to extensive public complaints regarding this issue, it appears that First Data has dropped the ball when it comes to monitoring & supervising these ISOs and sales agents.  Thus, making their marketing, pricing, and selling techniques appear deceptive.

Truth in Marketing

Discloses All Important Terms

No

Public Pricing Available

No

First Data Pricing, Rates & Fees

 

First Data’s pricing structure is not publicly available on their website which is common to the merchant processing industry.  

In general, rates and account fees will depend on your business type, sales volume, processing history, credit history, etc. 

First Data’s bread and butter comes from resellers and ISOs.  These resellers and ISOs have different agreements with First Data about pricing, and can make up their own pricing as long as it fits within the agreed upon guidelines. The First Data in-house team, resellers, and ISOs will all have access to the various pricing models that are out there, so you can benefit from pricing that is tailored to your exact business. 

Merchant reviews suggest that several merchants have been dissatisfied with the pricing First Data offers claiming hidden fees and misrepresentation of pricing.  

Pricing at a Glance

Pricing Model

Interchange PlusTiered PricingFlat Rate

Swiped Rate

2.69%

Keyed-in Rate

3.69%

Mobile Payment Rate

Same as countertop POS system

Virtual Terminal Rate

Variable

Monthly Fee

$19.61

Payment Gateway Fee

Variable

Batch Fee

Variable

Early Termination Fee

$250+

PCI Compliance Fee

$79 Annually

Equipment Lease Terms

Variable

Address Verification Service (AVS)

Application Fee

$0

Account Setup Fee

Free

Gateway Setup Fee

Variable

Annual Fee

Variable

Monthly Minimum

Variable

Statement Fee

Variable

First Data Contract & Terms

First Data does not publicly disclose their merchant application or contract terms & conditions.  First Data has a wide range of contract terms and lease lengths, all of which allows their resellers and ISOs to decide the details.  Contracts can range from month-to-month all the way up to 5 years.  Depending on the reseller/ISO cancellation fees and contract conditions will vary greatly.  If a merchant has a cancellation fee associated with their account, the least expensive fee found is $250.  

We always encourage merchants to read applications and contracts carefully.

Contract Length

No Contract RequiredMonth-to-month1 Year3 Years

Early Termination Fee

$250+

First Data Setup & Support

 

Setup Highlights

  • Documentation / Knowledge Base
  • Live Online (1-on-1)

Support Highlights

  • Domestic Phone Support (Business Hours)
  • Offshore Tech Support (After Hours)

First Data Complaints, Ratings & Reviews

First Data typically receives a rating of 1-3 out of 5.  There are some happy customers peppered in with several bad reviews.  This is probably due to the high number of ISOs and lack of dealing directly with First Data, every ISO is giving their merchants a very different customer experience. It seems First Data has been, and is still, having a major issue managing their ISOs and independent sales agents.

The BBB gives First Data a “B” rating with almost 300 reviews.  The BBB also reports over 800 complaints against First Data, and these, unfortunately, do not seem to be isolated incidents.  

We did find a handful of lawsuits and several hundred online complaints about First Data and their resellers. These are mostly related to hidden fees and dissatisfaction with leasing and pricing from ISOs licensed under First Data.  A recent class-action lawsuit or FTC complaint filed against First Data that states an independent sales agent (ISO) was laundering. It appears that First Data either looked the other way, or let this agent fly under their radar which in turn hurt merchants.  The settlement is for over $40 million and requires First Data to screen/monitor high-risk merchant-clients as well as implement an oversight program to monitor wholesale ISOs.  Hopefully this will help them more strictly regulate their ISOs/resellers in the future.

Ratings

BBB

B (288 reviews)

Google

N/A

Facebook

N/A

Yelp

N/A

Reviews

Total Online Reviews

1,000+

Total Online Complaints

1,000+

Lawsuits

5+

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