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Wells Fargo Merchant Services: 2022 Review

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  • Starting transaction fees: $0.15, plus 2.20% of the purchase amount
  • Best for: Business owners who are already happy banking with Wells Fargo and aren't picky about their point-of-sale (POS) hardware.

Pros and cons of Wells Fargo Merchant Services

ProsCons

  No early cancellation fees 

  24/7 customer support and use of any of Wells Fargo's abundant branches

  Offers Interchange Plus pricing for certain businesses

  Expensive and confusing fee structure

  Higher costs for B2B businesses

  Only three hardware options, some of which may come with extra monthly fees

  Negative reputation due to poor customer service and abundant legal scandals throughout company

Wells Fargo Merchant Services review

It’s a bit hard to run a successful small business if your customers don’t have a convenient way to pay you. For most businesses, that means finding a way to accept credit card payments, and that’s what the merchant services division at Wells Fargo offers. Wells Fargo does make it relatively easy to get started with credit card payments, but it does tend to be more expensive than its competitors and…well…it is Wells Fargo, complete with its warty reputation and all.

Who is Wells Fargo Merchant Services for?
  • You’re already a Wells Fargo customer. Keeping all of your small business banking accounts in-house can keep things simpler, so you can focus more on running your business.
  • You’re a traveling salesperson. If you prefer in-person help when needed, you won’t find much more support than Wells Fargo’s 4,900 branch locations that you can access for assistance.
  • You prefer to work with large, well-known banks. Wells Fargo is the third largest bank in the United States, according to the Federal Reserve.

Wells Fargo Merchant Services fees and rates

Merchant services fees and rates are notoriously confusing. Wells Fargo isn’t that different, and your cost for accepting credit card payments will change each month. To get started, you’ll need to purchase Clover or FD150 Terminal point-of-sale (POS) hardware so you can swipe cards in person (if needed). After that one-time expense, you’ll have ongoing monthly charges composed of three things: a monthly fee, a charge for the volume of transactions and possibly a charge for the software used to run your hardware.

Per-transaction rates

Wells Fargo has two different pricing schemes for the volume of credit card processing you use in a given month. Whichever schedule you use depends on who your primary customer is — individual people or other businesses.

Business to consumer transaction fees

If you’re selling primarily to individual people and not businesses, organizations or other groups, then you’ll generally fall under the umbrella of business-to-consumer, or B2C business. This is the type of business most people commonly associate with accepting credit cards and includes places like restaurants, bakeries, hardware stores and other retailers and service providers.

Total monthly processing volumePer tap, dip, swipe transactionPer online or keyed-in transaction
$0 - $14,999.992.60% + $0.153.40% + $0.15
$15,000 - $39,999.992.40% + $0.153.20% + $0.15
$40,000 & up2.20% + $0.153.10% + $0.15

Rates accurate as of Aug. 22, 2022.

Business to business transaction fees

When your clients presumably have bigger pockets, it’s not uncommon to charge them more. Wells Fargo fully embraces that approach, and if your primary customer base is other businesses (i.e., business-to-business, or B2B), you’ll be charged more to accept credit card payments from them. This would be the case if you operate an advertising company, for example, or are a wholesale retailer or warehouse.

Total monthly processing volumePer tap, dip, swipe transactionPer online or keyed-in transaction
$0 - $14,999.992.60% + $0.203.99% + $0.20
$15,000 - $39,999.992.50% + $0.203.75% + $0.20
$40,000 & up2.40% + $0.203.50% + $0.20

Rates accurate as of Aug. 22, 2022.

Monthly service fees

On the surface, it seems like a credit card payment is just that — a credit card payment. But there are lots of ways you can accept credit cards, including in person by swiping, typing in your customer’s credit card numbers manually online (such as if you send an invoice), using another third-party software system or setting up an automatic online payment on e-commerce websites. Each of these options comes with its own monthly fees.

On the one hand, that’s good — you don’t need to pay an extra monthly fee for in-person systems if you only operate online, for example. On the other hand, if your business uses all of these payment types, that’s a whopping $60 per month just in service fees — and that’s before you even get to the per-transaction charges.

Payment method Monthly service fee
In person payment (tap, dip or swipe) or POS Clover systems$9.95 for each business location
Through your website’s e-commerce online shopping cart$24.95
Through a virtual terminal by keying customer card information$9.95
Through a third-party payment software$14.95

Rates accurate as of Aug. 22, 2022.

Point-of-sale (POS) systems

If you’re a business with a physical presence, you’ll need to consider hardware costs as well. Wells Fargo doesn’t let you select any hardware type you want; your choices are limited between two Clover systems and one First Data option. These should cover a wide range of business needs, but they’re not as flashy as some of the new rotating countertop processors you often see at food service and other counter-based businesses.

  • FD150 Terminal: This common countertop punch pad/printer system costs $495.
  • Clover Flex: This spiffier handheld model also has a built-in printer and costs $565.
  • Clover®1 Go: A portable dip-type device that you use with your smartphone and costs $69.

In addition to the one-time cost of the device, there may be ongoing costs too. For example, Clover integrates with many other apps that can help you run your business, and these may have their own monthly fees. You can also pay a software upgrade fee ($14.95 per Clover Go device, plus extra if you have other Clover devices) to get additional features, like inventory and order management capabilities.

Wells Fargo Merchant Services eligibility requirements

Wells Fargo doesn’t provide much information on the business requirements to get a merchant services account. You’ll need to be physically located within the U.S. to qualify, and you and each of the other business owners (if applicable) will need to pass a credit check. According to Wells Fargo, this is only to vet your business’s risk level.

Alternatives to Wells Fargo Merchant Services

Wells Fargo is the picture of a traditional merchant services provider, but they’re not your only option. There are plenty of similar companies in the credit card processing business today, and depending on your business needs, these might be better options for you:

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Wells Fargo Merchant ServicesSquareHelcim
POS hardware priceClover Go: $69
Clover Flex: $565
FD150 terminal: $495
Stand: $149
Stand mount: $149 Register: $799
Terminal: $299
Reader for contactless and chip: $49
Reader for magstripe: First reader free, $10 for each one thereafter
Reader: $109
Starting monthly fee$9.95No monthly feeNo monthly fees
Transaction rates$0.15 to $0.20 per transaction plus 2.20% to 3.99% of the purchase amount, based on customer type, transaction type and monthly processing volume.$0.10 to $0.30 per transaction plus 2.6% to 3.5% of the purchase amount, based on transaction type.$0.05 to $0.25 per transaction plus 0.10% to 0.50% of the purchase amount, based on transaction type and monthly processing volume.
Transaction price tiersHigher costs for B2B businessesOne pricing tierOne pricing tier
Number of enforcement actions taken against the company by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau7 since 201500
Customer service call-in support hours 24/76am to 6pm PSTTechnical support: Monday through Friday: 9am to 9pm EST
Saturday through Sunday: 11am to 7pm EST

Rates accurate as of Aug. 22, 2022.

Wells Fargo Merchant Services vs. Square

Wells Fargo is generally going to be more expensive than Square, especially if you’re running a B2B business. Square offers more types of card reader devices than Wells Fargo and has escaped the controversies that surround the mega bank, although its customer support options are a little lacking in comparison. If you’re a merchant who makes most of their sales in the evening, for example, and you’re not very tech-savvy, you could run into problems getting help on a timeline for when you actually need it should you run into any problems.

Wells Fargo Merchant Services vs. Helcim

Helcim is an up-and-coming credit card processor that’s especially appealing for business owners on a budget. It only offers one model of card reader, but it’s uber affordable, as are its fees. Unfortunately though, just like with Square, it’s a little lacking in the customer support department. If you run a bakery or a coffee stand open first thing in the morning and you run into any issues, for example, you may struggle to get a hold of customer support when you need it.

 

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