Electronic Merchant Systems Review

Electronic Merchant Systems Review


Electronic Merchant Systems (EMS) is one of the largest processors in the U.S. They have been in the business since 1987. Headquarter of EMS is located in Ohio while their offices operate all around the U.S.

EMS has a long list of services that you can choose from. Let’s discuss briefly some noteworthy things about their services that you should know before signing up with them.

Leases are always unfair on the part of merchant but they do help processors in making a lot of money. It looks like Electronic Merchant Systems likes to push credit card terminal leases and that’s really a bad news for small merchants. Nowadays you can easily purchase a terminal at cheaper rates.

Another thing that I didn’t like about them is their charges for cancellation. There is chance that they might put off the fee ($595) for an early termination if you ask. But carefully read all terms and conditions before signing the contract.

Apparently large companies have many complaints against them and so is the case with EMS; I found quite a few complaints filed against them on BBB.

There is quite a chance that you can negotiate lower rates with them but these rates may vary from business to business and depending on that your opinion about them may differ. So if you are considering working with Electronic Merchant System, let me know as I can really help you in this regard.

All in all, I see EMS is a processor of average ranking. Furthermore, you can look into the complaints section below.

I have rated Electronic Merchant System 3.5 out of 5.

Date Established:

Cleveland, Ohio.

Domain Name(s):

  • www.emscorporate.com
  • www.emsuniversity.net
  • www.convenupay.com
  • www.emsagent.com
  • www.emspartner.com
  • www.emspaymentonline.com
  • www.emsdataprotection.com

Parent/Partner Company:
EMS has no parent company. They do, however, have sales partnerships with several other companies whom would be considered their sub-ISOs. You can think of a sub-ISO as a smaller, independently-owned sales wing of EMS.


Acquiring Bank(s) (Acquirer):
Chesapeake Bank and Merrick Bank.

Payment Processor(s):
EMS is a direct processor.

Payment Gateway(s):

Trust Symbols:
There are several BBB profiles for the company name “Electronic Merchant Systems.”

I’ve listed the ones that matter below:

The EMS Ohio (HQ) profile has a “B-” rating with 95 complaints as of this update.
The EMS Illinois profile has no rating and 0 complaints as of this update.
The EMS Maryland profile has an “A+” rating and 0 complaintsas of this update.

Negative Reviews/Complaints:
There are a decent number of complaints online, but not an overwhelming amount. EMS is a large company, so they’ll naturally have more complaints than others.

Common Complaints:

I have discussed some of the commonalities among the complaints that I found:

  • Expensive terminal lease contracts through Lease Finance Group (LFG): Few of the merchants have complained that they were not aware of the 4-year contract earlier. It’s hard to pin the blame on the company as it will be the merchants not the company who are at fault in not having the information on the process of leases. Nowadays you can buy these terminals at far cheaper rates, so there is no point in getting into the lease thing. In fact many of the honest processors have walked away from the leases because they are quite unreasonable for the merchants, especially those with the small business. They only seem reasonable for large companies that require multiple terminals but don’t have upfront finances to make the purchase.
  • Cancellation Fee:  They lock you in a contract that holds up for 1-2 year and getting out of this really costs a lot. They charge you for an early termination with fees of $595. At this point, you can go with any other company that doesn’t charge for cancellation.

Verifiable Testimonials/References:
EMS does not have any testimonials on their site, so be sure to ask for references.

No on-site security features (i.e. McAfee, Security Metrics etc…).

Customer Service:
Existing customers get 24/7 service and support.

Contract Duration:
1-2 years (auto-renewing).

Cancellation Fee:

Note: EMS is known to offer terminal leases which can increase your cancellation fee significantly. A terminal lease is independent of your merchant contract and carries its own term and penalty.

Interchange-Plus Pricing:
Interchange-plus is offered by Electronic Merchant Systems. Be sure to learn what it is, then ask for it.

Seasonal Downtime:
Seasonal downtime is also offered by Electronic Merchant Systems.

Product/Service Offering:
Retail (Credit/Debit), Online/e-Commerce Payments, Quick Service Restaurant (QSR), Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), Mail Order/Telephone Order (MOTO), Wireless, Mobile, Merchant Cash Advance, Recurring Payments, eCheck Processing, Gift & Loyalty, Check Processing.

Product/Service Specialty:


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One Comment

  1. Stay away from EMS. After having to cancel my two merchant accounts, they’re requiring me to pay $1200 even though we processed zero dollars and the accounts were open for 13 days total. Mike T was a complete jerk, threatened me with collection agency referrerals if I didn’t pay EMS the $1200 to terminate. I would not recommend this processor to anyone, I’ll be leaving honest reviews on EMS on every site I can find!

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