Article by Chris Costi, Last update at March 7, 2019
North American Bancard, which trades under the ticker symbol of NAB, is a Troy, Michigan-based merchant services provider. Founded in the early 1990’s, in the nearly 30 years since its inception, the company has expanded at an enviable pace. Currently, North American Bancard serves more than a quarter of a million merchants and processes nearly $35 billion worth of transactions every year. They provide a wide array of credit-processing and POS services, as well as an ample inventory of miscellaneous helpful offerings such currency conversions and cash advances for merchants.
On their webpage, NAB discloses very little information concerning their fee structures. In fact, the only specific number one can find on their webpage is a claim boasting that their rates begin at a low of “.29%.” Of course, this quote only represents part of the picture regarding a contract with NAB, as it doesn’t specify the per-transaction cost.
Many of NAB’s competitors offer a mixture of interchange-plus and tiered pricing plans, and NAB does a good job of keeping pace with these marketplace standards. The most important determinant of the plan for which your company will be eligible will be the volume it processes every month. Simply stated, the more your company processes every month, the lower the rates for which it will qualify. Sadly, this places smaller companies with low processing volumes at a disadvantage, as it signifies that they will pay the highest rates. Thus, one can safely assume that the previously-mentioned .29% rate repeatedly quoted across their web page will be reserved for only the largest of companies.
NAB’s website doesn’t address interchange-plus or tiered pricing. Unfortunately, this is a sign that their tendency is to ambush merchants using generally more-expensive tiered pricing plans. Typically, these tend to cost more than their interchange-plus counterparts.
If you’re wondering how to tell if a plan your company is being offered is tiered, check for separate rates. These rates will be listed as non-qualified, mid-qualified, and qualified. Sales team members will sometimes misrepresent the nature of your contract by quoting only the qualified rate, which is never as high as the remaining two. However, few transactions fall into the qualified tier, leaving your company exposed to unnecessarily steep prices with a tiered plan.
North American Bancard is merchant services provider that offers a wide array of services, including POS options, mobile payments, reporting and analytics, till rentals, acceptance of international currencies, online and web-based credit card terminals, and cash advances.
Many of the services they provide, such as their mobile payments and their credit-processing options, are rendered through other companies.
While there have historically been many complaints written online about the company’s hidden charges and egregious early termination charges, their new, revamped contracts that do away with these fees have resulted in a quieting of online grievances.
For their merchant accounts, NAB relies on First Data and Global Payments to do the heavy lifting on on their backend processing. It’s important to mention that you should be aware of which of the two is handling your account, as you will need to know whom to contact in the event of a processing mishap.
Over the course of its development, it has managed to buy-out most of its smaller competitors. Most recently, it acquired Total Merchant Services last year. At present, NAB boasts more than a 1,000 staff members and over three times that quantity of sales agents who help connect customers to the business’ services anywhere in the United States.
However, many of the complaints levied against the company stem from negative interactions with these independent agents. During the course of our research, we stumbled upon a wealth of stories and consumer cautionary tales describing how merchants had been misled, kept in dark about important contractual stipulations, or directly lied to about the nature of the account for which they were signing up. Many of the agents contracted had minimal, if any, experience in sales, were inadequately trained, and found themselves released into the field to make sales without any assistance from NAB.
Usually, the types of agents listed on these complaints are paid exclusively by commission, display massive turnover rates, and are unavailable to provide post-sale support to confused merchants.
Merchants have reported confusion generated by the terms of NAB’s contracts, and, consequently, we advise that you carefully evaluate the nature of the agreement outlined by the company before embarking upon a partnership with them. While NAB has unfurled a marketing campaign touting its new short-term, monthly agreements, there are still numerous grievances cropping up around the internet that give reason to believe that their notorious three-year contracts, known for their accompanying high Early Termination Fees, are still being sold.Though some would assume that accepting the company’s incentive of a “complimentary” terminal is tantamount to agreeing to their multi-year contracts, this simply isn’t always so. Moreover, what NAB outlines as their customer-friendly, month-to-month contract, upon closer inspection, seems to be nothing more than a restructuring of their normal contract with an elimination of the Early Termination Fee.
Those that receive a waiver for the early termination receive a signed, separate addendum along with the documentation of their agreement. Your company will need to store a copy of it for their files, as there are reports abounding of merchants who were dealt a penalty for early termination despite having have signed up for the monthly plan.
Additionally, while the company flaunts its credit card terminals as being free of charge, be aware that they come with stipulations. Oftentimes, these stipulations can create undesirable conditions, such as that your company pays no costs upfront for the terminal, but is obligated to pay for its lease at a stratospheric rate every month.
Most importantly, whatever you do, do not allow the company to seduce you into an inescapable, three year contract in exchange for the promise of access to a free terminal. It’s simply not worth it in the long run.
The ability to process mobile payments is an attractive component of NAB’s family of services, and it’s important that you know which processing solution they employ. Presently, they use PayAnywhere, which runs on both Android and iOS devices. It can process magstripe, NFC, and EMV-based methods of payment using its Bluetooth-powered card reader.
While it might be tempting to sign up for one of the company’s cash advances, be aware that without prudent debt-management strategies in place, these can lead to serious danger for your organization.
Customers can rest assured that, no matter what they need or when they need it, NAB’s 24-hour-a-day customer support will be just a phone call away.
Technical and customer service lines are handled across two separate phone numbers, and online reviews demonstrate that the technical support team is especially adept at resolving client concerns.
It’s important to note NAB has definitely improved its online fingerprint in the past year or so. Though complaints are still surfacing, their volume is significantly more reasonable in proportion to the amount of merchants with which they interact. Though it’s impossible to pinpoint the exact cause of the improved online standings, we believe it has something to do with their recent contract reforms.