Bank of America Merchant Services is a company that provides banking services to businesses.
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Everyone in the U.S. is pretty familiar with the stature of Bank of America. As we’ve seen with services with big names behind them, customers find comfort and piece of mind knowing a company as reputable as Bank of America is caring for them. This review is dealing with the standalone, pay as you go mobile processing service offered by B of A. The mobile processing trend is only expanding and so it’s no mystery why seemingly every merchant service company is working overtime to accommodate the demand. Bank of America Mobile Pay is just another spoke on the wheel, but one that can offer customers what they need. Again, please suspend your distaste if you have preconceived notions of B of A, especially if you have already read reviews in regards to the Bank of America Merchant Services. The features and complaints of that service have very little bearing on the mobile service. This is a separate review, so we ask that you treat it as such. There is some truth to the fact that the majority of these services are rather low budget, and may not seem worthy of a full review, but rest assured, something with a name like Bank of America attached to it deserves a deal of respect. Also, it might be something you may be interested in using yourself for your various mobile needs, so pay close attention.
Unlike the merchant account, you won’t have to enter into a standard merchant agreement or deal with shady sales practices, since the mobile service is very standardized and streamlined. This app had a total makeover as of 2013. And as both versions of the app are available for download, new users are actually asked to use the most current software. But be weary, you will more than likely stumble upon the first version first, so don’t let it confuse you. This service is for the most part reliable by my findings. The general consensus among customers are promising, and the lack of red flags in the complaints and comments sections of every forum I’ve come across regarding the service is a good sign. This is not to say that the app is not without some problems that you might expect. This is especially true for those accessing the app via Android. A lot of Android users have complained about repeatedly having to sign back in and just general bugs within the software. It’s a real disappointment when you learn that some apps are not as conducive to Android devices as they are for iPhone. I mean, I can’t complain too much, I am a proud iPhone user, but I do sympathize with my Android counterparts, and recognize the frustration. This is why I am placing the rating a 7/10, because any application that only serves half of all mobile users simply cannot warrant a higher rating at this juncture. Who are we kidding? The best way for B of A Mobile to improve their rating is by catering their app to Android a little more. We can always update the rating as we see fit, but first Bank of America needs to serve all Americans, and that includes Android users.
B of A Mobile Pay charges pretty much the same rates Square reader. There’s really nothing hidden or misleading about their pricing model.
It’s 2.70% for swiped transactions, which is actually 0.05% less than Square. Additionally, it is 3.50% plus $0.15 for keyed transactions. This is not exactly the same for American Express; they tend to range a little differently. Beyond that, your only concern is the chargeback fees of $15. There are no others fees to burden you as far as I can tell.
Again, just to reiterate, please follow the instructions in order to download the most updated version of the app. If you’re not careful, you might end up with the outdated version. For some inexplicable reason, both versions are found in the app store so it’s not an automatic thing. This is a really stupid detail, but it definitely brought down their ranking a bit in my eyes. Just some modest housekeeping would remedy that feature flaw. But keep your eyes out for the old version offered through Apriva, which will give you an idea of which one is the correct version to download.
One cool feature about B of A Mobile Pay is that you are allowed to demo the application without any commitment. This is not a common thing for many providers, so credit to B of A for using this tactic to draw in users.
Some of the features involved with the service include:
- Free card reader- The card reader is rather cumbersome, but it is stable. Some of the competitors use a swiper that has one wing to prevent spinning. Yet the Mobile Pay reader does a good job gripping to your phone. This comes with a holder, and you can put it on a key ring, nice and easy. A little wonky looking but nothing much in it.
- Online reporting- Offered as an attachment to First Data’s Business Track. It’s a reasonably ordinary and useful system for your run-of-the-mill tracking and management.
- Next-day funding to Bank of America business account- This has one small caveat to it. This is not applicable for all users, you have to find out by applying and see what your standard funding time will be.
- Tips- There is a nifty Tips feature that helps you along with the app. You can enable “smart tips” so customers can tip in dollar amounts for smaller purchases.
- In-app sales history and reports- This will let you see sales for custom date ranges as well as view specific batches or transactions.
- Invoice numbers- When you switch this option on, you will receive an invoice number attached to every sale.
- Inventory system- It’s pretty basic. You can add items with pictures, descriptions and prices attached, as well as barcodes where applicable. Each item can be deemed taxable or not. It’s a streamlined process to add photos directly from the camera or from an album. You can’t actually manage your inventory with this app, though (no quantity option).
- Barcode scanning- I like that this uses the phone’s camera instead of an actual scanner. Unfortunately, the feature was kind of glitchy when I tested it. It worked at first, but then wouldn’t recognize barcodes when I tried to create orders. So make sure you test this out for yourself.
- Print paper receipts- I know that this works through the Apple AirPrint system. I’m not sure if this capability is available to Android devices.
The ease of use in this app is left wanting for several reasons. It has a specific set of devices that it currently operates on, leaving one to assume that if you do not own one of these devices, you’ll be S.O.L. Some of the devices include iPhone 3-5, iPad in all models, and Samsung Galaxy Nexus, S2, S3, LG Enlighten, and Droid 3. Another credit to the company is that there appears to be little resistance to the prospect of termination of contract. That is quite rare in services such as these.
Again, this goes back to the notion of iPhone users being favored over Android users. The service advertises itself as a 24/7 support system on the iTunes App Store. That service applies to U.S. based customers, I might add. Specific account issues seem to be a bit more out of reach than general app related issues, which is another cause for concern, and another reason I had to knock the rating down to 7/10. As a first resort, you can try the FAQ to remedy your issue. And then if that fails, of course the service asks that you try sending an email to the support team, or live chat depending on the time of day.