Vantiv Payments Review

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Date Established
Cincinnati, OH


Vantiv (formerly known as Fifth Third Processing Solutions) is a large credit card processor located in Ohio. Well, large doesn’t quite cover it. Huge, perhaps? The company is the second-biggest merchant acquirer in the US, and the biggest PIN debit acquirer (based on number of transactions) as well. Vantiv has been been in operation since 1970, when it was known as Midwest Payment Systems, and then became Fifth Third. It’s been using the Vantiv brand name since 2011.

We’re dealing with a very large company here, with revenues of $3.16 billion in 2015. Not only that, but Vantiv owns National Processing Company, Jeanie (ATM network) and SKIPJACK (payment gateway).

Vantiv’s service network includes hundreds of thousands of merchants.Not only that, but many other payment processors (such as FattMerchant and Payline Data) rely on Vantiv for processing. They also acquired Element Payments in 2013 and Mercury Payments in 2014. (That’s a story we’ll come back to.)

With that many customers, one would expect to see a ton of complaints, but — surprisingly — I couldn’t find very many. The BBB profile is low on complaints, comparatively speaking, and so is the rest of the web. One could argue that it’s because the brand name Vantiv has only been around since 2011, but if you search their previous name “Fifth Third Processing Solutions” for complaints, you won’t find much either. That seems like good news, but in this business we have to take everything with a grain of salt.

Much like any other large processor, Vantiv’s merchant accounts do have a contract with an early termination fee ($295+), although it can be negotiated. I was troubled, however, to hear from a number of merchants complaining that they were asked to pay liquidated damages into the thousands of dollars in order to close their accounts. I can confirm that many Vantiv contracts I’ve seen contain provisions to collect liquidated damages, although the company does not seem to consistently enforce this.

So here’s my advice: If you want to sign up with Vantiv merchant services, make absolutely sure that this liquidated damages language is removed from your contract. You do not want to get stuck paying that. And while you’re at it, ask them to waive the early termination fee altogether. If they won’t do both of these things, then walk. If you need help, feel free to contact us.

While we have doubts about the overall quality of Vantiv’s service (your comments certainly make us skeptical), the overall complaint volume is shockingly low for any company, but especially one of this size.

Moreover, I do think that Vantiv is at least making an effort to cater to small businesses and provide educational resources. They aren’t perfect. You’ll get better information from our top-rated processors overall. But I do have to commend Vantiv for trying — and their efforts are greater than what I’ve seen from other large processors.

We’re raising Vantiv’s rating to 4 out of 5 stars. We have our concerns — quality of service, transparency, the ETF and liquidated damages — but overall, we at Merchant Maverick think it’s possible to get a fair deal with Vantiv. We like that Vantiv has such a huge network of POS systems that merchants can use, tailored to a wide variety of industries. We encourage you to be on your guard, read your contract, and negotiate fiercely to get a deal that meets your need. But if you have a POS that locks you into Vantiv, that’s no reason for automatic concerns.

If we think that Vantiv is taking a step back, we won’t hestitate to drop that rating right back down to 3.5 stars (or worse, if the situation merits). But for that, we need you! The more comments we have from Vantiv customers, the easier it is for us to accurately assess the company. So whether you are still with Vantiv or left Vantiv for whatever reason, please leave a comment and tell us about your experiences — good or bad.

If you want the best deal on processing and outstanding service to boot, I’d recommend that you check out one of our higher-rated providers. Otherwise, read on for our full review and find out whether Vantiv is for you!

Products and Services:

Formulating any list of Vantiv’s products and services seems like a futile effort, since the company basically does a little bit of everything you could imagine. But I would like to touch on the main offerings:

Merchant Accounts: Vantiv tailors its website to address the needs of customers seeking a variety of merchant accounts: e-commerce, retail, nonprofit, to name a few. This makes a lot of sense given that each type of business has different risks associated with it, but it means you’re going to encounter different rates and terms for each as well. I actually like that Vantiv breaks down solutions by business type.

POS Systems: Vantiv offers integrated POS solutions. All of them are now consolidated under a new branch, Vantiv Integrated Payments, which was formed by acquiring and then merging Element Payments and Mercury. Anything that was integrated with Mercury is now integrated with Vantiv, too — such as Vend POS. Some of the POS systems that process cards using Vantiv are proprietary. But a lot aren’t. According to its own site, Vantiv has partnerships with “over 500 independent software vendors and 2,500 value added resellers.” You can expect Vantiv’s systems to accommodate pretty much every type of business out there. That’s one advantage to doing business with such a major company.

Terminals: Vantiv offers a voice of EMV-compliant terminals. The site specifically lists the Verifone VX520 and Ingenico iCT220 and iCT250 terminals with optional pin pads.

Virtual Terminal: This shouldn’t be a surprise. There’s not a lot of information available because well, there are so many POS options that Vantiv partners with. But you can get this option if you need it.

Mobile payment support: Vantiv’s services include support for Apple Pay, Android Pay and other NFC-based payments.

Developer-friendly tools: While I can’t judge the quality of Vantiv’s tools (I’m no programmer), the resources provided appear to be comprehensive and address a whole host of situations, from e-commerce to what Vantiv calls “omni-commerce” — a comprehensive platform for mobile apps, e-commerce, and EMV.

Analytics: Vantiv’s iQ service delivers comprehensive analytics; even better, you can also get analytics and data reports on the go. So if you’re always on the move, you can still check in.

Alternative Payment Methods: Vantiv gives you access to eCheck and PayPal payment support in its e-commerce setup.

Recurring billing and account autoupdates: With Vantiv being as large as it is, you really shouldn’t expect anything other than support for these features.

Mobile processing: We know Vantiv has a solution (it’s called Mobile Accept), but there isn’t much information out there about it. The Mobile Accept page on the site is still accessible but isn’t linked to anywhere on the main site. But the app is still available in Google Play and iTunes. I’d like to see more information about this, myself.

Gift cards/stored value cards: Again, with a processor this large you should absolutely expect Vantiv to offer gift cards and other stored value programs targeting a wide variety of industries.

Shopping cart integrations: If you run an e-commerce shop, you can integrate Vantiv with a variety of shopping carts. Vantiv doesn’t provide the complete list, but you can definitely integrate with WooCommerce, Magento, and OpenCart, at the very least.

If one thing impressed me more than anything else it’s probably the scalability of the solutions. Whether you are a small business or a mega-corporation, Vantiv can meet your needs, and it’s rare that we say that. Far too often, companies that support large enterprises fail at serving smaller ones in equal capacity, but that really does not seem to be the case here. Vantiv’s site content is specially tailored to the different business types it serves, and we know there are POS systems for business of all sizes.

Check out the site or speak with a sales reps for more details, but basically Vantiv does it all, and most of its solutions are proprietary. It helps to have massive resources at your disposal, that’s for sure.

Fees and Rates:

Vantiv does not disclose any fee or rate information publicly, and doesn’t seem to standardize these numbers across the brand. Your quote will largely depend on the sales agent/sales office you sign on through as well as your business attributes, and the type of merchant account you’re after. While this is always disappointing, it’s also not unexpected given how large Vantiv is.

In general Vantiv will pitch you a tiered pricing plan, which may include the following fees:

  • $99 annual fee
  • $50-$90 PCI compliance fee (annual)
  • $10-$20 PCI non-compliance fee (monthly)

Chargeback fees and card network fees like the FANF are also to be expected. The annual fee is always negotiable. I’d recommend that most businesses, especially those who will do a high volume of card payments, request an interchange-plus markup quote instead. Remember that the 3-year contract and ETF (and the liquidated damages provision) are also negotiable. 

Vantiv also offers OptBlue pricing for American Express transactions through its Integrated Payments branch (notably, there’s no mention of this on the main Vantiv site).

The site does claim to offer “interchange management” tools, but doesn’t say much about them beyond that. They’re supposed to help you “optimize” your interchange fees, so in theory, you pay less. However, as we’ve said time and again on Merchant Maverick, tiered pricing plans are confusing and often make it difficult to check whether you’re actually getting the fairest rates.

It bears mentioning here that two of our top-rated merchant account providers, Payline Data (which offers interchange plus) and FattMerchant (which uses a monthly subscription plan), actually process through Vantiv. Check out their reviews (linked above) for an idea of rates.

Contract Length and Early Termination Fee:

With Vantiv, you can expect a 3-year auto-renewing contract with a $295 early termination fee. This is the industry standard, but I don’t usually recommend signing on with any company that requires an early termination fee unless you’ve worked with them in the past. If you request to have this fee waived, most agents will make an exception for you. Just be sure to get a signed waiver form attached your contract before you sign the contract.

You should note that in some cases I’ve heard from merchants who had contracts with Vantiv that included liquidated damages, generally 10% to 15% of the total earnings the company would have made on the remainder of your contract. I find this type of early termination fee entirely unacceptable, and I’d encourage you to absolutely refuse this if you see it in your particular contract.

We were able to find a sample e-commerce contract from June 2015, which includes the following language regarding liquidated damages:

“We have a right to assess fees and recover all costs associated with our investigation of suspected fraudulent activity or an Event of Default. You agree that we may retain the entire amount of the Reserve Account as liquidated damages if you engage in an Improper Transaction. If you accept transactions in connection with an Event of Default, we have the right to hold settlement funds and to subject them to a per month fraudulent transaction fee equal to 15% of the amount held.”

This sounds pretty harmless…until you look at what includes an event of default, as seen below:

Default Event. You are in default under this Agreement (“Event of Default”) if:

(i) we believe there has been a material or potentially material deterioration of your financial condition;

(ii) you become subject to any voluntary or involuntary bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization or liquidation proceeding, a receiver is appointed for you, or you make an assignment for the benefit of creditors, or admits your inability to pay your debts as they become due;

(vii) we determine that your Card transactions or the circumstances surrounding your Card transactions have become irregular or increase our exposure to chargebacks, reputational, or other security risks;

 (xiv) you cease doing the kind of business described in the Merchant Application;

(xv) you fail to pay any amount to us when due;

 (xvii) we believe that you have violated or are likely to violate the Operating Regulations, Rules Summary, or the Laws.

Please note, these are just some of the terms spelled out. Check out the contract for yourself for the full details (see Part 7, Termination or Suspension of Services).

Sales and Advertising Transparency:

Like most big processing companies, Vantiv doesn’t make any real disclosures or promises in its public marketing material. Your sales experience will depend on the particular agent you talk to, and whether that agent works as a Vantiv employee or as a as an independent agent. We always recommend dealing with the company directly when you can. We find there is typically more oversight and fewer hoops to jump through when you work with the companies, not ISOs. Because the sales force is managed directly, you are less likely to encounter shady reps who will promise you the world just to get you to sign your life and livelihood away.

When I looked at Vantiv’s social media and the educational resources it puts out, I was impressed…at first. In my experience, large companies — especially those that serve enterprise clients — don’t handle either very well. Corporate clients don’t do their research via blog posts and Facebook; there are sales presentations and meetings and votes. Blog posts and social media are for reaching small businesses. Vantiv does seem to have a grip on what it’s doing.

Vantiv has FacebookGoogle+ and LinkedIn pages, as well as a Twitter channel. All are active regularly, and they do have a customer service rep who seems quite responsive. There’s confirmation from the people posting on the page that the social media rep is able to ensure people receive the phone calls they request and get issues settled. That is a good thing, though I don’t like that there are multiple complaints about how hard it is to get hold of a customer service rep via phone.

Not only that, but Vantiv does post new blogs regularly through its Integrated Payments branch. There’s also some educational resources through its Vantage Point page.  I really want to like these efforts. I do. But looking at the content in-depth, it feels very superficial. Vantiv could do better, period. Even the case studies available through Integrated Payments are just recycled Mercury Pay case studies, which I pointed out in my previous Mercury Pay review were of questionable quality.

(I will say, I am excited that there’s a search box on the site. I’ve come to accept that these are very rare in the world of payment processing, and I am excited when I do encounter them.)

So even though Vantiv definitely has a handle on social media and marketing, I think it needs to step up its content game a little bit. The company shouldn’t be in the content game just for the sake of content — it should be in the game to educate merchants. I mean really educate them. Informed merchants make for happy merchants who stick around for a long time.

Customer Service and Technical Support:

Existing customers get 24/7 service and support. The website specifically states, “Telephone numbers, online sites and portals, log-in screens and videos too—everything you need for our most popularly requested service items—self service or live-help.”

That sounds great, right? Except that the few complaints we can find about Vantiv explicitly mention the terrible customer service.

What we can locate is not good, even if it’s a small quantity of the kind of complaints a lot of processors receive.

But the gravity of complaints just doesn’t match up with the volume. I’m suspicious that there are a lot of hidden complaints. Here’s why:

A lot of merchants aren’t necessarily hunting for a new payments processor. They’re looking for a POS that meets their needs. And in doing that, they might be locked into a contract with Vantiv without even really giving it a thought, because they found the POS they need. Who handles the processing is just a secondary concern. I think it’s fairly likely that lot of customer service first gets routed through Vantiv’s MANY POS system partners, or its proprietary systems. And running down those complaints is rather like falling down a rabbithole.

At the same time, we can’t penalize Vantiv for what we don’t know even exists. It’s only my suspicion. Which is why, once again, we need your help.

One final concern is how it’s absorbed Mercury Pay and rebranded it as Vantiv Integrated Solutions. For me, this is a wildcard. After Vantiv acquired the company it continued to operate pretty much the same way it always had. And Mercury didn’t have a great reputation for service (despite winning Stevie awards for it). That may change as it comes more fully under the auspices of Vantiv….or it may not. Only time will tell, but we’ll definitely be watching to see how that plays out.

Have you worked with Vantiv? What is the customer service like for you? Feel free to leave us your review, which helps us better assess what’s working and what’s not. Don’t forget to read the user review and comment policy.

Negative Reviews and Complaints:

Vantiv impressed me with its responses to merchant complaints via the Better Business Bureau. The responding representatives provide extremely thorough, reasonable, logical and even generous rebuttals. In most cases the company will provide refunds when merchants complain, even if no refund is legally or even ethically required. I think it’s fairly likely that if you go through the BBB, you’ll be able to get a resolution to your issue.

Overall, Vantiv has 76 complaints filed with the BBB in the last three years (up from 50 at our last check-in in 2014), which is actually very low for a processing company of this size. Of those, 34 complaints were closed in the past 12 months though, which is nearly half the complaints in the past year. And yes, that’s essentially a 50% jump since our last check-in (which was well over a year ago).

Granted, the Vantiv brand has only been around since 2011, but even the previous brand “Fifth Third Processing Solutions” is low on the complaint count as well. You will find another 78 complaints under “Vantiv Integrated Payments,” but the majority of those are in fact leftovers from when Mercury Payments was still operating under its own name, even if it was technically owned by Vantiv.

Ripoff Report has just 4 complaints listed for Vantiv; 2 from 2014, 1 from 2015, 1 from 2016. The rest of the negative complaints are scattered across the web.

Most of the issues people have with Vantiv arise, unsurprisingly, during the cancellation process.

  • Liquidated damages: This is probably the most worrisome complaint I’ve heard, and it came up a number of times. Some merchants cited cancellation fees in the thousands of dollars, which is just unacceptable in my mind. But it appears to be inconsistently enforced.
  • Unknown auto-renewal: Many merchants who have processed with Vantiv long-term are surprised to find out that they owe an early termination fee even though they have been using the company for the better part of a decade. This is a common problem, and is not unique to Vantiv. Since most contracts auto-renew after the initial 3-year term is up, the so-called “early” termination fee can be collected whenever you cancel, unless you do so during a very small window of time. The good news is that Vantiv seems to be willing to waive these fees for long-term merchants.
  • Difficulty cancelling the account: What’s worse than paying an early termination fee? Being billed — unknown to you — monthly for years after you thought your account was closed. I encourage you to follow up aggressively and check your bank statements to be sure that you are not being billed for the service after you cancel. Also be aware that unless you submit a cancellation request in writing, your account cannot be closed. If you set your account up with an ISO, go through Vantiv directly. Don’t let your rep handle closing the account.
  • Unresponsive customer service/long hold times: This is, next to ETFs and hidden fees, the most common complaint we see about any merchant service provider. And frankly, it always disappoints us. Despite the promise of 24/7 phone support, we’ve seen numerous complaints of hours-long hold times, merchants being shuffled from one rep to another, and a general inability to solve problems when they arise. The good news is that going through the BBB seems to be effective in getting the company’s attention and therefore results.

Positive Reviews and Testimonials:

You can find some video case studies on the Vantiv VIP page. However, some of the videos are also from partners and highlight the company’s offerings. Many pages on the Vantiv site also include short, written testimonials from Vantiv customers. There are more videos on Vantiv’s YouTube channel, as well. And Vantiv maintains a shiny-looking page on its site about all the awards and recognition it’s won.

Beyond that, you’re not going to find too much out there singing Vantiv’s praises.

Had a good experience with Vantiv? We’d love to hear it! Good reviews are just as important as the bad ones.

Final Verdict:

Vantiv is a huge processing company with vast capabilities. It can service enormous businesses in need of complex payment systems and offer competitive rates to win these businesses over. There is no doubt in my mind that Vantiv is a very capable company.

Vantiv also seems to want to serve small businesses and new merchants. It’s tailoring its products and solutions to appeal to these smaller companies. The company even has a handle on social media, even if the content itself appears weak.

One concern I have is that Vantiv Payments might not treat these small or new merchants the way they need to be treated. If you are not particularly adept at navigating the payments space and do not know which questions to ask or what to look for in your processing contract, you could be in for a rough ride. It will really depend on your sales rep. Some are willing to go the extra mile to help you make an informed decision, while others might take advantage of your lack of experience.

In addition, it’s pretty clear that Vantiv isn’t exactly an innovator or a leader in the payments industry. It has everything you’d expect, but nothing particularly unique or outstanding. It offers a tiered pricing plan with 3-year contracts and an ETF (although not the worst I’ve seen). The liquidated damages provision in the contract is incredibly worrisome. Although it doesn’t seem to be enforced with regularity, if you do get hit, you’re looking at some serious expenses.

Our top-rated processors, by comparison, typically offer interchange plus or flat-rate subscription plans and month-to-month contracts with no early termination fees. That includes Payline Data and Fattmerchant, both of whom actually process through Vantiv.

For now, I’m cautiously raising Vantiv to 4 stars. I don’t think it’s a bad company, and you should not automatically panic if you find out your new POS processes through the company. You can get pretty much any sort of feature or service you need, from mobile processing to EMV and NFC support. The company’s shortcomings are the same we see with many processors. And while the educational content could use work, the fact that it exists sets Vantiv apart from many competitors. I look forward to seeing improvements from here on out.

If you’re thinking about signing on with Vantiv, reach out to us. We can work with you to make sure that you are getting a legitimate deal. Otherwise, you may want to check out one of our higher-rated providers instead for your small business needs. Keep leaving your comments and let us know how Vantiv is doing — we’ll re-evaluate Vantiv’s rating as necessary to ensure we accurately reflect the quality of the company’s offerings.

Good luck, and thanks for reading!

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


    Diana Sherry

    Why are you rating this company 4.5 stars when all the user reviews are so negative?

    Chloe Bahal

    Hi Diana,

    We consider many factors when writing our reviews, customer feedback is only a small portion of the overall rating. You can find more information in our “About” section.

    Stephen French

    If there was a negative 5 button It would still be too good of a rating for these snakes. Vantiv wasted a good year of our time just trying to take care of basic issues. Once you enter their world, you are at their mercy. If you try to leave you will be fined. If you do not close your bank account, they will tap into it without your knowledge. If you try to call customer service, well, Hahahahaha!!! The absolute worse company in America today, hands down. If you don’t believe me just give them a try and see for yourself.


    We own and rent a handful of vacation properties. VRP, a unit of HomeAway, provides our credit card processing for guest payments, and they in turn contract to Vantiv for the back office part (getting the payment into our bank account).
    In January/February several guest payments were short in our bank account by 28%. It took a while to figure out that Vantiv had withheld taxes on the payments to the tune of several thousand dollars. They did this without conducting the due diligence that the IRS requires by law before withholding.
    After 8 months, in August, we finally got paid what Vantiv owed us.
    Morale of the story – just make sure all your company info is up to date ( address etc) before or while dealing with Vantiv – they shoot first and ask questions afterwards ( without remembering to ask the questions). And don’t expect explanations, apologies, phone calls or anything like that – they are way too big to give a hoot.


    Deceptive rate tactics. Contract says, “(interchange * 0%) + 10 cents/swipe” as a rate…but buried deep in an additional terms and conditions booklet, in the middle of a long paragraph, they state that they can change the interchange rate to whatever amount they desire + you only have 7 days to notify them that you don’t agree. We just discovered this upon signing a new contract that stated 0%*interchange but it turns out that, in actuality, they added an additional .3% which equaled thousands of dollars more for the year in processing fees.

    “We may amend this Agreement or change fees, charges and/or rates at any time. You do not have the same right. We will provide notice of changes in accordance with the Notices Section of this Agreement. If you continue to process transactions after, or fail to notify us that you contest a change within seven days of actual or constructive notice, you will be deemed to have accepted that change.”

    Wow! Completely unacceptable. Can’t believe it’s not fraud.

    James Smith


    Years of horrible customer service, and more than 200 hours logged on hold. FINALLY we were able to change to a new processor and focus on growing the business. For the record, we have $60,000 worth of old CC deposits still at Vantiv – to release they are requiring a signature from an employee that has passed away. After 3 1/2 months of being on hold, faxing forms, and arguing we decided to eat the 60K just to get away from Vantiv. And, it was worth every penny!

    Every company manages to hire a few idiots, and normally if you get bad service you can just call back. Somehow Vantiv has been able to exclusively hire idiots and/or convert normal human beings into idiots. This skill is their one and only competency.

    Anyway, finally free from Vantiv!

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


    I was attempting to change my deposit account with Vantiv. It took sending the form 3 times for them to even acknowledge it and once they did they only updated the account number and not the routing number so my deposits were in limbo. Because you can’t run a business without your merchant deposits I called and e-mailed every day to have them correct the issue. It took tons of calls being told ridiculous excuses, being transferred to other people who have no idea either, and having my calls “disconnected” to finally get them to correct their mistake. Our deposits were held for weeks and the whole simple process of updating my deposit account took over a month and consumed way too much of my time!

    On top of the horrific customer service, their rates are awful. They say over and over again that they are the cheapest but they don’t take into consideration the mark-ups they are adding to their interchange rates. I took me forever to explain to the representative that yes, interchange rates are set by the credit cards but no that is not all you are charging in those line items. I don’t think they even knew!


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

    Joseph Diomede

    I called trying to follow the steps needed to close my account. A representative sent me a form to sign and return. A week later I received a bill for $295 for early cancellation after I had been with them for over 4 years. When I called the rep. said the form I sent in needed to be mailed in with a 30 day request. The rep never explained that – what a rip off – I switched to Heartland to save money with the much better rates I am receiving it should only take a month to make up this theft!

    Horrible customer service.


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

    Stan Rabineau

    I too would give VANTIV a less than 0 rating. I called and called trying to get information on my account and could not get a live person. My contract was for-filled and they offered to sell to me the POS Verifone card reader terminal which I did purchase at the end of my contract. One year later, I received a letter that my machine certificate would no longer be valid as of October 18, 2015. I received a call for VANTIV trying to lease to me another machine along with a new three year agreement which I declined. When I tried to close my account, I was given the run around. I finally got my branch manager of Fifth Third Bank to help me and we sent a Fax from the bank requesting to close the account. VANTIV said that they never received the fax or the E-mail that I followed up with a copy of the closure of the account. Fifth Third bank again faxed the closure letter. After two more phone calls VANTIV closed the account. They then hit my account with a $295 “Early Cancellation fee”. They said that since that we did not cancel the account when it expired, it “automatically” renewed itself and it had a $295 early termination fee attached to it. VANITV got five years of my money, but they will not get anymore. Do not do business with them.


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


    Wish I could leave less than one star. I can’t believe how horrific their customer service is. Working with them has been an absolute nightmare. I have been left on hold for over THREE HOURS, and still have not spoken with a human. Unfortunately, this is fairly typical for contacting them. I usually can expect to be on hold for 2-5 hours if I have a question for them. Such a nightmare. Don’t use this company. Run far, far away.


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

    Frank Kruemmel

    Hello Michele. I responded to Stan’s post earlier. I am learning the ins and outs right now on the “client” side while representing my customers (companies that use Vantiv) but also from a perspective of being an independent person offering merchant services. I am more of a technical person and analyse data objectively. I did study all the charges of the statements that you get via the One has to own a crystal ball to figure that out. One of my clients processes anywhere from $4,000 to $25,000 per month. The interchange rate is difficult to understand. NPC “on the phone associates (yes, one has to hold for a long time) don’t seem to know how that is calculated. I had one person telling me that she had to “google” that info. Really? So I pulled up the rates on the website and called Visa my self. Didn’t get the info that I wanted since there seem to be a lack of training of Vantiv’s associate. Yet, I calculated the percentages on the statements and they seem to be in-line. Some are less than a percentage point, other are higher but not over 2 % points after looking at 6 month worth of data. It seems that you do have to go through the hassle and do you own research and not rely on others. Sad thing to say but I never trust just people tell me. The rates however are satisfactory in my opinion.

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

    Jon W

    Do NOT use these guys, TERRIBLE

    They will not go out of there way to contact anyone… They will email you if there is an error on there account… They will not tell you the truth about your account information. I am tired of being on hold, hung up on between calls, explaining the same situation over and over to multiple service reps, and get no answers.

    Plus, there online system is so disorganized, no wonder there phones are always backed up 30 plus minutes. And forget talking to your sales rep, they will sign you up fast, and never hook up your equipment properly. We where left at a high ticket risk, which played a part in goofing up an account. The sales rep never gave the tutorial, and we had a huge fraud transaction come through our account. Yet, this is all our fault… Make sure you set your fraud meters, because nobody at Vantiv will even explain you have them… Horrible….

    Also, we had funds deposit to the wrong account, and after multiple request, still could not get them to switch deposit accounts.

    My Recommendation? Anyone Else but Vantiv. If you are planning on taking cards, you will want a better online system, with reps who follow up and will help you. Seriously, there web based system is so bad, its funny… I even had reps telling me how bad it was over the phone.

    Peace Vantiv / Express / Or whover you guys go by now! On to bigger and better things –


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

    Christine Casinghino

    This is an excerpt from a letter I wrote them.

    This experience with your customer service department may have even been worse than the first. Sadly, I wasted my only day off to fix the parameters on this machine. I called around 1pm and the first guy I talked to tried to just send me a new machine. He was extremely uninformed and I knew from my previous experience that there was a fix that could be downloaded, so I was transferred off to wait for someone on tier 2. After about 20 min on hold, you dropped my call. I was not happy about having to call back and start over. I will say that Storm and Angela on tier 1 were very nice, never lost their temper and were very professional in trying to help me. They took my information and tried to resolve the issue, but again, off I went to tier 2. It took two hours from this point for me to reach someone to help me. One would think you would increase your staffing if your call center was overwhelmed with volume, but apparently not. My time is valuable and should not have been wasted because of poor processes, lack of knowledge from tier 1 and just overall sub-standard customer service. Most importantly, you should have procedures in place when you send out a replacement machine that it is configured exactly as the machine it’s being replaced; all of those parameters are on my file. You took away my quality time on my only day off because of your shoddy procedures. This is the thanks I get for being proactive and wanting to comply with the new EMV process.

    I pay over $11,000 in credit card fees per year and you wouldn’t even cover the shipping on the faulty machine that you sent me. Plus, my time does equal money and your company cost me about 6 hours of my free time, which is something that is very rare to me as a business owner. It quite disappointing to see this how you value the free time of your customers. I will not be recommending Vantiv to anyone after the horrific experience. Furthermore, I will share this story with my fellow business owners to ensure no others have to go through what I have. When my contract with you is up I will be running as fast I can to the nearest credit card merchant processing company I can find.


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

    Mike Hinton

    Vantiv is total ripoff. I signed a contract two years ago and they had an attorney threaten to sue me for breach of contract. I actually sent to Vantiv an early termination check of 295 dollars which got lost which was a blessing. My problem is they are harassing people for non contractual agreements. I find out the agreement was NOT for 2 years but month to month ! The number of people that are sending them fees that are bogus could be enormous !! Run away and don’t look back. Square was perfect.


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    Unbelievable! First of all we signed a 1 year contract on 12/16/14. The rate we are being charged is .5% higher than the contract rate. We found another processor that offered .8% lower than what we were supposed to be charged so I sent a cancellation notice effective 12/16/15. Our account was closed on 9/30. I spent 6.5 hours on the phone on 9/30, most of the time on hold with no results. I was told to leave a message with the retention dept which I did but never got a call back. On 10/1 I called again, again all I got was voice mail. I left another message. Then I faxed a note to the same fax number where I sent the original cancellation notice. Still nothing. Now, 10/2, we have been without the ability to accept any cards for 3 days. Not good for a retail business! I finally got a live person on the phone at 3:30 in the afternoon on the 2nd. I gave him the riot act and finally got our account reactivated. This should have been taken care of with the first phone call. It is totally ridiculous that I spent the better part of 3 days on the phone for something so simple. I would never recommend Fifth Third Processing aka Vantiv.


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

    Mary Beth Brown

    The Absolute WORST! Even worse customer service than Comcast, if that’s even possible! Try to call if you have a problem, I’ve spent over 6 hours on hold over the course of four days and still don’t have my problem resolved. My banker at my local Fifth Third branch has even been involved and they aren’t returning his phone calls or emails either. I just disconnected my terminal and ran out and got a square, so much better! And no sneaky hidden fees and bogus charges!

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

    Alex S.

    As you can see by the other reviews, Vantiv is NOT the processor to use. We fall right in line with the posted experiences of other reviews…..nothing but trouble. We faced hardware issues, multiple charge issues, and over charge issues. When my manager ever attempted to call support, he was placed on 20-30 min holds and shuffled from one person to the next. Despite complaining that we did not expect a cancellation fee because Vantiv obviously did not hold up their quality of service or support, they said our complaints held no merit! They then charged us a $500 cancellation fee although the cancellation fee was stated to be $295…..they said the other $205 was for processing the $295 cancellation fee!! There are decent processing companies out there….Vantiv is NOT one.


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    Olivia B.

    Unreal, these people!!! They didn’t provide service, I’ve had FOUR outages in 9 months, and they just quoted me over $2k to cancel my membership and THEN refused to send me a copy of my ACTUAL agreement!! I thought I had it, but apparently that was only the APPLICATION. How do I get / does anyone have a copy of their Terms and Conditions?? They said I signed for it and that I had received them – clearly I have not! Please email me if you have a copy (, I would be grateful so I can think about legal action. CROOKS!!


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

    Stephen French

    Vantiv has been nothing but over-charges and terrible service. Save yourself a bunch of hassle and steer clear of this outfit. Just the worst!


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

    David White

    I had Merchant Processing for six months which was supposed to be 60 or 70 dollars a month with no contract. I was being billed over two hundred. They would sock me with annual fees and service charges so the bill was sky high. So my Fifth Third banker Mike brought in two guys from Fifth Third Processing. (Vantiv) I learned. The topic and agreement was based on my getting the service for 60 to 80 dollars a month. The two processing guys were going to buy a mattress from me and didnt of course! Mike stopped doing business with me once my bank money was invested in the business. I felt I could trust my own banker and got burned like everyone else. I was watching my account monthly and saw 14 dollar fees so it wasnt a problem. I then found that a few days after the 14 dollars I was getting socked between 170 and 210! I was told in June I would get 75 back and a lower rate, after having seven hundred of so stolen from me. I have gotten no where with either banker as I am told vantiv says I have a contract Vantiv doesnt care what we agreed on. 60 to 80 a month. Contract! Bait and switch? So I let the account clear out and closed it early this month. The Fifth Third Banker told me even though it was closed. They would let anything through 24 hrs after as it was policy. The Account was closed!!!!! The next morning 24 hrs later…..Nothing happened. Later that day a day and a half later I got dinged for 231! Plus a 74 dollar overdraft fee! On a closed account! FIFTH THIRD! Warning! Close your acct immediately so they cant steal more from you! Yes a team they are! Still! Its obvious that this company is dishonest and a bunch of thieves. Lets file a class action Lawsuit against Vantiv and Fifth Third! Lets show companies that they cant rip off and steal from hard working Americans! My name is David and my email is Who is with me?

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    Stephen French

    The absolute worst processing outfit available! Chronic over-charges and terrible service. Save yourself a bunch of unnecessary hassle and use any other processing company.


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    I am with you. I’ve three business with ventiv. even i sold two business they are still charging me the money and threatening me of singing a personal guarantee. How is this possible the business is sold and closed bit still they are trying to bill me big amount of $ 3600.00 it is bad and i am will to go all the way to court if i have to.

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


    I have not dealt with such unprofessional processor in a decade. First of all there is a web of different companies involved. I don’t even have idea who is my processor, who to go to when I questions. Am I dealing with Northern Leasing, Vantiv, Fith Third, Elite? Your call gets routed around thru these companies with rude employees who don’t have logical answers to simple questions.
    No wonder this company and others associated, have so many complaints and law suites, especially Elite Global payment systems base in Henderson, Nevada.


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

    Tamara Newell

    This has been a nightmare of a service. I am shocked that they are still in business. I have never in life had such horrible service and they overcharged me an additional 400.00 on top of early termination fee. I had to threaten to close my bank account to try and get rid of the service. It was just that bad. I sent the closeout form more than 5 times over the last couple of months by fax and mail. There fax machine is always busy so dont even try. Just mail it and they still may not get it so make sure you mail it certified mail. We tried to close out our account for 5 months and they were still drafting our account for payment. The customer service is horrible if you can get anyone on the phone. They are super nice before you sign the contract. Dont expect any good service after you sign the contract. You are on your own and they will continue to draft your account till infinity. If you are looking for a call back do not hold your breath. When I finally talk to a representative they promise to credit our account and have a supervisor call me. I never got that call from the supervisor and my credit has not been approved yet. I am just relieved to finally get rid of them I think. I feel like I can exhale now. I never got a credit. It is still being approved. They can have the money. I will pay them to leave me alone without argument. They got me for about 600.00 or more. Its not big money but they took it. I have never had such bad service. I am just relieved to get rid of them, but in a sense it felt like they robbed me legally. Wow. Never again. They will never…………………………………………………………..get my service again. I would have to really hate a person to recommend them to this company.

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

    Joan Luce

    We were mildly unhappy with Vantiv (unreadable statements) and chose to switch processors in October for better rates. I had been assured by the local rep. when I signed up that there was no early termination fee but now says “things have changed with the early termination fee” and we had to pay. Getting a straight answer and resolution to this took from October to late January (and yes we had to pay a fee). I called them at 9:45 a.m. yesterday to “unlock” the machine so the new company could reprogram it, this should be a simple matter but I stayed until 8:00 p.m. trying to get this resolved and am currently back in at work on my day off trying to get this resolved – it’s now 2:30 p.m. and they just can’t understand what could be the problem. I think they are doing it on purpose and meanwhile we can not process credit cards. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH VANTIV / 5/3 BANK!

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

    Emily S.

    I am trying to cancel our services after using Fifth Third/Vantiv for the last 4.5 years. The Merchant Relationship Manager just quoted us a $175,000!!! charge for liquidated damages for early termination of our contract that automatically renewed for 3 years. A company that stands behind business practices that have been deemed unethical, dishonest, and illegal (in many states) by the majority say a lot about the integrity of that company. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH VANTIV/FIFTH THIRD!

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

    Tom DeSimone


    Wow. It is simply unconscionable that they would ask for such an outrageous fee to cancel service, especially after the initial contract term has expired. That blows my mind. Please keep us posted on your progress with this. Feel free to email me directly. That is literally the highest liquidated damages fee I have ever heard of. It’s absolutely insane that they would pull this.


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

    LaTaishia Richardson

    Tom, there’s nothing I would put pass this company. I’m treasurer of an extremely small PTA organization. I met with a rep in August, signed a contract which waived all fees except the annual $99 fee and agreed to let us do this as a trial basis because of our small organization and the even smaller transactions we deal with. I met the rep in a local Starbucks and further explained that we went sure this was they way to go, but wanted to boost sales during functions. The rep seemed to understand and sympathize. After agreements were reached, he was supposed to email copies of the contract, I never got them. Immediately money started draining out of our account which he was unable to account for and seemed confused himself on what the charges were for. In October, we decided that if he couldn’t credit the money back and provide documentation on the transactions we were closing the account. Not only did he never provide any paperwork, we didn’t see any credit until December, which was only a fraction of the money. I got excuses such as him being sick, for a while he said he was out of the country, or just never received any of my calls, emails, texts, or voicemails. We’ve used the equipment 3, Maybe 4 times for transactions that totaled less than $25. On December 10, 2014, after a heated exchange of words, the rep finally agreed to close the account. I guess he realized I was tired of all the lies and games. Well, another withdrawal came out of our account. I contacted the rep via txt on January 16, 2015, who replied by telling me he didn’t kno why this happened and to call customer support. That phone call informed me that the account was still open and active. They also talked about the closure form that was never mentioned to be submitted. Then things got serious…I was told we were bound by a 36 month contract and that if we cancelled it was well over $2000, which would be more than half the PTA account. He referenced a contract clause, which I couldn’t read because I never received ANY paperwork on this account, and still haven’t, besides the closure form. He claimed to be willing to negotiate for $450. But After reading all the negative reviews, I think I should pay that fee and then close the bank account they have access to. I’m dealing with money that benefits kids in a low income environment, most of which, don’t speak English. We use that money for a lot of educational purposes and I can’t continue to let them steal from those children. I wish I researched Vantiv instead of Fifth Third Mobile Processing at the time we were looking for a credit/debit card processing company.

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


    I am in the same situation. please let us work together and stand united so we can defend unethical and idiotic policy.

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

    DarthShader Tinting

    Horrible experience. Hidden charges. Fifth Third is NOT your best bank for business banking. Bait and switch. The level of customer service changes immediately after you sign the contract.


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

    Bill Hoidas

    Hi Folks,
    Just a heads up. The payment processing industry can be worse than the infamous used car industry. You are all ranting against the acquirer (Vantiv) but truth be told most of the acquirers are pretty good. However most don’t actually have their own “sales reps” Your experience will be dependent on the ISO (Independent Sales Organization) that you use. Hopefully you can find one that is completely honest, skilled, educated in industry products and gives personal 24/7 customer and technical service. The experiences you have sited above are indeed inexcusable and do give the industry a bad name. BTW nowadays nothing special has to be done to accept debit cards so I don’t know what the problem was unless you are referring to utilizing PIN pads. Also overcharging for equipment is in my opinion tantamount to stealing.


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

    Anna J.

    We had Vantiv for credit card processing for all four years that we owned a small pizza business. Did not have problems until we sold the business and attempted to close the account (no longer under contract.) Repeatedly attempted to fax the close form to them from different Fifth Third Bank branches, but each time they claimed a part of the form was cut off, meaning that they couldn’t process the close request and I would need to re-fax. They refused to accept the close form via email. Finally, a condescending customer service rep named Victoria asked if I had tried mailing the close form? When I said that evidently I had no choice but to do that now, and asked that a written confirmation be mailed out when the account is closed, she refused to do that. Would not transfer me to a supervisor, and hung up on me. I have asked my Fifth Third Bank Personal Banker to attempt to exert some influence on my behalf, so that I can get this processed before they charge more fees, since Fifth Third referred us to Vantiv in the first place.


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

    Anthony Maicki

    Vantiv Mobile Checkout is a classic example of a company over-promising and under-delivering. The sales rep from Fifth Third talked us into it – a good-ol’ boy who in the end knew NOTHING about his system. Even more discouraging is their customer service department, whom although friendly, knows only slightly more than the sales rep. Which isn’t much. They are way over their heads and not ready for actual business. At Vantiv’s price point, you are much better suited with Revel. If you want to save money, there are many other app based programs with nearly the same features for far less money. Until they get their act together, stay away from Vantiv Mobile Checkout.

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

    Margaret Durst

    Stay away – predatory – I cannot get my contract cancelled. They lose paperwork, will not provide anything in writing, and make you sit on hold for 20 minutes just to say it will be another 30 days.

    They are DISHONEST! I am very DISGUSTED!


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

    Steve Collier

    We started new service with this company three months ago. The salesman was slick. We signed a “non-cancellable” lease agreement for the terminal ( Equinox-Hypercom T4205 available on the web for $150) for 34.95 “plus fees” for 48 months. Now being charged exactly $40/month, which over 48 months is $1920- for a terminal we could have purchased for under $200!

    Salesman had led us to believe the $34.94/month was just the base rate for monthly service (we had been paying over $100/month for our previous service provider) so it sounded OK. He also led us to believe we had no options but to lease their terminal. Just now realized the lease payment is IN ADDITION to all the regular monthly fees, which really are not much better than our previous processor.

    The service provided so far in processing our transactions has been satisfactory, but this whole deal about the terminal lease leaves us feeling stupid that we did not research better.


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

    Margaret Durst

    Vantiv has been bad for me. They are predatory with their fees. Stay away – there are better processors out there.
    Their fees are $200 per month too high on roughly $10,000 per month of credit card sales.
    They are not worth it. And they charge extra fees that hit you when you least expect it.
    You would do better elsewhere.


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


    you only paid $200 on $10000? Thats only 2% which is actually really good.


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

    Etta French

    She said 200.00 per month “too much”.

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

    Randy Ruiz

    I just signed up with this company a week ago and I am closing my account. As far as I am concerned they are a bait and switch operation. Why do I say this, when I was initially talking to the rep one of my main concerns was being able to accept debit cards which they said would be no problem. Because of this requirement I needed to buy a new terminal. As we were discussing terminals I looked online and saw the same terminal for hundreds less. The rep got on the phone with her “boss” and they agreed to price match on a refurbished unit. Just to close the deal I accepted their off. Here is what I got. The terminal they shipped was not the one we agreed upon, no one called to ask if this switch was acceptable. When I tried to use the machine with a debit card it would not accept it, seems they decided not to honor their commitment to give me debit card accessibility. Again no one notified me of this switch. Lastly we had agreed on a price of $179 but when I looked at my statement they charged me $311. 40 again no one asked if this was acceptable. Even if I have to pay to get out of this contract it will be worth it not to do business this way.

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

    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Randy,
    Thank you again for your review. We’ll be updating our rating for Vantiv soon, and based on your comments and others it looks like they’ll be getting a substantial downgrade. These kinds of practices are infuriating and entirely unacceptable.

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

    Cindy Welch

    Vantiv committed fraud against our small business by selling our credit card machine lease to a third party without disclosure. When we had to shut down the business after 1 year, we found out the machine’s lease had been sold to a third party (First Data Global Leasing) without our knowledge, and we were slapped with an $1,800 charge for a machine we could have purchased at a third of that cost (even though purchasing the machine was never given as an option by Fifth-Third). Now we are looking at having our credit ruined or paying high legal fees to fight this fraud.

    It’s time to EXPOSE Fifth-Third Bank and their Vantiv branch for the frauds they really are. It burns me up that they are using small businesses to make an extra buck at their expense. It’s not enough that small businesses are punished by the federal government, now they have to look out for the bankers too??!

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

    Anna J.

    OMG! They did the same to us! When our terminal broke mid-lease, they replaced it with a new one, and had us sign a new contract-with First Data Global Leasing. We believed the contract was a replacement, and not in addition to….but discovered they were double-billing us months later. Fifth Third refused to accept any responsibility for the bait and switch, and it took multiple phone calls to get the double billing to stop. Do not recommend Fifth Third or Vantiv for credit card processing to anyone.

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


    can you please discribe your experience. i am in a same situation and having a double thoughts to pay the fines or to fight them in court.

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

    Ruth B Kaplan

    I did in depth research and asked detailed questions, as well as reviewed the contract in minute detail before signing a one year contract. I have not used Vantiv services except for and initial charge, when I found out that they would be “passing through” a $5 per ticket charge, in addition to the agreed upon discount. Ten months into the contract, I am engaged for the second time in trying to reverse charges that were not included in the contract and/or not authorized. Vantiv started charging me $10 per month for PCI non compliance. They claimed I was notified on my statement, despite not sending me statements. Even after I fulfilled the Trustwave certification, they continued to charge me for non-compliance until I called and pointed it out to them. Their contract cancellation fee is prohibitively expensive, so I will be monitoring the account monthly until my contract expires. BTW, to close the account, there is a narrow window (5 days) to call and fax the cancellation. I am getting conflicting information about whether my contract auto-renews.


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

    Sean O.

    Vantiv/NPC has only been headaches and hassles for me. My merchant account representative has not (or has not timely) responded to my phone calls and emails, and the customer service reps were unhelpful in addressing my concerns. My bank account was improperly charged several times for various amounts, and the representatives don’t know why (the only suggestion is to terminate the account/agreement…).

    Based on my experience, I recommend staying far away from Vantiv/NPC! I have had better experiences with another credit card processing company.

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

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