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- Phone Number
- (800) 859-5965
- Date Established
- Atlanta, GA
- Large international processor
- Interchange-plus pricing available
- 24/7 customer support
- Early termination fee of up to $295
- Three-year contract
- Misleading “free” terminal offer
Worldpay (formerly known as RBS Worldpay) is a worldwide payment processor with locations across the globe. The company has been in business since 1989 when it went by the name Streamline. It helped pioneer internet-based payments way back in 1994, being one of the first in the market for this service. In 2001, Worldpay opened its U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The company was acquired by Vantiv in January 2018 but will retain the Worldpay name going forward. This merger creates one of the largest payment processors in the United States and, indeed, the world. Unless otherwise noted, this review will focus on aspects of the company’s US-based services.
Worldpay was already a major powerhouse in the processing industry, serving over 150,000 businesses in the United States alone. The new, combined Worldpay-Vantiv organization will be even bigger — large enough to claim the title of number one Global Merchant Acquirer. Available in 146 countries, the company will process 40 billion transactions annually in 126 currencies. The company’s payment volume is estimated at $1.5 trillion annually.
When you see these types of numbers, you naturally expect to see a very high number of merchant complaints. However, relative to the company’s size, the Worldpay complaint count is actually less than you would think. Nonetheless, the nature of those complaints raises some significant issues about the company’s service. We also expect the complaint volume to rise dramatically when the Worldpay-Vantiv merger is fully implemented.
One issue that stands out about Worldpay is that many merchants were unhappy about the early termination fee. While Worldpay previously charged a flat $495 if you broke your contract before the three-year term was up, in 2012 the company lowered that amount significantly and introduced some proration of the overall fee. A few merchants have complained of early cancellation fees even higher than that. The best way to avoid an early termination fee is to ask your Worldpay sales agent to waive it for you — but there may be some trade-offs for doing this.
While we’ve previously awarded Worldpay a higher grade, the company currently earns a 3.5 out of 5-star rating. Although this is still a respectable score, Worldpay continues to struggle in the areas of customer service and support, as well as advertising transparency. Like most traditional processors, Worldpay is a financial services company at heart, not a tech company. Everything tech-related, from designing their website to producing their mobile apps, is contracted out — and it shows. Worldpay’s site comes across as the online version of a slick advertising brochure: lots of pretty pictures and touted benefits, but few details about the actual products and services (or their prices) themselves.
While it’s not unusual for processors to avoid discussing rates and fees on their websites, it’s getting harder to justify this practice when plenty of highly-rated processors out there fully disclose this information.
Read on for more information about Worldpay and what they have to offer, and be sure to leave a comment with your thoughts!
Table of Contents
Products & Services
Worldpay has pretty standard offerings regarding products and services. I like the bookkeeping and POS software integration. (We also review POS and accounting software, so make sure you check out our reviews or finder tool before making any decisions). Overall, I have no major complaints here. Products and services include the following:
- Merchant accounts: One significant advantage Worldpay offers is that it is a direct processor, meaning the company processes all transactions in-house rather than utilizing a third-party processor. Vantiv is also a direct processor, so this relationship will not change once the merger is sorted out.
- Terminal leases/sales: Worldpay can offer you a free terminal, but make sure you understand all stipulations surrounding this deal, some of which I cover later in this review. Also, check out our article Why You Shouldn’t Lease a Credit Card Machine on the pros and cons of buying and leasing terminals.
- Payment gateway: Worldpay supports ecommerce by offering a payment gateway, but they don’t tell you much about it on their website. Pricing is not disclosed for this option.
- Virtual terminal: The company now offers Vantiv’s Virtual Terminal Plus. Like any virtual terminal, it allows you to turn your computer into a credit card terminal. Transactions can be keyed in manually or swiped using a USB-connected card reader. An EMV-compatible reader doesn’t appear to be available at this time.
- Mobile payments: Worldpay appears to have discontinued its Worldpay Mobile app. Some information about mobile payments is available on the Vantiv website, but it’s unclear which app they’re currently using or how soon an EMV-compatible reader will be available in the US.
- Integrated cash register/POS options: The company offers integrated software that will run on several third-party POS providers. Further information can be found on the Partner Payment Processing Solutions page of Vantiv’s website.
- QuickBooks integration: Worldpay offers a plugin that integrates payment processing data with QuickBooks.
- EMV processing: Being a large multi-national corporation, Worldpay was relatively prepared for the implementation of chip cards in the U.S. with several processing methods for merchants. But, while Worldpay offers a “free” terminal (see below), we’d suggest checking out our advice on picking hardware.
Worldpay also offers numerous “value-added” services, including loyalty programs, gift cards, ATM services, reporting and analytics, and others. Note that with the recent merger, the company appears to be transitioning existing customers to Vantiv products. However, we anticipate that these offerings will soon be re-branded under the Worldpay name.
Fees & Rates
Worldpay doesn’t disclose any processing rates or fee information on its US website (the UK website does provide some pricing information). However, if you look at the Worldpay Customer Processing Agreement (which I highly recommend), you’ll see that the company offers a combination of both tiered and interchange-plus pricing plans. It’s up to you to negotiate the best deal possible, but you’ll want to go with interchange-plus pricing if it’s an option.
- Signature debit transactions: 0.99% + $0.20 per transaction
- Standard credit transactions: 1.99% + $0.20 per transaction
- Rewards credit transactions: 2.60% + $0.20 per transaction
- Corporate/T&E/keyed credit transactions: 3.30% + $0.20 per transaction
This offer expired on December 31, 2017, and has not been renewed (presumably due to the merger). Nonetheless, it’s worth reading the fine print in case the company ever reintroduces it or you encounter a similar offer from a different processor:
*Offer expires December 31, 2017. Customer must be new to Worldpay. Requires execution of Worldpay’s standard 3-year Customer Processing Agreement and related Addendum. Subject to credit review and approval. Offer available only to merchants who have processed less than $5,000,000 of credit and debit card transactions in the previous 12 calendar month period. Offer applies only to Worldpay rates for Visa®, MasterCard®, Discover® and PayPal™ credit and signature debit, along with certain other specified fees. Other fees apply and are subject to change. Additional detail, terms and conditions, including early termination fees, are set forth in the related Addendum.
On the plus side, this offer is very transparent. There’s no misleading “rates as low as…” promise that neglects to tell you that only a small fraction of your transactions will qualify for this rate. However, the expiration date on this offer has been extended multiple times since we first reviewed Worldpay several years ago. Depending on how the Worldpay-Vantiv merger affects pricing plans, there’s a decent chance that this offer will be reintroduced sometime in the future. If it is, you can expect it to be presented again as a limited-time offer to make you feel a sense of urgency. Don’t be fooled, as it will probably be extended indefinitely.
Although none of them are disclosed on Worldpay’s website, you can expect to pay a number of monthly and annual fees to maintain your merchant account. Fees appear to be highly variable, especially if you add on optional services such as payment gateways or lease any of your equipment. At a minimum, expect to pay a monthly account fee or statement fee, as well as a PCI compliance fee. Chargebacks will also incur a fee when they occur. Worldpay doesn’t appear to charge application fees or account setup fees, but we’ve seen reports of PCI non-compliance fees as high as $69.00 per month.
For general processing fee questions, please refer to our Complete Guide to Credit Card Processing Rates and Fees or our handy infographic.
Contract Length & Early Termination Fee
Worldpay offers a standard three-year contract term with an automatic renewal clause for one-year terms after that. Unlike most other processors, the company offers a prorated early termination fee schedule, rather than charging you the full amount regardless of when you close your account. The following fee disclosure is taken directly from the Worldpay Customer Processing Agreement:
(a) $295.00 per location if such Early Termination occurs on or prior to the first anniversary of this Agreement,
(b) $195.00 per location if such Early Termination occurs after the first anniversary of this Agreement and before the second anniversary of this Agreement, or
(c) $95.00 per location if such Early Termination occurs on or after the second anniversary of this Agreement and before the third anniversary of this Agreement.
While this is a better deal than the industry standard (usually a flat $495 fee), it’s worth asking to have your ETF removed entirely when negotiating your contract. Many competing merchant account providers no longer charge any early termination fee, so it’s a reasonable thing to ask for. Just be sure to get it in writing. Vantiv charges a flat $295 early termination fee with no proration, so it’s unclear how the recent merger will affect this fee going forward.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
Sales gimmicks and fine print are two misleading tactics that almost always appear together, where they significantly reduce advertising transparency. Beware of the asterisk (*) and be especially skeptical when you see an asterisk but can’t seem to find the fine print footnote.
In the past, Worldpay had run a free terminal offer to new customers. If you signed up for their standard three-year contract (including the prorated early termination fee), you’d receive your choice of either a free Verifone Vx 520 terminal or a refund on a mobile card reader. While the Vx 520 is a good terminal with both EMV and NFC capabilities, you can buy one outright online for about $120. Although you’d have to pay to have it re-programmed to work with your account, this would save you from all the stipulations that came with Worldpay’s “free” terminal, including the following:
Limit of one free terminal per physical location, not to exceed five free terminals in total.
A $499 per terminal fee shall apply in the event (a) customer fails to activate a terminal within 60 days of signing the Customer Processing Agreement by processing at least $20 of transactions during such period for the location receiving the terminal or (b) if customer terminates within one year.
As for the mobile card reader, magstripe-only readers are so inexpensive that Square and PayPal give them away for free – without requiring you to sign a long-term contract. They’re also fast becoming obsolete, as they don’t support EMV payments. Nonetheless, there are stipulations on this offer as well:
Customers will receive a $30 statement credit for their first card reader on the statement following their first full month of processing. Credits for additional readers may be available based on customer’s first full month of processing volume but will not in any event exceed $600. Does not include terminal or smartphone. Neither data nor wireless plan included.
For either offer, you’d still have to pay the shipping fees. More importantly, this offer was not available if you signed up for Worldpay through an independent sales organization. After being extended many times, this offer finally expired on November 30, 2017. It’s unclear whether it will be revived due to the Worldpay-Vantiv merger, but overall it’s not such a great deal, and you shouldn’t base your decision to sign up with the company on it.
With no disclosure of processing rates or fees on their website (except for the three-year guaranteed pricing offer), Worldpay doesn’t offer much in terms of advertising transparency. However, they do include some educational material — and a search function to help you find it.
The company employs a combination of in-house sales staff and independent agents. While the in-house team seems to do a reasonable job, the same cannot be said for the independent agents. We’ve seen many complaints alleging misleading and dishonest sales practices on their part, including the failure to disclose important contract terms (such as the existence of an early termination fee). We recommend that you contact Worldpay’s sales team directly rather than work with an independent agent, if possible.
Worldpay has an active social media presence, with accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube. While many of the posts are duplicated on each site, Worldpay seems to excel on LinkedIn. This makes perfect sense, given that Worldpay is a B2B service and LinkedIn is a great B2B platform.
The Featured Insights section of Worldpay’s website also offers additional educational reports and infographics, as well as blog posts. Be aware that some of the material in the Insight section requires you to provide some personal information (including your email address), which will undoubtedly result in follow-on solicitations from the company’s sales agents if you’re not already a customer.
Customer Service & Technical Support
Worldpay offers 24/7 customer support via telephone and email. We personally contacted the support team at midnight PST to see if we could reach a real, live human being. Thankfully, we did. You can also access your account through Worldpay’s Online Merchant Portal.
Based on the comments of our readers, many merchants seem to get sub-par customer service from Worldpay, including unresponsive account representatives and unhelpful customer support staff. Customer service is a common source of complaints about Worldpay, both through the BBB and other consumer protection sites. If you’ve had experience with Worldpay’s customer service, please let us know.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
Worldpay has been accredited by the BBB since 2010 and currently, has an A+ rating. Although the company has a large number of complaints filed against it, the overall number of complaints is relatively low for a company as large and with as many merchants as Worldpay. Better yet, the total complaint volume has been gradually decreasing over our last several review updates. At the same time, we fully expect that the complaint volume will rise dramatically in the near future once the former Vantiv customers are brought into the fold.
Worldpay currently has 199 BBB complaints filed against it within the past three years, down slightly from 208 complaints at our last review update. Only 52 complaints have been filed within the past 12 months, a dramatic decrease from the 80 complaints filed over the same period at our last update. Almost all these complaints were filed before the Worldpay-Vantiv merger was finalized.
On the other hand, only 48 of those complaints were resolved to the satisfaction of the customer — a little under a quarter of all complaints. Worldpay deserves credit, however, for responding to every single complaint. This is something a lot of processors don’t always bother to do.
There are an additional 86 complaints against Worldpay on Ripoff Report, mostly involving the same issues. Again, Worldpay has offered a rebuttal to most of these complaints in an attempt to resolve the situation.
Common issues in these complaints include the following:
- Non-disclosure of contract terms: Most non-disclosure complaints relate to either the early termination fee or the auto-renewal clause that triggers the ETF even after the initial three-year term is up. This issue usually occurs when dealing with independent sales agents, who either don’t fully understand the contracts they’re selling or deliberately withhold this information in order to make a sale. Quite frankly, however, the merchant is also at fault when this happens. Both the early termination fee and the automatic renewal clause are clearly spelled out in Worldpay’s Customer Processing Agreement, and it’s critically important that you read the entire agreement thoroughly before signing it.
- Withholding of funds/termination of accounts: This can happen for several reasons. Chargebacks and suspicious charges can easily raise a red flag that will either get you suspended or shut down. You’re going to want to learn how to avoid holds and minimize chargebacks if you plan on signing up with Worldpay.
- High cancellation fee: Until fairly recently, Worldpay charged a flat $495 fee for closing your account early. The company has now lowered their ETF to $295 and prorated it so that you’ll pay even less in the second and third years of your contract ($195 and $95, respectively). If you don’t need any free equipment or a sign-up bonus, you can certainly get this fee waived. Complaints about the ETF appear to be decreasing since Worldpay instituted these changes.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
You’ll find a few video testimonials on Worldpay’s YouTube channel, some of which feature merchants who seem like genuinely satisfied customers. Others seem awkwardly scripted. I’m not saying that these Worldpay reviews are falsified in any way, just a little too tightly-controlled for my preference. I’d rather hear from the merchant in his or her own words. Still, it’s nice to see a small collection of video-based reviews. These testimonials are also available through the Worldpay Reviews and Customer Testimonials page on the company’s website.
Scattered throughout Worldpay’s website you’ll also find the occasional case study relating to Worldpay merchant services. It would be fantastic if these were all collected in a single place — but they’re not.
If you’d like a little more endorsement than what’s available, try to ask your sales agent for references, specifically from businesses that operate in your industry. They should give you information for merchants they have personally signed up.
With newer, tech-focused merchant account providers coming on the scene, traditional processors like Worldpay are having a hard time competing. As the industry shifts toward more transparency and fairer pricing, Worldpay’s “take it or leave it” approach to sales, contracts, and billing falls short of what merchants can get elsewhere. The company’s recent merger with Vantiv suggests that it will continue to cater to the needs of large, established businesses while ignoring the requirements of small businesses and startups.
To improve its business practices (and also its score on our review), Worldpay needs to increase its advertising transparency. Less dependence on sales gimmicks and “special offers” that aren’t really very special would be a step in the right direction. Older, traditional processors usually see their websites as an advertising venue, and nothing more. They tout features and benefits and make vague promises about the quality of their services, but fail to provide any concrete details. I’d rather see their site include more educational information that would be helpful to prospective and existing customers. Disclosing some of their standard fees and talking about processing rates — especially interchange-plus plans — would be a great step in the right direction.
Worldpay also needs to make some real improvements in the quality of their customer service and support. Less dependence on independent sales agents would also help to improve their overall rating. For now, though, Worldpay keeps a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Whatever payment processor you choose, be careful and remember that you have negotiating power, no matter how small your business is. At the risk of being mistaken as dating advice, keep this in mind: If Worldpay can’t meet your needs, someone else can. We recommend you check out our top-rated processors or find one that best fits your requirements.