Expert Review By: Derek Cromwell
Simply put, Bank of America is a giant in the merchant services space, partnering with First Data to provide a suite of merchant services to companies big and small, with some of the fastest card processing available.
Signing up with BOA merchant services can be a simple process but it does take a bit longer than others. The B of A website offers quick sign up through a submission form. You can also use live chat from 8:30am to 7pm EST to speak with their team. Their sales team can also be reached for questions during the week from 8am to 9pm EST.
The submission form is likely the easiest way to get your information over and schedule a consult with a merchant account representative. They should contact you within the first 24 hours.
The review and approval process can take 28-48 hours. Once approved BOA Merchant Services will work with you on the lease or purchase of equipment, programming that suits your needs and step-by-step instructions on how to accept payments. Of all merchant services, Bank of America's is one of the most thorough and ensures that businesses are ready to hit the ground running once approved.
Given the scale of Bank of America, BOA Merchant Services is expected to come packed with additional features beyond your standard processing options. Aside from Point of Sale and card processing options there is a wide range of additional products and services available, such as gift cards and check acceptance solutions. Other products include eCommerce solutions, additional security tools and expert advice from a large knowledge base to guide you moving forward.
When you’re ready to expand into eCommerce, Bank of America can help you establish and maintain your online store by way of hosting, support services, marketing and of course payment processing/eCommerce.
The most attractive feature that brings businesses to Bank of America Merchant Services is the next day funds availability. Remember that it’s a bank handling the merchant services, so once a batch closes, the funds appear in your business account the next day. When you’re growing your business, there’s nothing better than having funds available immediately.
Considering Bank of America Merchant Services’ enormous market share they have relatively few negative marks against them where customer service and support is concerned. Aside from complaints around fee structure they’re widely recognized as a reliable and trustworthy merchant service/bank offering accessible and helpful customer support.
Support comes from traditional customer service access via live chat, email and telephone. Each merchant will also have access to the assigned representative who initially helped with account set-up. That representative plays a supporting role and if they can’t assist with an issue they will quickly help you locate the person or department who can.
If you can’t find answers in the extensive knowledge database and resource center, it’s easy to reach someone 24/7 to help resolve processing and technical issues.
Since BOA Merchant Services uses First Data for payment processing, its products, services and rates largely mirror those of First Data. However, here’s where the score dips a bit - there are no specifics on processing rates because that’s based on business volume, which is understandable. Depending on your monthly volume you can see rates from 1.89% ($25,000+ per month) to 2.5% (less than $5,000 per month) plus a transaction fee. Those rates are for card-present transactions so that can vary depending on how you take payments.
There’s an additional rate of 1.1% applied to non-swiped monthly dollar volume, so expect to lose a bit with keyed-in purchases.
There are also fees for statements, monthly minimums, gateway use as well as PCI compliance and annual fees.
Those businesses that aren’t certain of how long they will remain in contract, keep in mind there is a $500 early termination fee on a term agreement with Bank of America. That's a hefty fee in comparison to other merchant services.
Bank of America Merchant Services brings reliable processing options to the table by partnering with First Data. Merchants have access to a well-developed gateway and virtual terminals along with durable card-swipe equipment for debit card, credit card and even check processing at point of sale or through mail order/online commerce.
Clover Station point-of-sale equipment is readily available and can be leased or purchased just like credit swiping terminals. It’s a strong POS system that goes beyond credit processing to help with managing the day-to-day for your business – plus you can access all of your business information from anywhere thanks to the secure cloud-based platform.
BOA Merchant Services makes it easy to accept all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) as well as electronic and standard checks, and newer mobile payment options. No matter the payment type, you’re guaranteed to get access to your funds as soon as the next business day.
Bank of America Merchant Services is responsible for many of the credit card transactions that take place throughout the U.S. and the majority of businesses utilizing it are satisfied with their decision. Proof that great value, quality service and a reliable product can be more important than any fee structure.
Last Updated: March 2016