Heartland Payment Systems Review

Heartland Payment Systems Review
4.6
Heartland is a large processor that isn't going anywhere
Integrates with many of the top POS hardware solutions
Merchant Account Provider
Average Score 4.6
Rates & Fees
5
Ease of Use
6.5
Hardware / Software
7
Security
8
Customer Service
4.5
Location: Princeton, NJ
Founded: 1997
Sponsorship: Registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, CA, and The Bancorp Bank, Philadelphia, PA.
# of Customers: 50,000+
Phone: (888) 904-6773
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Overview

Heartland Payment Systems is a merchant services provider based in Princeton, NJ with a global reach. They’re registered as an ISO/MSP for Wells Fargo Bank & The Bancorp Bank. Founded in 1997, Heartland recently merged with Global Payments and is now one of the ten largest payment processors in the world.

Heartland suffers from the same problems that several of the other large payment processors that we’ve reviewed suffer from. As a small business owner, you generally need more hands on help and someone to answer the phone and care about your concerns. But large processors like Heartland, Elavon, Worldpay etc. tend to focus on their larger clients and smaller businesses can end up falling through the cracks.

Products/Services

Heartland is a huge processor that can handle all kinds of payments – card present or not-present, through Point of sale terminals, virtual terminals, mobile, tablet etc. They support all of the newest processing technology and are typically ahead of the curve on rolling out improved solutions for merchants due to the sheer amount of resources they have.

Heartland payments support Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, as well the more typical credit/debit and gift card processing.

They’ve also recently gotten into other software solutions for businesses including payroll, HR, and lending. These offerings will be covered later, but are not within the scope of this review.

Card-Present Processing: Heartland Payment Systems offers payment processing services primarily for retail and restaurant establishments.

Interestingly enough, Heartland also offers Human Resource (HR) solutions for small businesses, including payroll management.

Rates & Fees

** Disclaimer – rates and fees are subject to change, please negotiate terms independently and review your contract. **
Heartland has competitive rates for larger businesses, but for small businesses their fee structure does not scale down well.

Contract Details

In this day and age, it’s hard to recommend a payment processor that still has 3-year contracts and early termination fees. If you want to switch from Heartland to another payment processor they require 60 days notice and a $295 early termination fee. It’s not unheard of to get these sorts of fees waived, but the fact that you have to jump through those hoops is a negative.

Equipment – Hardware/Software

Heartland provides top of the line hardware for processing payments in any environment, and offers software integrations with your existing legacy hardware as well.

Security

Heartland Payments Security Review
Heartland takes their payments security seriously, which is good since they have been hacked numerous times over the years, including one of the largest breaches ever. Now they have this Breach Warranty program to put merchants minds at ease. According to their own numbers, 60% of small business close their doors within 6 months of a data breach. So the Breach Warranty program is available for merchants to opt-in to, and it will cover fees, fines and losses in the event of a security breach on one of their certified devices.

Customer Service & Support

Heartland has an unacceptably negative reputation considering their size. It’s not unusual for the larger processors to get some negative marks here, but we would like to see companies this size spend more attention on improving their reputation, or make it clearer that they don’t support smaller businesses.

Some Customer Reviews

“Buyer Beware!!! Our company received an extremely competitive bid from Heartland only to be billed thousands of dollars more than quoted and charged for credit card readers we did not authorize.” ~BBB review by Lamar J.

“Representative gave a quote in writing of our “savings” but it ended up even costing more than we were paying with our current processor. Upon questioning, they basically said ‘sometimes this happens’ based on limited calculations, inadequate information, etc.” ~BBB review by Julie R.

As of writing, Heartland Payment Systems has over 20 complaints on RipoffReports.com. Keep in mind that RipoffReports.com does not require any proof of complaints, and many of these complaints have rebuttals for the company so read them with that in mind.

4.6 Total Score
6 reviews
Heartland Payments Ratings & Reviews

Heartland Payment Systems is another huge payments processor in the mold of Worldpay, Elavon etc and tends to suffer from the same customer service issues. Coupled with the required 3-year contracts and early termination fees, it would be hard to recommend them to smaller businesses.

6.2Expert Score
Rates & Fees
5
Ease of Use
6.5
Hardware / Software
7
Security
8
Customer Service
4.5
2.9User's score
Rates & Fees
1.7
Ease of Use
3.7
Hardware / Software
3.8
Security
4
Customer Service
1.3
PROS
  • Heartland is a large processor that isn't going anywhere
  • Integrates with many of the top POS hardware solutions
CONS
  • Heartland has a number of negative reviews online
  • Larger processors are often not a good choice for small businesses
  • Early termination fee is not good
  • 3-year contracts aren't generally a good idea
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JV Burr has worked in digital marketing for over 20 years with a core expertise in search engine marketing. He also writes with a focus on payment processing and software that helps small/medium sized businesses compete in an increasingly digital world.

7 Comments
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  1. 0.5
    Rates & Fees
    10
    Ease of Use
    10
    Hardware / Software
    10
    Security
    10
    Customer Service
    10

    Heartland did great until they got greedy. The relationship worked fine when they charged the agreed-upon price for their services (a price that matched what a host of other competitors offered, so not some unimaginably low price), and we had no complaints. We would have happily recommended them to others.

    Then Heartland increased our fees by over 400% overnight with no prior warning as to what the increase would be. That’s not what partners who respect each other do. That’s what an abusive partner does. They saw an opportunity (that we were not under a contract, though we were under the impression that we were) and abusively ripped off one of their own clients as quietly as they could. They felt that a 400% overnight increase in fees wasn’t worthy of a phone call or email as a heads up, just an innocuous line item in a statement 2 months prior that indicated that fee increases happen in January. No indication what the fee increase would be and certainly no indication that it would be a laughably egregious increase. Price increases are a way of life, but I work hard to make sure my clients know that we respect them enough to be open and honest about them. Heartland had no such respect for us.

    Heartland lost my business forever by simply showing that they did not respect their partner in business and instead saw an opportunity to rip someone off and jumped on it. Customer service did a fine job of helping right some of the wrong, but why would I be in business with or recommend a business that I can’t trust to not try to screw me the moment I’m not watching them like a hawk? It seems like making that one-time cash grab was a stupid decision to make from my perspective, but Heartland has obviously been very successful, so apparently that greediness works out for them. I just know that we won’t ever do business with them again, and they’re one of the few companies I will actively encourage other business owners to avoid.

    + PROS: Easy to use until they tried to rip us off
    - CONS: Greediness, lack of transparency
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  2. 0.5
    Rates & Fees
    10
    Ease of Use
    10
    Hardware / Software
    10
    Security
    10
    Customer Service
    10

    Don’t do business with this company. Watch statements very carefully they are always raising rates like Comcast. Their “reps are just salesmen they are not their to help”. This is a quote from their Chicago office. They will keep telling you it was in the contract. Make sure to read contracts thoroughly as there is many hidden items in them. There is a $295.00 charge if you choose to change processors. Their emails about processor compliance do not list there name on them and look suspicious you will think it is spam and not open them. But it’s not and if you don’t open them and follow through with Compliance. They will charge you an additional $125.00 per month till you do. Again don’t expect them to have their rep or them notify you as the longer you are in the dark the more money they can steal. They will not return your fees or over charges they will tell you it’s your fault for not watching closer. Heartland is not a business that is built on honesty or integrity.

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  3. 0.5
    Rates & Fees
    10
    Ease of Use
    10
    Hardware / Software
    10
    Security
    10
    Customer Service
    10

    Transparency?? Not a chance!! I have been fighting for months to get fees back from Heartland that was charged to me to no avail. The salesperson was ***** and ***** *********. They both told me that I would not be charged but here I am over $800.00 in fees that I wasn’t supposed to be charged. Heartland LIES!!! I have emails where ***** has tried to fix this but Heartland will not credit this back!! HIGHLY DISAPPOINTED!! Do NOT trust them with you business!!!

    edit: (rep names redacted)

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    • Hello, you need to remove this from your site. ****** and *** posted this and ***** wasn’t there rep, I was trying to help them. She is lying as they were using out dated terminals that could leak customers credit card data and she didn’t want to pay for new terminals. I was helping her get new terminals at no cost. This lady is crazy and not ok to include my name on here. ****** and *** really needs to figure out how to run there business as this is not the right way.

      edit: (business name redacted)

  4. 2.2
    Rates & Fees
    10
    Ease of Use
    60
    Hardware / Software
    60
    Security
    80
    Customer Service
    10

    We used Heartland for many years and they were great. In February, they dramatically increased our rates (where we were previously told rates would never change) and only notified us of a change in small type on the back of a page in the December bill. It didn’t even say the amount of the change. We felt very much lied to by a customer that we had done business with for a decade. Customer service was not helpful. We have opened a BBB complaint as well.

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  5. 1.7
    Rates & Fees
    10
    Ease of Use
    50
    Hardware / Software
    50
    Security
    50
    Customer Service
    10

    We used Heartland for many years and they were awesome. HOWEVER, sometime recently they got bought out by another larger processor and they have turned into an awful company. They reneged on our already established rates and changed wording in their agreements with merchants. We ended up leaving which was a HUGE pain in the you know what, but we were spending thousands more than we used to in payment processing fees so we had no choice.

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  6. 3.3
    Rates & Fees
    50
    Ease of Use
    80
    Hardware / Software
    90
    Security
    80
    Customer Service
    30

    We use Heartland for years, their customer service sucks sometimes but my boss is too scared to switch. I like the software on their point of sale though, easy to use. Not sure about their fees.

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