Bank of America Merchant Services Review

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Date Established
2009
Location
Charlotte, NC

Overview:

Full Disclosure: I bank with Bank of America. I have a checking and savings account plus two credit cards with them. Sometimes I feel a little guilty for not working with my local bank instead – but B of A just makes everything so easy and streamlined. I can see all of my accounts on one page, quickly move money around, bank via mobile with ease, and generally get the level of customer service I need in person or over the phone at all times, with locations nationwide. Did I mention it’s cheap? (It is.)

With all of that said, I can understand why so many merchants go straight to Bank of America Merchant Services (BAMS) for payment processing services. Heck, I’d probably have done the same thing at one point. B of A is, after all, a big bank and a generally reliable business partner banking-wise. But before you sign a merchant agreement with the company, you should consider that they actually use First Data for processing, that the B of A merchant contract terms are not always very competitive, and that Banc of America Merchant Services, LLC, is altogether different from Bank of America in many ways.

Also known as BA Merchant Services (or BAMS in this review), this is no mom-and-pop shop. BAMS is an enormous merchant acquirer. For a point of reference, the company processed about $350 billion in credit card payments for 2012 alone (I’m a bit irritated that I can’t find any more recent numbers). That’s a lot of money. Partnered with First Data, another processing behemoth, BA Merchant Services has the tools and resources to get the job done for small and large businesses alike, without question.

Unfortunately, I don’t love the way this company does business. BAMS uses questionable sales tactics alongside less-than-stellar advertising transparency, which has led to a growing pool of unsatisfied customers who didn’t understand what they signed up for. High early termination fees, bank-breaking lease agreements and high rates/fees seem to come up again and again with BAMS.

For many merchants, the next-day deposits for B of A business account holders remains a major draw. If you really want this, I get that. Just be sure to read this review carefully and proceed with caution. If you negotiate right, you can absolutely get a good agreement with B of A. You’ll definitely have to advocate for yourself, though. If you need help with this, drop us a line.

For the moment I’m leaving Bank of America Merchant Services at 3.5 stars. It’s a big company with powerful resources, I’m just not convinced that it always wields these resources to the benefit of merchants. There are many things it could improve on, from its transparency to the way its basic marketing practices are seriously out of date for 2016 and for a company with such great resources.

Check out the full Bank of America Merchant Services review below for more information, or take a look at our comparison chart to see the banks with the best merchant services.

Products & Services:

Since Bank of America Merchant Services uses First Data for payment processing, its products and services largely mirror the offerings of First Data. Basically, BAMS can set you up with whatever you need, both hardware-wise and software-wise. This can be nice if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution. The following represents just some of the products and services BAMS offers:

  • Merchant accounts: This includes processing for credit, debit, and e-checks, as well as regular checks if you get the necessary scanning equipment. Accounts go through First Data. These services are bundled as part of a suite called Paymentum. I like the clever name, but this isn’t anything innovative.
  • Tablet-based POS: Branded as the Clover Station, this includes both hardware and software. It actually looks like a nice system but is kind of pricey ($1,000+ to buy the system (or $50 per month to lease), plus $50 per month services fees. This doesn’t include kitchen printer and other add-ons. Still, it’s worth considering. The Clover Mini is another interesting option in this family of products. Clover is a product owned not by B of A, but by First Data.
  • Terminal leases: We’ve said this many, many times on Merchant Maverick, but please, don’t lease. And especially don’t lease through First Data. Read our article to learn why buying almost always makes more sense.
  • Mobile payments: The former B of A Mobile Pay app has been replaced with Clover Go, an offshoot of the Clover Station POS. The rates are different from the regular Clover fees, at 2.7%per swipe or 3.5% + $0.15 per keyed transaction. However, it’s worth noting that it appears individual resellers can offer their own rates, as First Data’s own site quotes pricing at 2.69% + $0.05 for swiped transactions, and 3.69% + $0.05 for keyed. The EMV reader appears to retail for $30, which is a fair price but does not include NFC. To be honest, I like that the Clover reader includes a stabilizer when you attach it via the headphone jack, but that only works if your headphone jack is on the left side of the phone (and not on the right, as it is with a Galaxy S5).
  • E-commerce support: BAMS will help you build a site using Yahoo! tools (which have been re-branded as Aabaco Small Business). I don’t know this service well enough to judge the quality of the product, but it’s nice to see that Bank of America is at least trying to help businesses succeed.
  • Next-day deposits: If you have a Bank of America account, your funds are released to you the next business day. That’s faster than anyone short of PayPal (and you can only access those funds right away if you buy online or use the PayPal debit card). I am confident part of the reason B of A got into the payments game was to keep customers from jumping ship, and this is a major incentive to stay.
  • TransArmor data protection and Fraud FlexDetect: TransArmor makes PCI compliance easier, while Fraud FlexDetect allows e-commerce businesses to better detect fraud. It is always nice to see additional tools for merchants, but there’s no reference to what these tools cost on the site, and so it’s hard to gauge the value.

Other popular services:

  • Payment gateway/virtual terminal
  • Real-time reporting and analytics
  • Gift card services

I can’t find any evidence that Bank of America still offers marketing programs through iDeals or Offerwise, which it used to offer. There’s nothing on the website, and Google Searches pull up press releases dating back to 2012, which is pretty old as far as information on the Internet is concerned. However, Clover does integrate with other apps, including marketing and loyalty programs, so it’s likely that B of A and First Data are just going that route.

Fees & Rates:

BAMS does not publicly disclose much information on rates or fees. There are no terms of service on the site, either.

This is difficult. So much about rates and fees will depend on your specific business attributes like sales volumes, business type, time in business and so on. So it’s sometimes hard to be specific unless you’re on a flat-fee model — but when I got on B of A’s live chat service, they promptly shut me down entirely. The rep asked for my business name, email, and phone right off the bat, and I disclosed all of it. They said the chat line was only for new merchant accounts and would not even tell me whether the company offered interchange-plus or how long the contract is. Nor would they give me contact information for anyone who could tell me. Instead, they claimed that each package is customized to the individual business. Frankly, that to me says they’re probably very inconsistent and you’ll have to negotiate aggressively.

For the most part, BAMS seems to use tiered pricing models. The company doesn’t advertise interchange-plus, but when we last checked in for a review, we were able to confirm the company does offer it for higher-volume accounts. Depending on your monthly volume, you can expect qualified rates from 1.89% to 2.50% for card-present transactions. Bank of America discloses the following structure for rates based on monthly processing volume:

  • $4,999.99 or less – 2.50% + $0.20
  • $5,000.00 – $9,999.99 – 2.30% + $0.20
  • $10,000.00 – $24,999.99 – 2.05% + $0.20
  • $25,000.00 or more – 1.89% + $0.20

B of A also notes here that an additional rate of 1.1% will be applied to non-swiped monthly dollar volume.

I should note that this is listed specifically on the page advertising Clover POS. I do not know whether you’ll get those rates if you set up a plan without the POS. (If you happen to know, please tell us!)

Aside from those numbers, we’ve seen chatter on the web about the following fees:

  • Annual fee: $95
  • Early termination fee: $500
  • Chargeback fee: $15

You are also likely to see a statement fee and in some cases a monthly minimum as well.

Contract Length & Early Termination Fee:

The Bank of America Merchant Services contracts are likely three-year agreements that auto-renew in one-year increments (industry standard), alongside an early termination fee of about $500. This is far too expensive for the current payment processing climate, where a good percentage of providers are willing to waive early termination fees altogether for all accounts. Even companies that do have ETFs usually charge somewhere in the $300 range.

I’d recommend that you ask to have the whole fee removed from the agreement, which will require a signed waiver form attached to the contract. If you can’t get this, at least get the contract term reduced to something like 12 months and get the auto-renewal clause removed. There’s simply no reason for most merchants to have to carry a $500 ETF and a three-year contract.

Sales & Advertising Transparency:

BAMS displays basically all of the normal transparency issues I’ve come to expect. For starters, its $500 price quote guarantee is basically meaningless, since the company will bend numbers to their breaking point in order to avoid paying this. You can go ahead and try to get your $500 – and please let me know if you do – but I really don’t believe this sort of marketing gimmick says anything good about the provider. It’s a ploy to figure out what you currently pay, which gives you less bargaining power.

The public disclosure of fees and rates offered by this company is halfhearted at best, failing to mention how the tiered platform works and ignoring options like interchange-plus. It outlines pricing for its tablet POS system pretty definitively, which is nice. I’d like to see more useful disclosures elsewhere, however, or at least useful educational material for prospective merchants. There are a few industry tips and white papers it makes available, as well as a resource center. However, there’s no blog, and these resources seem to be updated infrequently. I’ve found conflicting dates on some of them and some of the data presented on the site is 4-5 years old, which is about the point at which data starts to become seriously out of date.

I am utterly unimpressed by the BAMS website. It is clunky, poorly designed, and lacking information in obvious places. The design itself is pretty dated, and I find it difficult to navigate.There are no active social media channels dedicated to Merchant Services – just a LinkedIn page that seems to be used for recruiting.

There’s a B of A Twitter feed and Facebook page, as well as dedicated news and help Twitter channels. However, remember that I said Merchant Services is a different company. You’re better off trying to go through the official support channels than getting help on social media.

For a company that claims to tailor itself to small business, I find this extremely disappointing.  Things work differently in an enterprise environment, where doing business usually involves sales calls, presentations, reps visiting on site, meetings to discuss the decision, etc. Small businesses just don’t operate like that and so to see such a disappointing site and nonexistent social media (and minimal educational content) leaves me disheartened. A company as large as Bank of America can certainly do better….it just has to want to. And sadly, I don’t think it does.    

Many reviewers complain about non-disclosure of important contract terms, misleading fee/rate explanation, and overall poor sales transparency during consultations. Although it looks like most of the BAMS sales reps are company employees and not independent agents, this doesn’t guarantee a good sales experience. When dealing with BAMS, I urge you to proceed cautiously and don’t sign anything until you’ve read it carefully. If you need help understanding your contract, reach out to us.

Customer Service & Technical Support:

I’m left feeling underwhelmed in terms of the customer and technical support offered at BAMS, both in terms of what they advertise and how current merchants seem to rate it. At B of A, you’ll find:

  • Live chat: Offered weekdays during business hours, mostly used for sales it looks like.
  • Phone support: Offered 24/7 at 1-800-228-5882.
  • Email support: Only recommended for general inquiries. They also still encourage people to write in with comments. Come on, people, it’s the 21st century.
  • Small FAQ: This looks fairly useless, and I am quite disappointed by it.

For a company as big as B of A, I’d really expect to see more than this, especially because it claims to serve small businesses. I at least admire the 24/7 phone support, but the FAQ is supremely unhelpful.

If you have experience using the BAMS customer service options, please leave your thoughts in our comments section. Thank you!

Negative Reviews & Complaints:

Since Bank of America doesn’t have a separate BBB profile for its merchant services wing, we don’t have that resource to draw from in this case. There are 8 reports on RipOffReport.com, the most recent of which is from October 2016.

The web is populated with complaints against BAMS, if you know where to look. It was fairly simple to pinpoint major trends. The following represent the most common and noteworthy complaints for prospective merchants to consider:

  • Expensive terminal lease contracts through First Data Global Leasing: Some merchants have complained about not being aware that they were signing into a 4-year, non-cancellable terminal lease. The whole “not being aware” part can be chalked up to the merchant not fully understanding how leasing works, which is really the responsibility of the sales rep. I personally think terminal leasing is unnecessary to begin with. If you’re a small merchant, and you only need a few terminals, then why not just buy them? They don’t cost much these days. Leases make sense for bigger organizations that need many terminals and don’t have the upfront capital to invest in buying them.
  • Withholding of funds/termination of accounts: This can happen for a number of reasons. Chargebacks and/or suspicious charges can easily raise a red flag that will either get you suspended or shut down. Both First Data and Bank of America have been known to be a bit trigger-happy when it comes to holding funds or terminating accounts. You’re going to want to learn how to avoid holds and minimize chargebacks if you plan on signing up with B of A.
  • Enhanced Billback: Bank of America and First Data are also known for using a billing technique called enhanced bill back, which isn’t the most transparent billing method. Check out our article about it here.
  • High cancellation fee: If you want to cancel before your contract is up (3 years), then Bank of America will likely charge you a $500 cancellation fee. That’s pretty steep considering there are plenty of other providers that don’t charge a fee at all.
  • Poor customer service: While even a big company can give you a nice, personal experience via friendly and dedicated account reps, this doesn’t seem to be the case with Bank of America. Sure, they have 24/7 support, but that doesn’t mean it’s good quality.

Positive Reviews & Testimonials:

Bank of America has provided a few new authorized testimonials, both in video and text format. These were nice to see but overall unimpressive. The remarks and reviews on the Merchant Services home page are fairly superficial and not very helpful. If you want to check out the video, you can find it on this page. If you’re interested in more intensive case studies regarding many of the same companies featured in the video, check out this page.

Based on the official testimonials offered by B of A, customers enjoy:

  • B of A’s gift card services
  • Tablet-based POS system
  • Quality phone-based customer support

In response to these claims I would like to remind you that:

  • Many providers offer gift card solutions.
  • You should probably research the huge number of POS systems out there before grabbing blindly for the B of A system.
  • I’ve read a substantial number of complaints that say B of A merchant support leaves a lot to be desired.

…Just some things to consider. There’s precious little you can get from B of A that you couldn’t get by signing up directly with First Data — or any of our top-rated processors, for the matter.

Final Verdict:

I am sure that Bank of America got into the payments game because it wanted a solution to keep its business customers. Partnering with First Data was likely an easy, fast, and probably cheap solution. This company basically has one substantial draw: next day deposits for B of A business account holders. Aside from that, BAMS isn’t doing anything really special for the average merchant. I’d bet a large portion of its clientele signed up mostly due to name recognition and being pitched to at a local B of A branch where they already bank.

At the end of the day, B of A Merchant Services can get the job done. If you already have experience with payment processors and you’re willing to advocate for yourself and put in the work to get good rates and good service, then BAMS could probably work out for you. But don’t expect them to go out of their way to give you a good deal or quality service. For less experienced merchants, signing up with Bank of America could be a nightmare of undisclosed fees, high rates, poor customer service and an overall headache. You also have to consider that since First Data provides the actual processing services, you’ll have to contend with many of the issues we outlined in that review as well.

For these reasons, I’m leaving the Bank of America Merchant Services review at 3.5 stars. I’m not saying run for the hills – but please, seriously consider other options before jumping on board with BAMS.

If you have experience with or insight into B of A Merchant Services, leave your thoughts in a comment! Thanks for reading and good luck.

Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson is an independent writer and editor who loves e-commerce, digital marketing, technology, and social media. Once upon a time, she earned a journalism degree, but she went on to discover that she could work from home, researching, editing, and writing about the things she found most interesting. When she's not tied to her laptop, Melissa can usually be found in the kitchen, reading a book, or doing something of the nerdy persuasion.
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66 Comments

    Stephanie Pontiff

    The absolutely worst costumer service.The person helping me was actually arguing with me about closing my account!?!? I would never recommend ever,ever ever!! Merchant services explained to me that they would close my account then proceeded to continue to take ‘fees’ from my small business.i wish I would have read these reviews before choosing to use their services

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    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    B

    We believe that this company is complete scam. Save yourself headaches and find a better company. Payeezy/First Data/Clover, if you keep playing with businesses, we will take you to court…

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    Clint Montgomery

    Horrible service!! I was told by a Merchant Services representative at Bank Of America that they could give me great rates and beat my QuickBooks go payment rates. FAR FROM THE TRUTH!!! I processed one payment of 8900 using QuickBooks. Client had AmEx. Fees were 302.00. Processed second payment of 8900.00 with same card using First Date/ Payeezy and the fees were close to 600.00!!! Rip OFF!!! I will be switching banks and have already closed my First Data Account.DO NOT TRUST THESE COMPAINIES!!

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    Clyde Swalwell

    Bank of America Merchant Services in tandem with Clover Card Reader is a huge scam. Using Bank of America Merchant Services was a huge mistake and cost my company thousands of dollars. The support is horrible, there are hidden fees, and they do everything possible to screw you. Using BofA and Clover was the biggest mistake my company made this year. Do yourself a favor and stay far away. Considering a lawsuit against BofA because of the awful merchant services.

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    Michael Carlsen

    When you switch processors it will take an act of congress to get this bank to stop stealing money from your account and you will not get it back. For several months we were getting charged for the monthly base fee even though we cancelled. They told me that they could not undo what was done. When we finally were told we would not be charged anymore an annual fee of 57.00 was taken out two months later. I have now had to pay my bank to put a hold on any withdraws from these people. I will never do business with them again in any way shape or form and I tell everyone I know to do likewise.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Epifanio Flores

    YEEEEESS… BAMS is the worst step for starting a small business. Their representatives are not transparent as they hide critical information. They are specialist avoiding contact with customer that want to cancel this service. The representatives never tell you about the $500.00 cancellation fees or a four year contract, auto renew, hidden fees or annual fees.
    What is the role of Bank of America’s representative in this scam?
    If the Federal Trade Commission has any concern, is about time for a complaint

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Heather Lindaman

    Epifanio,

    I’m really sorry you had a crummy experience. Unfortunately that happens too often in this industry..

    I am a relationship manager with Heartland. I would be more than happy to help you personally, or get you in contact with a local rep in your area. If you haven’t heard of us, Heartland is the 5th largest direct processor in the United States. Feel free to check out the review Merchant Maverick wrote about us.. We pride ourselves in doing right by our clients, and have developed many practices in order to achieve that.

    Please feel free to contact me. I’m happy to tell you more or to get you connected with someone in your hometown.

    Warm regards,

    Heather Lindaman
    heather.lindaman@e-hps.com

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Michael Carlsen

    I will never do business with them again in any capacity. When we changed vendors we notified them. They continued to charge us even though no processing occurred. We called again and they said they could not credit us for months past even though there were no processes however they would stop the charges. We got another round of charges and they said it was because we called in the middle of the cycle. They are scam artists and it is a wonder they are allowed to do business at all. I will tell everyone I know not to do business with B of A in any capacity.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    bdd

    Very crooked business pracitices! Dont ever sign up with them! I had a merchant account with Bank of America for several years. Over that time, I received notices constantly that my rates were increasing. When I called to try to have them lowered, they were rude and not helpful. It took several phone calls to close my account. Three months after closing my account, I am still being charged very high fees. They conveniently don’t have record of my requests to close my account and will not credit my account for these charges. NEVER NEVER get involved with this company!!!

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    Zeyad Ramadan

    I spoke with Barry, a representative from BoA Merchant Services about switching over to them and specifically asked him about contract obligations, early termination fees, etc. and he said that this was not the case. There was a one-time initiation fee of ~$180 that would waive this and allow me to cancel at any time. After speaking with him, I did a quick Google search for reviews and found this site. When I pointed him to this article to confirm/deny some of the points raised he became belligerent in his tone and tried to switch the tables and talk about how my company was not worth his time.Based on this experience alone and tone I will not do business with BoA Merchant services even though I have a business and personal account with them.

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    Alexandra's Crafts

    We are a small mobile cafts business and only choose Bank of America because in 2013 we traveled from the west coast to Michigan and back in the RV and quickly discovered that while buying local is something that has helped us grow our business, our customers seek out that quality, banking local is a problem. How does one deposit a $5000 check when your bank is two or three time zones over and their out of network ATM fee is a %. (Before the days of mobile deposit capabilities). Having a national Bank became a clear necessity. With the only other available being US Bank, Chase and Wells Fargo, we found there was just no way we could afford to have accounts at any of them, as a small business they wanted five or ten thousand min balance, or electronic deposits or have a $50 (some cases higher) monthly fee. Bank of America however, offered an option of a waiver of monthly fee if use their merchant services. Hence, they became the only national bank we can realistically afford else we’d find aother option. We are semi seasonal, and there are a few months during the year that we do not run cards, and only that month does Bank of America charge the monthly fee. Though one transactions, no min amount, waives that. When we catch it we’ve charged our own Bank of America business debit card one dollar near the end of the month. Yes, we loose the credit card processing fees on our own money, however, part of that dollar goes back into the account, and even a dollar is far less than the monthly service fee. By no means is Bank of America easy to work with customer service on accounts or merchant services via the phone. However, if you can find a branch with good customer service, sometimes that means the drive outside the major metropolitan city to the town of 5-10 thousand people they will work with you and make the phone calls right there in the branch. If you know what it is you should have or be getting you can get it. Getting there is far more work than I’ve ever experienced with any other merchant services company or bank. They are very vague and try to dodge their guarantees at all cost. When our mobile card reader quit working after over a year they wanted me to purchase a new one. After many days of phone calls and faxing both squares and intuits policies on ordering card readers and how often they’d replace the reader did we not have to pay $50 plus shipping. Because as they said , “they are very fragile devices and not expected to last a year.”However, the biggest scam I’ve seen is the overdraft charges based on pending/processing items. You can have the same item show as processing for 4 days, and if any of those days if it were to clear would overdraft the account the nail you. However, if you don’t check every day it looks like day 1 the money was subtracted from the account, so when the deposit goes in on day two, and more items clear, on day three you don’t realize that there were less deposits on day two then withdraws, so on day 3or 4 when the $600 one clears it overdrafts the account. Top that with , on day 4 a $7. $20. And $15 all also hit and now show as process/pending, because that $600 one processes first, all 4 trigger overdraft fees. I shouldn’t have to call them and debate it very time when the bottom line was the actual balance never dropped below $1,000.Other than small local banks I can’t say that I’ve experienced any bank that you don’t have to figure out how to navigate and what the correct phraseology is to obtain the desired outcome.BankofAmericas ability to find ways to charge fees is astounding. Nearly always if you’re willing to take/have the time to debate them they will recredit the account. Seriously though, I shouldn’t have to do that with someone I’m letting borrow my money, even if it is a relatively small amount. 100 bills under the mattress are still a good option until I need to process money.

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    Gwen

    Tom,

    I am currently looking for a respectfully Merchant Credit Card Company. I was thinking of BOA since I have all my accounts with them but after reading the reviews, I’m going to hold off.

    Based on your experience, can you tell me which companies out there that you can trust. I have a Consulting Business that is currently transacting between 50K-100K a month. The Merchant Service that I am currently with is holding 20K on my money for security deposit. I have been with this Merchant for 3 years and they have never asked for a security deposit until now.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Chloe Bahal

    Hi Gwen,

    I would try Durango Merchant Services, Payline Data, or Instabill.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    sony bains

    which bank is the best to give merchant facility
    for website designing business where should i go to apply merchant account online payment if someone knows please let me know on my email. sonybains2411@gmail.com
    i’m very thankful

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    David

    My company has used BAMS for the past 10 years. We process approx $300,000/yr in cc. Four weeks ago an international scam artist was running test cc #s thru our online terminal. We secured the site and fixed the problem.BAMS risk department, located in Suffolk County, NY, froze our account. That was FOUR WEEKS ago. The account is still processing payments daily, but we are not being paid for this. The risk dept has no way of communicating with the customer service dept. They NEVER return calls. The only way to contact them is to call cust serv, have them send an email to the managers, then wait 2-4 biz days for a manager to email the risk dept. This is a NIGHTMARE!!!We have had to hire an attorney and plan on suing BAMS. We are also getting a new merchant account with a different bank. The business has $0 now and we can’t pay our operating expenses.

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    Ray

    2.7% per transaction. Sweet deal, right? Here’s the catch.Term of contract : 36 monthsEarly termination fee: $500Annual maintenance fee: $100Those are all written in fine letters. Be aware when you write your initials on their E-file.

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    Beverly K

    B of A has been our processor for 10+ years and I’m frankly surprised at the 3.5 stars. We have only stuck with them for so long because they, to are also our bank and therefore we get 1-day deposits.

    Their tactic is to use third parties for their services (we use a virtual terminal) and then when problems arise – as they do – they point fingers and pass the buck and say there’s nothing they can do. For example, we literally had a 4 month period in which our virtual terminal was unable to accept swiped cards. Both the software provider and B of A did nothing to facilitate a solution (I have a 1-inch stack of notes and emails from both parties to confirm this). We got stuck paying keyed rates for that entire time and B off A refused to refund us any fees.

    Customer service is notoriously unresponsive and their ‘help desk’ (for which one pays $15/month) needs to be renamed “I just answer the phone and no matter what you ask me I will be unable to help” desk. Top that off with fee after fee and they are no bargain.

    The good news? Thanks to your great reviews, we are in the process of possibly negotiating with Helcim.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Heather Lindaman

    Beverly,

    Did you end up negotiating with Helcim? If not, I would love to schedule a meeting with you to share the benefits of Heartland. We are the 5th largest direct processor in the country. Our customer service center is open 365/24/7 is located in Indiana where a live representative will answer your call with an average wait time of under 10 seconds.

    I saw that your draw for staying with Bank of America merchant service was the next day funding–that is a service that Heartland also provides without additional fees. I would love the opportunity to chat with you if you’re still in the market to make a switch.

    Best wishes,

    Heather Lindaman
    heather.lindaman@e-hps.com

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Andrew Markuszewski

    Hi, I’ve recently been sent an application to initial from BOA Merchant Services. I’m setting up an online WooCommerce site and need to have a gateway in place. I currently have a business checking account already with BOA.

    I’m told in my agreement: The Payeezy service has a monthly cost of $16.00, online PCI security for $10.95, and an initial set up cost of $199.00.

    I would also be getting a Clover Go Moto which runs $9.95 monthly.

    According to the Sales Rep: A qualified debit card will be 1.00% online, Qualified MasterCard Credit card will be 2.56%. These are only for the online payments with payeezy.

    A lot of these reviews have me second guessing initialing the application I’ll admit. What are your thoughts on these numbers, and is there any other option available that would make more sense for me? This is for a new record label, and my sales surge and dip depending on release schedules. The Clover unit is for being able to process payments through my phone at shows selling merch.

    Thanks for anyone’s help!

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Heidi T

    Tom,
    We recently set up our Website on Shopify.
    There are many things about Shopify that I don’t like, one of which is their payment processing.
    It is taking 5-7 days to receive the money from the transactions/Purchases on our site, and as a small business getting starte, we don’t have the reserve to carry us while we wait 5-7 days for payment.

    We were looking to switch to BofA for our Mobile POS and a Gateway to Shopify for our Merchant Services, but after your review, I’m very skeptical.
    Can you recommend any other options/Providers?
    Our main need is to accept mobile POS transactions, and for the online transactions on our website. We were with Amazon Register for the last year until they discontinued service.
    Thanks,
    Heidi

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Charmaine

    Thank you so much for this review, just left the bank today and in NO WAY did they let me know that this is a separate company, I thought she was calling someone’s desk within the branch, something told me to say no, happy I listened.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Adam W

    BAMS is a giant scam! I signed up to lease my Clover Pos at Bank of America in Houston from a lady named Ashley Sinkowitz. She promised me a great deal and great service. Its been 16 months and im yet to recieve either. They charge me double for my lease every month which was already a huge rip off to begin with and I didnt fully understand what I was signing up for. No matter who I speak to, Ashley, BAMS, First Data, Bams corporate office, NOBODY can fix this for me! Also they took the lease out as a loan against my credit. Im only writing this because if I can stop one person from joining these con artists it would be worth it. -Adam W

    1

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    sunny ross

    Very frustrating customer service they with-held 2 my transactions for over a week. And only thing they give you is tickets. It takes days just to talk to the head person to understand what’s going on. and 3.5% for a transaction? It’s ridiculous I wish I never signed up for this. Chase is a more better bank

    1

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    Doris

    Thank you so much for this information! I have a call scheduled with one of their sales people and was researching but couldn’t find any information on the BofA website. You just saved me probably an hour of listening to a sales pitch for something that’s not right for me! 🙂

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Tica

    Hi there, I wish I would have read your review prior to choosing BofA for my merchant services.
    I am now hoping to that someone here has some insight on the following. In addition to processing fees I’m also charge a monthly wireless fee of $15 and a monthly transamor solutions fee of $19.95. Looking back at my statements I was also charged a $94 annual account maintenance fee in 2012 with the rate going up to $134 for 2013 and 2014. The monthly transamor solutions fee of $19.95 was added to my account in march of 2015. I’m wondering if this fee is in addition to my annual account maintenance fee or in lieu…I was expecting the annual account maintenance fee to be charged to my account today but it was not. All the other fees were. Anyone know about this?

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Steve

    Hey Tom,

    I just wanted to say thank you for such an awesome and informative review. I’d also like to thank those that commented your review. I was really hoping to find at least one positive reviewer, however, that obviously did not happen. I came across this site while studying the products offered by BAMS for an interview I have with the company in two days. I’m unfortunately plagued with a conscience though, and I can’t offer this level of bad service to anyone. I’ll call and cancel my interview tomorrow. I know the frustration felt through similar bad experiences with Verizon and I can’t imagine myself being responsible for coaxing anyone into such a bad deal.

    ~Steve.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Kevin Jay

    Hi Tom,

    I have a freemium business model where you can purchase additional features. The company is online and accepts payments via ecommerce. I looked at your recommended payment processors. I checked with CDGcommerce and they seem great. I also bank with BofA and they offered me a 1.99% + .20 for each transaction. The monthly fee is $16. One thing attracted me to it is that by having a business checking account with them, I am not charged for any additional transactions that are over the monthly transaction limits. Similar to Capital One Spark account. My question is, do you know if this is a good deal for freemium model businesses where you can large number of transactions one month and very minimal the next? Also should I lean towards CDGCommerce instead? Any advice would be appreciated.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Kevin,

    I’m not sure what you mean when you say that you are not charged for transactions over your monthly limit with BofA. I haven’t heard of this.

    What you need is an account that has no monthly minimum, low monthly fees, and works with your current e-commerce setup. I would also recommend interchange-plus pricing instead of tiered pricing (the 1.99% + $0.20 is part of a tiered plan, and is just one possible rate you could be charged).

    As long as you have no monthly minimum, it won’t be a big deal to have some months with lots of transactions and some months with very few. Just be sure that your transaction limits are set to accommodate your highest volume months. I think CDG would be a good option for your business type.

    Good luck!

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Eric Stephen Heckman

    While we do not use B of A we did open our restaurant with Clover a year ago. If anybody wants to buy it it is for sale, cheap. Do not listen to B of A or PNC if they try to sell you Clover unless you are a small carry-out or restaurant that does not need much sophistication in order entry, management or reports. Support is almost non-existent. Clover continues to fiddle with the application and make things worse. Try to get a year’s worth of revenue in one report. Some genius decide 90 days was all anybody needed and changed the reporting function. Apps and third party software is expensive, does not work half the time and have little or no support. The bottom line is Clover and First Data have no clue what a restaurant requires or wants. A simple advisory board of experienced restaurantuars could make this POS viable but Clover wants no part of that as they are simply a technical company. My new POS should be installed next week, thank goodness!

    1

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Shawn

    Hey Eric,

    We’re opening a new entertainment venue in VT that will include food and beverage services. We were seriously considering Clover as one of our POS finalists, but your review has us second-guessing that decision. We’re curious… What POS solution did you end up changing to?

    Thanks in advance!

    Shawn Bendig
    Stonehedge Indoor Golf – Owner
    Rutland, VT

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    vilian tambe

    Card reader no longer works, call for replacement they’re charging $49.99! After paying BAMS monthly and other related fees plus the inconvenience of keying in customer information, i think its time to go back to SQUARE with no hidden costs and fees.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Val

    I wish I had come upon your site before I got the wireless terminal from BofA!!!! Now, it’s costing me more than its worth with fees up my rear and I called them to cancel and they said there is no way to cancel!!!!! I *KNOW* that’s not righr!!!!! I’ve been looking through my paperwork and there is no mention of what to do to cancel the lease. This really sucks because my business is still a baby and I feel like I’m sinking before I even leave the dock!!!! Please help!!!!! I have the hand terminal.

    1

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Katrina

    Hey Tom,
    I’m the office manager of a small chiropractic business based in a small town. We were looking into the Clover when I came across your review and several others. My sales rep didn’t mention anything about extra costs and etc. They said there would a $ fee for leasing the Clover mini and a $ fee for access to their apps. Right now we are just using an omni through Elevon to process our credit cards. We liked the idea of Clover to have our scheduling, inventory, and trends at our finger tips. And we liked that they offer gift cards as we currently offer only gift certificates. What might you suggest for a small business like ours?

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Drew

    Hi Katrina,

    Did you end up using Clover for your office. The scheduling and inventory tracking seems like a good perk.

    Thank you,

    Drew

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Amanda L.

    Wow, I am SO glad I came across these comments! I spoke to BAMS this morning and they offered me a 2.3% fee per transaction vs. the 2.7% that square charges. I was told there was no other fees whatsoever. They emailed me the paperwork to sign and I was reading and seeing red flags so I just googled it and came across all your comments. THANK YOU for your honest feedback!

    Tom – I am curious on your opinion about Square? Square is the only company I have ever heard about and it has been working great for me. What company do you suggest over Square, and why?

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Amanda,

    There are a lot of mobile processing options, and all have merits and drawbacks. You can see my review of Square here. My first recommendation is usually Flint Mobile, but it depends on the business.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Amanda L.

    Hi Tom,

    Thank you so much for your response and your reviews. I am a licensed cosmetologist who booth rents. Most of my clients pay with a credit card. My transactions run anywhere from $20 to over $200, just depending what services and/or products they get.

    I have had my square a little under a year now and it has worked great for me. I am just open to seeing what else is out there as well.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Bob

    Been with them since 99 and never one charge back. Ran a 25K through this month and it has been on hold for over 5 days! Still can’t get an answer.

    1

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Daniel Toledano

    BOA Merchant service is a Rip off!!!They first matched the rate I had with another merchant for one of my stores.Then after a year started to increase the fees a little by a little till they DOUBLED the initial percentage fee.Result they overcharged my TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS in one year.When I found out, they just said ” TOO BAD” but if you are willing to stay with us we will bring back the fees as the were initially.They use their name and the trust we have in a big institution as Bank Of America to take advantage.Take this good advice. RUN AWAY from these crooks…

    1

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    John Rockwell

    We recently had to change our store’s checking account to a new checking account due to the old one being compromised. The change was effective 3/30/15 and none of our credit card transactions are reaching the new account (today is 4/03/15). After multiple calls to Merchant Services and Bank of America an account specialist admitted that there was a funding issue that they were responsible for. Their solution – wait another 48 hours to see if the funds make it into the checking account. Why do I get the feeling they wouldn’t have come up with that same solution if my company was called GE or IBM? Still waiting for the funds to come through . . . .

    1

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Susan Tereba

    I would recommend to anyone wanting to open an account in any manner with B of A – DON”T!! After more than 45 years as a customer and 20 as a merchant I have been treated very badly. First they closed my account without giving me an extension for filing a paper they needed – I was out of the country and it proved impossible to do this from afar. I just wanted an extension of a few weeks but it was denied. They closed the account four days before I returned to the States. Then when I closed the Merchant Services I was charged the $500 cancellation fee. I was never told about this fee – I would have gone elsewhere had I known about it. I was lied to by their representatives. And of course there is no recourse for this.

    1

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Frank Sperandeo

    Hello Tom, I am soon going to be starting a magazine in which the advertisers will be e-faxing their contracts to me with their credit card numbers. Do you think there is a merchant account that would be better for me than the others? Thanks, Frank

    5

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Frank,

    I think PayJunction might be a good fit for your needs. Check them out. One thing to consider here is data security. By handling credit card details you open yourself up to security breaches and PCI compliance issues. PayJunction may be able to help you come up with a more secure solution, or at least help you execute it as securely as possible.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Frank Sperandeo

    Thank you for getting back to me Tom! I’ll check them out!

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Diego C

    I just spoke to a merchant rep at BofA and offer me 0.50% +5 cents on each transaction then a $10 monthly fee and 5cents close batch fee. This sounds too sweet for what this post is saying. I am asking myself how is this possible. I am an startup sporting good business and currently used square. Are there any hidden fees or something I am missing?

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Diego,

    This is an interchange-plus price quote. This means that you pay the .5% + $.05 on top of the actual interchange cost of the transaction. There are likely other fees, such as PCI compliance fees, that you will be charged annually. If the rep you spoke to did not explain interchange-plus to you, I would NOT sign up with them. A lot of dishonest sales people will give you an interchange-plus quote and lead you to believe this is all you’ll pay. You should check out our preferred providers, and if you need more help choosing submit this form and we’ll get back to you.

    Hope this helps,
    Tom

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Diego Costales

    Thanks, Tom. Very helpful your input. I almost sign up with BofA. I see in a lot of posts you recommend CDG, and in reality they seem a good way to go with. I currently use square but trying to see who offers a lower fee.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Captn Dan

    I am a very unhappy former B of A customer and merchant services customer. When B of A closed the branch on Pine Island I closed my checking account as I do not wish to drive off Island for banking, But the ETF ( $500.00) from Merchant services caused me to open another checking account in another bank to pay the quarterly fees ( $19.95) to keep an unused merchant account alive and well. I just got my statement and the Merchant services charged me an additional $40.00 to certify the card processing equipment which I gave back to the bank in May was compliant ! I do not use the account, I do not process any cards, all I do is pay the bank and they just seem to want more free funds. When can someone in the bank see that they are not gaining customers but losing them forever !!
    I will never have an account with B of A for any reason based on what I have seen.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Michelle Pickering

    Lying THIEVES that later tell you the merchant services are NOT affiliated with Bank of America. The reason customers say they did not know they had a lease with First Data is because the sales rep does NOT EVER tell you there is a SECOND contract for FOUR years in addition to the 3 year BAMS contract. It is a purposely unethical method of leaving out important information that they profit VERY well from. The lease is a sham too. You get a demand for equipment insurance from FIrst Data which Is when you initially find out you are involved contractually with another company.

    ALSO if there is ever a problem with your surprise annual fee to BOTH BAMS and First Data that you are never told about or given notice of (my rep said there was a $50 annual fee in June which turned out to be a $100 fee in November, but don’t worry there is a $50 fee from First Data too), you get a $50 collection fee immediately, the bank NSF fee PLUS another NSF from the 3rd party payment processing company you didn’t know you were using. A total of $110 in fees in case your account is low and you are not prepared for a surprise $100 deduction which is taken out with your processing fees, but with no breakdown given until your statement comes a week or two AFTER the deduction.

    I could write an entire book of additional criminal behavior by BAMS, but to spare the readers I will just say my deposits were held one day for about $400 last December. When I called I was on hold to speak with collections for at least 30 minutes several times, to be hung up on by an unbelievably rude rep that refused to explain how they were entitled to my deposit, and when I finally was given a breakdown of what I supposedly owed 3 calls later, there was still $140 that was never accounted for or returned to me. The BAMS representatives also have a very hard time reaching the collections department, so unless you have a minimum of two hours to spend on the phone (I’m NOT exaggerating), you will get nothing resolved.

    Liars, thieves, hidden fees and an extra contract they will not give you a hard copy of EVER…. Please do not EVER sign anything that you cannot have a hard copy of on the spot. They have this pin pad they have you sign and they only show you what they want you to see 🙁 My fault I guess. After banking with B of A for 25 years I was not careful. RUN FOR THE HILLS!!!!!

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    John Rockwell

    My experience has been similar.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Marcos Olivo

    I am currently looking for a respectfully Merchant Credit Card Processing company. Based on your experience, can you tell me which companies are out there that you can trust. I am a seasonal small business. I have recently signed a 30 days trial. but after reading the agreement, I told them that I am was not interesting. So they still charged my account and also got hit with two fees of $428.00 for two terminals, one that I signed for it and other that I refuse to sign and return by fedx. I was told that I will get $856.00 minus $75.00 in 7 to 10 business days. The majority of this companies are a bunch of thief, once they have your account, they think they have a right to withdrawal your money. thanks

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Marcos,

    That sounds like a headache! I’d suggest trying out any of our top rated processing companies, including Dharma MS, CDGcommerce, Helcim, and Payment Depot. All of these companies have interchange-plus pricing (best value), no early termination fees (cancel whenever you want with no penalty), quality customer support, and ethical business practices.

    Good luck, and feel free to get in touch if you need more help. Also let us know how Bank of America does with getting you the refund.

    -Tom

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Nate Wyatt

    A textbook example of a large corporation preying on smaller businesses. There were hundreds of dollars in hidden fees and a $500 cancelation fee. The customer service is the worst I’ve ever experienced. It took nine months, over fifteen calls and a request to the legal department to just get them to cancel my account. The way that I was billed was also pretty tricky, it stated -39.95 like I wasn’t getting billed at all. There were no other amounts listed on the statement so it appeared as if I wasn’t getting billed because I wasn’t using their services. I was wrong and the got me for at least a thousand dollars.

    1

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Natalie Alexander

    This has to be the biggest mistake in leaving a stable, big bulky Point of Sale system that was reliable for a slick, compact, fun piece of inconvenience.DONT LET THE LOOKS FOOL YOU… THIS IS NOT EFFICIENT AT ALLThey need to have a panel with seasoned business owners that have to deal with systems daily

    1

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Susan Phatsadavong

    I called Merchant Services regarding a debit and credit in my account was missing. They said I need to go and apply for Business Track.com
    In order for me to see all of the batches and activity on my accounts.
    I did all that and I rec’d an email stating that I was approve to to view the Business Track!!!!!!
    I don’t understand why I can not get approve to view my own information?? I am not applying for a loan!!! I just want to understand where my money goes when it I can see on my regular statements.
    BOA Merchant Service makes this really hard for customers. I talked to many business owners they all said the same thing” NOT SATISFIED”. I can’t wait to be done with them.
    New Business Owner run run run from BOA merchant service. they’ll suck up your bank account and you have no control over it!

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Nick

    The Dept of Security Manager froze my merchant account after six weeks because I charged the same exact dollar amount to each of my clients. I explained that my service is offered as a daily flat fee as part of the business model. They said it looks suspicious. Then they requested invoices to back up the charges and said they were not good enough because the invoice address did not correlate with the billing address on the credit card. I explained that one AP girl is responsible for many locations and they use one credit card across them for payment.I am still going around in circles, they were rude to my bookkeeper and are basically calling me a crook. They keep on asking for additional information, which is provided and then they say it doesn’t match their records. It is some kind of delay tactic and I have no recourse because there is no direct contact with their Security Department. They have an inexperienced kid on my case who does not understand that each business is different, some use one card for multiple locations and sometime one will process several invoice in one day. This kid keeps asking for different information trying to create some kind of case and sniping for unscrupulous activity, but cannot find it because it simply does not exist. In the meantime my business is in limbo.Avoid BoA like a leper. I have a spotless financial history over 30 years and have assets and were with them over 10 years. They treated me like a criminal.

    1

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    Susan Phatsadavong

    Wow..I thought that I was the only one who have a problem with BOA merchant services. No one should go eith them. They are a crook.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    John Rockwell

    You’re definitely not the only one. Even when they admitted a funding issue was their fault they said I’d have to wait 48 hours for any of the credit card transactions to post to my Bank of America account. Not very convenient when both the rent and payroll are due.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Douglas South

    They called me for a sales position. What’s the catch. I have no blanking experience and they wanted a one day telephone interview and hit the road the next. Something smells fishy here.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Jin Lee

    Bank of American is another rogue company as far as card processing is concerned.Their local rep promised, after statement review, that I would save at lease $30 a month if I switched. It turned out their charge was about double what I paid to former processor (Moneris). The total charge surpassed 4% in recent months.I told them if they could not match Moneris, I was going back. The rep said he would check into it but nothing happened. After waiting 2 weeks. I sent the bank the cancellation notice, attaching the two processors’ statements when the card sales were about the same amount.The bank kept charging monthly fees including an annual fee of $98. When I protested, they said I need to call to cancel and I would be subject to the $500 cancellation fee, although I protested that the contract was based on false representation.

    1

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    Susan Phatsadavong

    You take the words out of my mouth. I can’T wait to cancel with Bank of America merchant services. Everthing you said are true. I am in process of openings another stores. Definitely will not deal with this company sgain.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Liana Vitorino

    Worst service you can get is this one, and plus, cames with First Data to complete. I sold my business, Bank of America opens a new account with the new owners at the same location. Bank of America keeps the machine from my contract for more than a year and only when I got notified by a colect company (from First Data) and I when to Bank of America to know what was going on, they finally gave me the machine so I could send it back to First Data…. gess what? I still have to pay for almost 2 years more for a service that I am not having with First Data because Bank Of America and First Data are reciving payments from 2 business on the same location. I really call this TO ROB. There is a no concelation fee on my contract. Be carefull with these Bank of America, I really advise you to read every single line and if possible DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING WITH THEM. And of course, NO STARS

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Vinh Le

    They asked me to send the bad terminal back to them so they will reimburse me $300.00 already charged in my business account. But it has never happened. They are totally lie and all B.S. customer services. If I am a CEO I will terminate all of them. No Star for rating.

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    EVALDAS ZIZILIAUSKAS

    worst merchant service still fighting with fees account closed in june ,don’t do business with

    1

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    EVALDAS ZIZILIAUSKAS

    worst merchant service i ever had i used my merchant account for 1 month in june,and in august i still paying fees,do not recommend bank of america merchant service to no one,they will charge you so many fees you wont believe it.

    1

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Ericka Komlo

    Agree!!

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

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