Updated on November 22, 2021
Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Fiserv, Inc. is a large American company that provides financial services to industry players such as credit unions, banks, brokers and other retailers of similar nature.
Even though it started out as a barely noticeable player in the industry with only a few services to offer, things changed immensely in the year 2019. This is when Fiserv, Inc. got the ownership of First Data, one of the largest providers of merchant accounts in the United States.
What is First Data?
Before coming under Fiserv, Inc., First Data had over 6 million merchants worldwide availing its credit card processing services. With a huge client base already, First Data took care of almost 45% of all debit and credit transactions in the United States.
What Was the Impact of the Acquisition?
As per the agreement between the two entities, all of First Data’s services will be given under Fiserv’s name. First Data’s website has also been removed and all the redirects are linked to Fiserv’s site. However, complete integration may take over ten years.
The reason we have chosen to stick to the name “First Data” for this review is that it has over 3000 resellers and switching to a completely new website with updated documentation will take quite a while.
What Kind of Businesses Does It Work For?
Even though First Data markets itself among small and medium-sized businesses, the costs and terms are not entirely suitable. Long contracts and expensive tools sometimes drive small businesses away.
What Products and Services Does It Provide?
From point-of-sale services to merchant accounts, First Data provides what you may need to run a business. Here is a detailed review of all the services it offers.
Credit card terminals: It offers both wireless and wired models to support a variety of payment methods. The newer FD150 has an even better onboard memory along with faster processing. However, it’s better to shop around and look at what resellers have to offer since the website does not reveal any prices.
Merchant Accounts: One of the benefits associated with using First Data’s merchant account services is that it provides a kind of stability that a small or unknown organization cannot. You may have to deal with the company for most aspects of your account but in the long run, it will benefit you the right way.
Point of sale system: POS systems, particularly those of Clover are one of the most powerful products First Data has to offer. Even though the Clover Station is a flagship product, Clover mini, which is a slightly smaller product, is also available.
Even though First Data excels at providing POS terminals to a number of clients, they’re rather costly and may take a toll on your budget especially if you have a small business. For instance, there’s a $1000 charge for a Clover Station POS product with a heavy service fee to use the system effectively. This fee comes in addition to the cost you incur with a merchant account fee monthly.
Mobile POS: Another notable feature that comes with availing First Data’s services is the mobile POS system. Through a portable device, you can merge your POS functionality with a smartphone.
Moreover, it also has a barcode scanner along with a color touch screen and a receipt printer in the package. Since the pricing isn’t revealed on First Data’s website, you may have to look around for deals offered by resellers.
Payment Gateway: Apart from merchant accounts and POS terminals, First Data also provides payment gateways for retailers to accept payments securely. The best part is that since it’s integrated with more than 70 shopping carts, you can also use the facility for an eCommerce business. To add more, you can also accept debit or credit card payments and multiple currencies through the gateway.
Positive and Negative Reviews
For a company as large as First Data, it’s impossible to avoid negative reviews. Even though the company is the largest provider of financial services across the States, there have been complaints related to the products being overpriced, etc. Currently First Data has a 2.2 star average on Google and Fiserv has a 3.2 star average. The (BBB) Better Business Bureau currently has a 3.38 star average with 281 reviews.
The equipment is overpriced: The leases that come with using First Data services can have a duration as long as four years. On top of that, you cannot cancel them, which means no matter what the circumstances, you will have to pay the monthly lease.
High account fees: More often than not, people who skip reading important parts of the contract complain about the high account fees. Since it’s a big name in the market, First Data charges a fee comparatively higher than the rest. Therefore, smaller businesses looking for low-key merchant accounts may not be able to afford it.
Account termination: Even if there’s a slight hint of fraud, First Data reserves the right to terminate your account and freeze any funds in it.
While price is not a strong point for First Data, it has enjoyed success stories and testimonials depicting how well it worked for its huge client base.
However, the posts are longer available on the new website under Fiserv’s name, which is why we may not be able to shed light on them.
The Bottom Line
For large businesses, there are many services in the area of payment processing that competitors cannot match against. However, smaller businesses may not be able to enjoy the same perks due to heavy charges. One of the biggest strengths of First Data’s services is that the POS systems it offers can be integrated with any third-party service, allowing eCommerce businesses to run smoothly.
In the end, the experience every business has with First Data’s services can vary. Make sure to do thorough research on the products and services of its competitors and their prices before you consider using First Data’s services. Whether you’re looking for a reliable POS service provider or merchant accounts, First Data’s services will assist you in every way possible.
Visit our homepage here to find our recommendations of the best merchant accounts in U.S.