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AIB Merchant Services

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Monday, September 17th, 2018
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A Good Fit For:


What We Like

AIB Merchant Services accepts multiple currencies, and it has almost no complaints from customers. Also, it offers pricing bundles for businesses of all sizes.

What We Didn't Like

Based on its language and the type of businesses listed on its site, AIB Merchant Services isn’t suited for high-risk businesses. It doesn’t disclose contract terms, lengths, and early termination fees for merchant services.


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Marketing

Sales

Support

Pricing

Overall

Overview

As one of Ireland’s largest providers of payment solutions, AIB Merchant Services offers card processing capabilities throughout continental Europe. It processes millions of payments every day, and deals with every major credit and debit card accepting payments in every channel.

AIB Merchant Services is the trading name that First Merchant Processing uses when it conducts business in Ireland. First Merchant Processing is a joint venture between Allied Irish Banks and First Data Corporation. First Trust Merchant Services is the trading name it uses when it conducts business in Northern Ireland, and AIB Merchant Services – GB is the trading name it uses when it does business in Great Britain.

AIB Merchant Services is the merchant banking division of Allied Irish Bank, which was incorporated in Ireland in September 1966. It was the result of the amalgamation of the Munster and Leinster Bank Ltd., which was established in1885), the Provincial Bank of Ireland Ltd., which was established in 1825, and the Royal Bank of Ireland Limited, which was established in 1836.

Founded in 1979, AIB Merchant Services has a senior management team with a combined 70 years of core banking and payment expertise. All major credit and debit cards are supported, as well as a wide range of currencies. Also, it offers Global Choice, which allows merchants to accept payments in their customers’ currency and convert it into their own.

Additionally, AIB Merchant Services has won several awards, including the MPE Best Acquirer Award in 2014, 2015 and 2017. Its Clover system was awarded “Best Innovation” at the Card and Payments Awards in 2015.

Marketing

At first glance, AIB Merchant Services doesn’t hold back when it comes to marketing and advertising. Each page of its site look like, sleek professional brochures. The site is attractive and easy to navigate, and it promotes services and products in a thoughtful manner. It appears very straightforward.

Honesty

When we perused AIB Merchant Services’ site, we could not find anything dishonest or misleading. All of its language appeared clear and honest. It didn’t use any deceptive pricing structures or “starting at” rates. Also, we could not find a single complaint about hidden fees or undisclosed terms.

Sales

AIB Merchant Services gains sales through partners and by working with independent sales agents. For most businesses in this industry, this becomes a customer service nightmare. However, this does not appear to be a problem for AIB Merchant Services.

Availability

AIB Merchant Services can be reached by phone and email. The Merchant Service Centre is available Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Unfortunately, AIB Merchant Services doesn’t stay active on social media. For instance, its Facebook page doesn’t even update, and its Twitter account hasn’t been updated since 2015.

Staff Education

During our interactions, we found the staff to be very knowledgeable, confident, and enthusiastic. The representatives were quick to ask questions and to answer questions the best way they could. They seemed trained and skilled, especially about Global Choice, as well as other benefits.

Support

After we emailed AIB Merchant Services, we received a response quickly. We found this very positive. However, the responses didn’t offer any real important information, but its response within a couple hours was very promising. Also, the email did encourage us to email our phone number back or to call its sales department directly. We opted to call ourselves, and fortunately, we did reach someone in sales. The agent was very professional, attentive, and engaging. However, he made it clear that we would need to move further in the process if we wanted to know exact details about contract lengths and terms.

Staff Interaction

The staff seemed very knowledgeable and approachable. We wished they were more forthcoming with information, but every person we talked to was professional and understanding. One agent even recognized our frustration about not being able to provide specific contract information. Though we didn’t get the answer we wanted, we felt like the team cared about customer service.

Pricing

Merchants that use AIB Merchant Services’ payment gateway, Authipay, it offers three pricing bundles known as small, medium, and corporate and cost as follows:

  • The small business bundle costs £21.99 per month for up to 300 transactions with each additional transaction costing £0.20. MSC credit card transactions are charged at 3%, debit cards at £0.005 each, and commercial at 2.5%.
  • The medium business bundle costs £50.00 per month for up to 1,000 transactions, with each additional transaction costing £0.12. MSC credit card transactions are at 2.5%, debit cards at £0.005, and commercial at 2.5%.
  • Costs and transactions are variable with the corporate bundle.

Real time reporting, multi-currency settlement, seamless security, and shopping cart plugins are included with the bundles.

In addition to its own payment gateway, AIB Merchant Services has approved the use of these other gateways:

  • Realex Payments
  • Sagepay
  • Datacash
  • TNSPay
  • Creditcall
  • Paypoint.net
  • Optimal Payments
  • Verifone
  • Cybersource
  • Servebase
  • Worldnet TPS
  • Cardstream
  • PayVector
  • CityPay

Unfortunately, AIB Merchant Services doesn’t list any additional pricing.

Hardware Costs

AIB rents many types of equipment that allow merchants to take face-to-face, mobile, and contactless transactions. There is a minimum 36-month contract with any equipment lease. Also, whether you buy or lease any of the equipment, you still also need to pay for software services to use the equipment. Software services, which include Clover Software as a Service, its help desk, and software upgrades and updates costs €59.99 per month per device. Each additional devices costs €24.99 per month.

These are the rental and purchase rates:

  • A Clover station, which includes a station with touchscreen and printer, cash drawer, EMV Chip and PIN card reader, can rented for €40.00 per month or it can be purchased for €1,299.99
  • A Clover Mini, which has an integrated card reader, terminal printer, and scanner, can be leased for €32.50 per month or purchased for €495.00
  • A Clover mobile, which includes an integrated card reader, Wi-Fi plus 3G SIM slot, an integrated scanner, and holster, can be leased for €44.00 per month or purchased for €630.00

Optional hardware accessory charges:

  • An Ethernet kitchen printer can be leased for €14.25 per month or purchased for €297.99
  • A handheld bar code scanner can be leased for €4.49 per month or purchased for €88.85
  • A Clover mobile thermal printer, which includes a belt clip, can be leased for €10.00 per month or purchased for €155.00
  • A Clover mobile docking station can be leased for €8.00 per month or purchased for €99.99

Additionally, Clover also offers apps. Additional charges may apply for apps downloaded from the App Market.

Early Termination Fees

Due to its relationship with First Data, it is very likely that contract terms are variable, and that merchants must buy out agreements if they are cancelled before they expire.

Complaints

We searched and searched and were unable to find any real complaints about AIB Merchant Services. This could be because AIB Merchant Services is doing everything perfectly. However, we are more inclined to think that this is because AIB works under so many business names, and it isn’t getting all of the complaints it likely deserves. It is important to note that powerhouse, First Data, which AIB partners with, has 1,017 complaints with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Many of the complaints were related to account closures and misleading sales information and hidden fees. Also, it is important to note that First Data is not an accredited by the BBB. To be accredited, it means the BBB has determined that the business meets its accreditation standards, which means a business is committed to making good faith efforts to resolve consumer complaints.

Though this may not be the case, it is definitely something to keep in mind.

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