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Vantiv Merchant Services Review

Quick details of the company
Before we dig into Vantiv’s review, let’s take a quick stroll through some general points about the business.

Vantiv, according to the Better Business Bureau, began over 40 years ago. In 1970, many knew the company as Midwest Payments Systems. But in the early 2000s, Midwest Payment Systems took its 30+ year old name and changed it to reflect the company that formed it. Fifth Third Processing Solutions formed but was short lived. Within 10 years, the name Vantiv replaced Fifth Third Processing Solutions and created a new brand.

As of February 2014, Vantiv maintains the highest markings according to the BBB. However, the business is not BBB accredited. That means that the company does not pay the BBB a fee for frequent monitoring.
Short summary of the product offering
Vantiv’s payment processing services offer a wide range of solutions for businesses. From mobile to in-store to online services, Vantiv provides merchant services to any type of business.

Vantiv’s merchant services allows businesses to use any of the main four credit cards—Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover—in addition to debit cards, checks, electronic benefits transfer (SNAP, Cash Benefit, and WIC), and alternative payments such as Checkout by Amazon, PayPal, and Google Checkout.

No matter where you do business and what method of payment you accept, Vantiv has the ability to process the transaction.
Details of Product offering

Fees
The most commonly talked about fee Vantiv charges is the contract cancellation fee. On average, breaking the three year contract means you forgo $295.

Additionally, the company applies a PCI Compliance fee that is added to a company’s bill either monthly or annually, depending on the contract. Plus, the total fee amount is dependent upon the customer’s type of business.

Payment gateways
Depending on if you are a B2B eCommerce, government and education, healthcare, or retail, restaurant and grocery type of business depends on what type of payment gateway you will use. Keep in mind that every company except SKIPJACK is a third party that is not associated with Vantiv.

SKIPJACK processes credit, debit, and gift cards at the point of sale online and has fraud protection tools to secure you and your customers’ data. SKIPJACK is beneficial to eCommerce businesses because it has multiple platform-independent API options that are free to integrate with your online business.

In addition to SKIPJACK, there are more payment gateways Vantiv uses. So let’s break down what type of business uses which type of payment gateway.

· B2B eCommerce: SKIPJACK, TrustCommerce, Slim CD, and 3Delta Systems

· Government and education related businesses: Govolution, Online Resources (ORCC), and TrustCommerce

· Healthcare: mPay Gateway, InstaMed, TransEngen, and TrustCommerce

· Retail, restaurant and grocery businesses: Merchant Link, MTXEPS, and TrustCommerce

TrustCommerce appears to be the only payment gateway that performs across all four types of businesses due to its flexibility to work with any size business. One payment gateway that is not listed above but is affiliated with Vantiv is Authorize.Net. To get more information about TrustCommerce or any of Vantiv’s other payment gateways, look under the secure payment gateways section of Vantiv’s Payment Terminals and Gateways.

Mobile capabilities
Vantiv does have a mobile app to process transactions. Vantiv’s app called Vantiv Mobile Accept allows you to accept transactions on your phone or tablet from any U.S.-issued credit, debit or prepaid card. No matter if you have an iPhone, iPad, Android, or tablet, you can combine the Vantiv Mobile App and the Vantiv Card Reader on any mobile device to turn it into a checkout center.

Using a mobile device as a portable checkout counter is possible with Vantiv. The only difference is that your customers will receive an email receipt rather than a printed one. So through Vantiv’s app and card reader, businesses can process transactions via a mobile device.

eCommerce platform support
Vantiv supports both brick-and-mortar businesses as well as eCommerce platforms. The catch with eCommerce platforms is that Vantiv does not mention any restrictions for eCommerce platforms.

However, when reviewing three of the widely used eCommerce platforms, only a couple of payment gateways integrated with the platforms. For instance, Shopify works with Vantiv’s SKIPJACK, third-party TrustCommerce, and Authorize.Net while WooCommerce functions with TrustCommerce, Authorize.Net, and affiliate Litle & Co. Magento is the outlier of the three, mentioning only Authorize.Net as a compatible payment gateways integrating well with Vantiv.

Vantiv did make a revolutionary move in late Oct. 2012 by acquiring eCommerce payment platform Litle & Co. In a WHIR article, the president and CEO of Vantiv mentioned that the acquisition “enable[d] us to offer leading, integrated products in high growth markets, allowing our clients to engage with their customers across multiple channels, with better visibility and increased simplicity.”

In addition, according to Vantiv’s integration report, API data elements are available to only two payment methods – debit cards and contactless cards. Convenience fees and installment payments also have API data elements available. Anything else does not have API data elements, including credit cards.

Security/privacy
Depending on the level of information that you’re providing Vantiv determines how secure the site is. Basic information about you will not be backed up with security features such as McAfee, but when information such as your social security come into play, Vantiv uses third party services for secure measures. On Vantiv’s website, merchants can receive breach assistance, PCI assistance, encryption, and tokenization to prevent important data getting into others’ hands.

Customer Service
Vantiv employees are available both on Vantiv’s website as well as social media channels. The company is actively involved on Twitter and somewhat involved on Facebook and YouTube. However, LinkedIn beats all three by providing the company with the highest interaction and number of followers.

While Vantiv has received high reviews overall in the past, within the past year or two, more complaints have been filed toward customer service. Even the BBB lists more than half of the total complaints occurring within the past year. Plus, most review sites show customer complaints filling up the comment section. So if you choose Vantiv, be wary that customer service has not be top notch lately.
The bottom line

Quick summary
Vantiv offers payment processing options for all the common credit cards in addition to debit cards, checks, EBT, and alternative online methods. While part of the payment processing method goes through Vantiv, the payment gateway typically goes through a third party. Unless you have an eCommerce business, Vantiv pushes part of its payment process to many companies. The way you know which third party will assess your payment gateway depends on which industry you are in. But don’t worry about the third parties. Plenty of security measures are in place. The thing to keep in mind is that customer service has been lacking in recent years.

Overview

Details

Fees Cancellation & PCI Compliance
Payment Gateways In-house & third party options
Mobile Capabilities App and card reader available
eCommerce Platform Support Available but limited
Security PCI assistance, encryption & tokenization
Customer Service Available 24/7 but received many complaints recently

Pros

· High rating from the BBB

· Most payment methods accepted

· Customer service available 24/7

 

Cons

· Cancellation fee of $295

· Recent complaints about the company’s service

· Not BBB accredited

· Multiple third parties used for payment processing

 

Contact Information

Location: 8500 Governors Hill Drive, Symmes Township, OH, 45249

Website: http://www.vantiv.com

Service needed

Phone Number

Merchant Services 1-866-622-2833
EFT Customers 1-800-278-6888
Credit Customers 1-800-422-0733

 

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Kabbage Team

Kabbage is here not only to provide access to the small business funding you need, but to also help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at content@kabbage.com.