PNC Merchant Services Fees $10 Million Class Action Settlement
PNC Merchant Services will pay $10 million to resolve claims it charged its customers unfair fees.
The settlement benefits merchants who used PNC payment processing services and paid annual fees, early cancellation fees and/or paper statement fees between October 26, 2011 and December 31, 2021.
PNC Merchant Services is a payment processing company that enables merchants to process card payments online and in person. The company offers e-commerce programs as well as point-of-sale systems.
According to a class action lawsuit against the company, PNC Merchant Services charges fees that do not match its account agreements. Specifically, the company allegedly charges unfair annual fees, early termination fees, and paper statement fees that are not detailed in the client account agreements.
Plaintiffs in the case say they were financially harmed because of these fees and might not have chosen their PNC Merchant Services payment processing plans if they had known about the potential fees .
“Rather than explaining these truths to traders on the app, [PNC Merchant Services] framed the request in a false manner to entice more customers to do business,” the class action claims.
“[PNC Merchant Services] designed the disclosure to trick merchants into believing that these fees cannot be charged and, if charged, they would be reasonable and would be used to cover specified new costs (and would not generate more profit).
PNC Merchant Services has admitted no wrongdoing in this matter. However, the company has agreed to pay $10 million to resolve the pending class action.
Under the terms of the settlement, class members may receive a cash payment based on the amount they paid in fees. The exact amounts of the payments will vary depending on the number of claims filed with the settlement and the number of costs claimed by class members.
The settlement also provides for non-monetary benefits. For 18 months after the settlement is approved, Class Members who have a plan with PNC Merchant Services that involves an annual fee have the option to switch to a different pricing plan. This can reduce processing fees, although the settlement website warns that switching plans won’t guarantee savings.
Five years after the settlement was approved, PNC Merchant Services agreed to make changes to its fee disclosure. This includes providing customers advance notice of annual fees, not charging early termination fees, and implementing acknowledgments before charging paper statement fees.
The opt-out and objection deadline was March 9, 2022.
The final settlement approval hearing was scheduled for April 7, 2022.
In order to receive payment, Class Members must submit a valid Claim Form by April 25, 2022.