Intuit Merchant Services Review
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- Date Established
- Mountain View, CA
You probably know Intuit first and foremost as the creator of the popular and successful QuickBooks bookkeeping software, which we reviewed favorably. Secondly, you may know Intuit as the brand behind TurboTax and Quicken, software for tax preparation and personal finance respectively, both of which users enjoy working with. Thirdly, you may have heard of Intuit GoPayment for mobile payment processing, a service which we reviewed not so favorably. Lastly, you may have heard that Intuit offers standard payment processing through Intuit Payment Solutions, recently rebranded as Intuit QuickBooks Payments or Intuit Merchant Services. These days, the company likes to go by simply QuickBooks Payments.
How did a financial software development company become a payments provider? Basically, Intuit built a fantastic piece of accounting software, QuickBooks, and wanted to integrate payment processing to increase revenue and create a more seamless user experience. So they partnered with a merchant account provider called Innovative Merchant Solutions to make this happen. Soon after partnering, Intuit acquired Innovative, and before long rebranded it as Intuit Payment Solutions, which later took on the QuickBooks namesake. Now they also have a POS system called QuickBooks POS software (it didn’t impress us), which draws in a fair number of merchants to Intuit’s payments branch.
So if you don’t use QuickBooks bookkeeping software, what is the incentive to use QuickBook Payments? As far as I can see – not much. To be fair, Intuit isn’t really selling their processing service to non-QuickBooks users. When you visit their site, the first thing they ask is “Do you currently use QuickBooks?” If you answer no, you will be forward to the Intuit GoPayment page. So if you answer no and are not planning on using QuickBooks, you can probably stop reading here and go to our review of GoPayment instead. And even when it comes to GoPayment, QuickBooks integration is a major selling point.
The question remains then, do I recommend QuickBooks Payments to those currently working with QuickBooks account software? Well – I don’t not recommend it. QuickBooks Payments actually has pretty honest marketing material and competitive features, but they’re not one of my favorite processors pricing-wise or contract-wise. And consider this: QuickBooks payments does not have a monopoly on QuickBooks integration. A lot of processors can do QuickBooks integration. For instance, CDGcommerce, one of our favorite providers, integrates with QuickBooks. They’ll set up your account with interchange-plus pricing and a monthly fee as low as $15 per month which included gateway access. So that’s something to consider.
More or less, you’re looking at the same basic features and experience as you’d get with Intuit GoPayment when you sign up with Intuit QuickBooks Payments. The difference being that you need to use QuickBooks in order to use QuickBooks Payments, while you don’t necessarily have to in order to process with GoPayment.
For now, they get 3.5 stars out of 5, but I’ll be keeping an eye on QuickBooks Payments and Intuit to see how things shape up for the rest of the year. Check out the full review for more info, or take a look at our handy comparison chart to see some of our favorite providers. And please comment with your thoughts!
Table of Contents
Products & Services:
- Merchant account: Even when you use the pay-as-you-go option, QuickBooks Payments will set you up with a unique merchant account instead of aggregating.
- QuickBooks integration: Everything you do with you merchant account will automatically sync with you QuickBooks bookkeeping software. Intuit executes this flawlessly, for obvious reasons.
- Free swiper: Note, you can only get a free swiper if you don’t currently have an Intuit merchant account. Also, you can only get one free reader per account. Additional readers seem to sell for about $50 a piece. This is true for QuickBooks Payments or GoPayment.
- Virtual terminal: This allows you to accept payment from any internet connected computer. To accept e-checks, you’ll have to apply for this separately.
- Mobile app: See our GoPayment review for more information about the mobile app.
- Invoicing: you can request payment through online invoicing directly through the QuickBooks platform. Nice feature!
Fees & Rates:
In mid-2014, Intuit QuickBooks Payments revised their pricing structure, much to the benefit of GoPayment users especially. Now both GoPayment and QuickBooks Payments have the same exact pricing options. While the monthly fee pricing option is now $7 more per month than it used to be, they’ve eliminated the expensive hidden non-qualified rate (which is fantastic news). For both the pay-as-you-go and monthly models, users will now have to pay a $0.25 per-transaction fee, where previously there was none. This will have the greatest effect on low-value transactions.
The current pricing models are as follows:
Pay-as-you-go (also called Basic)
- No monthly fee
- 2.40% + $0.25 per swiped transaction
- 3.40% + $0.25 per keyed transaction
- Additional $0.15 transaction fee for non-qualified transactions
- $0.20 Batch fee
Higher volume (also called “Save Big” or “Pro”)
- $19.95 monthly fee (was $12.95)
- 1.75% + $0.25 per swiped transaction
- 3.15% + $0.25 per keyed transaction
- Additional $0.15 transaction fee for non-qualified transactions
- $0.20 Batch fee
(American Express rates and fees will vary.)
Which Intuit QuickBooks Payments Plan is the Best Value For You?
With the monthly fee plan, you get slightly lower rates in exchange for a monthly fee. With this option you can:
- Save 0.65% on swiped transactions
- Save 0.25% on keyed-in transactions
If you’re willing to pay $19.95 per month extra, that is. As you can see, your savings are much higher for swiped transaction than keyed-in, but – for the sake of this example – let’s assume you are swiping all transactions. This means that, in order to have your savings equal $19.95 (i.e. the break-even point), you would need to process about $3,070 per month. (3070 * 0.0065 = 19.955) And that is just to break even, and it’s assuming you process only swiped transactions. To be safe, you should only use the monthly fee option if you are absolutely positive you will be processing well over $3,500 each and every month. If you’re not sure, just stick with the pay-as-you-go option.
If you opt-in for PCI compliance service with the pay-as-you-go option, you’ll be charged $9.95 per month. For monthly fee accounts, PCI compliance is decided on a sliding scale based on how many transactions your process, ranging from $35 – $100 annually. If you plan to process 100 or more transactions per year (as most people do, I’d wager), then you’ll pay the $100 fee.
You should also be aware of the fees at the bottom of Intuit’s official pricing schedule. These are incidental fees or fees that have to do with opt-in features.
Contract Length & Early Termination Fee:
You won’t pay any early termination fees with Intuit QuickBooks Payments. With the pay-as-you-go option, you can simply stop using your account without any penalty. If you use the higher volume option, then make sure to cancel your account or change over to the pay-as-you-go option if you plan to take time off from processing. Otherwise, you’ll still have the monthly $19.95 taken from your account. If your account becomes inactive for six months, it will likely be suspended or terminated. If your account is closed due to merchant misconduct, however, Intuit reserves the right to charge a $500 termination fee.
We may terminate this Agreement without prior notice if: (i) we have reason to believe that fraudulent transactions or other activity prohibited by this Agreement is occurring; (ii) such action is necessary to prevent loss to us, (iii) you appear on any card or payment network or other fraud, prohibited, or security reporting list. An administrative account closure fee of $500 will be charged to you if we terminate for the reasons set forth in this section.
You should also know that to cancel your account, you’ll have to mail or fax a formal written request for cancellation.
Sales & Advertising Transparency:
QuickBooks Payments has made great progress in this category lately. They are nowhere near as good as companies like Helcim but are now better than average I would say. Most important information appears in the main advertising copy, and additional disclosures are not difficult to find. Nothing seems hugely deceptive at this point, now that they’ve removed the hidden qualified fee. Good progress! Just make sure you read Intuit Merchant Agreement and review the pricing schedule very, very closely before making any decisions. They make this information available to you but’s it’s up to you to read it carefully.
Customer Service & Technical Support:
While previously live customer service was only offered to merchants using the monthly fee account option, this no longer seems to be the case. While I’ve heard conflicting reports in terms of quality of support, I can at least say that the service is very streamlined. The FAQ is enough to answer most basic questions, with live chat and phone support available depending on your issue. As a reviewer, it’s difficult for me to ascertain the quality of customer service when it comes to complex, account-specific issues. But that’s where you come in! Have you worked with QuickBooks Payments? Have a complaint, rip-off report, or even a positive testimonial? Please leave us your review. Don’t forget to read the user review and comment policy.
Negative Reviews & Complaints:
While QuickBooks Payments doesn’t have its own BBB page separate from Intuit’s profile, you can find a number of complaints directed at the company’s payment process service there. In fact, I’d say an unusually high proportion of Intuit’s BBB complaints are directed at GoPayment, considering how many other popular services they offer (QuickBooks, Quicken, Turbo Tax, etc.). If you read through some of the most recent complaints, you’ll see what I mean.
- Confusing and undisclosed rates: This complaint seems to be on the downtrend thanks to Intuit’s new fee and rate schedule. Good news!
- Holds and freezes: It’s disappointing to see this with Intuit since added account stability should be a draw here (compared to aggregating mobile processors). You can do your part to prevent these issues by following the advice we provide.
- Long hold times for customer service: Many users have reported less than stellar customer service, including unacceptably long hold time for unhelpful service.
- Having account upgraded without request: This fairly strange complaint came up enough times to warrant mention. A handful of merchants reported that they signed up for the basic, pay-as-you-go-option, but found out later they were being billed according to the upgraded monthly fee option. When they contact Intuit, the company has been unwilling to issue refunds. While this could be a matter of user error, you should be on the look out.
- Difficulty canceling: Many don’t realize that in order to cancel, you’ll have to fax or mail a formal cancellation request. For some, completing and following up with this has led to longer than desired waits for cancellation.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials:
While you’ll find a few anonymous superficial reviews on the QuickBooks Payments site – all quite positive, as you might have guessed – I was not able to find any in-depth case studies or testimonials demonstrating the effectiveness and value of Intuit’s offerings. If you have any insights here, please leave us your review. In the meantime, I’ll keep this updated as more information becomes available.
I’m slowly warming up to Intuit QuickBooks Payments and GoPayment. I’ve seen this company make some really sensible changes and advancements over the past year, and am hopeful for their future. If you really love the QuickBooks interface and like the idea of brand loyalty, this could be a great option for your payment processing needs. With online invoicing, a powerful mobile app, e-check acceptance, and absolutely ideal QuickBooks bookkeeping integration, there are certainly some noteworthy draws for Intuit merchant services.
But given the account expense, I think you can get better value elsewhere, and probably better support as well. CDGcommerce, for instance, will set you up with interchange-plus pricing and a lower monthly fee than Intuit can provide. Same goes for any of our higher rated providers.
Still, given the progress made by QuickBooks Payments, I’m going to bump them up from 3 to 3.5 stars. I’ll be hoping for more good news next update. Please comment with your experiences and insights!