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Review of Global Payments Merchant Services

10 Glenlake Parkway, North Tower, Atlanta, GA 30328

DISCLOSURE: Ads, Affiliates and Conflicts Merchant Negotiators accepts advertising via the Google Adsense platform, directly from advertisers, and has common parent ownership interests with other payments related companies leading to potential conflicts of interest. Read our Affiliate / Conflicts / Advertising Disclosure for a more detailed disclosure.

Overview

Global Payments is a large multinational credit card processing company that focuses mainly on retail, gaming, and non-profits - although they also service many other specific industries. This company, which offers Interchange Plus pricing, might be a great fit for larger businesses.

Global Payments is a large international direct credit card processing company that focuses on retail, but that also caters to the automotive, health, restaurant, and gaming industries (U.S. and Canada). A leader in the U.S. markets since the 1960s and with headquarters in Atlanta, this company has grown to support offices in 28 countries throughout the world. They also focus on non-profit organizations with their Greater Giving fundraising program.

In addition to offering credit card processing services, Global Payments also supplies various business financial services including electronic check processing, gift card services, loyalty card programs, and a variety of financial data services. Our focus in this article is centered on Global's offerings to the U.S. market.

Detailed Review

Below is a detailed review of Global Payments Merchant Services offering. The review is broken down into the following categories.

Features

Depending upon the type of business you own, some of the following features may or may not be important to you.

Global Payments offers a bit of everything to a wide variety of businesses, but their main focus at the moment is on retail, gaming in the U.S. and Canada, and non-profit organizations. Note that we couldn't find compatibility with QuickBooks, but a company this large might have some integration with a third-party app:

Software Compatibility:
Intuit Quickbooks No
Sage 50 No
Microsoft Dynamics GP No
Hardware Compatibility:
Windows / Blackberry No
iPhone / iPad Yes
Android Yes
Alternative Transaction Types:
Phone Orders Yes
Internet Orders Yes
Wireless Orders Yes
Mobile Orders Yes
Snail Mail Orders Yes
American Express (AMEX) Yes
Add Tips to Bills Yes
eCommerce / Shopping Cart Yes
International Sales Yes
Recurring Payments Yes
EMV Chip Cards Yes
Contactless Cards Yes
Loyalty / Gift Cards Yes
eChecks / Electronic Checks Yes
Welfare Benefits (EBT/SNAP/TANF) Yes
Security / Fraud Prevention:
AVS Fraud Protection Yes
PCI DSS Secure Transactions Yes
Industry Specific:
HIPAA Compliance (Healthcare) Yes
Trust Account Debiting (Legal) No
Fleet Cards (Petroleum) Yes
Online Menu Orders (Restaurants) Yes
Countries Served:
U.S. Yes
Other Countries Yes
International Yes

For the U.S. market, Global participates in the American Express Acquiring program, which can simplify AMEX transactions for some businesses. They also utilize PayPal/Discover programs. Although Global Payments states that their mobile app fits any smart phone, their emphasis was on Android and Apple iOS...so we're saying no to Windows and Blackberry.

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Pricing

Almost Every merchant account services company uses either Interchange Plus or Tiered Pricing (read more about this topic here). Where companies allow us to disclose pricing information, we show the deals that our secret shoppers were able to achieve. When companies offer both Interchange Plus and Tiered Pricing, we try to get a quote on both options.

We never found standardized fees or rates for Global (except one extensive PDF download for Canadian rates), but that's not surprising considering this company offers Interchange Plus pricing across the board. We're read a lot of information out there that Global's rates and fees are very negotiable, so don't be afraid to haggle if you know what you're asking for. If not, please contact us at MerchantNegotiators.com for help.

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Contract Fine Print

 

Fine Print Fees:
Termination Fee $500*
Setup / Application Fee Possible
PCI Compliance Fee Possible
PCI Inaction Fee Possible
Gateway Fee Variable
1099-K Fee None
Statement Fee $3/month minimum
Online Reporting Fee None
Monthly Minimum Volume Fee Possible
Accept International Pymt Fee Possible
Voice Authorization Fee Possible
Monthly Min. Process Fee Possible
Daily Batch Fee Possible
ACH / Direct Deposit Fee Possible
ACH Charge Fee Possible
ACH Return Fee Possible
FANF Fee Possible
Chargeback Fees Possible
Freebies:
Free Initial Consultation
24/7 Free Customer Support

*In our service call to the company, we couldn't get a straight answer about early termination fees; however, the $500 number was widely talked about online outside the Global website.

Other fees are all possible, but we never received confirmation about those fees. Our sales rep was skittish about providing any numbers unless we filled out an information form. She did state that Global didn't charge for the 1099-K, and that statement fees varied. She slipped with the $3/month, probably based upon the sales volume that I offered to her in the call.

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Equipment

Global Payments PayApp Mobile Solution

While your transactions usually take place electronically, the actual device that you use to swipe a customer's card is referred to as "the equipment." This equipment includes hardware and, often, software or apps for that hardware to function properly.

Global Payments isn't transparent about the brands they carry for hardware equipment, as they focus mainly on software solutions.

HARDWARE

  • PayApp Mobile: Merchants don't need POS hardware for payment processing with this equipment geared to iPhone, iPad or Android smartphones. Process credit cards with the PayApp swiper and software and have receipts emailed right to your mobile phone. Merchants can accept credit card payments without a signal or WiFi connection. The card reader is free.

SOFTWARE

  • Bigcommerce: This is Global's virtual eCommerce platform. Global Payments and Bigcommerce integrates the Global Transport Payment Gateway, providing a PCI-certified solution.
  • Secure Ecommerce: This suite was built for those companies with development staff. This solution reduces chargebacks, simplifies post-purchase transaction processing, enables multiple payment methods (including ACH), and provides near real-time, browser-based reporting and transaction management.
  • MobileRegister and ShopKeep POS: Use this software to turn your iPad into a POS register.

 

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Countries Served

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Global Payments also maintains offices in 28 other countries across the globe. They process international sales for every location.

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Contract Length / Termination

I generally don't like long-term contracts or termination fees in merchant services agreements, because the ability to cancel keeps the credit card processor on its best behavior, including the willingness to make you happy if there's a dispute. Plus, this ability to cancel gives you the ability to move on if you find a better deal.

Global Payments can offer a one- to three-year contract with auto-renewal annually thereafter. The early termination fee can range from $100-$500 per location along with Liquidated Damages, whichever is greater. This contract deal is about as expensive as they come, but we've read in numerous places that Global Payments resellers can negotiate that contract and termination fee for the merchant. We advise getting every detail in writing and that you read that contract thoroughly before you sign.

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About the Company

The merchant account services industry is multi-layered. Understanding how those layers fit together can be confusing (Read More in this Article). Good things to know, however, is whether or not your company is a direct processor (good if yes) or, if not, then to know who they process with and whether or not that processor is reliable. The second thing to know is whether or not the service or sales staffs are in-house or outsourced. In-house staffs are preferable for you, as these staff members may have more access to sources that can resolve your issues.

Processor: Global Payments Direct, Inc. is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California, and a registered ISO of BMO Harris Bank N.A. They use Authorize.Net as their gateway.

Account Sales: Global Payments appears to maintain in-house and outsourced sales (resellers). In our experience, this practice leads to inconsistent rate quotes, but it's something the merchant can use to advantage in negotiations for services. Global's website is clean - no gimmicks, no teasers, no deception, and also no pertinent rate or fee information.

Account Service: Global Payments offers a toll-free "Technical Help Desk," that is available 24/7 to provide technical and procedural support. This support includes application questions, equipment inquiries, and training issues. Now for the real story - lack of technical support is one of the major complaints about this company. We're surprised that a company this size doesn't offer a knowledge base or online educational materials for merchants.

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Customer Service

As part of our review process, we try to test merchant account service companies' claims by placing test calls and working through the customer service process.

Global Payments offers a variety of U.S. numbers. We tried the 800 number first and a woman provided us with an 877 number for sales and service. I called that number and this is what occurred...

When:

3/24/2015; TIME: 1:00 pm EST

Who:

Call to Customer Support

Our Experience:

I talked with Denise, who was fairly straightforward about the fact that she didn't want ot provide me with any rates and fees without first filling out a form. She explained that those rates and fees could fluctuate depending upon the business type (which I explained to her) and the sales volume (which I explained to her). She also stated that for our online option that they prefer we obtain their services and then set up our own account at Authorize.Net or at PayPal. Denise explained that if we allowed Global to set up those accounts for us that we would pay higher rates.

I learned that the contract is, indeed, flexible, and that merchants can choose contracts that range from one to three years. Denise refused to provide me with a flat rate for early termination, stating instead that the fee would depend upon contract terms. Denise signed off by providing me with her full name and a personal phone number. I'm fairly certain that her number is not an in-house service number.

Our Take: What we've read through other reviews and complaints is true -- Global's resellers have an open field to negotiate terms. On one hand, this is great news for the merchant who knows those fees and how to negotiate them. On the other hand, this is bad news for the merchant who isn't familiar with the credit card processing business.

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Common Customer Complaints / Our Verdicts

We scoured the web to find past and current customer complaints about Leader's services. Then, we investigated those complaints that seemed legit, and provide our verdict on how well the processor handled the issues.

Global Payments has accrued a low to moderate complaint count considering its size and time in business. Still, we want to point out a few complaints so merchants know what to watch for in negotiations with this company.

Hidden Fees:
Customer Complaint:

Merchants complain about fees not negotiated in the original contract.

Our Verdict:

Not only is Global Payments obtuse about their Interchange Plus pricing online, they rely on resellers to market their goods. While this is a common industry practice, it can result in complaints against the company when terms aren't clear. Still, in light of Global Payments' size, the number of complaints in this arena are small.

Withholding Funds:
Customer Complaint:

This is a common complaint among merchants, no matter the credit card processor.

Our Verdict:

We would say that the merchant should stay in touch with Global Payments if you - as that merchant - expect an unusually large transaction or a major sales upswing (seasonal, perhaps) in your sales. However, considering that some of the most frustrating complaints seem to center around lack of communication with this company, this complaint becomes sticky.

Poor Customer Service:
Customer Complaint:

These complaints, still minor in count when compared to Global's size and reach, were centered on the inability to contact the company for even minor details.

Our Verdict:

A company this large needs to concentrate on their service to their paying customers. While these complaints were small in number, we also never found any praise for this company.

Inability to Close Account:
Customer Complaint:

It appears that Global Payments is participating in what seems to be an industry standard.

Our Verdict:

Like many other credit card processing complaints, this one seemed to come from smaller business owners, not corporate companies. We can only think that a merchant with little to no experience dealing with major corporate credit card processing companies can become easily frustrated with this practice, especially when the company falls short in communications.

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Who Should / Shouldn't Use this Processor

WHO IT'S GOOD FOR:

  • Large Merchants: Larger businesses, especially those in the health field, gaming, or non-profit arena can benefit from contract negotiations and Interchange Plus pricing. Since Global focuses on gaming and non-profits, the benefits are laid out clearly for those businesses on their website.
  • International Businesses: Although Global isn't clear about their exchange rates or cross-border fees, companies might benefit from learning about those options for international sales.
  • Non-Profit Organizations: Specifically, non-profit organizations might look at what Global has to offer, as they provide a wide range of services for non-profits, and they also focus a whole level of social media with their Greater Giving initiative.
  • Gaming: Although Global does dabble in some light high-risk business ventures, their main focus in this arena is gaming in the U.S. and in Canada. They offer a wide range of services for the casino industry.

WHO IT'S NOT GOOD FOR:

  • Small Businesses: Global offers a world of confusion for the smaller merchant who doesn't need the kind of power offered by this large company. You can find processors who are friendly to small businesses in our article about this topic.

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Global Payments Merchant Services
Ratings
Overall
Price
Customer Service
Customer Reviews
Rates
Varies% - Varies%
Features
  • Global Oriented
  • Multiple Currencies
  • Accept Intl. Payments
Monthly Fees Breakdown
Setup Fee$0.00
Monthly Fee$18.00
PCI Compliance Fee$8.25
Online Reporting Fee$0.00
Batch Fee$0.10
Gateway Fee$8.00
Chargeback Fee$25.00
Termination Fee$500.00
Contract Length1 to 3 Year Contract
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Disclaimer:

DISCLOSURE: Advertising, Affiliate and Conflicts of Interest: Merchant Negotiators accepts advertising via the Google Adsense platform, directly from advertisers, and has common parent ownership interests with other payments related companies leading to conflicts of interest. Read our Affiliate / Conflicts / Advertising Disclosure for a more detailed disclosure.

About the Reviews: These reviews, and for that matter any reviews, are inherently subjective, and should be regarded as our opinion, not as a statement of fact. Selecting a merchant services provider is an important decision, and we urge you to use no single source of information as the basis of that decision.

About the Pricing: This pricing is an estimate based on limited available information. In some cases, the Processors' pricing information was provided directly by the company, in others, we obtained it from public information, through calls to the company, or through past or current clients of the company. Where, despite these efforts, we were unable to obtain any information about certain fees, we used estimates based on similar providers in the industry. While we're working, in some cases, with the company directly to get more accurate pricing, even in those circumstances, we can't guarantee the pricing's accuracy. Complicating all of this, is that for some companies individual salespeople are given authority to modify terms on a deal by deal basis. In any case, if you know of an error, please let us know and we'll fix it.

About the Calculations: With respect to your estimated savings, this is based on a lot of factors and some hard math. The reason we do it, along with the "Actual Gross Rate" calculation is that every Processor prices their product differently (e.g. interchange v. 3 tier v. 4 tier v. flat v. membership, etc.) and some make it intentionally complicated or opaque. Trying to convert their pricing structure to a consistent "Overall Cost of Processing" is the only way you, the merchant, can do an apples to apples pricing comparison and know whether an offer is actually a good deal. Our system isn't perfect but we're trying.

Conclusion: In sum, these rankings, ratings, and scores are inherently subjective, and should be regarded as our opinion and not as a legal statement of fact. Moreover, use these prices and estimates at your own risk, and make sure to verify the pricing you see here in any formal contract you receive. Finally, if you do find something wrong in our pricing, terms, etc., tell us and we'll try to fix it.