|Sales & Marketing|
|Costs & Contract|
|Complaints & Service|
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. CPS is sponsored by the HSBC Bank, National Association, Buffalo, New York as its acquiring bank, and Dan Christopher is listed as the president of Card Payment Solutions.
|Card Payment Solutions Products and Services||Industries Served|
|Key Points – Sales & Marketing|
|Uses independent resellers?||Yes|
|Promotes deceptive rate quotes?||No|
|Discloses all important terms?||No|
Card Payment Solutions 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 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:||N/A|
Since CPS shares a very similar name with another merchant account provider, it is very difficult to differentiate between the complaints filed online against the two companies. 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. These scattered complaints do not seem to indicate any consistent, widespread problems with the way Card Payment Solutions operates. However, it does not appear that merchants who encountered these issues were able to resolve them in a timely fashion. As always, 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 is reporting that CPS has been accredited since 2011 and is awarding the company an “A+” rating. The BBB is showing two complaints filed in the last 36 months, with one related to billing or collection and the other due to a delivery issue. For some unknown reason, the BBB does not currently show the outcomes of these complaints. However, 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.”
* Denotes CPO-adjusted BBB score
Related: Best Processors For E-Commerce
This review was originally published on 10/21/10 and was last updated on 6/1/15.
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