PayAnywhere Review

Category Breakdown
Sales & Marketing rated B
Costs & Contract rated C
Complaints & Service rated D
BBB Rating rated C

Overall Rating



Expand For Video Summary
Pay Anywhere Logo

PayAnywhere Logo

PayAnywhere (, sometimes spelled as “Pay Anywhere,” is a mobile credit card processing service of North American Bancard; however, PayAnywhere warrants its own review because the service is a departure from North American Bancard’s typical merchant account setup. It should be noted that even though the service is powered by North American Bancard, the actual processor of the credit card transactions is Global Payments.

Much like Intuit’s “GoPayment” app, PayAnywhere is North American Bancard’s answer to Square’s mobile credit card processing service. The service appears to have launched in 2010, so it is still relatively new to the merchant services arena and has not enjoyed the same kind of buzz and popularity as Square and GoPayment. Even so, PayAnywhere has been garnering a lot more media attention and has become a solid competitor in the wireless credit card processing industry.

PayAnywhere Sales & Marketing Tactics | B

Key Points – Sales & Marketing
Uses independent resellers? Yes
Promotes deceptive rate quotes? No
Discloses all important terms? No

PayAnywhere does not appear to use any deceptive marketing or sales tactics that are apparent to this reviewer. It looks as though the company primarily markets its service through advertising, public relations, strategic partnerships, and referrals from North American Bancard. However, merchants have reported similar complaints found with Square in that PayAnywhere fails to mention prior to account setup that it holds funds to mitigate risk. Merchants have complained that the company held large amounts of funds with no prior warning of such policies. Therefore, we have lowered the score of this section to reflect merchants’ sentiment that PayAnywhere’s marketing is slightly misleading when it comes to ease of use.

PayAnywhere Marketing Example

PayAnywhere Costs & Contract Terms | C

Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms
Swiped rate: 2.69%
Keyed-in rate: 3.49% + $0.19
Termination fee: None
PCI compliance fee: None
Equipment lease: None

As of this review, PayAnywhere has no setup fees, no monthly fees, and no cancellation fee, and it comes with a free card reader that plugs into the audio jack of compatible smartphones. The processing fee is also similar to those of Square and GoPayment with 2.69% fee for sliding a credit or debit card through the attached card reader and 3.49% plus $0.19 for keyed transactions. It appears that the processing fees are the same for all card brands, including American Express and Discover. Also as of this review, the service is compatible with most current Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, iTouch), Android (2.4 or later), and many Blackberry models.

Since our last review, PayAnywhere has seen a sharp increase in complaints regarding its cash reserve and termination policies. Like many of its competitors, the company appears to commonly freeze accounts or withhold large payments in anticipation of potential chargebacks. The problem is that the service appears to provide little notice or justification for these holds, effectively keeping merchants from their own money without their knowledge. The company’s terms of use grant it a great deal of liberty when establishing reserve accounts (including the right to collect interest gathered on withheld funds), and the pattern of merchant complaints about this policy seems to indicate that the company may be taking advantage of this power to an inappropriate extent.

PayAnywhere Complaints & Service | D

Key Points – Complaints & Service
Total complaints: 180+
Live customer support: Yes
Most common complaint: Fund holds

We are currently able to locate over 180 PayAnywhere negative reviews, many of which describe the company as a scam or ripoff. Although the company has a very large client base and should be expected to have some complaints, it has seen a rapid uptick in complaints since our last update. Two major themes are consistently mentioned by complainants. As mentioned earlier in this review, the service holds funds in order to reduce the risk of fraud. The company’s policies seem to have a broad definition of which types of transaction appear to be fraudulent, which has resulted in numerous complaints from seemingly legitimate merchants reporting fund holds. The next common complaint is of receiving poor and unprofessional customer service when calling into PayAnywhere’s customer support. It appears that the calls are routed to the same call centers as regular North American Bancard customers, which also receives poor ratings in our review of the company. This definitely diminishes the edge over Square that PayAnywhere might have achieved with live customer support.

There have also been a few merchants reporting that PayAnywhere charged other fees in addition to the processing fee. PayAnywhere’s full pricing can be found here, but we have found reports of other possible fees that include a $25 Chargeback fee, $25 NSF fee (Non-Sufficient Funds), and $15 “Retrieval” fee which is left undefined. If you have experienced fees outside of the processing fees or those listed in PayAnywhere’s disclosed pricing, please leave a review in our comment section below detailing your experience. Although we are under no obligation to verify the content of user reviews, a valid email will be required for pricing-related comments as further evidence of these claims may need to be supplied in order for your comment to remain published.

PayAnywhere BBB Report | C (CPO Adjusted)

Key Points – BBB Report
Product/service: 78
Billing/collection: 69
Advertising/sales: 8
Guarantee/warranty: 1
Delivery: 3

As of this update, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is showing that PayAnywhere has been accredited since August 2012 and is awarding the company an “A+” rating. Our last update showed 128 complaints filed in the previous 36 months, but that total has jumped to 159 in under six months. Out of the 159, 69 are regarding billing and collections disputes, 78 with product or service problems, eight with advertising or sales issues, and three with delivery problems. Of the complaints, all but 11 have been resolved to the merchant’s satisfaction. Although this resolution ratio is impressive given the large increase in complaints, the complaint volume itself is troubling. This has prompted us to adjust the BBB’s score to a “C” for the purposes of this review.

Bottom Line

PayAnywhere Review

Rated 2.4 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Reviewed on 2014-08-26

PayAnywhere rates as an average mobile payment processor according to our rating system. The service is beginning to gain ground in the mobile processing market. There are currently numerous reports of merchants experiencing holds, poor customer service, and fees outside of company’s stated pricing. Some of these fee complaints may just be a misunderstanding of charges, or confusion in the way PayAnywhere bills its fees.

It should also be noted that, although our initial review of the company was positive but contained outdated pricing and device compatibility information, North American Bancard’s approach was to threaten us with “legal redress” if we did not update it immediately. We have updated this review (as we do every 12 to 18 months) only in the interest of accuracy, and with new insight on NAB’s strategy for dealing with publishers.

This review was originally published on 12/3/12 and was last updated on 8/26/14.

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About the author

Phillip Parker

Phillip Parker is a former merchant services agent turned small business advocate and the author of "Fee Sweep," which teaches merchants how to dramatically lower their processing rates, eliminate junk fees, and avoid fine-print scams. He founded to help merchants enact positive change in the credit card processing industry.

Phillip can help you find an ethical and honest processor that will offer you great rates. Click here to request a free provider consultation.

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  1. luise

    this company does nothing but harassing customers and merchants, calling the customer many times and every someone else investigates, then they ask you as merchant to send documents, you send the documents then they come up with more documents, you send these new documents and they ask for more statements,that is when i said thats enough and they said they hold my money for 6 months, i asked them to refund to customer so i can have alternate payment method with my customer, they reused saying the customer can come back and charge back, i said charge back what, if you refund it i as merchant am at risk of not getting paid , they are scams
    any processing would refund gladly to just have the problem out of their hair

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  2. mark lemerond

    100%scam all there doing is collecting money holding it as suspect transaction collecting interest or god knows what.never are you told about ect.we do over $500,000 ave in cc sales per year over last 10 years with a zero charge back history zero customer complaints and they still dont give us our money on swipes under $2000 we found out.everytime we called it was going in tomorrows bach.needless to say little consumers to large consumers will get ripped off and there customers will be to bbb as scam

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  3. Mark K

    Let them know how you think their practices are scams!

    Here is their Facebook Page.
    Oddly enough when I posted to their page, almost minutes later I received an abusive (anonymous) email to my web site.

    These people are scumbags.

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  4. Kristiana Kufuor

    I recently bought this reader so I could take credit from my customers I am a make up artist I did a wedding and got paid $400 of which $360 the customer charged as credit payanywhere “audited” me and asked for my customers information I sent it and then they asked me for a brief description of what I do so I gave them a very detailed paragraph and with no explanation they closed my account saying it was a “Buisness decision” and decided they were going to hold my money for 6 months. They are a fraud company this is how they make there money by auditing people I read the reviews. I read a book about this exact same situation maybe they read the same book it’s called the rainmaker. If they thought they were going to con me out of my money they chose the right one. I told her she would be hearing from a lawyer shortly she said ok well it’s in the contract. I’ll find out Monday even if it is they are running a scam Buisness and I’m going to make sure I get justice.

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  5. Kathy

    I have used the services of this company for several months without an incident. I had two holiday events. At one I used the services and charged $1,800. These charges went through without incident. Two weeks later, I ran $1,082 and these funds are now held for an “audit”. I have no idea when the funds will be released. They asked me for my personal bank statements for three months and the address and phone of one of the customers included in this amount. I do not capture this information. I know they will have to reconcile this in some way but I will not use this company again regardless of the outcome. There was no notice, no reasonable reason to suspect a problem.

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    1. Don

      Immediately have them release the funds back to customer cards. You will never see that money. Read all of the posts. You are no different than the rest of us, they will not release that money.

      Did you find this review helpful? Yes   No

  6. Juan

    DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY. I got my free reader, set-up my account and before I used their services I started reading some reviews and they were terrible. So I never used them. It’s been roughly 8 months now since I signed up with them. Just recently they hit my checking account with a $113 charge. I did know who it was at first. Didn’t do much investigation I just had my bank reverse it. Well it happened again this time for $132.95. So I stared digging around and found out that Pay Anywhere was making these fraudulent transactions without my consent. I then called them to have the account canceled and I was told that the account was in collections. Wow..Really. How can an account be in collections that I never used. I was then told there are annual fees. Well according to their policy and a pay anywhere phone representative there are no annual fees. Imagine them trying to explain this one. They couldn’t. I ended up having to close my checking account because of these crooks. You have been warned.

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  7. Mark K

    I got this amazing device several months ago!!!

    It was so amazing, I never used it but they kept deducting from my bank account different amounts.
    I had to call the fraud department several times. They pushed me twice into overdraft and adjusted their amounts to get around the fraud block. Over $1,000 in charges total and they were forced to refund that money eventually but what about my fees from the bank? NOTHING.

    This company is predatory and useless.
    If there is ever a class action lawsuit I hope they lose everything and I can help.


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  8. PayAnywhere sucks

    Avoid PayAnywhere like herpes. I processed two $200 payments in July 2014 from a customer and was “randomly” selected for an audit. They did not provide any other explanation and are still holding my funds — it’s 4 MONTHS LATER. I asked them to just reverse the charges back onto the credit card of my customer (NOT TO ME). They couldn’t even do that. PayAnywhere is horrible. PayAnywhere needs to go out of business.

    There are a bunch of other legitimate companies that you should go to instead of PayAnywhere:

    Intuit QuickBooks Payments
    Capitol One Spark Pay

    …to name a few.

    Now I’m out $400 because I had to refund my customer out of my pocket. PayAnywhere is a terrible company.

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  9. Judy

    What a horrid awakening – this is corrupt and they will hold your funds on frivolous claims.

    I have only transacted about 10 credit card sales with them as I have very few charges per year. TWICE they held funds with claims of me needing to send them a business model, need an invoice, yada yada, and that they would need to analyze my account; in doing so the funds would be held another 24-48 hours in addition to the day they already held the money. I was incensed! I have already produced and shipped the product so I am out the $350.00 for who knows how long.

    Bunch of b*stards they are – stay away.

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  10. Maria


    The system is new and has many problems. The cash drawer and printer does not work in synchrony with the tablet. It has to be reset with almost every transaction.

    They recently joined paypal and their system developed a failure with the paypal and now you have to go to the process of waiting to reinitialize the system with every transaction.

    In the two days i used it, the i had to call customer servise 18 times to get thru only 6 times. The volume of calls due to all the problems with the system is large and they are not ready to handle it consequently there are very long waiting times and most times they transfer calls to drop the problem.

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  11. Mag

    They have 2,000 in cleared credit card funds that they are holding. It has been a week now and I’m still getting the run around. I’m scared after reading these horror stories. I should have done better research on this piss poor company. I don’t know what to do. Should I refund the credit to my customer now before I lose any more time? We need solid solutions on how to deal with these companies. Please help!

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  12. Chris Burchell

    They held funds from 5 transactions, resulting in overdrafts, and lack of funds for payroll. I am cancelling my service immediately. They have created more trouble than I have time to deal with. I highly recommend not using them if you have a small business.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  13. Shelly Jones

    I only used PayAnywhere for the first time on Sept 12, 2014 and I have already gotten the run around from this company. They are telling me that my funds will not be transferred into my account and that I basically just gave my goods away for free! I lost over $300 worth of merchandise in credit card sales in a matter of my first and only 9 transactions. I have made 5 calls to customer service and spoken to supervisors and it has been a horrible mess. They are rude and extremely uncooperative.Since they could see my transactions and the amounts and refused to deposit my money I will not be using this card reader ever again and I placed a fraud alert on my bank account so that they will not be charging me any fees. This is a hard lessoned learned and I will be using a square reader from this point on. They are a much more reliable company. PayAnywhere sucks!!!!!!!!

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  14. Martin

    Pay Anywhere is deceitful and has treated me like a criminal. I am a single dad and buy and sell antiques as a PT job. I started with Pay Anywhere and for months had no problem. The funds were NEVER deposited in one business day as advertised but waiting an extra day or two was tolerable. Then as my business grew and I started to make larger sales. Pay Anywhere held a 2k transaction and asked me to provide mountains of financial and personal information without warning. Asking for detailed receipts and information they knew I did not have. My funds are still on hold. It is an obvious attempt on their part to either make money on my money or to ultimately charge me some erroneous fee. I am so angry with them. With other options out there, I am strongly considering utilizing them. I have been made to feel like a criminal for growing my business. The customer has left with the merchandise and now I don’t have my money, I am infuriated!! Think twice before signing up with these guys and look at all your options.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  15. Theresa Crawford

    We opened an account to process the payments, as requested from Pay Anywhere customer service rep. It took about 2 weeks to get approved, took a payment from a customer, was sent a message that it was processed and then when we asked when we were able to collect the payment, we were told that they account was not an account we could use. We advised we were only doing what we were told. They closed my account because they said after the payment is when they run the credit and they stated they couldn’t approve me because of my credit. I advised them that that was a little backwards to me, why would you go through the troubles of opening an account to close it after the 1st transaction. When I thought about it, I realize they are making money off of you 1st and then if your standards are not up to their standards, they close you but not without money 1st. Very misleading and corrupt if you ask me. Their credit rating should be review as well. I thought I was the only one that went through this with this company.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  16. Tiffani Wilson

    I initially was pleased with PayAnywhere’s service. The reader worked well and my funds had no trouble depositing on time. However, I started to notice charges with no description. Simple labeled as “deposit” with a negative number (a withdrawal). I had to call several times to get an answer and finally reached a person who told me they were “statement charges”. I had only been told about their 2.69% fee and nothing else. I felt deceived by these mysterious charges that they never told me of. I would never recommend them to anyone!

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    2 / 2 found this review helpful.
  17. David Burkhart

    Pay Anywhere is an absolute joke. I had a criminal customer dispute a legitimate charge of $950 to get out of paying. Pay Anywhere, as a result, never put the money in my account. Fine, but then a month later they charged my bank account $950 for the charge off. So now I am out $1,900. Wells Fargo is handling it, and I will at least get my $950 back from the Pay Anywhere criminals.(I’m not holding my breath about the original customer) Obviously, Wells Fargo will do my credit card transactions from now on. They are cheaper as a percent, and they treat me, even though I am a small client, like I am important to them. Avoid Pay Anywhere

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    3 / 4 found this review helpful.
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