Card Payment Solutions (South Carolina)
Last Updated: June 27, 2014
Card Payment Solutions Overview
This review is for the South Carolina (formerly, Madison, Indiana) company called Card Payment Solutions (cardpaymentsolutions.com). If you are looking for the Santa Barbara, California-based company, see the CardPayment Solutions (California) review.
Card Payment Solutions (CPS) is a small to mid-size merchant account provider that began operations in 1999. The company is a sales organization that acts as a reseller for several direct processors including Global Payments, First Data, and TSYS. Although CPS is a reseller, it handles the customer service of its accounts directly. Besides providing credit card processing services, the company also supplies electronic check processing services.
CPS is sponsored by the HSBC Bank, National Association, Buffalo, New York as its Acquiring Bank.
|Key Points – Sales & Marketing|
|Uses independent resellers?||Yes|
|Promotes deceptive rate quotes?||No|
|Discloses all important terms?||Yes|
The CPS website used to list rate quotes that could be considered deceptive, but it seems that these figures have been taken down since the last update of this review. CPS also appears to rely heavily on recruiting outside independent resellers to market and sell its merchant services. Generally, this practice results in numerous merchant complaints because providers cannot control the sales and marketing tactics of the resellers. As of this update, however, CPS is not suffering from the typical complaints associated with the practice which may indicate that it has favorable sales policies that do not allow price gouging. Therefore, the company’s use of resellers will not negatively affect the its score unless evidence surfaces to the contrary.
|Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms|
|Termination fee:||Liquidated Damages|
|PCI compliance fee:||Variable|
Pricing of CPS merchant accounts appears to vary depending on a merchant’s business type, processing volume and the agent setting up the account. An agent of the company stated that CPS has a standard service agreement of 36 months with one-year automatically renewing extensions at the end of each term. Merchants who wish to cancel service must notify the company within 60 days of the expiration of the contract. Additionally, merchants may suffer a Liquidated Damages early termination fee for cancelling service while under contract. The agent also stated that these terms are negotiable.
Normally, the use of a Liquidated Damages clause and automatically renewing contract would result in an “F” rating in this section for a provider. However, CPS is not suffering from the types of complaints usually associated with the practice. This may be an indication that CPS rarely enforces the policy and that it usually comes to a mutually agreeable resolution during a dispute. In any case, merchants are encouraged to fully read and understand the terms of the agreement before signing any documents, and to insist on the removal of any Liquidated Damages clauses when possible (see: “Fee Sweep”).
If you have suffered a Liquidated Damages early termination penalty with Card Payment Solutions, please let us know in the comment section below.
|Key Points – Complaints & Service|
|Live customer support:||Yes|
|Most common complaint:||Expensive fees|
Since CPS shares a very similar name with another merchant account provider, it is very difficult to differentiate the complaints filed online. Based on our research, it appears the majority of complaints filed are regarding the California-based company and not the Indiana/South Carolina-based Card Payment Solutions covered in this review.
Most of the complaints against this company report high or unexpected monthly fees, unexpected cancellation fees, and difficulty getting problems resolved. It is difficult to tell if the complaints are isolated incidents or signs of larger problems. We will continue to monitor future complaints and update this review accordingly. It does not appear that merchants who encountered these issues were able to resolve them in a timely fashion. Again, merchants are cautioned to fully understand the terms of their merchant account agreement before signing.
|Key Points – BBB Report|
As of this update, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is reporting that CPS has been accredited since 2011 and is awarding the company an “A+” rating. The BBB is showing three complaints filed in the last 36 months, all of them regarding product and service problems. Of the complaints, all but one have been resolved to the merchant’s satisfaction. Since it is our belief that “A+” ratings should be reserved for companies with zero complaints, we have slightly adjusted the BBB’s grade to an “A.”
Card Payment Solutions of South Carolina seems to be a promising company in that it has very few complaints in comparison to other companies of similar size and time in business. The company can improve its rating by offering month-to-month contracts with no cancellation fees.
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