While Elavon is one of the largest merchant service providers in the world, that doesn’t necessarily make them the best fit for your business. It’s still important to understand pricing, hidden fees, contract duration, and other terms that can greatly affect the quality of your experience with the company. This review of Elavon merchant services covers everything you need to consider when signing up for a merchant service account with the company.
Like all large-scale merchant service providers, Elavon offers custom pricing based on business type, industry, and transaction volume. The larger your business, the lower your transaction rate but the higher your monthly fees. This means that you will have to contact Elavon to request a quote specific to your business in order to compare the company to other offerings.
However, Elavon typically offers merchant services with rates between 2.55% and 3.75% + 10-19p. The following include average rates based on contract offers:
|In Person||2.65% + 19p||3.5% + 19p||£10+|
|Mobile||2.65% + 19p||3.5% + 19p||£10+|
Online payments average at transaction rates of 2.75%-2.95% + 9-25p.
You can also expect additional fees for services such as payment gateways and virtual terminals, starting from £10 per month.
Elavon does charge a lot of fees, and you should be aware of them before signing a contract.
|PCI Compliance||£30 (yearly)|
|Monthly Fee (per service)||£10+|
|Minimum Merchant Service Charge||£20|
|Minimum Monthly Processing Fee||Up to £25|
|Monthly Statement Fee||£4.95|
|Early Termination Fee||£0|
Elavon charges relatively high rates and fees compared to many other merchant service providers of similar size. For this reason, you should take care when entering into a contract with the company, work to negotiate a better rate where possible, and ensure that you compare Elavon’s quote with other providers before making a decision. For example, at 2.65% per swiped transaction, Elavon compares poorly to HSBC at 2% and Sage at 1.75%. However, lower transaction costs often mean higher fees in other areas, so it is important to compare all fees before choosing a provider.
Elavon Merchant Service Offerings
Elavon is one of the largest merchant account providers in the world, enabling them to offer more features, accept more cards, and process funds in more currencies than smaller competitors. Elavon offers four basic services to UK businesses, including merchant accounts, online payment gateway, virtual terminals, and card machines.
Elavon’s International Processing Platform is an award-winning merchant account featuring security, anti-fraud, real-time reporting, customer account management for loyalty schemes and chargeback management, and a variety of industry-specific customisation options. With rates starting from £10 per month, the merchant account is an affordable and highly secure solution for businesses of all sizes.
Online Payment Gateway
Elavon’s online payment gateway starts from £10 per month, and features 3-D Secure encryption, dynamic currency conversion, and the ability to accept payments in 100+ currencies. Small businesses can integrate via payment buttons to redirect pages or develop their own checkout pages through API, while large business and enterprise can choose from self-hosted or redirect solutions. You can choose Elavon’s own payment gateway or sign up for authorize.net on your own.
Elavon offers virtual terminals form £10 per month, enabling you to accept full MOTO payments. The service features security, anti-fraud tools, and online reporting through iMerchantConnect.
Card Machines and POS Terminals
While Elavon does not produce its own hardware, the company does offer a variety of models for lease and rent. Most notably, Elavon offers a variety of Ingenico machines, including portable, mobile, and desktop devices. You can also choose to rent or lease full POS systems through Elavon.
Desktop Card Machines
Elavon offers 5 or more desktop or countertop card machines, primarily from Ingenico and Verifone. These include:
- Ingenico iCT250
- Ingenico iCT220
- Verifone Vx520
- Ingenico iPP320
- Verifone VX 820
Desktop terminals are available for sale or lease, with rates starting from £12.95-£19.99 per month, and purchase costs typically averaging at £300-£600.
Portable Card Machines
Portable card machines are ideal for service industry, areas with long queuing, and anywhere it is more convenient to bring card machines to the customer. Elavon offers several:
- Ingenico iWL250G
- Ingenico iWL250G
- Ingenico iWL220B
- VeriFone VX680B
Mobile Card Machines
Elavon offers several mobile card solutions, including their own mobile payment app Converge. The app itself is free, and you can expect to pay 2.65% – 3.5% + 19p in fees.
|Thyron Pin Pad||£10||£99||£25|
While Elavon primarily works with Ingenico and Verifone for card machines, they offer rental and leasing through a third-party organization, Ladco Leasing. While this does give you direct access to any terminals offered by Ladco, it also means that you pay higher prices and fees than nearly any other card machine rental company.
If you choose to contract with Elavon, you are highly recommended to purchase your own terminal, purchase directly from the company, or rent elsewhere. For example, if you were renting either of Elavon’s listed mobile card machines, you would save money after just 10 months if you purchased the machine instead of renting. However, you also loose routine servicing and maintenance, as well as replacement in case of damage or defect once the warranty is up.
If you have an existing till, Elavon offers ECR Smartlink to auto-link your till and card terminal. ECR Smartlink automatically populates transactions from your EPOS to portable, desktop, and wireless card terminals and back to the till, enabling you to accept card payments without keying them in twice. This is especially useful in hospitality industries, where servers can accept payments without leaving the table.
Elavon Resellers and Partners
Elavon works with numerous resellers and partners throughout the UK, most notable, Costco, who offers Elavon services at a slight mark-up through Costco Merchant Services.
Elavon also works with numerous other partners and offers a referral program for customers, meaning that people suggesting you use the company may be earning a referral fee. However, it’s important to keep in mind that working with a third party will increase your signup costs and possibly long-term transaction fees as well. If you want to use a third-party for whatever reason, get a direct quote as well and compare them to ensure you’re getting a good deal.
Any Elavon user can take advantage of the company’s numerous software offerings including Converge, iMerchantConnect, and talech.
Converge is a mobile app offering mobile card processing for Android and iOS phones and tablets. The app is free, and when paired with any pin pad, will allow you to process mobile card transactions at Elavon’s standard rates.
Online reporting and customer management are standard features on any Elavon contract, and both are handled through iMerchantConnect. The tool updates in real time to allow you to access statements, view transactions, track deposits, and check customer accounts for chargebacks and returns.
talech is an iPad POS app which pairs with all Elavon mobile and portable card readers, enabling you to turn any iPad into a fully functioning Point of Sale. The app features support for Elavon’s Customer Loyalty programs and gift cards, and accepts all major credit card schemes as well as contactless payments. The POS also features unique product creation, barcode and label support, metrics and reports and 24-48-hour funds processing.
Contract Length and Termination Fees
Elavon previously offered a 3-year contract with a £199 – £295 early termination fee. Today, the company advertises no early termination, but this may be slightly misleading. Elavon’s standard contract is still set at 3 years and while early termination does not result in a fine, it may take several months for the company to actually process your termination request. This means that you may pay several months on the contract after you cease to use it, which is another way of charging an early termination fee.
You may be able to negotiate a shorter contract of up to 12 months, but keep in mind that this will likely result in higher fees. All Elavon PDQ machine rentals are set for a standard lease term of 12 months.
Custom Service Review
Elavon offers 24/7 phone and email support in the UK, dedicated account managers, and online help. However, if you sign up for the company through a third party like Costco, you will deal with customer support through that company.
Unfortunately, Elavon does have a lot of problems with customer service representative quality and availability. Even with a dedicated account manager, it may take several days for your representative to reply, and you may have to wait on the phone for a considerable amount of time in order to get in touch. This is a definite negative point for the company, especially for small businesses who often cannot handle IT or repairs on their own.
Many people also have issues with disorganization inside of customer service, which can result in mistaken fines and problematic tax filing. However, most of Elavon’s customer complaints online are through Costco Merchant Services, which is provided by Costco.
Comparing Elavon to Other Merchant Service Offerings
Elavon is one of the largest merchant service providers in the world, but that doesn’t necessarily make them the best or the best for your business. You should request a custom quote for your business and compare it to other providers.
|Merchant Account||Elavon||Global Payments||Sage Pay||Worldpay||HandePay|
|Transaction Fee||2.55% – 3.5% + 19p||1.1%-3.3% + 20p (negotiable)||1.9% credit cards / 40p debit cards||From 2.75% credit cards / 20p debit cards||Yes|
|Monthly Fee||£10 + (per service)||£10+ (per service)||£20,90+||£19.95+||No|
|Payment Processing Time||1+ Business Days||2+ Business Days||2 Business Days||7 Days||Custom|
|Set Up Fee||From £25||£150 – £250||None||None||£9.99+|
|Termination Fee||£0||£150 – £500||Yes (Varies)||Yes||N/A|
|Contract Length||3- Year||12-36 month||Monthly-36 Month||36 Month||£15 +|
Elavon’s transaction rates are significantly higher than most competitors, but the company does account for some of it with strong software and hardware offerings, low-cost monthly fees, and lower setup fees than many competitors. Their rates are comparable to providers like PayPal, which do not charge a monthly fee.
Who Should Use Elavon Merchant Services?
Elavon offers merchant services to businesses of every size, but with relatively high transaction costs and services geared towards larger businesses, the service is a best-fit for slightly larger businesses. Small businesses may find that Elavon doesn’t offer the type of fast service, expedient terminal repair, or consistent customer service needed.
Mid-size businesses can also typically negotiate better rates, can more often afford to purchase card machines upfront, and won’t have problems with cash flow in case of fees and fines. However, if you are processing a very large transaction volume, you are definitely better off choosing a merchant account provider offering lower transaction rates.
Elavon offers merchant account services for small and large businesses, as well as tailored solutions for industries including airline, hospitality, travel, entertainment, retail, education, and public sector. The company also offers complete package services, with POS and PDQ machines, virtual terminal, online payment gateway, and a variety of software and services to connect card machines with tills and terminals.
However, despite strong offerings, the company also charges relatively high transaction rates (comparable to PayPal), uses long contracts (3 years with no early termination fee), and doesn’t always offer stellar customer service.
If you’re considering a contract with Elavon, make sure you get a quote based on your business, ask about all fees, and compare your long-term costs with other providers. Elavon has a lot to offer, but with plenty of cons as well, it’s crucial that you research your options and ensure that you know exactly what you’re getting for your money before signing a contract.