First Financial Merchant Services Review
First Financial Merchant Services is a merchant account provider that resells the merchant contracts of First Data. The firm is recognized to have industry average-level pricing and provide satisfactory service to its merchant clients.
First Financial maintains a strong record with its clients and shows a very low number of complaints regarding the company’s payment processing services. The firm does, however, show a significant amount of complaints against its sales agents and marketing tactics. Online reviews also reveal some poor sentiments from former and prospective employees for First Financial.
|Swipe Rate||2.69% + $0.19|
|Keyed-in Rate||3.69% + $0.19|
|Early Termination Fee||Up to $695|
|Contract Terms||3 Years|
First Financial Merchant Services Overview
First Financial Merchant Services, or just First Financial, is a reseller of First Data’s merchant account contracts. The firm has been in business since 1995, but it has shifted its marketing to focus on organizations and associations rather than selling directly to merchants.
Headquartered in Medina, Minnesota, First Financial is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. in Concord, California. The firm has an estimated 60 employees with John Eliason listed as the company’s founder and current CEO.
First Financial Merchant Services Pros & Cons
First Financial Merchant Services Products & Services
First Financial Merchant Services offers the following products and services, as per the company’s official website:
- Payment Gateways and e-Commerce plug-ins that are advertised to connect with most shopping cars, websites, and point-of-sale (POS) software
- Countertop Terminals potentially available for outright purchase, but definitely available through an equipment lease
- Clover Terminal customized POS system advertised to have over 425 additional applications that can help you run your business
First Financial Merchant Services Advertising & Sales
First Financial’s marketing department consists almost entirely of independent sales agents. This can be viewed as a potential red flag because payment processors that mainly outsource their marketing to independent sales agents will typically face much higher complaint volumes against their marketing department. Higher complaint volumes are attributed to a general lack of training and oversight that the contracted sales agents operate under.
First Financial is showing over 20 complaints online which accuse the firm’s representatives of deceptive marketing. Surprisingly, many of these complaints are written by former or prospective employees of First Financial.
There are employee complaints that accuse the company’s upper management of operating with a general lack of empathy for the firm’s lower-level employees. Other employee reviews describe aggressive recruiting and baiting tactics used by the firm in addition to accusations that the firm has failed to pay out residuals.
Truth in Marketing
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
|Public Pricing Available||No|
First Financial Merchant Services Pricing, Rates & Fees
As a reseller of First Data merchant contracts, First Financial offers rates and terms that are comparable to a typical First Data merchant contract. A typical First Data contract includes a swiped rate of 2.69% + $0.19 and keyed-in rate of 3.69% + $0.19 for merchants that process up to $50,000 in revenue per month. Merchants who exceed $50,000 in monthly transactions are charged a swiped rate of 2.29% + $0.19 and keyed-in rate of 3.29% + $0.19.
As a reminder, these rates only serve as a baseline for what merchants can expect when signing up for service with First Financial. First Financial reserves the right to adjust contract terms and rates at the company’s discretion.
Pricing At A Glance
|Pricing Model||Tiered Pricing|
|Swiped Rate||2.69% + $0.19|
|Keyed-in Rate||3.69% + $0.19|
|Mobile Payment Rate|
|Virtual Terminal Rate||3.69% + $0.19|
|Payment Gateway Fee||Undisclosed|
|Early Termination Fee||Up to $695|
|PCI Compliance Fee||$100+ Per Year|
|Equipment Lease Terms||48 Month (locked)|
|Address Verification Service (AVS)|
|Account Setup Fee||$0|
|Gateway Setup Fee|
First Financial Merchant Services Contract & Terms
As described in multiple merchant complaints found online, a standard merchant contract with First Financial includes a three-year agreement through First Data with an ETF of up to $695.
Additional contract fees include a $95 Annual Fee, a $100 minimum PCI Compliance Fee, and other monthly fees that may or may not be included in every contract.
It has also been confirmed that First Financial’s contracts use the costlier tiered pricing structure for determining a merchant’s transaction rates. Overall, First Financial’s pricing is more or less in line with the current industry averages and does not compete with the cheapest merchant account providers.
First Financial Merchant Services Setup & Support
First Financial administers its customer service and equipment support through a dedicated hotline and contact form located on the company’s official website.
First Financial lists its office at 805 Meander Ct, Hamel, MN 55340 for anyone looking to discuss their inquiries in person.
The best way to get First Financial’s specific pricing and contract info as it relates to your merchant business is by inquiring from one of the methods of contact mentioned above.
First Financial Merchant Services Complaints, Ratings & Reviews
Despite receiving criticisms against its marketing department and upper management, First Financial maintains a pretty strong record with its merchant clients and, consequently, the service that it provides to them.
First Financial Merchant Services has received only 2 complaints from merchants within the last 36 months and closed 1 additional complaint over the last 12 months.
The firm is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and maintains an “A+” rating on its BBB profile.
One active complaint on the firm’s BBB profile describes a situation where the merchant client was being billed for 81 months (for a total of about $800) after allegedly canceling service. First Financial’s representative explained that a second cancellation form was needed in order to cancel that particular service and agreed to also refund the merchant for 3 months of the uncancelled subscription charges. The merchant client did not accept the company’s response and shared the resulting complaint on the company’s BBB profile.
|BBB||A+ and has been Accredited since 2009. (0 Review; 2 Complaints)|
|3.6 Star / 11 Reviews|
|3.3 Stars. Based on the opinion of 7 people|
|Total Online Reviews||50+|
|Total Online Complaints||30+|