Central Payment Corporation
Central Payment Overview
Founded in 2005 in Larkspur, CA, Central Payment Corporation (cpay.com) is a merchant account provider in a joint venture with TSYS (Vital) as its card processor, which is one of the biggest credit card processors in the industry. Central Payment Corporation (CPAY) is headed up by brothers Zachary and Matthew Hyman.
In addition to supplying credit card processing services, CPAY also offers check conversion & guarantee, POS systems, mobile processing, e-commerce processing, payment gateways, and virtual terminals. Many of the additional services that CPAY offers come from third party providers such as Authorize.net and PayJunction.
Central Payment Sales Tactics & Marketing Strategy | C-
CPAY does not appear to use any deceptive advertising or online rate quoting that are apparent to this reviewer. However, the company relies heavily on independent outside sales agents which has resulted in damage to its reputation.
Based upon merchant complaints, CPAY either encourages agents to use deceptive quotes and omit contract details during the sales process or management turns a blind eye to the practice. The complaints may also indicate that CPAY needs to improve its training program to better educate agents about the details of the contract.
CPAY could improve its rating in this section by reducing its complaint count regarding deceptive sales tactics and by removing the ability for agents to set expensive pricing.
Central Payment Costs & Contract Terms | C
CPAY agents appear to be able to set rates and pricing within certain guidelines as set by the company, so rates and fees may vary. With that said, it appears that CPAY encourages agents to set high pricing and rates in exchange for large commissions.
CPAY’s standard merchant account contract has a three year service agreement with automatic renewal if not cancelled within a specified time frame. Merchants that cancel within the first year of service are subject to a $550 cancellation fee that is automatically debited from a merchant’s attached checking account. After the first year, the cancellation fee reduces at a sliding scale depending on how much time is left on the contract. Merchants are encouraged to fully read and understand their contracts before signing.
Central Payment Service & Complaints | C
When you sign up for a merchant account with Central Payment there are a few things you should understand. One, Central Payment is acting as a reseller for TSYS and two, while your payments are actually being processed by TSYS, you will be dealing with Central Payment Corporation exclusively for customer service.
For a provider of CPAY’s size and time in business, the company has an average-to-slightly high number of complaints in comparison to similar providers. The complaints share a common theme with reports of agents quoting misleading processing rates, actual rates were much higher than the original rate quotes, and that an agent failed to disclose other important fees and contract terms. A few also claimed that their signatures were forged on pages of the contracts that the merchant was never supplied.
Central Payment does not use any sub-ISOs or other business names, and and claims to manage over 140,000 merchant accounts directly, which concentrate the complaints on one business name. It is common practice in this industry for providers to use other DBAs in order to spread complaint count across different names, resulting the false appearance of a low complaint count among the different names. CPAY does not appear to take part in this unethical strategy, which is a positive sign for the company.
Until recently, CPAY appeared to do a great job of responding to complaints in the comments section of this review. As of this update, it has been over six months since a complaint has been addressed.
As a ratio, the majority of CPAY merchants are likely satisfied with the company’s service but it seems to be greatly determined by the agent setting up the account. Central Payment can improve its rating in this section by reducing the amount of future complaints and removing policies and agents that cause complaints for the company.
Central Payment BBB Report | C+ (CPO Adjusted)
As of this update, the CPAY Better Business Bureau (BBB) report appears to be completely blank. As of our last update, (11/10/2011) the BBB reported 126 complaints filed within the last 36 months and still awarded the company accreditation and an “A” rating. Of the 126 complaints, 68 were due to product and service problems, 40 with billing and collection, 17 with advertising and sales and one with delivery issues. One positive sign was that 88% of the complaints had been resolved to the merchants’ satisfaction. Based on the complaint count and resolution ratio, we adjusted the rating to a “C+” for the purposes of that review. You can learn more about why we adjust BBB ratings in our rating criteria.
CPAY’s sales strategy, rate pricing, and contract terms seem to be causing most of the complaints about the company. CPAY can improve its rating in this review by setting tighter pricing controls, removing commission incentives that encourage agents to deceive merchants, improving agent training about its contract terms and fees, removing the automatic contract renewal clause, and significantly lowering or removing its early cancellation fee.
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