Elavon is a merchant acquirer out of Atlanta, Georgia. They were previously known as Nova Information Systems originally founded in 1991, however the company went through a rebranding in 2008 when they reincorporated and have been known as Elavon since then.
Elavon handles a small percentage of their overall portfolio directly, the majority of merchants will be working with independent sales organizations and agents. As a result merchants experiences will vary widely depending on who they are working with. Our review is focused on what we believe the typical floor is for most merchants working through Elavon.
While different sales representatives may offer different options with regards to interchange or tiered and varying pricing, things that look to be standard across all paperwork we have seen for Elavon’s services include a 3 year contract and a minimum cancellation fee of $295.
Common Complaints we’ve found around Elavon include:
- The merchants signing contracts with what turned out to only be introductory rates, and found their costs skyrocketing within a few months, or they claim to have been mislead or underinformed regarding the difference between the qualified rates they were shown, and the non-qualified rates that most of their purchases were
- Almost invariably these same businesses also claim that they were all locked into at least 3 year contracts and were forced to then make a decision as to whether they should keep paying the new more expensive fees or pay a $295 early termination costs, to allow them to find a better merchant processor.
- Another issue which is common to many of the merchant service providers we have reviewed, is small business owners complaining that the rates they were sold on were only for qualified transactions, and they were not made aware of the increases that would occur with both mid and non-qualified ones. Make sure you are getting a solid handle on which rates in the contract will most likely be seen during a typical business month.
- A final warning from former/current customers of Elavon is to make sure you clear up any potential “reserve” issues, some businesses found that not all of their money was being deposited and that Elavon was holding what they deemed to be excessive reserves as protection against chargebacks.
Small business owners considering Elavon need to do their due diligence to make sure the ISO or agent they are working with are giving them the best deal possible and not building out extraneous margins that increase their bottom line at the expense of your own. Additionally our recommendation if you are signing up with Elavon is to visit their website directly, as it appears during our research that often the complaints lodged against Elavon were against individual resellers, so you can mitigate the risk by contacting Elavon directly.
Note: Before you get started here is a final piece of advice from our co-founder Gerald Evans on the importance of calling a merchant service provider and avoiding the temptation to ask for rates and quotes through email alone. Why You Should Always Call
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