Alpha Card Services Review

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Alpha Card Services Rating
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UPDATE 1/24/2019: Alpha Card Services has rebranded as Simpay ( We therefore will no longer update this review. Please refer to our Simpay review for more up-to-date information.

Alpha Card Services, Inc. (ACS – & is a nationwide merchant account provider headquartered in Trevose, Pennsylvania. ACS claims that it currently supplies equipment and services to over 15,000 merchant locations throughout the United States. The company has been in business since 2000 and maintains its corporate headquarters at 1210 Northbrook Dr #475 Feasterville-Trevose, Pennsylvania 19053. Alpha Card Services is sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California, as its acquiring bank. Lazaros Kalemis is listed as the owner of Alpha Card Services.

Key Points

  • Sales & Marketing: Alpha Card Services appears to hire independent sales representatives and has received some merchant complaints about its sales practices.
  • Costs & Contract: Alpha Card Services offers a three-year contract with an early termination fee of $250 or more.
  • Complaints & Service: Alpha Card Services has received more than 15 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Alpha Card Services has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received seven complaints in the last three years.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Alpha Card Services

Alpha Card Services Customer Reviews

Here's What Their Clients Say

Key Points

Total Online Complaints 15+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Hidden Fees

Given its size and time in business, ACS is showing a low-to-moderate number of publicly listed complaints. Common themes among these complaints include deceptive or aggressive tactics by independent sales agents, undisclosed hidden fees and contract terms, and apathetic or unreachable customer support. It’s possible that ACS customer service is handled by the corporation that provides processing for Alpha Card Services, which appears to be either First Data or Global Payments.

Alpha Card Services Online Ratings

Here's How They Rate Online

Online Ratings Summary

Product & Service Complaints 3
Billing & Collection Complaints 4
Advertising & Sales Complaints 0
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 0

An accredited member in good standing with the Better Business Bureau, ACS has an “A+” rating with seven consumer complaints filed in the last three years. These complaints consist of three problems relating to a product or service and four having to do with billing and collection. Three of these complaints were resolved with the assistance of the BBB while the remaining complaints either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the complainant or did not receive a final assessment from the complainant. Given the breakdown of the complaints and the fact that only one of them was filed in the last year, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time.

Alpha Card Services Fees, Rates & Costs

A Closer Look at The Contract

Key Points

Swiped Rate Variable
Keyed-in Rate Variable
Early Termination Fee $250+
PCI Compliance Fee $19.99 Quarterly
Equipment Lease Terms Variable

According to complaints filed on this site and elsewhere, the standard ACS contract is a three-year agreement that renews automatically for one-year terms following its expiration. A sample copy of the standard Alpha Card Services merchant agreement is available below, and it quotes an $89.99 annual membership fee, a $35 monthly minimum fee, a $10 statement fee, a $19.99 quarterly regulatory compliance fee (which may be a PCI compliance fee), a $40 monthly PCI noncompliance fee, a $35 chargeback fee, and a tiered pricing schedule. There is also an early termination fee associated with most ACS contracts that begins at $250 but can include the remaining months of a contract. This fee is a liquidated damages fee, which has the potential to increase a merchant’s overall termination fee by a significant and unpredictable amount. Merchants are advised to read the small print of any contract they are given to ensure that they will not be held accountable for more than the $250 cancellation fee (and even this fee is often negotiable). See the Alpha Card Services Merchant Application and the Alpha Card Services Program Guide.

Alpha Card Services Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs

Should You Work For Them?

Key Points

Employs Independent Resellers Yes
Advertises Deceptive Rates No
Discloses All Important Terms No

ACS appears to hire both direct sales representatives and independently contracted sales agents across the country to market its services. The use of independent agents is a fairly standard practice within the industry that can often result in an unregulated sales force with less-than-adequate training and oversight from the parent company. In this case, there are several reports in the comment section of this review and on other consumer protection websites describing encounters with ACS agents who failed to disclose important contract terms at the point of signing. A company representative has stated, however, that it is standard policy for all merchants to be provided with a summary sheet disclosing all fees before signing, and followup calls are then made to the merchant at two-week and then quarterly intervals. To its credit, ACS does not appear to use any deceptive marketing tactics on its website.

Our Alpha Card Services Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts

Alpha Card Services rates as an average merchant services provider according to our criteria. The company uses independent sales agents to market its services, which seems to be the primary cause of complaints filed against the company. Its contract terms are roughly average for the industry, although it does claim to make an effort to inform merchants of the fees they will encounter. Additionally, it seems possible that something resembling a liquidated damages fee is included in some ACS contracts.

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Your Comments & Reviews

How Did Alpha Card Services Treat You?

16 Responses

  • The amount of data entry mistakes this company makes is truly incomprehensible. I have had to deal with numerous mistakes to employee payments and tax information because their employees cannot seem to take information from a datasheet and enter it into their system accurately. The best part is no one takes responsibility or apologizes. The customer experience is a terrible one. The fees are low but you get what you pay for. We terminated our relationship with them at the end of 2017 and I am still dealing with their mistakes. The amount of time spent resolving employee payment issues is most certainly not worth it. Once they have your business it appears they will do their best to lose it.

  • this is worst merchant company ,DO NOT GET INVOLVE ,i work company as genaral manager work with aplha service,so i sign with them no contract monthly, monthly as manager.we had many problem, credit card not go through ,or double char to customer, some bank,for example first community credit union not working at all ,we complain but they did not find any solution ,so we decided to change to company,thet told us,we can not beacuse had 3 years more contract .we show our paper said that no contract .we cancel our account.they sent us bill $2800 early cancellation company was right so they did not do any action.aplha card service come after me as a person!i am employe there can you believe it.they sent me bill off course i call them i am employee here this is not problem ,try to solve problem with company. they ignore me and this bill affect my credit score .

  • Chris Shrimpton...CFO of Norton's Nutrition

    This company is the most lying deceitful and misleading company I’ve ever had the misfortune of dealing with in over 30 years. Too many to list all the ways they screw everyone…but some are 3 years ago i said I would leave after they added fee’s for bogus things…so they lowered and removed them and a few months later added them all back and more and said I signed up for 3 more years…fraud…..then they made up quarterly $19.99 fees for more nothing…then made up a compliance document they email when they want….and if you don’t get it they charge you $40.00 for the heck of it…Fraud….then they charge you $5.00 per month for supplies and when you ask for them you get told NO…fraud…I’d go on but I just don’t have the time…they are a complete rip-off!

    Are you with Alpha Card Services? Learn how to resolve this complaint.

    • lazaros kalemis

      As most people know the SAQ form he is referring to is not a made up document rather a requirement of the PCI Security Council.. We at Alpha Card Services’ are doing our best to ensure that all our merchants are handling valuable Credit Card Data properly. This is a case a merchant that hasn’t listened to anything we have had to say. as per our terms and conditions our supply program gives merchants a reasonable amount of Paper per their processing needs. When this merchant was told that they were not eligible for the amount of paper they requested they used foul language and hung up on our CSR. As we mentioned to the merchant The 40.00 fee is a non compliance fee, that is immediately refunded once compliance is achieved through filling out or providing a valid SAQ from control scan who we use or any other means. As anyone who uses Control scan can attest, they send out emails when expiration of compliance is coming up and after compliance has expired. I am sorry this merchant had a bad experience but we have tried to work with this merchant, but he has become irrational and second guessed the info given even when we directed him to the to confirm what we were saying was legit. in this world with so many data breaches we would think everyone would try to protect card holder data and be willing to do anything possible to not endanger their business to the large potential fines by the association for any breaches that could be caused.

  • Alpha Card Services is a VERY BAD company. We used them for 4 years but needed to make a change. Our new point of sale system would not work with Alpha Card. As a result we needed to cancel our accounts. Our initial contract was for 2 years. Apparently it auto renews for another year annually. If you cancel before the end of your new “Contract” they charge you $250 for “early cancellation”. Keep in mind that I have already been with them for 2 years past the initial contract. Also, due to deceptive business practices on their part I had 2 accounts and I was charged the $250 twice. $500 just for closing my account. STAY AWAY!

    • Lazaros Kalemis

      Tim, I am very surprised with the info you are writing. 1st, the term, we clearly disclose our term on page 2 of the document, which you initialed, page 3 or the document which you signed below and also point 13 of our term and termination clause. Auto Renewing is standard on all merchant agreement, and that clause is dictated by our sponsor banks. Unlike our competitors not only do we place our term on the agreements, prior to approving an account our Underwriting Team discusses all rates, fees and terms with every merchant prior to approval followed with a ups signature required approved client package. In the package we again summarize the contract and give a full copy of the signed agreement with the terms and conditions.

      the reason you signed up for two accounts is because you do both retail and moto transactions evenly. because of the type of transactions you do we helped you setup 2 accounts so that if there was ever a chargeback on one of your key entered card not present transactions you would not be required to send the issuing bank an imprinted copy of the transaction as is required for any retail location key entering cards.

      • Phillip CPO

        Lazaros, your reasoning for setting up two accounts for this merchant makes little sense. In most cases, agents and ISOs do this to obtain double commission on an account, or to ensure a hefty residual commission. This is especially true when considering that two accounts can be avoided if you set up this type of merchant with Interchant-plus pricing.

        • Lazaros Kalemis

          Phillip, this isn’t about pricing. it is about risk of a transaction and informing merchant’s of their rights. any charged back transaction requires certain documents. a retail location with a keyed transaction would require an imprint. if they don’t have it they lose. visa versa and interchange merchant may not qualify for the best interchange levels because software is limited in asking for key components of a key entered transaction. ie, moto transactions require cvv2, address, invoice number to get the best interchange. a moto merchants processing a business card doesn’t qualify for level 2 processing. there are a host of reasons to separate accounts from both a risk and interchange savings.

          • Phillip CPO

            I disagree with your reasoning as Chargebacks under your purposed scenario are exceedingly rare. A merchant such as this can still be set up with Interchange-plus so long as the payment gateway allows them to gather the additional information for card-not-present transactions, of which several gateways are capable of doing.

            I also just noticed that you claim that all merchant account contracts automatically renew, which is false. Most contracts I’ve seen go to a month-to-month service agreement once the initial term is met.

  • Alpha Card is just like the rest of the credit card processors. They send a sales agent out who will ask for your statement from the company your using at the time. It’s best not to give them the statement. Make them provide their best offer at first, they will argue that they can’t do this. This will be the first lie. Second lie is when the sales agent,( in my case was a third party agent acting for Alpha Card), destroys your current credit card processors statement and shows you how bad your getting taken. He will circle numbers and tell you this is where the current company is screwing you and that Alpha Card can save you money. For me he said between $200-$300 a month. When I said ok I’ll switch, he quickly ran me through the contract. My fault for rushing. At the time I asked him if the termination fee was set fee. He said Yes, $299. He didn’t tell me the real truth that the fee is $299 plus the minimum fee associated with the account for the amount of time left on the contract. Actually he stated that Alpha Card does not impose such fees, and that I should stay away from companies like that. My fault for believing him and signing.

    My current fees where around $1000 every month. So with what I was shown by the sales agents math, I was expecting to see a decline on my first statement with Alpha Card. My first statement was $1500. $500 more than the previous company. I called and argued but was only given the run around by him and customer service. I’m sugar coating this cause I don’t want to be typing all night. In the end Alpha Card is now trying to stick me with the termination fee of $299 plus the minimum on the account. They are trying to charge me over $2000 for work or processing they haven’t done.

    I didn’t call or ask them to come by, they showed up at my front door with this great deal. The sales agent did a great job of acting, later he tells me he is the President of Alpha Card Services. Come to find out that the real Alpha Card is in Pennsylvania, they hire agents and let them assume the name of Alpha Card and will not take any responsibilities for their agents actions. So in this area he is the President of Alpha Card. So I assume it’s a franchise….ha.

    So what ever you do do not use Alpha Card Services. I’ve taken to the street and they are one of three credit card services in this area of Texas that other merchants are saying stay away from.

    • Lazaros Kalemis

      please remove this sentence as it is libelous “So what ever you do not use Alpha Card Services. I’ve taken to the street and they are one of three credit card services in this area of Texas that other merchants are saying stay away from.” Please show us proof of this statement as you are hurting our brand with this out right lie.

      Kevin the reason rates increase from month to month are numerous, if you give me your merchant ID we can look into specifics.

      but some are, you processing more so the effective rate has decreased but fee increase because of the volume, second your card type changes or finally your processing habits change causing cards to down grade because you miss information of key entered transactions, don’t batch out in time, dotn add tax to business card transactions.

      • Phillip CPO

        Lazaros, please do not threaten, attempt to frighten, or intimidate commenters on this site or your remarks will not be published. By all definitions of Libel, Kevin’s comment does not qualify as libelous and he is completely within his rights.

        • Lazaros Kalemis

          Phillip I understand. I do not have your email address so ill reply here. People can post their experiences. We have an issue with this 1 statement “So what ever you do not use Alpha Card Services. I’ve taken to the street and they are one of three credit card services in this area of Texas that other merchants are saying stay away from.” as it is libelous. It is a false published statement that damages our reputation. With only a few hundred merchants in Texas, it is Highly unlikely that he has walked the street and anyone mentioned us as one of three companies to stay away from let alone many people. Sheer market share would say that is impossible.

          it is easy for someone to come on the site and make claims. we value our brand and our integrity. we help all merchants that need it, and go above and beyond to confirm all rates prior to approving an app. as you know in the past 24 months the associations have created many fees, and regulation others. We do everything we can to notify merchants.

          • Phillip CPO

            I recommend speaking with an attorney regarding the legal definition of Libel, as it is apparent that you are not educated in the matter.

  • Was left without tech support too many times with down terminals. Called to get a termination cost and was told that it would be $250 and that our contract had renewed on 9-29. When we faxed the cacelation notice in we were then told that it had renewed on 10-31 and that we now owed $440. They seem to change the actual renewal date at will when you go to terminate. Anyway, got hit for the $440. Then when we asked they not pull the $440 from our account till this was worked out, they just pulled it out anyway that night. These guys will treat you like garbage once you sine up. STAY AWAY!!!!

  • Nicholas Datyner

    I started a Merchant account with Alpha Card Services at the beginning of 2010, the reason being the low monthly cost ($10) This was using the Touch Tone capture setup, just calling in the CC number for approval. This was fine up until a few months ago when they increased the Data Breach fee from $4.95 to $7.95 and added a Reg Compliance fee of $3.75. Then in May another fee from Visa FANF 1 for $4.35 and backdated to April so there was a second $4.35. Come June there is a FANF 1 charge of $3.75 and a FANF 2 charge of $9 and another FAN 1 charge for April of $9 so the fees have gone from $10 to $30. I’d called and asked about the charges after the May account and Alpha had reduced some that they had control over but by agreeing to the changes the contract which would have ended beginning of 2013 was extended by 3 years. I hadn’t noticed this in the fine print, nor was it explained by the sales person. Like many I hadn’t read the fine print of the original agreement. It is designed so that whatever the charges become after you sign up you CANNOT get out of the contract without paying the monthly fixed costs till it runs out. I think most businesses would think that they are doing the servicing companies like Alpha a favor by paying them for their largely services which are quite minimal. They aren’t bearing any risks like the credit card companies but merely doing invoicing of fees and bank transfers all of which are either online or electronics. I had looked at ProPay after all this as an alternative but I”m stuck with Alpha for another 3 years. So read the fine print and ask lots of questions about what happens if charges are increased and new fees added since you will likely but stuck with them.

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