Heartland Payment Systems Review

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Date Established
Princeton, NJ


In the payments space, it’s pretty common to encounter tradeoffs. Rarely do we at Merchant Maverick encounter a company that is the whole package — pricing, service, transparency, etc. So when we encounter them, we absolutely feel the need to tell the world. Heartland Payment Systems is not absolutely perfect as far as processing, but it is a far cry above many others in this business. With some not necessarily innovative practices, but certainly uncommon ones — like an in-house sales team — there is a lot to love, as we’ll cover in this review. 

Heartland Payment Systems is headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, but it has offices all across the U.S. It’s been in business since 1997, and has a reputation for industry leading security and innovative solutions that allow it to dominate payment processing in certain industries. The company is also also the fifth largest credit card processor (by transaction volume) in the United States and the ninth largest worldwide, processing about $120 billion in transactions each year from 300,000 merchants. So you can rest assured that Heartland knows what it’s doing.

Overall, I believe Heartland is an honest, reliable product offering unique products and services in the merchant services sphere, largely thanks to a fantastic sales team. While I’d prefer to see an interchange-plus option for low-volume merchants, the $59 per month + interchange plan for merchants processing under $50K per year is not a terrible deal — but is a much higher markup than I like to see.

On the bright side, Heartland provides amazing solutions for the restaurant industry. Restaurant owners should be looking into this company for sure. In fact, the company already serves almost 20% of the entire restaurant market, including more than 25% of table service restaurants. 

Heartland was recently acquired by Global Payments. We first learned about that back in December 2015, but the final merger was not completed until April 2016. It’s still a bit too early to see just how much that will affect Heartland (for now, everything appears to be business as usual), but Global has an overall positive reputation. We’ll keep a close watch and see whether the quality of service goes down (or, hopefully improves!)

Heartland Payment Systems gets a 4 out of 5 rating from me because it doesn’t have an effective plan for low-volume merchants. Also, even with the high flat rate, the company still includes a standard termination fee for all contracts. If Heartland could take care of these issues, or at least disclose them on the website, it could easily get into the 4.5- to 5-star range. See the rest of my review for more info.

Products and Services:

Heartland offers a really great list of services. It’s nice to see that it can set businesses up with payroll and billing solutions, giving you fewer companies to deal with overall — which will hopefully translate to time and money saved. The company also has unique offerings for specific industries that I really like. Offerings include:

  • Merchant accounts
  • Online data reporting
  • In-house gateway/virtual terminal: Called the Portico gateway, this is nice to see. You won’t have to pay for gateway service to use the virtual terminal.
  • Data security: The state-of-the-art Heartland Secure system is seriously impressive. It includes the E3 end-to-end encryption plus tokenization.
  • Mobile processing: You can use the Heartland Mobile Payments app to process transaction on the go, but Heartland isn’t a good solution for low-volume mobile businesses due to the relatively high cost. You’ll need a merchant account to use it, and the “encrypting” reader may come at an additional cost. The price is not disclosed, but it’s bound to be in the $50 to $100 range if it accommodates EMV and/or NFC payments.
  • Marketing solutions: Services include loyalty programs and gift cards. Heartland will provide consultation with a “rewards specialist” to customize your system and get you up and running.
  • Mobile payments: Heartland has a partnership with LevelUp that even includes white label apps for businesses.
  • Industry-specific programs: Heartland has some interesting offerings for restaurants, retail business, educational institutions, hospitality, grocery, parking, and more.
  • E-Commerce: Heartland promises to help you set up your own domain (of you can use one you have already), with design templates, mobile optimization, email marketing and an abandoned cart saver, among other features.

Other Services:

  • Payroll solutions
  • Billing solutions
  • Managed network solutions
  • Micropayments
  • Lending (check our resources on getting a small business loan)

This is a pretty comprehensive list of services to offer, especially all from one processor. Despite how large Heartland is, much of its marketing creates the feel of a small company, from the local sales reps to the website. And it’s clear that Heartland also understands small businesses in a way that many of the larger companies don’t.

What’s New

Keeping track of everything Heartland offers isn’t easy. The website doesn’t provide a lot of detail on some topics. But if you know where to look (and I do!), you can get an idea of what Heartland has been up to since our last check-in, which mostly consists of new acquisitions and partnerships.

Something new for merchants is a partnership with with VersaPay to bring cloud invoicing to merchants. VersaPay ARC works with Heartland’s proprietary Portico gateway and promises to simplify invoicing for merchants — as well as save money. The company also acquired Beanstalk Data, a company that creates customer engagement and analytics tools for businesses. 

Among other additions is a partnership with ShopKeep, a cloud-based POS platform for retail and dining (no surprise there) and emaginePOS, another cloud-based POS platform for (you guessed it!) restaurants. Let’s not forget the acquisitions of pcAmerica and Dinerware, also POS solutions in the dining and hospitality sectors. (Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be.) In October 2015, Heartland bought Digital Dining, another restaurant POS maker, as well. 

Heartland debuted its new Insights offering at a trade show in May, but it’s not scheduled for release until July 1. This new feature is powered by Heartland’s acquisition of Beanstalk, and specifically targets SMBs.

SecureSubmit is a tool that helps Heartland’s eCommerce merchants protect consumer information entered via browser. This is a cool feature, and ties into one of Heartland’s greatest strengths: security. It’s also easy to integrate into your website via a variety of methods.

Fees and Rates:

I love that Heartland offers interchange-plus pricing as its primary model. As we’ve said repeatedly, interchange plus is really the most transparent pricing model out this. However, Heartland hasn’t provided a lot of information about it lately. There is this on the website: 

At Heartland, transparency drives everything we do. That’s why we offer Interchange Plus pricing, giving you full disclosure into how much you’re paying us and how much goes to the card brands. This protects you from arbitrary price increases and ensures that you receive the full benefit of cost reductions, such as the Durbin Amendment savings.”

You’ll also find a few other pages on the website that reference interchange-plus, but not many other informational resources beyond that. It would appear that Heartland relies on its sales agents to convey his information.

There is a major stipulation when it comes to Heartland’s interchange-plus pricing, which I didn’t find out until I got on the phone with a local sales rep: If you process less than $50,000 per year, the company will charge you a flat rate of $59 per month on top of interchange fees. I guess you could call this an “interchange-plus plan,” but it’s pretty crappy compared with a standard markup rate. Let’s not forget that includes $0.05 per transaction over interchange while we’re at it.

Doing The Math:

50K / 12 = $4167 per month maximum

59 / 4167 = 0.0141 = 1.41% mark up (plus $0.05)

Considering most interchange-plus markups are between 0.15% and 0.35%, a 1.41% markup is awfully high. And remember, this is the best-case scenario. If you are only doing about $2,000 per month, then this doubles.

But, okay. Let’s say that $20 of the $59 is a justifiable account fee and not part of the actual markup. In this case, the math works out as follows:

39 / 4167 = 0.0093 = 0.93% mark up (plus $0.05)

Again, this is way higher than any sane interchange-plus plan.

To be fair, this is similar to the pricing structure offered by Transparent Merchant Services — a pricing structure which, in that case, I tend to approve of (especially given the lack of annual contract). The difference here is that Heartland caps this flat fee pricing at $50K per year, which takes away the opportunity for savings based on high volume you’ll find at Transparent. Noteworthy, however, is the relatively low transaction fee charged by Heartland compared to that charged by Transparent (between $0.09 and $0.19 depending on the plan).

The good news is that you won’t have to pay any annual fees, PCI fees or statement fees on top of the $59 plus interchange. Still, that’s not good at all for small businesses who don’t do over $50K in credit transactions per year. For those doing more than $50K per year, however, I think Heartland could be a perfect provider. I really like this company. I just don’t like this fee structure for low-volume businesses.

Contract Length and Early Termination Fee:

With Heartland you can expect, as standard:

  1. An early termination fee (ETF) of $295
  2. A three-year contract
  3. Auto renewal if you don’t cancel in writing three months before the contract ends

If you negotiate, you can most likely get the early termination fee waived. If not, you should be able to get the contract term reduced to one year. Make sure to ask for this! If you don’t get the termination fee waived, be sure to get the auto-renewal clause removed.

We don’t like ETFs and we wish they would go away all together. However, Heartland generally seems to be fair and flexible. It’s fairly common to see LOTS of complaints about ETFs from the bigger processors, but there are astoundingly few complaints about Heartland period, and the ETF only comes up a portion of the time. When it does, Heartland is always very accommodating, as well.

Remember that if you want something from your processor, you should never hesitate to ask. You have negotiating power. And if your processor isn’t serving all your needs or giving you a fair rate, it might be time to look elsewhere.

Sales and Advertising Transparency:

Last time, I said Heartland understands that educated merchants make for good clients, and I think that’s still true. This is the company that created the Merchant Bill of Rights, which I honestly believe Heartland embraces as its core business philosophy. I have also generally liked the content that Heartland puts out. However, that content on the Heartland blog seems to have come to a grinding halt since March, which makes me a bit curious. Was it the merger that put things on hold? What happened? I really hope Heartland goes back to content creation soon.  

The company also has an active Facebook page, Twitter account, and LinkedIn profile, which have small followings and low interaction, but the content they’re pushing out is good. I don’t see the Facebook page plastered with complaints about terrible service or non-responsive support teams. 

I love that you don’t have to deal with the usual smoke and mirrors when you deal with Heartland. It doesn’t have any sales gimmicks, it doesn’t make any wild claims or promises, and it doesn’t try to pull the wool over your eyes with deals that are just too good to be true. Overall, Heartland is almost an ideal processor in terms of sales and advertising transparency. I say almost here for a couple of reasons.

First, the company doesn’t disclose any fees on its site, including the early termination fee. If it’s really committed to transparency, I’d love to see some of these numbers standardized and disclosed. Furthermore, Heartland doesn’t offer true interchange-plus pricing if you do under $50,000 per year in processing. And it fails to disclose this not-so-little fact on the site. This is disappointing, but not a deal-breaker. There are so many other things Heartland does right, and there are great options available for low-volume merchants as well. 

Second, it’s not very easy to get a sales rep on the phone. All sales go through local agents, so you have to send a request for information through the website. Then someone from corporate will call you back to schedule a meeting with a local sales rep. On one hand, this is really nice. Getting to sit down with an agent has a definite appeal if you are serious about getting an account and building a long-term relationship.

On the other hand, I’d really like to be able to get some information quickly over the phone rather than inviting an agent into my place of business. The service rep I spoke to said she couldn’t really give me any specific information, since it all depends on my discussion with the sales rep. I understand this logic, and I appreciate that she didn’t make any promises that a sales rep might not be able to keep, but it felt a little evasive to me.

The best I could do was make a phone-based appointment with a sales rep within two business days. In today’s fast-paced industry, I feel like this isn’t quite good enough.

I want to point out that Heartland was rated the no. 1 business to sell for in 2014 and 2015 by Selling Power Magazine, marking its 8th consecutive year in the top 5 and it’s fifth time earning the no. 1 spot — so the sales practices must hold up to some scrutiny. I also like the fact that the sales agents are all employees of the company, not just independent contractors. This is fairly rare in this industry, but it’s a really good practice. The Heartland network is large, but it’s all managed in house, so you should get consistent, fair treatment. 

I am confident that Heartland’s reps are well-trained and well-supported. I would just like a better way to get in touch with these agents. In the end, a sales rep did get in touch with me by phone the same day I put in my request, and she didn’t give me any BS. She knew that the $59 per month fee (see the Fees and Rates section above) would be a deal breaker for me as a low-volume merchant, and she told me upfront. So in that way, I think they’re actually doing a good job.

Part of Heartland’s fierce commitment to education and security comes from a rather nasty data breach back in 2008/2009.  A man named Albert Gonzalez hacked into the Heartland system and stole the data from some 130 million credit and debit cards. It was an unfortunate disaster that, to be honest, could have happened to anyone. But Heartland bounced back — with a vengeance, you might say. The company’s commitment to security and to educating merchants about security is almost fanatical, and I think that’s incredible.

With Heartland Secure, I am more than willing to bet the company is easily one of the most secure processors you can work with right now. Avivah Litann, an analyst for Gartner, has even gone as far as saying that Heartland is now paving the way for the industry in terms of data security. That’s pretty high praise. In all, Heartland Secure includes breach protection for transactions processed via Heartland Secure-certified devices and reduces PCI scope for merchants (ultimately lessening their burden). It also takes advantage of 3 security technologies — EMV, of course, as well as end-to-end encryption and tokenization. 

Customer Service and Technical Support:

Heartland is the real deal in terms of customer service. You can get 24/7/365 support in-house. The support page on the website even lists not just one phone number, but one for each branch of services, which means you won’t need to be transferred from department to department. 

There’s also an email form for those of you who aren’t comfortable on the phone or for whom the issue isn’t urgent. However, its Resources page looks to be a work in progress, which leaves me a little disappointed. 

If you’d like to tell me your experience with Heartland Payment Systems’ customer and technical support systems, please leave a comment. I love hearing from readers, and it really helps me to provide the most accurate reviews possible.

Negative Reviews and Complaints for Heartland:

I’m very happy to say that Heartland doesn’t have nearly the amount of complaints that I’d expect them to have. RipOffReport.com features just 16 complaints (with no new complaints since our last  checkin). Heartland had just 18 complaints through the BBB at our last check in; that number has remained steady, with 4 of them closed in the past year. That is exceptionally low for even a small processor. For a business as big as Heartland, it’s almost unheard of — which undoubtedly contributes to Heartland’s A+ rating from the BBB. The company must do a great job of arbitrating problems in-house and disclosing all contract terms, which is exactly what I like to see. Of the few complaints out there, the most common include:

  • Terminal setup issues: I did see a few reviews in our comments section and elsewhere complaining of difficulties with setting up terminals through Heartland Payment Systems. On the other hand, I know for a fact that Heartland has local agents across the country, and will probably go out of their way to help you with your terminal in-person. A few other complaints have involved terminals suddenly not being supported (with no warning) and difficulties with programming devices bought from a third party, not Heartland. 
  • Early termination fee: You’ll see this complaint with nearly every processor that has an early termination fee. The problem isn’t so much that the fee exists; the problem is some sales agents “forget” to mention it. I think the vast majority of Heartland Payment Systems reps do, in fact, disclose this fee, which is why the company has far, far fewer complaints about it than most processors. Feel free to try negotiating your way out of it. You might have to pay higher rates if you do, though. Your other option is to choose a processor with a month-to-month agreement. And always, always read the fine print on any contract.

Positive Reviews and Testimonials:

A couple years ago, Heartland started revamping its website content and marketing materials. A lot has disappeared from the web, including its Video Library page with its awesome testimonials. However, you can find a few video testimonials on the YouTube page, though the channel hasn’t been updated in over a year. You can also find good Heartland Payment System reviews elsewhere on the web, including a few here on our page. It’s just sad to see that the company has removed so many of its own great resources, and not bother to replace them. 

That said, the web is chock-full of happy Heartland sales people, all praising the company, and most employee reviews of Heartland are quite positive. I really like to see this! For most big processors, you’ll find as many complaints from sales reps as you will from merchants. I think that a satisfied sales team leads to better business practices overall (and it usually shows in reviews, too), so I consider this a big plus.

Final Verdict:

I really do like Heartland Payment Systems. I like the website, I like the services, I like the way the company does business overall. Heartland has some fairly unique practices that set it apart as one of the top processors in the country. For businesses that process over $50K annually and can get set up with a fair markup rate over interchange, Heartland could be your perfect processor. There’s mobile processing, e-commerce support, micropayments, lending, and so much more. For those in the restaurant industry, Heartland really has your back with great tailor-made services.

If you process cards sporadically or in low volumes, however, you’ll want to look elsewhere for your payment processing needs. I am a little worried about the sudden drop-off in content creation, but it’s entirely possible that with the merger now complete, the team can get back to business as usual.

It’s one of those situations where we can only wait and see. Global has a good reputation, like Heartland, and with more resources available, who knows what they’ll do next? 

So for now, I can offer Heartland 4 out of 5 stars. If the company could provide a reasonable processing solution for those who take in a smaller volume of card transactions, or start offering a standard month-to-month option (not just by request), then I’d probably consider giving it an even better score. Even some upfront disclosure on the site would go a long way for me. I hope to update this with good news soon.

For those interested in better solutions for low-volume processing, definitely check out our highest-rated processors.

Tom DeSimone
Tom loves asking tough questions and getting straight answers, so he has a lot of fun calling payment processors for Merchant Maverick to cut through their smoke and mirrors and find the real deals. He has run a full-time editorial business from his home in New York’s Hudson Valley since 2010 and could not imagine a better job. When not busy writing and keeping credit card processors honest, Tom enjoys backpacking in the mountains.
Tom DeSimone
Leave a comment


    Brian Harpster

    My big mistake was leaving Square. Heartland convicede that Heartland’s rates were better and their service is unmatched. Neither is true. Heartland is a full point higher than Square. I had an employee manage to enter a $1000 tip instead of a dollar were Square won’t permit excessive tipping. When I called customer service to back the tip out they spent most of the time telling me it’s my fault. Finally they agreed to dump the entire batch, so I got to hand re-enter 62 transactions. On top of it all I get “misc charges”. I was ensued there would be on extra fees. Heartland’s customer service is no better than any other CC company I used in the past and pricing is comparable. In the 3 years I used Square I never had an issue where customer service was needed. I am really upset with myself for getting dupped.


    Vantiv vs Heartland for a pharmacy business>??

    Chloe Bahal

    Hi Craig,

    I would recommend Payline Data, Instabill, and Durango Merchant Services for a pharmacy business. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please let me know.

    Rob Eskew

    We are extremely frustrated with Heartland Merchant Services. We were sold on the fact they would fight to provide us with the most competitive rates and quality service, with no contract. Repeated visits were made to our facility to sell us on their service. We did business with them for over a year when we got offers for better rates. We told Heartland we would be switching and they sent a manager to our store on two separate visits to see if they can be competitive with the current rates we were getting. This took time away from us doing business in order to help them keep us as customer. They then charged us $20/mo service charges when we were no longer using them. We then called to cancel again and they then charged us $295 termination fee. Per our business process, we NEVER hire companies that have us into a service agreement. This one was for 36/mo which again we would NEVER agree to. Very BAD business. One star…


    Honestly there shouldn’t be any surprises to you; if you understand your contract, your invoices, and interchange plus pricing. You should very clearly be able to see your debit card transactions, with Durbin amendment transaction limits and then the CC interchange rates are published by the card issuer. Then there’s just the markup and any potential fees. Heartland makes all of this information very transparent for customers. Your savings are always going to also be slightly dependent on the mix of cards you accept in a given month. If you have a question on any of this, I’m happy to help with it. Thanks


    Laniea Dominguez

    Thank you so much for this awesome review! I’m a merchant services specialist with Heartland & with all the bad business that goes on in this industry, it feels awesome to hear about us in a different light! I totally get what you are saying as it relates to the $295 cancellation fee (btw, all others are $495) but I tell my merchants, I’ll pay that out of my own pocket, if you’re not happy with Heartland & most importantly, with the service I provide. I also understand what you are saying about the $59 monthly fee for those processing less than $50k a year, but I’ve seen several statements with junk fees that add up to the same if not more than our $59. But hey, you can’t win them all right? Would you say there is a perfect processor out there? I’m just happy to see & say, we are better than most 🙂
    A proud Heartlander!

    Daniel Dougherty

    I am in the process of buying a liquor store that already has LiquorPOS software but needs a new credit card processing solution. I want to evaluate several options including Heartlands solution. My question is whether third parties such as Payline Data can integrate with Heartland’s LiquorPOS software. I also want to upgrade to handle EMV processing and Heartland requires an upgrade to version 5.3 of LiquorPOS. If I choose a third party cc processing solution will it integrate with the existing older version of LiquorPOS? The store does about $600k in total sales annually. Thanks in advance for any advice.


    Your review states Heartland is not optimal for a low volume of transactions. Who do you recommend for low volume?

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

    Chloe Bahal

    Hi Brenda,

    I would recommend Square for low volume.

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

    Jason Gold

    I purchased a new Liquor POS system from a local merchant. Heartland owns liquor POS. I was lied to by the merchant who told me that I could process EMV and be off of an out dated CC processor within a few weeks of installing the new system. I was lied to by Heartland and the merchant. it is 7 months later and I am processing on an outdated software that has no technical support that can go down at any time. I have contacted heartland many times and have been ignored by Kathryn Hollis, and Jeremy Grunzweig, It closing stay as far away from Heartland as you can.


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

    jonny braden

    Hi Jason,

    Shoot me an email, I think we can help you


    Looking forward to hearing from you 🙂

    David Pickett

    Two years ago we bought a new terminal from Heartland and it has worked fine till now. The terminal is still fine but Heartland quit supporting it. They gave no notification, no email, no letter in the mail and no phone call; just one morning it would not run the card for a sale and gave an error message “Encryption Error”. I tested other cards and all the same message. I have an old telephone terminal which I was able to connect and am using temporary. I called their customer service and after about 3 hrs on hold their customer service informed me this terminal was no longer compatible with their system and we would need to buy a new terminal.

    I think rather get the new terminal from a new service provider.


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


    I don’t know what i’m doing wrong but have been on hold for over an hour waiting for customer service… That is totally unacceptable.
    888.963.3600. it says immediate assistance, what a joke.


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

    Lou Holena

    Tammy, that number is for internal (Heartland employee) support. The number you should be using is 866-976-7137. You will get a service professional on the phone in less than 60 seconds, right here in the United States.

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


    I have a customer that says they were charged and sent me a bank statement showing such however it does not show up on any statement at all. I have 2 customer with the same last four numbers and we have verified that it is not a miss post. how do I find this I have been waiting for 3 days on customer service and the rep and have gotten nothing. customer of course expects service cause she can show proof however we can not. This has never happened to me in last 2 years I’ve been with heartland but this is a major mess up could you assist in a way to look better than I have already tried by chance?


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


    I own 2 women’s clothing boutiques. My retail software is Intuit POS multi-store 2013. I have always used Intuit merchant services for processing which rolled all invoices, sales and payments over to my Quickbooks pro financial records. I recently signed up for Heartlands processing which is not integrated and does not roll over to my current Quickbooks . This has created a nightmare for my Book Keeper. I have asked Heartland how I can possibly change/upgrade/integrate my End of day receipts to my Quickbooks financial software. Basically, what is the easiest way to track an accurate P&L with nonintegrated software systems??? HELP

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

    Danielle Oyhancabal


    Heartland does integrate with Quick-books. Please call Customer service and ask for our specialty department. They can direct you from there. Service number 888-906-7689

    We appreciate your business Alicia.

    Best Regards,
    Danielle Oyhancabal

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

    Nancy S.

    I am about to sign up with Heartland. The rep has come very highly rated from other retailers. Reading this, however, I am nervous because he says Heartland has no contract so it can’t have any early termination fees.

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

    Amad Ebrahimi


    Ask for a rate quote and make sure that the early termination fee is listed as “waived” on it. Tell your rep that you need to see in writing that the fee is waived.


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


    Nancy, I was offered either a contract or month to month. I took the contract with the early termination fee waived, locking in great rates, w stellar customer service.

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

    Dan Hayes

    As of Sept. 15 2015 Heartland now has the early termination fee on the contract — $295. If that was one of your bigger complaints, they heard you. They have outstandling local reps and live operator customer service. Wonderful company to work with.

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

    Tracy Aitken

    We used Heartland for years, then switched to Bank of America because they beat Heartlands rates and if we batched out by 11 p.m. the money was in our account by 2 a.m. Heartland takes two days, and cash flow was an issue (2008 ring any bells?). Now BoA has started to hassle us about getting an EMV machine, for $695. A good customer is a Heartland rep, and she talked EMV to me.. . BoA was not being truthful, she said….Then did a very soft sell for us to switch. This was a month ago. I started researching and let BoA know I was shopping. BoA immediately “dropped” our rates retroactively, to July 1. Heartland looked at one of my statements and pointed out all the hidden fees. I have been corresponding w both reps by email. BoA. continued telling me lies as well as badmouthing Heartland. Heartland responded with truth, transparency, and clarity. July statement came from BoA, new rates were not honored. I requested they fix that and send me new rate info so I could do a direct comparison, three weeks ago. Heartland has submitted their rates, plus will lock in rates for a three year contract and a free EMV machine. Still no word from BoA. Most complaints about Heartland seem to be about not having a local rep at their beck and call – but we will have Renee on speed dial. Two day turnaround is no longer an issue, as our restaurant has bounced back and we have plenty of cushion in our account. Heartland is our new provider as of Sept. 1.

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


    Been in the retail business for over 30 years now and owned multiple stores. I’ve had just about every merchant service under the sun and I currently run two full time credit card terminals. I’ve had Heartland now for over 6 years and they are hands down better than the competition. It’s not even close. The people reporting problems with them are doing something wrong, plain and simple.

    I see people reporting issues with hardware. Well buy better hardware. If you are still using a terminal that uses dial-up and not broadband you’re doing it wrong. Buy a terminal built in this decade and it will prevent headaches. I’m always amused when I go into a business and their terminal is the size of a football, uses a dial-up modem to communicate, and is printing with ink and not thermal paper.

    We do over $300k a year in credit cards and every bit of it is processed through Heartland. Wouldn’t even think of using another company. To have Heartland rated the same on this site as Mercury is astonishing. Mercury is pathetic. They aren’t even a true merchant service. They are a reseller!

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

    William Condiff

    My company was with Heartland for 12 years and decided to change processors.
    Heartland charged me a $400 termination fee.
    You would think they would just wish me the best and thank me for 12 years of business!
    Class just went out the window.


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

    Linda Coburn

    We switched to Heartland from Elavon about a year and a half ago and we have been very happy with their service. We did not have to sign a term contract, we got a free desktop card swiper/printer and a Mobuyle card swipe unit. Their customer service is top notch and the pricing is as easy to understand as is possible with the ridiculous multiplicity of rates charged for this rewards card or that corporate card. It hasn’t been all wine and roses, though. Getting all the attachments for the contract was weirdly problematic. It’s a real pain in the butt to find out why a card has been declined and last week a batch from six months ago was magically re-run because of a glitch in the hardware. But they took care of it immediately, refunding all the cards that were charged within a day or two and all the transaction fees as well. I’m opening a second business and we will use Heartland for that as well. They also have a gift card program that we’re going to try.


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


    I have used Heartland in the past i used it in my business in 7750 okachobee blv W.P.B.
    then the service and rates where ok
    In January i did sign a contract with Heartland (PAT) i was told that there would be no charging fees for terminating the service , also i was promised new credit card machine
    i newer recieved the credit card machine , and right afthet a month or two the RATES START CHANGING, when i called the representative of Haeartland PAT and i asked her how comme my friend who its 3 miles away from me has different rates (in the begining we had same rates) she told me that my friends customers use different credit card ???
    whell i was disapointed and not happy because Heartland was changing the rates and i stoped having theyre service, now they are sending me statements for early termination service, which in my knowledge i did not know that i have signed anything regarding that, oraly i was told that i can terminate the service with heartland anytime without terminating fee, so BE CAREFULL FROM HEARTLAND


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

    Charlie Odorizzi

    I have been with Heartland for well over 10 years. They have responded in record time to any problems I ever had. The local reps/repair techs are always there quickly. I love Heartland, and would strongly recommend them to any retailer. I get calls every day from people promising lower rates. I am willing to pay a bit more for superior service.


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

    W Denson

    I recently concluded one year with Heartland. I was attracted to HPS because of initial conversations with Debbie, the HPS Relationship Manager, who was very open and honest and put me at ease. I didn’t really like the fact that I had to pay $300 for a proprietary terminal or pay a $25 monthly fee in addition to other fees. For months after I signed up, I had to keep calling/emailing to try and get monthly statements mailed to me. I was aware that my effective rate was very high compared to what other processors offered, but figured that after an exceptional year with HPS, that they would offer me a much better rate based upon my sales volume. Since I was not contacted, I sent an email to my rep requesting a rate review which took a long time to receive a response and then I received conflicting information about the amount of savings I could expect. I decided to go with another processor at that point. HPS ended up replacing the $295 early termination fee in my account after I pointed out that my agreement with them contained a provision that there was no length of term contract and no termination fees. Based upon my experience, I believe that Heartland Pay Systems has some really good folks that care, but there is some kind of “disconnect” between the agents and the administration which, in my case, led to quite a bit of frustration. Basically, I felt that since I was paying over and above what most processors were charging, that I would be treated very well and would not have to worry about frustrating experiences…sadly, that was not the case.

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

    Armando Tejeda

    I am a Relationship Manager with Heartland in the New York City/Long Island area and this is a very honest and fair review. The company culture is one of honest concern for our merchants.

    Heartland is currently working on a better solution for clients who process less than $50,000 a year, barring any major issues it should roll out in 2014. We have a tech division dedicated to creating solutions for our clients from the ground up and by partnering with existing providers.

    It is a pleasure to work for a company that genuinely cares about those whom they serve.

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

    Tom DeSimone

    Thank you for your response, Armando. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what Heartland has in store for low-volume merchants in the coming year! In the meantime I’m still glad to be able to recommend Heartland to businesses with a larger annual volume, and especially restaurants. Thanks again for the update.

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

    Ana Molinari

    Don’t EVER use this company! They are frauds!
    [edited: name removed] sold me the system telling me how bad my previous company was. What a liar. He told me I wouldn’t pay a fee for the machine, I would not pay monthly payment, I would pay Credit, Debit, the same price and nothing was true. They charged me whatever they wanted for monthly payments; for credit and debit they charged me for everything. I’ve been in business for 40 years and I’ve never been lied to so blatantly. I called the company at least 24 times and they refused to call me back or do anything about my payments. Ridiulous service. It costed me more than my previous company. Terrible service.


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    Phil Boissel

    I have been a sales rep for Heartland for 8 years. When a merchant calls they get a live person answer. That person stays with merchant until problem is solved.If merchant is still unhappy we have a special customer advocate group that customer can ask for.
    Merchants do not have to sign a 3 year contract. All you have to do is ask. The contract guarantees the markup rate for three years. It is actually in the customers best interest.
    As far as the above complaint, the merchant statement shows the V/MC FOR EACH sale. I suggest you look at a few statements to see the transparency level.
    Feel free to call me @ 256-749-0799.

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

    R Beyer

    I like Heartland now, but getting set up was an enormous hassle. They programmed my machine incorrectly the first time and the auto settlement did not work. It was only after I learned about overdraft charges on my account that I was aware of this.

    Heartland also uses a check payment processor called Cross Check and I would avoid them like the plague. They could not get my system set up at all (something to do with Comcast phone lines, yet I had a check reader system prior to trying Cross Check that worked just fine). I had to return their useless check reader and they charged me return shipping! I complained and they refused to refund me. Not good.

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


    I have been extremely unhappy with Heartland Customer Support. The Credit Card machine stopped working and it took them 5 days to send someone to fix it… I Lost so much customers and will find a better company soon…

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

    Howard Nathan

    Hamed, your note, being very brief, also seems strange- heartland can and will send out repair- replacement terminals, ,and merchants can get a terminal next day, overnight when necessary. Was this your terminal? Having just brought a terminal within an hour to a restaurant in Cooperstown NY on the 4th of July….
    Heartland has the technology and ability to build files and update terminals anytime day or night, and rarely leaves a merchant down, or unable to process cards for very long… I find your comment seems unlikely, if not untrue. What is the real story?

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

    K. Cleary

    Hamed, I work for Heartland Payment Systems and I’m very rarely without a loaner terminal for down terminals. Moreover, Heartland could have put you on Heartland Connect which turns your computer into a virtual terminal as a band-aid until a repair/replacement could get to you.

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

    vu quang

    For some reason I think that you and Howard Nathan works for Heartland. Yes Heartland, can turn you computer to a virtual terminal, but for a cost. I think there is a $100 fee for doing that. Heartland is great about making promises but can hardly live up to them.

    We have been trying to get set up with Heartland for about two months now, and have gone through three reps (that are not longer withe the company). They make up their prices as they go and have yet to follow through and any commitments made.

    We have gone as far as ordering cards and then all of as sudden “your existing terminals can be used, you need to buy new ones”.



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


    Call me. If you are really a Heartland customer, which I doubt. A backup virtual terminal has no cost attaced.

    I have been here 8 years and will not be leaving. If you are a merchant I will expect a call. I think you are a 3rd tier processor. If not call me. 256-749-0799

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

    Charlie Odorizzi

    I have both used a loaner card swiper, and used the Mobuyle system on the computer. My previous processor required me to MAIL in my swiper if something went wrong! Maybe the Omaha branch of Heartland is the best one in the company. I do not know. What I do know is the local service is phenomenal!

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

    Leesa Towles

    I have been a customer for over 7 yrs and will not be much longer! I have had some minor issues with HP and after asking for a rep to come out I have been told they do not have a rep to do that they will assist you over the phone, but not face to face. I am shocked in today’s world that any company dealing with a business’s money would not want to keep a business association with a customer. Pinching pennies is one thing but to take it to the limit of saying its not cost effective to drive 70 miles to sit down face to face with me to discuss some issues.That is ridiculous! I must say that Kerry Sutherland was helpful to try to get someone to come out, but that person evidently refused to come out. But if I was a new customer, they would be beating my door down. Well, I will be finishing my contract and moving on.

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

    Howard Nathan

    Leesa, I find it hard to believe that no one is willing to come see you, where are you located, and what type of problem or issue are you having, please let me know, Thank you!

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


    Unfortunately I’ve had nothing but problems with Heartland. Ever since I’ve started not only have they charged me the wrong location tax, they have messed up my 401k payments and shorted money in my paychecks on more than one occasion. Their customer service department tosses us around from one person to the next and our rep never solves problems. I just want to get a correct paycheck for the hard work I’m putting in I at least deserve that. If you’re considering Heartland, run …and fast.

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


    We switched to HPS several years ago after getting ripped off by the local bank on our merchant services for years. We had three locations, three terminals and three bills that always looked completely different and discount rates that were completely different. At one location we seemed to always be charged mid or non-qualified rates on the transactions. It was frustrating and no explanation was given.

    Our HPS rep was very upfront explaining the rates charged. I still personally believe that the amount charged is excessive, and Congress should have limited the amount any transaction can be charged, but that is another issue. We have been satisfied with our HPS service, but recently have had problems with the terminals not being compatible with our T1 phone service. If any of you have issues with dropped connections, be aware that different terminals are apparently made for businesses using phone service from cable or internet rather than traditional land lines. We will ultimately have to purchase new terminals to prevent occasional problems. Service is generally been very good, although we have had few problems other than the one mentioned.



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

    Jessica Steves

    I love love love what you are up to. I’ve been working as a Territory Manager at Heartland for 5 years now. I’ve never liked working for a company more than Heartland. I’ll be working here until I’m dead!

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

    Barry Morofsky

    Hi Jessica,
    I love your passion. I also worked as a Account Executive for many years in B2B sales and loved the job. Unfortunately, they went out of business due to the current lending enviornment, as it was a mortgage company. Anyway, I have set up an initial phone interview with a manger for a relationship manager position. Any tips you can give me?? Also, is it mostly cold calling to begin with, or do they help you with marketing, and other tools?? I spoke to another card processing company a long while back, and all they talked about was my commission and how much I could make. I am more interested in working for a real company as an employee, that can feel good about himself everyday when I look in the mirror. I just assume the money will be there, as I am a professional.

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

    Jessica steves

    It sounds like you’re on the right track. My only suggestion is to be your true authentic self. If you don’t mind me asking, what area do you live in and who is your prescreen interview with?

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

    John Williams


    Heartland is absolutely the company to work for if you to want work for an organization that lines up with your own personal values.

    Good luck on your interview and hopefully your new career with us at Heartland.


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

    Mike Reid

    Well written, unvarnished, an objective review of our company. Yeah….we’re something pretty special, lol. I’ve been with HPS for about (3.5) years now having been in the industry and with the “competition” for 13.5 years. So, I’ve been around a bit, and I’ve seen a bit – both inside and outside of this company. There is no perfect company in the industry. Every company will have this or that problem…giving merchants something to complain about, but I will say this….we’re about the closest to “perfection” this industry has to offer. Why? Because we try harder, and we actually CARE about our reputation in putting top flight services on the street. Same in the payroll industry since concepts like “provide a fair-deal”, “fully disclosed payment solutions” and “advocacy for business owners” are just as non existent there.

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

    Debbie Johnson

    I too am a Heartland Relationship Manager. I think another important note to all of the business owners out there is we, the representatives for Heartland, are all employees of the company. This in comparison to a majority of the ISO’s who represent other merchant service providers and are contractors.

    Why is this important to you and your business? Because before a prospective employee is offered employment with Heartland, we were subject to a thorough background check. This is not the case with the ISO “contractors” for other processors. In a world of identity theft and account fraud, I know that if I am a business owner giving out all of my banking, social security/Fed ID numbers, and other confidential information… I sure would feel better knowing that someone has verified the representative I am working with has had someone check them out.

    Also, we have representatives located in every major city and many small cities and towns of the country, offering personalized services and products based on your businesses needs. Besides credit card processing, we also offer the best Gift/Loyalty marketing program through our Chockstone division (we handle Subway, Dominoes, Fandango, Ticketmaster and thousands of other businesses)… we bring the big company technology and programs to the locally owned businesses AND provide local marketing support by advocating our merchants throughout the community.

    Customer Service is here in the United States and regionalized by teams, meaning that when you call our customer service (available 24/7), your call is answered within 7 seconds and you get to talk to a live person!! Even more important, you will not be transferred around having to explain your situation over and over again.

    I am in Central Texas and my drive and passion is to help as many business owners as I can possibly reach out to – the credit card processing business is currently an unregulated industry. You simply HAVE to know who you are working with, exactly how much you are paying, what you are paying for, and why you are paying it. Go to MerchantBillofRights.com and find out if you are being treated fairly by your current processor.


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


    I am a Heartland Rep. Heartland does not charge any PCI compliance fees. Where are you located Marty? I will be happy to direct you to a Heartland Representative in your area.

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


    Does any one know if Heartland is or will be charging PCI fees?

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


    Heartland does not currently charge PCI fees. I don’t think they will be in the future.

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

    Steve Thomas

    No direct PCI Compliance fees to the merchant from Heartland at this time. Have not heard if there will be any in the future.

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


    Heartland does not charge a PCI fee.

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

    Michael Monroe

    Quick update and also a correction to my earlier message as in all the frustration of being told by the Heartland service it was my mistake a batch went missing when I connected, like I’ve always done. It was them guiding me through the process and even after being told the problem was on their end, I overlooked mentioning an email I received about four weeks ago from a Heartland rep named Stephen Thomas that read about my situation here and offered to do what he could to help. I can only hope he is successful in getting to the bottom of this since it seems I am being ignored by everyone else at Heartland except for his contact back twards the end of July. I would have thought that someone from Heartland would have at least contacted me directly by now. but nothing as of today. I’m going to look up the phone number to call at their corporate office and hope that someone there won’t give me the brush off and actually help me rather then now blame me for a mistake on their end.

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


    HI Michael,

    I am an employee as well of Heartland Payment Systems. Your scenario is very strange. Were you able to finally get some assistance? If not, maybe I can try and help you get to the right person?

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

    Tech Support

    Just FYI that when in BAM (batch authorization mode) you are not connected to any line, which means you are not connected to your credit card processor, which means you are not connected to any issuing banks. All you are doing is taking down data via your terminal. It’s when your terminal is finally connected to a line that your machine will start to dial out to get approvals, which by then the card holders are long gone. This is the risk of BAM, but one that some merchant risk depending on their business. I doubt that the missing funds were due to Heartland and that they offered to pay half. What most likely happened is you had lots of declines, but again the card holders are long gone so that’s the risk you take.

    Hope this helps clear up why you were missing money on BAM. This would be the case with Heartland or any Credit Card Processor.

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

    EJ-Heartlander for Life

    Great review. I’m a Relationship Manager with Heartland Payment Systems and i love what i do. Nothing like working for a Full Disclosure company!!! I mean seriously, what other company’s going to sit down with the business owner & tell them what we’re making???? Good luck finding that in this Murky industry. I love educating the business owners as well on what their current “rate” really is and the difference in Tiered vs Interchange Plus. I also get a kick out of the big smile on their face when i enter their place of business. I’m called a Relationship Manager for a reason and am always there whether it be in person, via Cell, Txt, E-Mail etc. 1 other fantastic plus is that i have a way to alleviate the business owners headaches when it comes to sales reps coming in and wasting the business owners valuable time vying for their business. I have in my hand the “truth Serum”.

    A great percentage of sales personnel in the C. Card Industry are uneducated at what they do and go through no background check prior to hire. They simply want a quick sale and to move on…..meaning, you won’t see them again because they made their commission and have no interest in you or your business. I’m a real employee, not some 1099 Independant Sales Consultant. I have a vested interest in you & your business because i want you to succeed.

    We’re such a transparent company that some business owners ask “What’s the catch?” or say “It’s too good to be true!” It’s not!!!! We are who we say we are and you get exactly what i/we say you will. I make it a point to contact all new customers to my book of business not only once a month (minimum) but most importantly as soon as they receive their 1st Statement with us. This is when i prove it! Isn’t it awesome knowing there are good people and good companies still out there? Sadly, they’re few and far between in this industry. Feel free to contact me anytime and i greatly appreciated this article and all your comments. We think highly of each and every business owner out there. Best of luck everyone and kind regards, ejanitz@hotmail.com

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

    michael monroe

    Hi John
    I tried to e-mail you back about he Heartland problem I am having but it won’t go through. In answer to you question I was in BAM mode when I was on the road. And I will get the make of my machine. It has been over a month since the money was lost and I still have not had any contact from Heartland. My sales person has washed his hands of it all.
    Thank you for your time.
    Michael Monroe


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

    Sergio Torres

    I have an issue right now where HPS has withdrawn money from my account without letting me know; so they claim is AMEX’s fault but I don’t deal with AMEX I am dealing with HPS so come on please! they have to be more responsible about it! And provide more accurate information as to why they did that!!!

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


    I work for Heartland Payment Systems in sales. Reviews like this are what keep me going out the door each day with renewed energy. It feels good to know that I work for one of the “Good Guys”!!


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


    John – How long does it typically take to get merchant accounts set up with HPS? We have two small companies and two websites with some, but minimal, in house retail sales. We mostly sell/provide services.

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

    Michael Monroe

    Dear John,
    I have been with Heartland for many years. 10 days ago I did a fair amount of sales at an art show. I batched all my sales out, Then tried to settle it, Something I have done hundreds of times, but for some reason it didn’t work. I contacted Heartland for help. After 10-15 minutes of help Heartland tells me all of the sales were lost somewhere in there system. They admitt it was on there end and now want to pay half of the money I am due. Can you point me to anyone for help.
    Thank you,
    Michael Monroe

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



    Were you in Batch Authorization Processing mode at your show? or were you wireless, phone line? What type of terminal?

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

    Barbara Segal


    I am a small business and in the processing of changing credit card companies. I have been approached from Heartland and another company called Moneris. I now have Landmark Solutions. Between the 3 of them not sure who to believe. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks, Barbara. lillianfarms@msn.com

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


    Hi John- do you still work for Heartland in sales? I am interviewing with them next week in the San Francisco Bay Area- do you have any tips?
    Thanks in advance-

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

    Brad Davis

    Heartland also has numerous endorsements (100’s+) from large and regional associations like the National Restaurant Association.

    A top notch company to be sure.


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

    michael monroe

    Dear Brad,
    I only wish I were one of the large regional associations., I might actually get a return phone call from Heartland about lost money in there system, I think 35 days of missing money and dozens of unanswered phone calls is not what I expected from them. I only hope I am wrong and they really help me with the missing money or at least call me back even though I am not a big company.
    Michael Monroe

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


    HI Michael,

    Call into their princeton office, I am sure you will find someone to assist you. They are very dedicated to serving their merchants. I speak from experience as I am one!

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

    juli bloxham

    Michael, you probably have a wrong number your calling into. the help desk answers calls with in 5-8 seconds, it doesn’t just ring & ring. Once your on with a help desk person, they address your problem and begin to resolve it. That number is 888-963-3600.

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

    Kasie H.

    This is great, and I’m spreading the word!!!

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

    C. Fabrizzio

    Our company found better a processing system, with much better benefits for us as a small business, and our new Merchant Services processor has funding in 2 hours after batch closing. Heartland has been 2-3 days for funding. In this economy, we needed better cash flow management, and I found it.

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


    Heartland Provides next day funding! It is hard to believe that there is funding within 2 hours after batch closing due to the fed. closes at 5 pm. If this is the case even after the fed is closed im sure you are paying for it in some way, shape, or form


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

    K. Cleary

    Heartland has since improved it’s funding time and with a brand new bank relationship with Wells Fargo, this will improve further.

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

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