One of my most popular posts of all time is about integrating First Data payment processing with a website. I’ve had several clients who have First Data accounts and they’ve seemed happy with their account, so I decided to give them a try. OMG I wish I hadn’t. It cost me SO much money. It was UNREAL!
I paid almost 50% in credit card fees some months. Something wasn’t collected correctly on the form or there was a hidden charge that I still don’t, to this day, understand. I first thought it was because I had a rather large payment on my very first month. I thought there may be some one time setup fees. Wrong. They kept happening every month.
I called into customer service and they helped me set some of the switches on my account to make sure that the address was correct and the cvc number was required, etc. This was supposed to cut down on all the fees. It didn’t. First Data said it was out of their hands because it was Visa, MasterCard, etc. taking the fees, not them. Maybe.
The salesman I had – Anthony – told me the fees would be 1.9% – much less than PayPal. Wrong. Maybe the standard credit card fee was 1.9%, but that didn’t include Anthony’s cut, First Data’s cut, etc. It also didn’t count if it was a priority card, gold card or any other card that just might happen to be out there. And then there were the charges for God knows what from Visa and MasterCard. On my last bill I brought in $99 and they charged me $59 and change for fees. I’m DONE.
I only switched because I got tired of the hoops I was having to jump through with PayPal to make sure I was using PayPal Express on my merchant account. There was always extra code. AND I was tired of paying the $30/month fee to take credit cards on my site.
THANK GOD I FOUND Stripe.com! Stripe is 2.9% plus 30 cents ALWAYS. I think there may be extra for chargebacks, but I’ve NEVER had one of those, so I’m not much worried. I think that charge is only $15 even if I do have one. There is no monthly fee. Hooking it to my site is VERY easy. As a matter of fact, using it with WordPress and Gravity Forms, I only have to install another plugin, enter the API keys from my stripe account, build the form and Boom! I’m in business. Easy peasy. And so much easier on my wallet. I actually get to keep most of the money I’m paid! Imagine that!
If you are one of my clients whom I suggested First Data, I am TERRIBLY sorry! Please forgive my ignorance.
Even though the First Data post is one of my most popular, I’ve even considered taking it down. However, I realize that some clients are going to be bound and determined to use it and my post has helped many. So, I’m just going to put a very large disclaimer on the post.
First Data may charge differently for retail clients, so I can’t speak to that. But, from my experience with their web integration, the charges are ridiculously high.
My advice is to run like hell away from them if you want to keep your money. Can you tell I’m a little upset with them? You would be correct.
That’s just my 2 cents. Well, 1 cent if you use First Data for the payment.