Sekure Merchant Solutions is a lesser-known merchant services provider in the market. This in-depth review sets out to analyze the company’s services and offerings and discover how it relates to its customers and if its terms are friendly to merchants who use the service. Throughout the article, comparisons are drawn with Host Merchant Services, a credit card processing solution for merchants. The aim is to help prospective customers gain sound information that would help their decision-making process.
Sekure Merchant Solutions started in 2006, and according to claims on the company’s website, it has over 25,000 customers already. This is an impressive achievement, no doubt. However, perhaps Sekure would have built a larger customer base if only the company’s online identity was not so unclear, especially from the perspective of prospective customers.
For instance, besides ‘Sekure Merchant Solutions’, the company is also known by other names such as ‘Sekure Cost Review’ and ‘Sekure Bank Services’. This multitude of names can seem a little confusing for any merchant who wishes to use the service or even prospective partners. More so, in-depth research by some merchant review websites revealed that Sekure Merchant Solutions appears to have a reseller partnership with North American Bancard, a payment processing company. Apparently, even Sekure’s contracts with merchants are issued through NAB, which already has a bad public reputation.
On the other hand, companies like Host Merchant Services strive to maintain a meaningful and authentic brand identity. In fact, that is responsible for HMS’s growth over the past years. HMS has an ISO partnership with Wells Fargo Bank, and the details of the partnership are clear-cut from the get-go. As a credit card processing company, HMS remains an independent entity. However, its partnership with Wells Fargo Bank provides oversight and compliance with card association issues they may have.
Fees and Costs
On Sekure Merchant Solutions’ website, the company claims to offer low rates and promises that customers will ‘get the right solution at the right cost’. This seems enticing to every new customer, especially because Sekure Merchant Solutions also provides equipment leasing terms that promise to make switching from another merchant service seamless and easy for merchants.
However, the company does not list any fees or rates on its website, which seems rather strange, for a company that claims to provide low rates. After all, such rates need to be visible to be compared with those of other companies to determine if they are really as low as the company claims. Therefore, such obscure Sekure Merchant Solutions pricing only makes prospects suspicious and unsure of whether it is wise to go on conducting business with the company.
In any case, Sekure Merchant Solutions’ reviews suggest that the company’s rates might not be as low as the company claims. Besides hidden fees, many Sekure Merchant Solutions complaints online have many people bemoaning its exorbitant cancellation fees. For instance, setup fees for its new customers may be up to $199 while yearly compliance charges are often over $100.
Unlike Sekure Merchant Solutions, services like HMS offer a clear pricing structure which is also affordable. For instance, Host Merchant Services does not charge merchants for setup, application, or even early termination. Instead of yearly contracts, merchants sign up for monthly agreements, which they can end at any time. This freedom, combined with HMS’s interchange-plus pricing has drawn several merchants to the service.
Since Sekure Merchant Solutions chooses not to be transparent about its actual rates and fees, it is important to determine what exactly they are up to when they issue agreements to merchants. From the information on the company’s website, it seems Sekure representatives assign customized rates to merchants through requests for quotes. As such, requesting a quote is the only reliable way to get information about the merchant company’s fees and rates.
In any case, the obscurity concerning the rates overflows into the obscurity of contractual terms. Being an apparent reseller of North American Bancard, it executes contracts through the payments company. It’s usually a long-term three-year contract with tiered pricing, which is often bypassed by merchants due to its expensive terms. There doesn’t seem to be an option for the cheaper interchange-plus pricing option.
More so, it should be noted that Sekure Merchant Solutions’ pricing contracts often come with a liquidated damages condition which forces merchants to buy out the rest of the contract, should they terminate it early. According to reviews, this condition could make merchants spend up to $900 just to get out of a contract. For small-scale merchants, in particular, it’s easy to see how burdening such contracts can be.
When compared with Host Merchant Services, Sekure Merchant Solutions does not measure up to the former, with its prohibitive contractual terms. Rather, HMS offers merchant-friendly contract agreements that encourage more customers to sign up.
Sekure Merchant Solutions claims to assign dedicated sales representatives to every merchant who is a customer. However, while it is obvious that Sekure must have a fat marketing budget, not everyone seems to agree with its usually aggressive marketing tactics. Many merchants have denounced Sekure’s agents as relentless, especially because they mainly reach out to prospects through incessant telephone calls.
In fact, Sekure has had to settle lawsuits in millions of dollars for having violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act because of its aggressive marketing techniques. Everyone agrees that marketing is a great strategy for any business. However, when a business’s marketing tactics begin to put off customers instead of drawing them to the product, that is a sure sign that something must be amiss.
Meanwhile, companies like Host Merchant Services continue to maintain impeccable star ratings on review sites for maintaining a low complaints rate as well as fast resolution times.