Wells Fargo Merchant Services Review 2022: Fees and Features

Wells Fargo Merchant Services facilitates a variety of transactions online and off, but make sure to read the fine print.
Mar 12, 2022

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Wells Fargo Merchant Services offers merchant accounts with payment processing solutions and Clover hardware, but it isn’t cheap.

While it’s convenient for small-business owners who already have a Wells Fargo business deposit account and would like to buy Clover hardware, the bank's online payment processing fee for low-volume businesses is relatively high at 3.4% plus 15 cents per transaction. Monthly fees starting at $9.95 also render it less competitive than payment service providers like Square, which offers basic plans with no monthly fees.

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Deciding factors

Processing rates

Per online or keyed-in transaction: 3.1% plus 15 cents and up.

Per tapped, dipped or swiped transaction: 2.2% plus 15 cents and up.

These rates apply to business-to-consumer transactions. Separate rates are available for business-to-business transactions.

Accepted payment methods 

Credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, electronic checks and digital wallet payments.

Compatibility 

Wells Fargo Merchant Services sells Clover Mini, Clover Flex and Clover Go POS solutions, along with an FD150 terminal.

You can use equipment or gateways not received from Wells Fargo, but online rates may apply to in-person transactions.

Contract length

No early termination or cancellation fees, but terms and conditions apply.

Payout timing

As soon as the next business day when using a Wells Fargo business deposit account.

Customer support

24/7 phone support.

Pricing

Monthly fees

Transaction type

Monthly fee

In-person tapped, dipped or swiped through a terminal.

$9.95 per location.

Through your website’s online shopping cart (provided by Wells Fargo’s Authorize.net e-commerce solution).

$24.95.

Through a virtual terminal (that may or may not be purchased through Wells Fargo) or by sending digital invoices.

$9.95.

Through a third-party solution that lets you accept payments through a shopping cart, POS software or a web browser.

$14.95.

Per-transaction fees

For business-to-consumer transactions

Total monthly processing volume

Per tapped, dipped or swiped transaction

Per online or keyed-in transaction

$0 - $14,999.99

2.6% plus 15 cents.

3.4% plus 15 cents.

$15,000 - $39,999.99

2.4% plus 15 cents.

3.2% plus 15 cents.

$40,000 and up

2.2% plus 15 cents.

3.1% plus 15 cents.

For business-to-business transactions

Total monthly processing volume

Per tapped, dipped or swiped transaction

Per online or keyed-in transaction

$0 - $14,999.99

2.6% plus 20 cents.

3.99% plus 20 cents.

$15,000 - $39,999.99

2.5% plus 20 cents.

3.75% plus 20 cents.

$40,000 and up

2.4% plus 20 cents.

3.5% plus 20 cents.

Merchants who buy POS hardware from Wells Fargo Merchant Services or Authorize.net and opt for a virtual terminal may have access to discounted per-online-transaction costs ranging from 2.2% plus 15 cents to 2.6% plus 15 cents.

Benefits

Account management and reporting tools

The platform has an online tool called Business Track that collects transaction activity and connects with other apps like ClientLine Reporting, which lets business owners customize reports on payment processing details. Another app called Merchant Alert quickly notifies them of chargebacks, disputes and funding information via email.

Next-day deposit

Wells Fargo Merchant Services lets business owners deposit funds into accounts at other financial institutions, but there are some perks to using a Wells Fargo business deposit account instead. Merchants who choose to use the in-house deposit account will have access to their funds as soon as the next business day.

Drawbacks

Expensive

Wells Fargo Merchant Services probably isn’t the best choice for businesses that do most of their sales online. Its payment processing rate per online business-to-consumer transaction is 3.4% plus 15 cents for companies that process less than $15,000 per month. For online business-to-business transactions, that cost rises to 3.99% plus 20 cents. There’s also a $24.95 per month fee for businesses that use a shopping cart provided by Wells Fargo’s Authorize.net e-commerce solution. In comparison, Stripe doesn't charge monthly fees and Square offers a free option. Their online payment processing rates are both 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction.

The bank receives poor reviews

Over 3,900 complaints have been lodged against Wells Fargo bank on the Better Business Bureau website, and it averages a 1-star rating based on more than 500 customer reviews posted to the site. While the reviews mostly address the consumer business, complaints of poor customer service, surprise fees and slow responses to unauthorized charges might give business owners pause. The bank has been the subject of multiple investigations and in September 2021 received a cease-and-desist order from the Office of the Comptroller of Currency for deficiencies in its home lending loss mitigation program and violations of a previous consent order.

Alternatives

Payline Data

Pricing:

  • In-person plan: Interchange plus 0.2% and 10 cents per in-person transaction; $10 per month.

  • Online plan: Interchange plus 0.4% and 20 cents per online transaction; $20 per month.

Overview: Payline Data is a solid merchant account provider for small businesses that have been turned down elsewhere because they’re “high-risk” merchants. The term can apply to companies that offer age-restricted products or have a high risk of fraud or chargebacks. This includes businesses that sell tobacco, computer software, CBD, dating services, fantasy sports and more. For more information, the company’s website includes a calculator that lets you estimate what your monthly costs would be.

Helcim

Helcim

Helcim
Shop Now

on Helcim's website

Pricing:

  • In-person payments: Interchange plus 0.3% and 8 cents per transaction for businesses with $25,000 or less in monthly card transactions.

  • Keyed and online payments: Interchange plus 0.5% and 25 cents per transaction for businesses with $25,000 or less in monthly card transactions.

Overview: With an interchange-plus pricing structure, Helcim is fantastic for small businesses looking for transparency and volume discounts. Rates begin dropping after a business surpasses the $25,000 monthly credit card volume threshold. Merchants don’t have to worry about monthly fees or contracts.

Square

Square
Shop Now

on Square's website

Pricing:

  • Tapped, dipped and swiped in-person payments: 2.6% plus 10 cents per transaction.

  • Card-not-present transactions: 3.5% plus 15 cents per transaction.

  • E-commerce transactions: 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction.

Overview: For small-business owners considering a payment service provider rather than a merchant account provider, Square is a good option. Its flat-rate pricing is easy to understand, and signing up doesn’t require much commitment. The free POS software plan has no monthly fees and includes features like low-stock alerts, item categories, saved carts, invoices, e-gift cards and integrated payments. The company also offers POS hardware, along with plans tailored to restaurants, professional services and retail shops.

Georgia McIntyre contributed to this article.