|Sales & Marketing|
|Costs & Contract|
|Complaints & Service|
Before you continue onto the next sections of this review, it is important to understand that there are two companies in the U.S. that operate under the “Card Payment Solutions” name. This review is for the Thousand Oaks, California-based company (csiprocessing.com). If you are looking for the South Carolina-based company, see our Card Payment Solutions (South Carolina) review.
CardPayment Solutions (csiprocessing.com) of California began operations in 1999 and is a reseller of iPayment, Inc. The company is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank N.A., Walnut Creek, California.
|CPS Products and Services||Industries Served|
|Key Points – Sales & Marketing|
|Uses independent resellers?||Yes|
|Promotes deceptive rate quotes?||Yes|
|Discloses all important terms?||No|
This reviewer found only one instance of slightly deceptive rate advertising by the company, with CardPayment Solutions quoting rates “as low as 1.49% +$0.19 per transaction” on its website. To learn more about why this type of quote is deceptive, be sure to read Fee Sweep. No other uses of misleading marketing were found other than merchants reporting misleading sales tactics used by some sales agents of the company, which will be covered in more detail below.
CardPayment Solutions appears to rely heavily on recruiting outside independent agents and resellers to market its services. This marketing practice usually lowers a company’s score because most providers have difficulty maintaining control of the sales practices of the resellers. Online complaints suggest that CardPayment Solutions falls into this category because agents are paid on a commission-plus-residual basis and the company’s policies encourage agents to set high fees for merchants. In light of this merchant feedback, we have adjusted the company’s rating to a “C.”
CardPayment Solutions Marketing Example
|Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms|
|PCI compliance fee:||$79 per year|
|Equipment lease:||48 mos./non-cancellable|
According to a copy of the standard CardPayment Solutions contract (available below), the company’s basic agreement is a three-year term with an early termination fee ranging from $250 to $350, an application fee of $195, a monthly statement fee of $9.50, a monthly minimum fee of $25, an annual PCI Compliance fee of $79, and a tiered pricing schedule. These rates and fees are consistent with the standard rates charged by iPayment and are slightly more expensive than industry averages. Merchants should be sure to thoroughly read their contracts before signing and keep in mind that pricing is often negotiable (see: “Fee Sweep“). There is also some evidence that CardPayment Solutions sales agents are selling long-term, non-cancellable equipment leases with high monthly fees. Merchants are advised to purchase equipment whenever possible. See the CardPayment Solutions Merchant Application.
|Key Points – Complaints & Service|
|Live customer support:||Yes|
|Most common complaint:||Hidden fees|
CardPayment Solutions has a moderate amount of complaints (approximately 30) filed online for a company of its size and time in business. The majority of the complaints report unexpected and higher-than-quoted fees in addition to poor customer service when attempting to resolve these issues. As suggested earlier in this review, these types of complaints are often the result of independent resellers who failed to disclose all of the fees prior to setting up the merchant. These failures may be purposeful, or they may be the result of poor training. Either way, merchants are strongly encouraged to read and understand their CardPayment merchant account agreement before signing, as the company’s standard policies allow for unfavorable pricing and service conditions.
|Key Points – BBB Report|
As of this review, the CardPayment Solutions Better Business Bureau report goes to a page for iPayment, which has an “A+” rating despite 356 complaints filed in the last 36 months. Even with its high complaint volume, the BBB also awarded iPayment accreditation in 2011. The fact that CardPayment Solutions has had its profile grouped with iPayment’s profile indicates to us that the two companies are very closely partnered, so we will apply the same CPO-adjusted rating (“D”) to CardPayment Solutions that we apply to iPayment. See the iPayment review for more information about the company, or see our rating criteria to better understand why we adjust BBB ratings.
* Denotes CPO-adjusted BBB score
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This review was originally published on 4/15/13 and was last updated on 6/2/15.
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