PROS / This service offers a low monthly fee and gives its merchants a free EMV terminal without requiring a contract.
CONS / Pricing isn't transparent, and customer service reps were hesitant to provide interchange-plus rate quotes.
VERDICT / National Bankcard has comparatively low costs and fees, but you may have to press for interchange-plus rates as reps prefer to set up customers with its tiered pricing plan.
National Bankcard is a merchant account service that provides low rates and fees and can set up your account quickly. It serves big businesses, like Shell and Comfort Inn, but also provides merchant services for small businesses. Discounted rates are available for nonprofits, and the company works with new businesses as well as those that are in high-risk industries or have bad credit.
This merchant service has both interchange-plus and tiered pricing plans. Many companies in the industry are moving toward the interchange-plus pricing model, though the tiered rate is still a good option. The tiered pricing plan includes a qualified rate of 0.25%, the lowest rate of any merchant account solutions that we reviewed. Though this service prefers to push the tiered-pricing option, you're allowed to switch between the two pricing plans. Additionally, National Bankcard is unique in that it offers its merchants a basic EMV-compliant terminal at no cost, without requiring you to sign a contract. Most companies require you to sign one- to three-year contract if you accept free equipment.
National Bankcard's fees are some of the lowest in our review. The monthly fee and the monthly gateway are both $5. Other fees are average, with an annual PCI-compliance fee of $99 and a monthly minimum of $25. The monthly minimum is calculated from processing costs, but it may be willing to lower the minimum during your first few months, if needed.
One of the biggest shortcomings from this merchant service is that it lacks transparency. When we conducted our tests, representatives were hesitant to quote us interchange-plus pricing, preferring to quote us tiered rates. Although tiered rates can be a good option if most of the cards you process are regular debit cards, industry experts recommend interchange-plus as the most cost-effective pricing model for the majority of businesses. National Bankcard no longer posts information about its pricing and fees on its website, lowering its Transparency and Consistency score to 67%.
However, National Bankcard received full marks – 100% – on our Ease of Application score, because signing up for an account with this company is easy. You simply fill out an online application and sign your documents electronically.
Often, you can access your account on the same day you applied. When you process cards, they clear the account the next business day, which is faster than average. Furthermore, there's no long-term contract stipulation, even when you accept a basic EMV terminal, allowing you to sign up on a month-to-month basis without worrying about cancellation fees should you close your account.
Though the company was not as transparent about interchange-plus pricing as some of its competitors, the representatives we spoke with were friendly and helpful. When you contact this merchant account service, you might have to specifically ask for information about the interchange-plus pricing option. When you sign up for an account, you receive a dedicated account representative who will be your primary point of contact.
National Bankcard has competitive rates with each of its pricing plans and doesn't require a long-term contract when you set up an account. One standout feature of this service is that it provides a free EMV-compliant terminal without requiring you to sign a contract. National Bankcard serves both large and small business, including new businesses, high-risk businesses and businesses with poor credit.