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Thursday, March 1st, 2018
Best Payment Providers

A Good Fit For:

What We Like

Elavon offers a full range of products and services, including an online payment gateway and many types of software. Six months into a contract with Elavon, a merchant can terminate the agreement without paying a fee.

What We Didn't Like

Elavon charges many fees, some of which many customers said they didn’t know about when they signed up. Also, Elavon works with many resellers and independent sales agents. There have been reports of undisclosed leasing terms and fees.

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Founded in 1991 as NOVA Information Systems, Elavon Inc. provides payment processing solutions and services for small to enterprise-sized businesses in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Puerto Rico. It supports 48 different currencies, and it specializes in working with businesses in the airlines, hospitality and entertainment, restaurant, retail, healthcare and public sector industries. It offers reseller and referral programs that include merchant processing services for financial institutions, payment processing services for Independent Service Organizations, and customer relationship management services. Elavon has more than 1 million customers and processes 3 billion transaction per year.

Elavon’s contracts typically run for three years, but savvy merchants have been known to negotiate shorter terms. Elavon offers many services, as well as numerous software options, including iMerchantConnect and talech. Standard features of an Elavon contract include online reporting and customer management are offered through iMerchantConnect, which updates in real time. talech is an iPad point-of-sale app that pairs with Elavon mobile and portable card readers. This allows a customer to turn any iPad into a functioning point-of-sale machine.


Elavon’s doesn’t appear to use any deceptive marketing or rate quoting. Instead, we found the approach to be clear and straightforward. Its website offers clear, complete information, including a thorough and thoughtful resource section and frequently asked questions section. The site also offered several helpful videos. We also liked that the site wasn’t filled with gimmicks and that the business is active on Twitter, has a LinkedIn profile, and updates its site frequently.


Though Elavon’s approach is not misleading, there have been numerous complaints about the business increasing rates or adding new fees without notice. Also, it has been reported that many customers are not told of the numerous extra charges, such as a PCI-compliance fee and a security fee, before signing a contract. However, after quite a bit of searching, Elavon’s resource section offers an “Understanding Your Statement,” which provides many of the mentioned fees. Despite this, we believe sales agents and representatives need to be more forthcoming with this information.


Elavon works with numerous resellers and partners throughout the UK, most notably, Costco. There have been reports of reseller’s using deceptive tactics to gain customers. Clients also have complained that resellers have failed disclose all of Elavon’s many fees. Any time you go with a reseller you can expect to pay more because they can set their own fees. Also, there are plenty of complaints about Elavon’s partnership with Ladco Leasing, a third party equipment rental business. Ladco is known for signing customers up for lengthy, expensive contracts that merchants can’t cancel.


Though customer service representatives were polite, we never got the feeling that they were confident in what they were saying. We got varied answers depending on the agent we spoke to that day. We had real reservations believing the contract we would sign would look like anything we had discussed. That is troubling and a definite customer service issue. The staff needed to be more knowledgeable. Possibly, some in-house training could rectify the situation.


Effective January 13, 2018, the EU issued directive, PSD2, which enhances payment services market efficiency and competitiveness, consumer protection and transaction security. In accordance with PSD2, Elavon promises to resolve and respond to concerns within 15 business days after first receiving a complaint. If, for reasons beyond Elavon’s control cannot do this, Elavon will write to you to keep you updated, clearly outlining the reason for our delay and we will set out the timeline by which you will receive a full written response. In any event, the timeline for sending you a full written response will be no longer than 35 business days from our receipt of your initial complaint.

With that being said, overall, we found Elavon was responsive. It is important to note, though we were able to reach a representative via email. It took several days to get a returned response. We had the best luck talking on the phone. However, we had long waits to reach someone and we did get bounced around a few times before we reached the right person.


Customer support is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week, 365 days per year via phone and email.


Elavon has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau though it has received 170 complaints about the business during the last three years. According to the BBB, 48 of those complaints were resolved to the customers’ satisfaction. Most complaints about Elavon have to do with hidden fees, long waits to terminate contracts, returning terminals, and poor customer service. However, the complaints varied depending on the reseller that served them. With the new EU directive, it is likely that customer service issues will further improve.

Those this seems like a lot of complaints, we don’t find them too surprising due to the number of customers they have.

Also, there are numerous complaints about Ladco Leasing, which Elavon both owns and operates. It is difficult to find any positive reviews about Ladco Leasing. Most leasing contract last for 48 month and can never be cancelled. There have been some reports that equipment has stopped working and they still cannot get out of contracts. Depending on the rental fee, merchants are better off purchasing their own equipment or looking around for other equipment lease providers.


In addition to processing rates and flat fees for transactions, Elavon charges a host of other fees. Elavon’s transaction fees start at 2.95%. All approvals are contingent on an underwriter’s review.

Additional fees charged by Elavon include:

  • Setup fee £25
  • PCI compliance £30 (yearly)
  • Monthly fee per service starting at £10
  • Minimum merchant service charge £20
  • Minimum monthly processing fee up to £25
  • Chargeback fee £15-£30
  • Monthly Statement fee £4.95

With all of these fees, it is important to discuss all of them before signing a contract.

Termination Fees

For years, many of the complaints surrounding Elavon had to do with breaking the £199 – £295 early termination fee that merchants paid if they broke their three-year contacts. The company advertises no early termination fee, however, we find this a bit misleading.

In compliance with directive PSD2, Elavon announced that no early termination fees will be charged if you terminate your customer agreement in accordance with the rights outlined in your contract. However, this only applies if you terminate after be operational for at least six months or more. However, Elavon does not list the early cancellation fee charged when a merchant terminates prior to six months. This statement reads as that there is in fact still an early termination fee.

There also have been complaints of Elavon failing to close accounts though merchants requested them to do so. This resulted in customers paying months on a contract they weren’t using. We are hoping Elavon’s new efforts to resolve complaints promptly will result in fewer of these issues.

Hardware Costs

Elavon works with Ingenico and Verifone for card machines and readers. However, rental and leasing is handled through Ladco Leasing. On one hand, this is beneficial because you have direct access to any terminal Ladco offers. However, expect to pay more.

For point-of-sale transactions, pricing starts at £12.50 a month for fixed terminals or £17.50 for mobile terminals plus transaction fees. Depending on the contract, monthly fees can be higher. Funds clear within three days. The standard lease term for point-of-sale terminals is 12 months. We believe it makes much more to purchase your own equipment through Elavon or rent equipment from another leasing business. For example, you can purchase an Ingenico iCT250 for about £361 and £18 for a Verifone mobile card reader. Also, it is important to remember that many customers have complained about their lease agreements with Ladco. It gets few positive reviews for its lengthy, iron-clad contracts that you can’t terminate. While you lose routine servicing and maintenance if you buy your own, you also aren’t paying those extra fees for these features each month.

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