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- Date Established
- Atlanta, GA
- Large international processor
- Interchange-plus pricing available
- 24/7 customer support
- Three-year contract with automatic renewal clause
- Early termination fee of up to $295
- Extensive use of independent sales agents
- High complaint volume
Worldpay is a well-known name in global payment processing. The company was founded in 1989 and went on to help pioneer internet-based payments back in 1994 – one of the first in the market for this service. More recently, in 2018, the Worldpay brand survived acquisition by another huge payment processor: Vantiv. The merged company became Worldpay, Inc. and resulted in an organization large enough to claim the title of the number one Global Merchant Acquirer.
And yet, the dust had barely settled on this merger when another massive deal materialized.
By the third quarter of 2019, Worldpay was gobbled up to the tune of $43 billion by a Jacksonville, Florida-based fintech giant called Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. (FIS). The Worldpay name stubbornly lived on, however, as it now operates the merchant services branch of FIS as Worldpay From FIS. The large merger was highly reminiscent of, and likely influenced by, Fiserv’s acquisition of First Data around the same time.
The fact that the Worldpay name persists at all in the aftermath of these significant mergers speaks to the importance and reputation of Worldpay in the payment processing realm over the years. At the time of the great Vantiv-Worldpay merger, the new company was set to process 40 billion transactions annually in over 120 currencies and 140 countries. Operating as Worldpay, Inc., payment volume was estimated at $1.5 trillion annually. These staggering numbers are likely to persist and grow under the FIS umbrella.
So, in the midst of all these mergers, what is left of Worldpay – or even Vantiv? How will the influence of FIS now come into play? Those are the big questions, and the answers will continue to reveal themselves over time. Product and service offerings will likely only be enhanced, as all three companies already boasted extensive feature sets. Unfortunately, Worldpay’s newly redesigned website reveals very little concrete information about the company’s current lineup of products and services. Pricing information and details about contract terms are missing entirely.
What is sure to remain the same is that for most smaller businesses, Worldpay From FIS will continue to operate mostly behind the scenes. You’re much more likely to be using Worldpay for your credit card processing through a smaller merchant services provider. That company’s level of service and value in managing your merchant account is what you’ll really see coming through. Nevertheless, it’s always worth taking a look at the processor behind your transactions. That’s exactly what we’ll do in this review.
With a company of this size and scale, you also expect to see a very high number of merchant complaints. In the past, Worldpay had managed to maintain a relatively low complaint volume for a company of its size. However, complaints against the company with the BBB have nearly doubled since the time of our last review update, indicating that many of the problems Worldpay has struggled with in the areas of sales transparency and customer support continue to plague the company.
One issue that stands out about Worldpay is that many merchants are 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.
Worldpay currently earns a merely average score of 3 out of 5 stars. Like most traditional processors, Worldpay is a financial services company at heart, not a tech company. Everything technology-related, from website design to mobile payments apps, is contracted out – and it shows.
Worldpay has recently launched a new version of its website to reflect that it is now part of FIS, but it 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. The site’s menu has an extensive directory of services for enterprise-level businesses, but the link for small business services is inconspicuously placed beneath it. This should give you an idea of how little regard the company has for its small business customers. While the small business sector is collectively too large to ignore, huge direct processors like Worldpay and others simply do not devote the same level of attention to small business merchants as they do to their larger (and more financially lucrative) enterprise customers.
Unless otherwise noted, this review will focus on aspects of the company’s US-based services. 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
Worldpay Review: Quick Summary
- Worldpay (now known as Worldpay From FIS) is the largest merchant acquirer in the world.
- Vantiv, another major credit card processor, acquired Worldpay in 2018. The company was branded as Worldpay, Inc., and the process of merging products and services began.
- FIS then acquired Worldpay, Inc. in 2019.
- Complaints about Vantiv and Worldpay have largely centered around cancellation fees, including early termination fees (ETFs) and liquidated damages.
- Worldpay’s standard contract terms and pricing structure make it a relatively poor choice for small business merchants.
Products & Services
Integration with third-party bookkeeping and point-of-sale (POS) software is a notable strength. (We also review POS and accounting software, so make sure you check out our reviews before making any decisions). 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.
- Credit Card Terminals: The company offers a full line-up of countertop terminals, all of which support EMV and NFC-based payment methods. Unfortunately, Worldpay’s new website does not list specific models or give any pricing information. You will likely have the option of either leasing your terminal or buying it outright. We highly recommend that you avoid leasing due to the higher long-term costs and the noncancelable nature of the leasing contract. Check out our article, Need A Credit Card Machine For Your Small Business? Don’t Lease!, for an in-depth explanation of why leasing a terminal is never a good idea.
- Smart Terminals: Worldpay’s lack of information regarding traditional countertop terminals is due at least in part to the company’s increased emphasis on “smart terminals,” devices that bridge the gap between traditional terminals and point-of-sale (POS) systems. These terminals feature much larger color touchscreens and the ability to load additional business applications, such as inventory management, employee scheduling, etc. Worldpay’s current SmartPay series of terminals includes the Carbon 10, Carbon 8, and Pax A920 models. A specification sheet is available, but doesn’t offer any pricing information.
- Payment Gateway: Virtually every provider in the payments processing industry today supports eCommerce, and Worldpay is no exception. Enterprise users can take advantage of Worldpay Total, the company’s proprietary integrated payments platform that supports online and in-person transactions. As usual, small businesses are neglected – there’s merely a brief mention on the company’s website that merchants can use the Authorize.Net (see our review) gateway.
- Virtual Terminal: A virtual terminal allows you to turn your computer into a credit card terminal, and is a popular alternative to a traditional terminal among mail or telephone order businesses. Transactions can be keyed in manually or swiped using a USB-connected card reader. Worldpay previously offered Vantiv’s Virtual Terminal Plus, but it is no longer mentioned on the company’s website. Contact Worldpay’s sales department if you need more information on this type of product.
- Mobile Payments: Worldpay uses the SwipeSimple mobile payments app. SwipeSimple is a third-party product offered by many merchant account providers. For an in-depth overview of the app’s capabilities, check out our Payment Depot Mobile (SwipeSimple) review.
- Point-Of-Sale (POS) Systems: The company offers integrated software that will run on many third-party POS systems. Details are scarce on the new website, so contact Worldpay’s sales department for more information.
- Online Shopping Cart: For eCommerce merchants, Worldpay partners with BigCommerce (see our review) to provide an online shopping cart that allows merchants to build their website and integrate it with the company’s payment processing system. Compatibility with other big-name shopping carts is not disclosed.
- FastAccess Funding: WorldPay advertises that with this service, you can “get card payment deposits within hours instead of days.” However, it doesn’t offer any specifics about how the program works. FastAccess Funding is probably similar to services offered by most providers, and allows you to receive funds from your transactions within 24 hours, instead of the usual 2-3 business days. There’s almost certainly an additional fee for this service.
- Security Suite: Worldpay’s OmniShield Assure suite of services helps secure your account and protect you from fraud. Features include EMV assurance, point-to-point encryption, PCI compliance services, and data breach insurance. The insurance covers up to $100,000 per merchant location and up to $500,000 per event involving multiple locations. It will also pay up to $25,000 for hardware and software upgrades to prevent a second data breach. It’s not clear whether this is a standard feature of every merchant account or an option for which you’ll have to pay extra.
- Analytics & Reporting: Worldpay merchants can access iQ, the company’s proprietary merchant account reporting portal, from the Worldpay website. Logins are also available for a variety of third-party services for additional reporting and analytics. From what we can tell, the basic iQ service is included with every merchant account, but analytics capability to make sense of your business data requires that you sign up for one of the third-party services (for an extra fee, of course).
Worldpay also offers the usual assortment of “value-added” services, including loyalty programs, gift cards, ATM services, reporting and analytics, and others. With the merger, many former Vantiv products and services have been re-branded under the Worldpay name.
Fees & Rates
Few things are more frustrating when dealing with merchant service providers than the fact that most of them don’t disclose any pricing information on their websites, forcing you to contact them to obtain a quote that’s customized for your business. Although Worldpay has disclosed some pricing information in the past, the current version of the company’s website contains no disclosures whatsoever regarding processing rate plans or account fees. There are, of course, plenty of “Get Started” buttons on every page that will take you to a contact form where you can request a quote. Unless you actually like being bombarded with calls from pushy sales agents, we recommend that you avoid handing over your personal contact information and simply call the sales department yourself when you’re ready to obtain a quote.
Worldpay’s website now also offers a Quote Generator that can provide a rough pricing quote based on the information you submit about your business. While this might be useful in some circumstances, be aware that any quote you receive will almost certainly include an expensive tiered pricing plan and the full range of the company’s “standard” fees. It’s imperative that you negotiate with a live sales agent for a better deal rather than meekly accepting the first quote you’re offered. You should be able to ask for – and receive – an interchange-plus pricing plan with lower overall rates. You might also be able to lower some of the costs of your fee schedule.
On the plus side, Worldpay doesn’t advertise any deceptively low rates on their site – rates that most small businesses will never qualify for. The company has also dropped advertising for its “free” terminal offer, although the offer itself might still be available. Nothing is ever truly free in the processing industry, and you should be on the lookout for some sort of trade-off before accepting this kind of offer. In many cases, accepting the terminal will require you to commit to a long-term contract or pay higher fees and rates that you might otherwise have obtained. In any event, the terminal isn’t yours to keep. You’ll have to return it promptly if you ever close your account to avoid being charged the full replacement cost of the “free” equipment.
We haven’t received much consistent feedback from merchants about Worldpay’s standard fees and rates, but they’re most likely to be pretty variable based on the size of your business. Optional services highlighted on the company’s website, such as the payment gateway or expedited funding of transactions, will almost always come at an additional cost. For a more concrete idea of what to expect to pay in recurring and incidental fees, please refer to our Complete Guide to Credit Card Processing Rates & 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 provides a prorated early termination fee (ETF) 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 request. Just be sure to get it in writing.
With the recent round of mergers and acquisitions, your contract may contain a different early termination clause than the one described above. Be sure to read your entire contract thoroughly before signing up for an account so you’re aware of any potential penalties you might be liable for if you decide to close your account early.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
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 Vx520 terminal or a refund on a mobile card reader. While the Vx520 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. A particularly egregious term in the fine print specified that you would have to pay a $499 fee (per terminal) if you didn’t actually use the equipment or closed your account within the first year.
Worldpay no longer advertises this offer, but it’s possible that sales representatives are still using it to lure in unsuspecting merchants who don’t want to pay full price for their terminals. We strongly advise you to buy your terminals rather than leasing them, and “free” terminal offers usually aren’t such a great deal once you read the fine print. At the least, read your contract documents very carefully before signing up and decide if any “free” terminal offer is really going to benefit your business.
As we’ve discussed above, Worldpay’s website looks nice and very professional, but it offers very few specific disclosures about the company’s products or services. Pricing is no longer mentioned at all. Instead, there are a few vague references to “payment processing packages” available to small businesses. Presumably, these might be similar to the kind flat-rate pricing that the company previously touted on its old website. With so little information to go on, we can’t say whether Worldpay’s offers for small businesses are a good deal or not. Our best advice is to be prepared to negotiate, no matter how small your business, and don’t accept the first offer that the company tries to give you.
With no disclosure of processing rates or fees on their website, Worldpay doesn’t offer much in terms of advertising transparency. However, the company does still include a large volume of educational material. While this is a valuable resource for new merchants who want to learn about how credit card processing works and what to look for in a merchant account provider, it’s a poor substitute for specific disclosures regarding pricing and contract terms.
The company employs a combination of in-house sales staff and independent agents. The in-house team seems to do a reasonable job, but 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, 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.
Customer Service & Technical Support
Worldpay offers 24/7 customer support via telephone and email. We would expect no less from a company of its size that operates in dozens of locations around the world. You can also get help by logging into your account from the Worldpay Online Portal, which can be accessed through the company’s website. Worldpay’s new website also features a Support Video Library, which can help you troubleshoot common hardware problems without having to contact customer service. There is no indication that the company assigns a dedicated account manager to help you with your account, although this option might be available to enterprise-level customers.
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 a C- rating. It’s normally quite unusual for a BBB-accredited company to have anything less than an A rating. However, the BBB cites the sheer number of complaints against Worldpay and the company’s slow response to them as reasons for the low rating.
Worldpay currently has 311 BBB complaints filed against it within the past three years, of which 91 have been filed within the past 12 months. These numbers represent a near doubling in complaint volume since the time of our last review update, and are clearly a cause for concern. Unfortunately, details are not available for any of the recent complaints, so we cannot say for certain if there is a new problem with Worldpay or if customers are simply raising more of the same issues that have plagued the company in the past. Worldpay’s BBB profile also includes two customer reviews, both of which awarded the company a 1 out of 5 stars rating.
On TrustPilot, Worldpay has accumulated 2,367 reviews to date and currently maintains an average rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars. Unfortunately, nearly half (49%) of the reviewers gave the company a 1-star rating. To make matters worse, many of the 4- and 5-star reviews are anonymous and barely a single full sentence in length. These are clear hallmarks of fake reviews, posted on behalf of the company to bring their batting average up. On the plus side, the company has responded to nearly every review, positive or negative.
Common issues in public complaints against Worldpay include the following:
- Non-Disclosure Of Contract Terms: Most non-disclosure complaints relate to either the early termination fee (ETF) or the auto-renewal clause that can trigger 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: Worldpay used to charge a flat $495 fee for closing your account early. In recent years, the company has lowered its 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). While the ETF isn’t as expensive as it used to be, complaints about it continue to come in, particularly because sales agents often fail to disclose the existence of the fee when setting up accounts.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
You’ll find quite a few professionally made video testimonials on Worldpay’s YouTube channel, featuring merchants from around the world running both large and small businesses. While these videos are genuine, it’s only natural that they only feature positive comments about the company and its services.
Scattered throughout Worldpay’s website, you’ll also find several brief testimonials and more in-depth case studies relating to the company’s 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 and acquisition by FIS 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. Older, traditional processors like Worldpay usually see their websites as merely 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. Currently, the company does a good job of telling you what features to look for in a merchant account provider, but doesn’t disclose whether they actually offer those features.
Complaints about Worldpay continue to come in, particularly in our Comments section below. Many business owners sign up based on the company’s size and international reach, only to realize later that they’re paying too much for processing and receiving poor customer support. If you’re a current Worldpay customer and want to learn how to close your account (preferably without having to pay an early termination fee), our article, The Complete Guide To Switching From Worldpay To A Better Credit Card Processing Company can help.
For the time being, Worldpay earns a score of 3 out of 5 stars. While this isn’t terrible, it indicates that the company merely meets the industry standard. Unfortunately, the “industry standard” in the merchant processing field is pretty disappointing, with long-term contracts, overpriced equipment leases, and expensive processing rates and account fees. If you’d prefer to do business with a company that offers better terms and fairer pricing, check out our top-rated providers side-by-side on our Merchant Account Comparison Chart.
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.