B- overall rating

Sales & Marketing Tactics

Costs & Contract Terms

Complaints & Service

BBB Rating

Vantiv is a provider of the latest merchant services and credit card processing solutions. A division of Fifth Third Bank, they provide advanced technology solutions and payment processing strategies for their clients with a focus on simplifying payments. Using their experience, business and financial solutions, their goal is to develop innovative and new opportunities for their clients.

Founded in 1991, Vantiv started out under the name Midwest Payment Systems. In 2003, they changed their name to Fifth Third Processing Solutions before finally becoming Vantiv in 2011. In that time, Vantiv acquired a number of other credit card processing companies and ISOs. The acquisitions include ACI Merchant Services, TNB Card Services, National Processing Company (NPC) and Card Management Corporation.

Vantiv’s corporate headquarters is located at 8500 Governors Hill Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio, 54249. They also have corporate offices in Illinois, Texas and Indiana. One of the largest payment processors in the United States, Vantiv is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock ticker “VNTV.”

Vantiv Sales & Marketing — C

Vantiv markets its services through a family of companies. This creates a market payment solution that includes the Jeanie Network that hosts transactions, giving merchants and financial institutions direct connection to customers; the National Processing Company, a payment processor; and Skipjack, offering services and products that support both financial institutions and merchants’ processing needs.

These channels give Vantiv the ability to market its services directly and indirectly through their partnerships with independent resellers and sub-ISOs. They also market through Fifth Third Bank.

The company has no apparent deceptive quoting practices or rate advertising. Still, its grade is affected negatively by its use of sub-ISOs, independent resellers and subsidiaries. These associations make it difficult for Vantiv to manage and control its sales tactics. Instead of a focused concentration of one source, their services and products are spread wide across several different companies.

Vantiv Costs & Contract Terms — C-

Vantiv receives a below average score here. This is primarily due to their automatically renewing contracts and their early termination fees of these contracts.

Also, their merchant account agreements seem to vary from merchant to merchant. Rather than a unified agreement, factors such as where the account was set up as well the merchant’s processing volume and type of business appear to affect the details.

Their standard contract appears to be a three year service agreement with an attached termination fee between $250 and $295. And the merchant is only given a small window of opportunity to cancel. Otherwise the contract is automatically renewed for a year. Vantiv also seems to charge a PCI Compliance fee. It can be assessed on a monthly or annual basis and could fluctuate in cost from one account to the next.

Several merchants have stated the agreements come with a Liquidated Damages clause. This reviewer was unable to verify that.

Vantiv Complaints & Service — B

There are no filed complaints outside of the Better Business Bureau under the name ‘Vantiv.’ Researching its former title, ‘Fifth Third Processing Solutions,’ there was a low account of complaints, especially taking into considering the size of the business and its period of existence. Those complaints fell into two general categories: merchant complaints about the early termination fee and dissatisfaction with Vantiv’s customer service.

It’s worthy to note a number of Vantiv’s subsidiaries and sub-ISOs have received a considerate amount of complaints. These were not factored into Vantiv’s overall rating. This is due to the fact it cannot really be determined which entity is ultimately responsible for the complaints. It’s strongly encouraged that merchants read and fully comprehend the terms of any merchant account agreement before committing to any contracts.

Merchant reviews can be read at the bottom of this article. You can also check out our review of Fifth Third Processing.

Vantiv BBB Report — A (CPO adjusted)

As of this writing, the Better Business Bureau has reported that Vantiv is not BBB accredited, awarding the company an “A+” rating. The report states the company has received a total of 17 complaints, all filed in the last 36 months. Thirteen of those complaints were in regards to product and services. The remaining complaints included three issues with collection and billing and one regarding sales or advertising.

The majority of those complaints were reported to have been resolved to the merchant’s satisfaction. Three are considered unresolved or coming to an undesirable conclusion. The BBB believes Vantiv made a good faith effort to resolve these issues despite the outcomes.

As is our policy, despite the BBB’s A+ rating, we’re still giving Vantiv an overall A rating. We believe that only companies with no complaints in their reports should be eligible for a perfect score.

The Bottom Line

Taking into account the company’s size, length of time in business and merchant satisfaction, Vantiv has to be credited with performing at above average levels.

The dynamics that lower Vantiv’s rating are its extensive use of sub-ISOs, subsidiaries and resellers. These practices make measurement of merchant satisfaction difficult to calculate. There are complaints of non-disclosure regarding the early termination fee prior to setting up new accounts with Vantiv, not to mention a number of reports about the quality of its customer service.

We also take into account a few of its subsidiaries and sub-ISOs have accumulated complaints. While we admittedly say Vantiv has to bear some of the responsibility, we didn’t let that influence our ratings in this review. Still, it cannot be overlooked that these are partnerships they’ve cultivated and nurtured.