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Heartland Payment Systems

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14 User Reviews

1.9

Overall Score

Payment solutions company Heartland Payment Systems was founded in 1997 and has its headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey. 

Heartland is a NYSE-listed company (HPY) and is also the founder of the Merchant Bill of Rights proposed by Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 that places a cap on interchange or transaction fees.

Heartland is one of the largest credit card and mobile payments processors in the country. The company offers a variety of business services, including payroll, capital management, payment processing, point of sale, and customer engagement. Additionally, it has a growing line of industry-specific business facilitation options for small and mid-sized merchants.

For the purposes of this review, we will focus on Heartland’s merchant account services. 

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The Good

  • Multi-Channel Payments
  • Fraud Protection
  • Customer Support
  • Payroll Services 

Multi-Channel Payments 

Heartland’s payment system accepts payments via the web, cash register, phone, mobile device, virtual terminal, and Automated Clearing House (ACH). This translates to a number of business setups: counter, table, kiosk, food truck, website, or the customer’s home. 

Heartland aims to accept all the ways your customers want to pay, including the following methods: 

  • EMV chip card
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Apple Pay®
  • Google Pay®
  • Samsung Pay®
  • Gift cards 

We like the fact that Heartland offers a fully integrated mobile, web, social media, and company dashboard ordering system and you can easily integrate everything with your current POS system. The reporting system is complete with recording and bookkeeping software compatible with Quickbooks. And the online reporting site gives your staff real-time transaction information. Being able to monitor your business in real-time will help you identify trends and avoid losses by knowing immediately where the problems are so you can make any necessary adjustments quickly.

Your store includes a domain name (new or existing), design templates, customization, mobile-optimized, a point-and-click product upload wizard, secure shopping cart, online marketing tools, a variety of pricing plans, an abandoned cart saver, point-and-click in-browser editing, email confirmations and notifications, search engine dominance, a PCI-compliant gateway, 24-7 U.S.-based live support and more.

Heartland also has other features and benefits merchants love, such as credit and debit cards, gift cards and electronic check payments, and a loyalty program. Gift cards and loyalty programs can help build your brand and customer loyalty, not to mention the fact that they have been proven to increase the average ticket price. 

Fraud Protection 

Heartland Secure transactions are protected by end-to-end encryption technology and are backed by a comprehensive data breach warranty. 

Your online store has an integrated payment processor with data protection that meets all PCI security standards and single and multi-use tokenization designed to protect your customers' data. The entire system offers a plug-and-play installation so integration is simple and easy and works with many different platforms. 

Heartland Secure will greatly reduce your PCI scope since payment data never enters the network and the tokenization removes sensitive data from the customer's application. Nothing is more important than keeping your customer's data safe, so this is a huge benefit that could significantly lower your chances of fraud and/or financial ruin.

Customer Support 

The company claims to answer customer service calls in less than 30 seconds on average. 

Customer service is completely U.S.-based.

Heartland states they have their own internal staff who have all undergone a background check and that they never outsource any of their products or services to other companies, nor do they use independent contractors, sub-ISOs, or reseller organizations of any kind.

Payroll Services

If you’re looking for services beyond payment systems, Heartland offers a number of business services that can be integrated into your payment system. 

Heartland offers full-service employee payroll services with a dedicated payroll consultant, all-inclusive pricing, and no extra fees or hidden cost. And the company will lock in your rate for three years. Payroll features include HR support with customizable documents and other valuable resources to help keep you up-to-date on current laws and regulations. The online tools allow you to access your payroll records anytime, including schedules, policies, employee files and more.

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The Bad

  • Early Termination Fee
  • Three-Year Contract
  • Additional Fees

Early Termination Fee

The most common complaint in Heartland Payment Systems reviews is the fact that Heartland's contract doesn't disclose its $295 early termination fee if you change processors or cancel for any other reason. While this fee is disclosed in the rather lengthy handbook of user guidelines, it should probably be clearer to prospective clients during the onboarding process. 

Three-Year Contract

Additionally, Heartland does have a three-year contract that will auto-renew if you don't cancel it in writing three months prior to the end of the contract. Therefore, you will need to have some way of noting your contract ending date, in the event you decide to cancel; otherwise, you will end up in a contract for another three years.

Additional Fees

Heartland Payment Systems is PCI compliant with no annual PCI compliance fee; however, they do charge a monthly fee of $25 they call a regulatory fee. Negative reviews include mentions of this regulatory fee as well as other unexpected fees, fair or not. 

Other fees mentioned in reviews include $125 for not taking a survey, $100 for a card reader, $100 for a gift card report, and $125 per month for not following compliance procedures. 

These are technically not "hidden fees" as some reviews claim, but should still probably be made more visible to prospective and current clients. 

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The Bottom Line

Heartland's recognizable brand, credit card processing payment system model, and one-stop-shop of additional business products and services (including payroll solutions, POS software, and business loans) make the company extremely competitive in the merchant service industry. 

However, the majority of the negative complaints from Heartland customers mention the cloaked disclosure of an early termination fee within the list of terms and conditions as well as a few terminal setup issues. 

When choosing any merchant account service provider, read the contract before signing an agreement! And comparison shop along the way. 

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Star Rating

1.7

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14 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

14%

4 grade

0%

3 grade

0%

2 grade

14%

1 grade

71%

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Billy Tustin, CA

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.

1 month ago

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Brittany Trimble Wagner Yankton, SD

Unimpressed - was told we needed to switch our giftcard processing company on 12/15 and that it needed to be done by 12/31 due to the company being bought out by heartland. Heartland didn’t make contact with me rather I had to reach out to them, on several occasions. Now it’s 1/19 and still no transfer of services after several weeks of reaching out to them. Last I heard is someone would check on my account and see where they were at with registering. Mind you, this is after I’ve already bought $300 worth of product from them in order to make the switch.

3 months ago

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Lisa Vogt Athens, GA

Hidden fees. Unprofessional. Poor record keeping on THEIR end caused my business to be PCI non-compliant and I incurred fees they wouldn't credit. VERY POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE. They made no effort to contact me except for the old email address. Each time I called they would try to verify the OLD email address. I had to correct them FIVE times! Go elsewhere for your credit card processing! I certainly am.

4 months ago

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Darren Cardwell Riverton, UT

I currently have a client for whom I participated in choosing Heartland payment systems from several other options. The sales team and customer service team are very responsive to our needs. The system itself is very easy to use. Their fees are on the lower end but the quality is just as good as any other company.

3 years ago

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Andrea Southington, CT

The Best of the Worst After 3 years with Heartland Payment Systems, our contract was up and they quietly doubled our monthly fees by burying them in my January statement. I would have been willing to accept a modest increase for the convenience of next day Amex funding, but not twice the fees. Our rep told me he could not help me and recommended we go to another processor, which we have done. They have lost $6M in annual processing. After leaving, I had to request a report listing our open gift cards so that I could provide it to our new processor. Heartland is charging me $100.00 for that report. If this is how they treat small business, I will probably leave their payroll service, too.

2 years ago

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Maurice Renton, WA

I would not do business with this company. Chicago company operates like Comcast they will start jacking up fees on you. Make sure to watch statements very carefully. Their “reps are just salesmen they are not their to help”. This is a quote from their Chicago office. Corporate employees only interested in stealing your money so don’t expect any help from them. They will just keep telling you well 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. They will send you letters about processor compliance. These emails 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 BS compliance crap. Which has nothing to do with any form of compliance it turns out it is just another way for these firms to take your money. 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 they are not a firm with integrity they are just what you would expect out of Chicago. There are many other firms in industry that are better. I have owned many businesses in last 30 years. Heartland is not a business that is built on honesty or integrity so do yourself a favor and choose a different processor it will save you in the long run. Sincerely Maurice

1 year ago

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Dale Howard Phoenix, AZ

After 13 years with Heartland - they turned into a criminal company. In the middle of the night raised our rates almost 300%. $14,000 later we are switching companies. They use to be a good company - NOW BEWARE!. I understand they got bought out a year ago - the new company is unethical and criminal. They will suck you in and then raise your rate. Their equipment (we spent thousands) if they program it a certain way can not be used by other processors - so our 2 year old equipment is going to cost us $7000 to replace. Their sales reps would just soon lie to you, disguise what they are doing with smoke and mirrors, and have no problem stealing form their grandma. Be careful of the contract you sign it is evil! Hugh penalties for cancelling even though they raise your rates almost 300%.

2 years ago

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Tim Berry Elizabethtown, KY

Gave 1 Star cause I can't leave 0 . Company will tell you anything to earn your business then crap on the promise they made you. I have all emails from my rep when setting up my service and the top 3 things I needed 1: Military discounts 2: 8.5x11 printed invoices 3: inventory tracking all were promised and after paperwork was done "Sorry we don't offer those" then charged me $125 for not taking the survey and $295 for Canceling and $100 for the reader. STAY AWAY FROM THESE CLOWNS.

1 year ago

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Cheryl D Poole

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 Linda and Maile B. 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 Maile has tried to fix this but Heartland will not credit this back!! HIGHLY DISAPPOINTED!! Do NOT trust them with you business!!!

2 years ago

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Anon Ridgewood, NJ

Its a good company but have some old not so good card industry tactics. As mentioned not disclosing fees 1) aforementioned early term fees of $295 2) BPS fee on amount owed during month. 3) Sales Rep did not fully disclosing deposit time for my business during the sales process ( lost a day of funding)

4 years ago

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Jeff Mehl Woodstock, NY

READ THE SMALL PRINT! There is a non-negotiable termination fee of $199 for their ACH services. Use them if you're ok with that (I missed it so I just had to pay when I terminated after 2+ years - shame on me!!). What a ridiculous fee, but they get away with it because most of us don't read all the small print!

3 years ago

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[email protected] Towson, MD

Salesman lies to sign me in. Rates and hidden fees are crazy. Noone cares in team and good luck if they solve your problem Going back to capital one bank. No hidden fees no contract Account manager Ryan and sale man Jason!

1 year ago

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Joel Marquez Avondale, AZ

awesome the representantive was awesome show us why heartland is the best

3 years ago

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rluec Suffolk, VA

charged pci fees of $1750, not a transparent company. use another cc processor to steal your money

1 year ago

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