Win $2500 in Grants For Your Business
Enter by August 1st 2015!
APPLY NOW

Review of National Bank Services

315 W. 9th Street, Suite 808, Los Angeles, CA 90015

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

NBS is geared to high-risk merchants. Compared to other high risk providers, they offer low monthly fees and a good array of hardware and software options, so they are an overall good choice for high-risk businesses. Alternatively, they are a bad choice for any low risk business, because as a category, these types of providers have higher prices.

National Bank Services (NBS) is a high-risk credit card processing company. That means they focus exclusively on offering processing to companies that operate in industries that have historically high chargeback rates. Regarding NBS as a company, they are owned by iPayment, one of the 10 largest processors in the US.

NBS uses tiered pricing, which varies significantly from business to business depending on the specific high-risk category your business is in. Their monthly and annual fees are low compared to most high-risk merchant account service providers.

A high-risk business refers to the industry that your business is in, regardless of whether your individual business is actually high-risk. These industries have a history of high chargeback rates, and typically include:

  • Auctions
  • Collection Agencies
  • Guns, Weapons Related
  • Outbound Telemarketing
  • Adult / Porn Related
  • Smoking Related
  • Supplements
  • Tax Relief, Debt Relief, Debt Consolidation, Credit Repair, Payday Loans, Loans
  • Some Hotel, Travel, Tours
  • Multi-Level Marketing or Free Trial Offer (aka Continuity)
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

The NBS website isn't particularly informative, so, if after reading this review you have additional questions, we'd recommend contacting MerchantNegotiators.com for further assistance.

Detailed Review

Below is a detailed review of National Bank 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. To learn more about any given feature, just click on it.

NBS offers more in terms of features than most high-risk merchant account services company, because it is part of the larger iPayment company. As such, they offer pretty much everything:

Software Compatibility:
Intuit Quickbooks Yes
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) Possibly
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 Canada
International Yes

We verified with that NBS sales rep that whatever iPayment offers, NBS also offers. The NBS sales rep that we spoke with also said that they also walk the merchant through the PCI compliance survey to make sure they get it done and paid. That payment may vary. All other features are offered, depending upon the type of hardware and software the merchant chooses.

Back to top

For More Information About This Processor or To Sign Up

Pricing

Almost every merchant account services company uses either Interchange Plus or Tiered Pricing (to learn the differences read 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.

NBS uses a two tiered pricing structure, with qualified and non-qualified charges (typically "card not present" transactions) each priced separately. As for the actual prices, they depend wildly on the particular niche within the broader category of "high-risk" that your business falls into. On the low end of the "risk" scale, for example, qualified transactions are 1.89%, which is less than many processors charge low risk businesses. Whereas on the highest end of the "risk" spectrum, rates are as high as 7.95% for qualified transactions. On all of these there is a $0.14 per transaction charge.

As for monthly fees, their pretty low, particularly for a high-risk client. There was a $16.00 gateway charge, a $15.00 monthly fee that covers online access, tech support and customer service, and two charges that are unique to the high-risk merchant services industry, a $15.00 per month charge for $100,000 in data breach protection, and a $75.00 semi- annual technology upgrade charge, which takes the place of a PCI fee.

Our Experience: In the high-risk merchant services industry, your individual price will vary wildly depending on the particular niche that your business is in. So, it serves you best to get a quote from a couple of providers and see who comes out the best.

What we can say is that the monthly and annual fees seem fairly mundane and reasonable, which isn't always the case with high-risk providers.

Back to top

For More Information About This Processor or To Sign Up

Contract Fine Print

National Bank Services is pretty upfront with their fees, and as an iPayment subsidiary, doesn't try to hide charges like some smaller independent providers might. Here's what we found:

Fine Print Fees:
Termination Fee Possible
Setup / Application Fee None
PCI Compliance Fee $12.50/month
PCI Inaction Fee Yes
Gateway Fee $16.00/month
1099-K Fee None
Statement Fee $15.00/month
Online Reporting Fee None
Monthly Minimum Volume Fee None
Accept International Pymt Fee Possible
Voice Authorization Fee Possible
Monthly Min. Process Fee None
Daily Batch Fee None
ACH / Direct Deposit Fee None
ACH Charge Fee None
ACH Return Fee None
FANF Fee Yes
Chargeback Fees Yes
Freebies:
Free Setup Consultation

Our Take:Unlike a low risk credit card processor, we can't definitively say whether or not all these fees will apply to your business, because it truly does depend on what sub-niche your business operates within the larger high-risk category. We listed all the fees as "possible," because they may apply...and then again, they may not.

Back to top

For More Information About This Processor or To Sign Up

Equipment

NBS Countertop and Wireless Terminals

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.

NBS offers hardware and software options that are PCI compliant and which cover a broad array of needs. As a subsidiary of iPayment, they offer the same hardware and software that the parent company owns. As such, there's a good selection to choose from and it covers just about every type of business need. That said, if you want a truly custom solution you're probably better off with another provider.

HARDWARE

  • VX520: This countertop payment terminal offers a built-in PIN pad, printer, and the ability to accept loyalty and gift cards.
  • PAX S80: This terminal offers a built-in PIN pad, an ATM-style interface, thermal printer, and a bi-directional swipe card reader.
  • Ingenico iWL 255: This wireless terminal have 24/7 connectivity, mobility, extended battery life, and a printer.
  • Dejavoo V8 Dual Comm: A terminal that connects via dial and IP with 64 MB memvory and customized menu. The terminal offers multiple applications with multiple merchant users and a secure internal PIN pad.
  • iPayment MobilePay: This swiper adapts to over 100 mobile devices within iOS and Android.
  • iPayment POS: Powered by Verifone, this POS system operates from a cloud-based web portal, allowing the merchant to schedule customer appointments, run reports, create employee schedules, gain access to sales records and customer data, and take credit cards and cash. Equipment accessories include a portable iPad stand, card reader, PIN pad, printer, auto-locking cash drawer, and a wireless barcode scanner.

SOFTWARE

  • Authorize.Net: iPayment offers Authorize.Net as their eCommerce gateway. We know NBS also uses this gateway and others for various transactions.
  • iAccess: This is a web-based software that provides merchants with instant access to merchant account information.

Back to top

For More Information About This Processor or To Sign Up

Countries Served

National Bank Services can handle payments from and for merchants in the United States, Canada and abroad.

Back to top

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.

NBS doesn't offer contract terms on their site, because that contract term would change depending upon the merchant in question and upon what they have to offer. Just as with pricing, the terms of a high-risk merchant services agreement are far more custom than otherwise.

We do know that NBS uses Authorize.Net as one of their gateways, and - as we mention above - Authorize.Net offers month-to-month services with no termination fees. Be sure to bring this issue up if you choose NBS for your credit card processing.

Back to top

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). A good thing 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: NBS is fully owned by iPayment. iPayment is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California.

Account Sales: NBS appears to have receptionists in house who can fully answer questions about their services. As one of the only major providers who is focused exclusively on high-risk merchant services, they don't have to be, as customers often come to them.

Account Service: NBS offers a support number, and it's not the same as any number at iPayment; however, we strongly feel that this company may rely heavily on iPayment's tech support since it is a division of iPayment. Both companies have the following hours of operation for tech support: Monday Friday 5:00 am - 8:00 pm PST and Saturday & Sunday 7:30 am - 4:30 pm PST.

Back to top

For More Information About This Processor or To Sign Up

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. Since we really didn't learn much about NBS by staring at their website, we decided to call sales.

When:

3/2/2015; TIME: 2:05 pm EST

Who:

Call to Customer Support

Our Experience:

Steve answered my call immediately and answered all my questions with a matter-of-fact this-is-what-we-are attitude. He was cheerful about answering my questions and spoke in native English. We'll give kudos to Steve for shining a light on NBS services.

Our Take: NBS is not for the regular retailer. In fact, if you're not a high-risk merchant you definitely shouldn't use them. But if you are in the high-risk category, their customer service seems straightforward, their agents seem smart, and overall we were pleased with the experience.

Back to top

Common Customer Complaints / Our Verdicts

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

We found only one complaint about NBS services. The writer stated, basically, "Don't do business with these people! They're crooks! They don't follow up!"

While we can't take that one complaint as a clue to NBS' credibility, we can say that in general, businesses seeking merchant services who operate in a high-risk industry are prone to having issues with their credit card processor because their business type generates more chargebacks. Thus, we take it as a positive that we can only find one negative review for a company of this size that takes on high-risk merchants.

Back to top

For More Information About This Processor or To Sign Up

Who Should / Shouldn't Use this Processor

WHO IT'S GOOD FOR:

  • High-Risk Businesses: If your business type requires you to use a high-risk merchant services provider, this is a good option. Backed by a large company, they hold themselves to transparency and customer service standards that many independent high-risk providers do not.

WHO IT'S NOT GOOD FOR:

  • Low Risk Businesses: If your business can get treated as low risk, you shouldn't do business with NBS or any other high-risk provider. Their rates are generally higher, their underwriting more stringent, and their chargeback charges typically tougher. Not to mention, they don't cater to your type of business.

Back to top

For More Information About This Processor or To Sign Up
National Bank Services
Ratings
Overall
Price
Customer Service
Customer Reviews
Rates
1.89% - 7.95%
Features
  • Accepts High-Risk
  • Cheap for High-Risk
  • Free Setup
Monthly Fees Breakdown
Setup Fee$0.00
Monthly Fee$15.00
PCI Compliance Fee$12.50
Online Reporting Fee$0.00
Batch Fee$0.00
Gateway Fee$16.00
Chargeback Fee$0.00
Termination Fee$0.00
Contract LengthVaries
Sign Up Now

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.

MerchantNegotiators.com is now offline.

Thank you to all of our site visitors for a great three years!

Much of our team has transitioned to join Soar Payments, a merchant account provider. If you need a mid or high risk merchant account consider, Soar Payments.

Soar Payments is the #1 industry leader for mid and high risk credit card processing, as reflected by their many satisfied customer reviews. Click here to read real life customer reviews for Soar Payments.

How to apply in 3 easy steps

1

Apply Online Via The Secure Online Application

Complete the online application process (it takes 5 minutes). Click here to begin.

2

Get An Instant Quote From The SoarPay Team

You'll instantly receive a quote with Industry Minimum Pricing to DocuSign.

3

Start Accepting Payments With Your New Merchant Account

Soar Payment's Houston, Texas based Customer Support Team will help you get set up. The setup process is fast and easy.