elavon merchant services

2019 Elavon Review: Features and Fees

Elavon Merchant Services is an Atlanta-based merchant account provider, and they are one of the largest in the USA.

3 billion transactions.

That’s how much Elavon processes in just one year. Yikes!

You might expect some perks for using such a huge company that operates in over 30 countries. Namely, good service and low fees. 

However, Elavon doesn’t quite fulfil this expectation. 

Before explaining why this is the case, we’re going to run you through the products and features that  Elavon offers and figure out how much they cost.

Finally, we’ll look at online reviews so you can figure out whether Elavon merchant services are right for you! 

What products does Elavon offer?

Due to its huge size, Elavon manages all of its payment solutions processing in-house. This means you don’t need to worry about dealing with any backend processors – what you see is what you get. 

Here are some of the other features you get as an Elavon customer: 

  • POS systems: The card machines that Elavon offers are fairly good, so you can easily complete face-to-face transactions without any hiccups. They all feature mag-stripe, NFC (necessary for Apple Pay/Google Pay etc.), and have vibrant coloured displays. They also offer mobile/wireless card terminals that are ideal for businesses on the move.
  • Payment gateway: If you don’t want to use Elavon’s standard payment gateway or customer portals, customer support will give you advice on how to integrate the gateway of your choice with Elavon.
  • Virtual Terminal: The use of a virtual terminal is included in Elavon’s ‘’Converge’ pack. This is an eCommerce platform that’s available as an extra, for an additional fee of course! Worth noting, virtual terminals are essential for accepting payments online, so you’ll probably need this feature unless your business exclusively accepts payments face-to-face.
  • Loyalty Card integration: Elavon offers something called ‘Fanfare’ which lets you develop a loyalty program for customers who make regular online payments. This is a feature that’s rare amongst other payment providers. 
  • Online Reports: You can analyse card transactions, chargebacks, and any funding activity. This is vital for analysing your business performance. 
  • Anti-Fraud measures: Elavon’s payment services meet PCI compliance and feature 3D secure, which helps your customers stay safe from fraud.
  • Customer support: Due to their sheer size, Elavon is able to offer 24/7 customer support services, so you can get in touch whenever you need them. 
  • Accepts most cards: Elavon gives customers plenty of payment options. They accept most debit and credit cards, including the usual suspects, Visa and Mastercard. Also accepted are premium cards like American Express and Discover. Customers can also use Apple Pay, or if they’ve got an Android smartphone, Google Pay. 

Overall, Elavon offers a decent amount of features for your money. That being said, some of them are likely unnecessary for many merchants.

For instance, the terminals they offer are good, but are very expensive and often involve you getting stuck in a long lease. For a small business, these card machines are overkill.

Is it worth the money? Let’s take a look at how much these features will cost you: 

How much are Elavon’s fees?

In the past, signing up with Elavon meant that you were trapped in a 3-year contract, with a hefty early termination fee if you wanted out. 

Thankfully, they’ve improved a little – there’s no cancellation fee. However, they still insist on a three-year contract!

In theory, you should be able to cancel and treat Elavon as a sort of ‘month-to-month’ contract.

However, there have been reports online that the cancellation process is extremely tedious and a few merchants have actually been charged longer than they should’ve been. 

Frustratingly, Elavon doesn’t post UK fees on their website, so we’re going to have to look at the prices in the United States and then perform some currency conversion magic to convert to good old Pound Sterling. 

Let’s take a look: 

Small business category: 

  • 2.65% + $0.19 transaction fee (roughly £0.15 at time of writing) 
  • $10 (£8) flat monthly fee. 

Large business – 

  • Contact for a quote. 

Yep, that is all the information we can find regarding pricing. Helpful! Finding out how much Elavon charges is a truly irritating affair. 

Let’s look at the fees that are advertised. Unfortunately, small business transaction fees are easily beaten – Square, for instance, only charge 2.5% of each transaction with no monthly fees and they also accept most of the credit and debit cards that Elavon does. 

On top of this, the point of sale system fees are hard to come by (shocker), as the devices available in the US differ from the UK – again, you’ll need to enquire directly.

So we’re not too excited by Elavon’s payment processing fees, but what do other merchants make of the service? 

What are the reviews like for Elavon?

With a pretty dire 1.5/5 on TrustPilot for it’s UK merchant account services, Elavon is one of the worst-reviewed payment processors we’ve seen. 91% of TrustPilot reviewers rate the service as ‘bad’. 

Here’s a rundown of the comments from the reviews:

Merchants liked:

  • No early termination fee.
  • App/website is really easy to use.
  • Affordable transaction rates and monthly fees reportedly quoted for big businesses. 
  • Credit card processing times are fast. 

Merchants weren’t impressed by: 

  • The customer service support team has been slated online for being terrible.
  • Unexpected card payment fees coming from seemingly nowhere.
  • Accounts being suspended without warning. 
  • Some customers noted that their card reader was installed poorly. 

Summary: 

It doesn’t look good for Elavon’s UK merchant account service.

For a start, they’re not very transparent with pricing so it’s difficult to figure out what you’d actually be paying.

Secondly, the fees that are available (on the US site) aren’t anything to write home about. Combine this with an overwhelming amount of negative reviews, and you’ll probably be rightly-inclined to stay away from Elavon Merchant Services.

The bottom line is – we can’t recommend Elavon to anyone looking for a new merchant account or credit card processor in its current form.

So if your search for the perfect merchant account continues, then check out our reviews for CardSave (WorldPay) and BrainTree!

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