First Data Review

First Data Review



First Data is considered as the biggest fish in the pond, as the company is one of the oldest, established in 1969 if compared to any other MSP. They have a huge merchant base all over the world as they have served more than 6 million merchants so far.

Even though, their main head office is situated in Atlanta, GA but they have number of offices situated in different cities around the globe. They are also operating an independent sales wing from the office situated in Calabasas, CA.

As there are hundreds and thousands of resellers working for First Data, it is almost impossible for me to provide my readers with details about them, so in this review, I will only focus on the direct sales channel of First Data. In my experience, I find few good resellers while many do nothing except giving a bad name to the company they are selling for. So when it comes to signing a deal, my recommendation is to talk directly to the FD rep.

FD is operating with an excellent in-house sales team, so they are pretty easily accessible. I only recommend a middle-man of the reseller is offering you something beyond what company is offering you in a direct sale offer, otherwise, please avoid resellers. For the convenience of my readers, I have prepared two separate sections for advantages and disadvantages of working with FD as a merchant.


They are a huge company and providing every service to their clients under one roof. This is very convenient for merchants who want to save their time. They are also very resourceful when it comes to technology and tools.

They have a huge database from where any merchant can find something to learn. They are providing a long list of value added services to their clients. Some of the tools that can be very beneficial for merchants are those that deal with transaction data, PCI compliance, fraud prevention, analytics and chargeback dispute resolution.

They also signed a partnership deal with Google Wallet to enable their clients to accept mobile payments. So, if you want to talk about value added services, it is hard to find a better MSP than FD but wait, it always comes with a price, so please read the next section before making your mind.


To begin with, they are expensive to work with.As they are offering too many value added services, they charge accordingly. Above this, they also have a very high early termination fee. If this is not enough, they use a billing method of enhanced billback that for me is not fair for Merchants.

If you have skills to negotiate, you can find a better deal with the FD but you need to convince them hard. You can also seek our help if you want to sign a better deal with FD, as we can help you in this regard.

They are also quick in withholding funds and terminating accounts. My advice is to learn about the things that can shut you down on FD before signing up a deal with them, or you will have to regret when they close your account.

They also have a strong social media presence on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.

I give them 4 out of 5 because they are doing fine in business. For bigger merchants, the company is ideal to work with.   


Date Established:

The First Data headquarters is in Atlanta, Georgia. Their Independent Sales headquarters is in Calabasas, California.

Domain Name(s):


Parent/Partner Company:
Cardservice International, Inc. is a DBA of First Data’s. Cardservice also sells merchant services.

Registered ISO/MSP, Direct Processor.

Acquiring Bank(s) (Acquirer):
Wells Fargo Bank.

Payment Processor(s):
First Data is the processor.

Payment Gateway(s):
First Data Global Gateway (formerly LinkPoint).

Trust Symbols:
You can find the First Data BBB profile here. It has an “A+” rating as of this review, with 215 complaints in the last 36 months.

They also have a TrusLink profile that you can find here.

Negative Reviews

As thousands of resellers are working for FD, I find many irrelevant complaints against FD on websites like RipOffReport and Better Business Bureau. Most complaints are about the attitude of resellers so I find them irrelevant, but few genuine complaints are also there. For a company of this size, it is natural to have this many complaints.

Common Complaints:

There are few common complaints about excessive fees and additional charges, account termination and withholding of funds, billing methods like enhanced billback.

Verifiable Testimonials/References:
There are plenty of testimonials and customer success stories on the First Data website.

The First Data application is secured by Verisign.

Customer Service:
Surprisingly, their customer service is actually pretty good.

Contract Duration:
The contract duration varies. Your sales rep will probably determine it during sign-up, but judging from their terms and conditions, it looks like the default term length is 4-years. Read the “Term and Termination” clause under Article VI, Section 26 for reference.

Cancellation Fee:

The Cancellation fee they charge for early termination fee is higher than any other MSP in my experience, and is brutal if you ask me. They use a formula to calculate the early termination fee that ended up with very high figure. Make sure that you convince their sales rep to waive off the early termination fee, as most will do that, just make sure you have it in written.

Interchange-Plus Pricing:
Interchange-plus is offered by First Data. Be sure to ask for it. If you don’t know the rate/terms to ask for, let me know. I’ll tell you. :)

Seasonal Downtime:
First Data does offer seasonal downtime, but be sure to work out the terms with your sales rep.

Product Offering:
Worldwide (International) Payments, eCommerce (Online), Payment Gateway, Virtual Terminal, Retail (Credit/Debit), Check Processing, ACH, EBT (Electronic Benefits Tranfer), Gift Reward & Incentive Cards, Terminals, Point-of-Sale (POS), Mail Order/Telephone Order (MOTO), Mobile Commerce, Payroll & Disbursement, PCI Security & Compliance.

Online Payments (eCommerce).

Don’t forget to leave your review and rating in the comment section below. :)


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One Comment

  1. The worst company ever, i have a business & i was using there merchant credit card processing. There customer service is horrible where they do not returns calls for days/ up to a week. My original rep “Chris” never returned my calls. I had a client standing in front of my desk attempting to bill them out & was unable as well as unable to reach any customer service rep for assistance. I lost money,time, with this company. I finally had to cxl the account & go with someone else thru a business referral. Don’t use them they are the worse !!!!

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