National Bankcard is a registered ISO that offers 24/7 support for their merchants. Prices are not quoted on the site, but merchants can have a choice between Tiered or Interchange Plus rates.
National Bankcard is an ISO that offers a month-to-month contract for merchants with no termination fees. Based in the U.S., merchants can use their services for international sales.
We're giving thumbs up for this company for a lack of complaints despite their size; however, there are a number of fees you need to be aware of before you sign up...
Below is a detailed review of National BankCard Merchant Services offering. The review is broken down into the following categories.
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.
National Bankcard does offer a range of features with their hardware and software, but they're not very clear on which equipment handles which features. They are very clear that the only way to integrate QuickBooks is through a third-party plug-in. In sum, because National Bankcard offers so many options, it's probably best to contact MerchantNegotiators.com about what specific equipment best fits your business needs before ordering.
|Intuit Quickbooks||Yes, with plugin|
|Microsoft Dynamics GP||No|
|Windows / Blackberry||No|
|iPhone / iPad||Yes|
|Alternative Transaction Types:|
|Snail Mail Orders||Yes|
|American Express (AMEX)||Yes|
|Add Tips to Bills||Yes|
|eCommerce / Shopping Cart||Yes|
|EMV Chip 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|
|HIPAA Compliance (Healthcare)||xxx|
|Trust Account Debiting (Legal)||Possibly|
|Fleet Cards (Petroleum)||Yes|
|Online Menu Orders (Restaurants)||Yes|
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.
National Bankcard lists its tiered pricing information as follows:
It appears from the company's literature that this pricing is for all types of cards, however, merchants should verify this in their actual written agreement. Assuming so, this is some of the most attractive tiered pricing we've seen.
In terms of startup fees, this is about as cheap as it gets. There are no setup or cancellation fees, a free terminal, and they can get you setup and approved same day.
For monthly fees, there is a $5.00 monthly fee and an $8.00 gateway fee (optional).
For those merchants that prefer interchange plus pricing, this is an option. However, because the company primarily offers the tiered pricing structure described above, tiered pricing will have to be individually discussed.
Our Experience: We learned through a call to the company that National Bankcard offers both tiered and Interchange Plus rate plans that depend upon the size and age of a business. Given the lack of a complete price list, we recommend that merchants request a complete pricing list before signing. That said, from what we can see, these are some of the most competitive tiered rates we've seen.
National Bankcard appears, initially, to be upfront about their fees. But, we found some discrepancies when we read complaints about this company. Here's what we found:
|Fine Print Fees:|
|Setup / Application Fee||None|
|PCI Compliance Fee||$129/year|
|PCI Inaction Fee||Possible|
|Online Reporting Fee||None|
|Monthly Minimum Volume Fee||Possible|
|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|
|No Application Fees|
|Free Initial Swiper|
|Free Terminal with Merchant Account|
Our Take: National Bankcard is far more transparent than the typical merchant services company insofar as they list rate comparisons on their website. For example, one fee disclosed there that isn't discussed above is a $.05 per check address verification fee. At least they're upfront with that fee, because they're missing the PCI compliance fee and the chargeback fees in their disclosures. We took a look at their Program Guide, and that's where we found the chargeback information. We still couldn't find the PCI compliance fee, but we've read complaints about National Bankcard that state those fees exist, and confirmed as much through our discussions with their sales team.
We found a few other fees in the Program Guide that merchants need to be aware of, such as the Merchant Reserve Account fee at $49.95 per month. They extract that fee from the merchants account without notice if National Bankcard suspects fraudulent activity. The reason for this, we suspect, is that National Bankcard has a very high acceptance rate (99%) and as such gets a few bad apples. They have to cover themselves with this fee to compensate for that. While it shouldn't affect legitimate businesses, we'd still be mindful that the fee potential exists.
Also, we learned through customer reviews that National Bankcard partners with third party merchants who offer free 30-day trials that the merchant is enrolled with automatically and that the merchant needs to cancel before the trial period ends or be charged for the services.
We also learned about a possible minimum monthly volume fee through the complaints we read about this merchant services processing company. We couldn't find that information online or in their program guide. Other "possible" fees are questions a merchant should ask about when questioning this company about their services.
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.
National Bankcard offers tons of equipment and three software programs. Merchants can get one free swiper, and the software that comes with that card reader is free to download. National Bankcard also offers a free terminal if the merchant opens a merchant account with National Bankcard, but none of the other software or equipment is free. We never learned whether or not National Bankcard would reprogram any equipment the merchants already own.
National BankCard can handle payments from and for merchants in the United States, Canada and abroad.
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.
National Bankcard offers a three-year month-to-month "contract" in their program guide that costs the merchant $.00 to end. In other words, no early termination fees exist. With that said, be sure to read over your contract with a fine-toothed comb, because we're learning that other tie-ins may exist that will cost the merchant dollars to end services. Also, be aware of how you'll need to terminate your service with National Bankcard so they don't continue to charge you for gateway fees or other services after you've ended your relationship.
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: National Bankcard Inc. is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California. They use Authorize.Net, First Data, and Charge Anywhere payment gateways. There are no up front charges for the first two gateways, but the Charge Anywhere Gateway Plugin, designed for use with QuickBooks, costs $159.00. This charge is different than the $8.00 charge per month listed in the Fine Print fees above.
Account Sales: It appears that National Bankcard relies on in-house sales and service, as well as resellers.
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. National Bankcard doesn't offer a way to contact a support teams unless you have an account with them, so we called upon sales to answer our questions about their service.
3/2/2015; TIME: 12:10 pm EST
Call to Customer Support
I called the number on the website and was greeted immediately by Marteen. She was cheerful, spoke in native English, and she answered all my questions. Toward the end of the call, she wanted to know if I wanted to speak with a sales person, and I declined. Now, however, I wonder if that sales person was in house or if she wanted to patch me through to a reseller.
Our Take: Marteen helped us clear up the PCI question, mainly. She stated that National Bankcard would "walk me through" the PCI compliance at a cost of $129 per year. If they weren't capable of helping me, they would refund my late charge. Wow - really? I wonder if they helped merchants who didn't know to ask that question. She also stated that they use both tiered pricing and Interchange Plus, and I would need to speak to a sales rep to learn which rate program would be right for me. We're giving thumbs up to Marteen, because she was quite helpful and nice without a lot of pressure from her end.
2/17/2015; TIME: 12:25 pm EST
Call to Customer Support
I called back and spoke with Vanessa this time. She stated that their sales, support, and other teams were not located in house, but were within the U.S. and they offer 24/7 support to their merchants. Vanessa stated that their support is with a company called "IP Men." We looked for this company and couldn't find a trace of a public existence.
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 learned that, despite the legitimate complaints found, the numbers are small when compared to the size of this merchant processor. Still, we didn't like the way National Bankcard responded to complaints, especially at BBB. They tend to blame the merchant for any complaints against the company. If you find yourself in a dispute with National Bankcard, we suggest you report it to the BBB. It appears that National Bankcard buckles, finally, under BBB pressure.
This complaint was the highest on the list.
Although National Bankcard responded to most of the complaints about fee misrepresentation, they always pointed the finger at the merchant. To be honest, in may of the situations we agreed with National Bankcard. Again, because the company has such a high acceptance rate (99%) they get some bad apples and / or people who just don't understand what they're buying. That said, we'd like to see them take a more hands-on and tactful approach to resolving these issues.
This complaint comes in second.
Be sure to read your contract thoroughly before you sign. Some of these complaints were tied into a minimum monthly volume, which we only learned about through the complaints we found.
This complaint comes in last, but it's severe enough to mention it. Some merchants had funds held up to a year.
Again, National Bankcard pointed fingers at the merchants, when in some cases the issue appeared legitimate and the merchant was backed by BBB. An issue like this could put a small business owner out on the street. Beware.
WHO IT'S GOOD FOR:
WHO IT'S NOT GOOD FOR:
|PCI Compliance Fee||$10.75|
|Online Reporting Fee||$0.00|
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.
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