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BNS Payments

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Wednesday, March 21st, 2018
Best Payment Providers

What We Like

BNS Payments doesn’t require a contract, and it charges no set-up fees. Also, merchants can feel extra safety precautions are being used because BNS is an authorized BACS service provider.

What We Didn't Like

BNS Payments is short on information. It offers little details about products and services and just as little when it comes to pricing information. We found it frustrating that we tried calling BNS several times but could not reach a representative.


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Marketing

Sales

Support

Pricing

Overall

Overview

Founded in Stone, Bucks in 1996, BNS Payments is a privately held company that has it least a dozen employees. It is registered with the company, Buck Net Services Limited, which is its payment processor.

BNS Payments helps businesses accept online payments and build an online presence to help them broaden their business reach. It specializes in online payments, payment processing, and BACS transactions. BNS Payments processes credit card payments for Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, through its payment gateway, and it accepts multiple currencies.

It offers a PCI-compliant payment gateway, a government gateway, a planning portal, MOTO, and ePay. Also, its customers have the ability to monitor transactions with Opas, its online payments reporting tool. It also boasts seamless integration into a securely hosted payment page.

Additionally, it is an authorized BACS service provider, which indicates its security measures have been assessed and approved by banks and regulatory authorities.

Over the years, BNS Payments states that its gained many high-profile public sector clients, including universities, local authorities, and charities.

Marketing

Overall, BNS Payments does not appear to have a strong, clear marketing strategy. However, we didn’t find anything deceptive practices. Its site is not very user friendly and we ran into quite a few broken links while navigating. Also, we found the site strangely designed and offering very little value to customers.

BNS Payments has a presence on social media. It is active on Twitter and LinkedIn. Both are used to share industry information and news. In no way are these platforms where customers go to engage with the company or vice versa. When we clicked on its Google+ profile, it takes us to the Bucks Net Services Limited’s profile. This page was updated last in 2014, and, at that time, Bucks Net offered a fully secure, 24/7 website that included hosting, set up, and full support for £1500 plus £50 per month.

Honesty

Nothing about BNS Payments is overtly dishonest or misleading, but it is definitely not forthcoming. However, we find the “to be determined” pricing for its advanced package confusing. Obviously, it plans to offer variable rates to merchants depending on their backgrounds and credit scores, but it does not outline what parameters it uses to make a decision.

Sales

It appears that BNS Payments uses an in-house sales team to onboard new customers. Since its doesn’t use independent sales agents, this could be the main reason it doesn’t have any negative complains of high-pressure sales tactics. Whatever the case, we found this practice to be positive.

Availability

Sales and complaints are handled by the same team, which is available Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. by phone, email, and its online inquiry form. Customers are encouraged to email sales at sales@bnspayments.uk with any after-hours issues. It promises to acknowledge complaints within one business day and aims to resolve any problems within five business days.

Support

In our experience, our interactions with BNS Payments was limited. After calling during different several times on several days, we were unable to reach a representative. This was not only frustrating but especially concerning since no real decision can be made using the information it provides on its website. This is a real customer service problem.

Responsiveness

As we previously mentioned, we didn’t have luck when we called BNS Payments. However, we did get an automated response from the business a few hours after we submitted an inquiry via its website. We received a response to our email two days after we submitted. We found that to be pretty good considering it aims to get back to customers within a day. Unfortunately, the email did not address any of our questions or concerns, and, instead, it only encouraged us to call and speak to a representative. This is unfortunate since we know that, in most cases, the most detailed and helpful information is gathered during phone calls.

Pricing

BNS Payments offers standard and advanced pricing. The standard package, which costs £24.99 per month, includes 300 transactions per month with every additional transaction costing 12p each. This package also includes unlimited email support, premium payment reporting software, and free advanced fraud protection.

The advanced package is a bespoke solution that includes thousands of transactions per month, payment gateway integration, unlimited technical support, and a dedicated account. The price of this package is closed and instead it is noted the price per month is “to be determined.”

At this time, there is very little publicly information about whether BNS Payments charges a PCI compliance fee or any other typically hidden fees. We found one complaints of a PCI compliance fee of £70 per year, a mobile payments fee of £500, and a £1000 for a custom billing descriptor on card statements, but it is unclear if those are correct. Likely, it means that the amounts may vary.

We feel it is important to note that BNS Payments speaks very vaguely about fees in its blog. In excerpts, it notes that some payment gateways charge a per transaction rate while others charge monthly or yearly rates, and that some companies charge an authorization fee, statement fee, monthly minimum fee, and customer service fee for secure payment processing. It also noted in one of its blogs that businesses that want to succeed should “use the customer service package that comes along with the processing product.”

It is likely that BNS Payments keeps pricing details vague, so they have flexibility when setting prices for higher risk merchants, which often pay higher rates to compensate perceived risks associated with their histories or business types. Due to this, merchants should expect pricing and fees from BNS Payments to vary significantly depending on their processing histories and the products they sell.

BNS Payments also provides a .uk domain registration at a cost of £75 plus vat with two-year contracts that automatically renew at the end of the term. Those who wish to discontinue its domain contract with BNS must do so via email no less than 30 days before the contract is set to renew. The account is only terminated after all outstanding fees are paid. It is unclear whether a .uk registration contract with BNS is required for its payment solution services.

Hardware Costs

Virtual terminals come with BNS packages. It does not offer terminals or card readers.

Termination Fees

Since BNS Payments doesn’t require contracts, there is no early termination fee. However, BNS Payments does offer two-year contracts that automatically renew for .uk domain registrations. It does not appear to charge an early cancellation fee to terminate the domain registration, however, BNS does not consider the contract closed until any outstanding fees are paid. Therefore, if there are any disputed fees or charges lingering on your account, you could end up paying on this contract until everything is resolved. Also, it is unclear from its language whether a .uk registration contract with BNS is required for its payment solution services.

Complaints

To BNS Payments credit, we cannot find any negative reviews that mention unreasonably high pricing, hidden fees, or any other issues. After the experiences we had, we were surprised not to find a single complaint about responsiveness or customer service. This could be a sign that BNS is doing everything right, however, that is very difficult to determine at this point. It is important to note that we also could not find a single testimonial or positive review about its services. We also did not discover any negative or positive complaints against Buck Net Services Limited.

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