Central Payment Corporation (CPAY) Review
11/3/2019 Update: CPAY has been entirely absorbed into the TSYS brand. The company no longer has a functioning website, all traffic is redirected to the TSYS webpage. All data in this review is current as of August 1, 2019, but will no longer be updated.
A TSYS Company
Founded in 2005 in Larkspur, California, but currently based in San Rafael, Central Payment Corporation is a merchant account provider that operates as a joint venture with TSYS as its card processor. TSYS is one of the biggest credit card processors in the industry, though the company was recently acquired by Global Payments
Headquartered in California
Central Payment Corporation (CPAY), which is located at 2350 Kerner Blvd #300, San Rafael, California 94901, was founded by brothers Zachary and Matthew Hyman, but the company’s current leadership likely falls under the TSYS umbrella. M. Troy Woods is the president and CEO of TSYS. The company is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, California, and of First National Bank of Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska.
Central Payment Corporation (CPAY) Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: CPAY offers month-to-month contracts through TSYS with no early termination fees.
- Complaints & Service: CPAY has received more than 200 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: CPAY (as TSYS) has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 131 complaints and 9 reviews in the last 3 years.
- Sales & Marketing: CPAY appears to hire independent sales agents and has received a high number of complaints about its sales practices.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With CPAY
Central Payment Corporation (CPAY) Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||200+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Hidden Fees|
Common Complaint Themes
For a provider of CPAY’s size and time in business, the company has an average-to-high number of complaints in comparison to similar providers. Several of these negative reviews call the company a ripoff or a scam. The Central Payment Corporation complaints share a common theme, including reports of agents quoting misleading processing rates, actual rates that were much higher than the original rate quotes, and that agents failed to disclose other important fees and contract terms. A few complainants also claim that their signatures were forged on pages of the contracts that they were never supplied.
Negative Reviews Under One Name
Central Payment does not use any sub-ISOs or other business names, and the company claims to manage over 140,000 merchant accounts directly, which concentrates the complaints on one business name. It is common practice in this industry for providers to use other DBAs in order to spread complaints across different names, resulting in the false appearance of a low complaint count among several providers. CPAY does not appear to take part in this unethical strategy, which is a positive sign for the company.
CPAY has historically done a good job of reaching out to complainants in the comment section of this review, but it is unclear how many of these attempts at complaint resolution are ultimately successful. A number of CPAY merchants appear to be satisfied with the company’s service, but each merchant’s satisfaction seems to be greatly determined by the agent setting up the account. Central Payment can improve its rating in this section by reducing the amount of future complaints and by removing policies and agents that cause complaints about the company.
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against CPAY. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
CPAY Customer Support Options
When you sign up for a merchant account with Central Payment there are a few things you should understand. One, Central Payment is acting as a reseller for TSYS, and two, while your payments are actually being processed by TSYS, you will be dealing with Central Payment Corporation exclusively for customer service. The company offers several support-specific phone numbers and email addresses serving four different languages, which is consistent with our expectations for great payment processing customer service.
Central Payment Corporation (CPAY) Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
Online Ratings Summary
|Product & Service Complaints||115|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||11|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||5|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
Note: We have adjusted this company’s BBB rating according to our own standards. To better understand why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our Rating Criteria.
Over 100 Complaints
The BBB currently assigns the CPAY (as TSYS) an “A+” rating and is reporting 131 complaints in the last 36 months. This is a huge increase from the 69 complaints the company had at the time of our last review in May 2019. Additionally, the company has had 42 complaints closed in the last 12 months.
115 of the 131 complaints relate to problems with a product or service, 11 regard billing or collection issues, and 5 are concerning advertising and sales complaints. Only 44 have been fully resolved to the merchants’ satisfaction. The remaining 87 complaints either were not successfully resolved or did not receive a final response from the merchant.
What Merchants Say
In addition to those 132 complaints, the company has also received 9 informal reviews on its BBB profile, all of which are negative in tone. One merchant cites frustration with a convoluted and misleading rate and fee structure:
Rates are ridiculous. Charged their rate plus tons of fees and other non-qualified rates that end up doubling the bill. They talk you in circles when you call and ask about the hidden fees. 1 transaction gets hit with 3 different fees.
This merchant will benefit from taking the steps to understand which contract terms should be avoided to prevent against charges like those incurred by this merchant.
A “B” Performance Overall
In light of the company’s complaint total and resolution ratio relative to its size, we have adjusted the rating of this section to a “B” for the purposes of this review.
Central Payment Corporation (CPAY) Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Swiped Rate||1.00% - 4.99%|
|Keyed-in Rate||1.00% - 4.99%|
|Early Termination Fee||$0|
|Statement Fee||$9.50 Per Month|
|Account Set Up Fee||$195|
|PCI Compliance Fee||$45|
|Equipment Lease Terms||48 Month (locked)|
CPAY agents appear to be able to set rates and pricing within certain guidelines as set by the company, so rates and fees may vary. With that said, it appears that CPAY encourages agents to set high pricing and rates in exchange for large commissions. It is therefore highly unlikely that CPAY’s terms will compete with pricing offered by the cheapest merchant accounts.
As of January 2016, CPAY’s standard agreement (available below) has been amended to offer month-to-month terms with no early termination fee.
Prior to this change, CPAY’s standard merchant account contract was a three-year service agreement with automatic renewal unless cancelled within a specified time frame. Merchants who cancelled within the first year of service were subject to a $550 cancellation fee; this fee decreased to $375 and then $300 after each subsequent year of the contract. The contract linked below also includes a setup fee of $195 (which can be waived at the agent’s discretion), an annual PCI compliance fee of $99.50, a PCI non-compliance fee of $15.95, a monthly minimum fee of $25, a statement fee of $9.50, and a tiered pricing schedule. The company’s new month-to-month contract terms are a step in the right direction, and we will be monitoring merchant feedback to see how this new pricing system works for new merchants. See the Central Payment Corporation Merchant Agreement.
Central Payment Corporation (CPAY) Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Outside Sales Agents
CPAY does not appear to use any deceptive advertising or rate quoting in its official materials. However, the company relies heavily on independent outside sales agents which has resulted in damage to its reputation in the form of numerous negative Central Payment Corporation reviews.
Misleading Sales Tactics
Based upon merchant complaints, CPAY either encourages agents to use deceptive quotes and omit contract details during the sales process, or management turns a blind eye to the practice. The complaints below this review and elsewhere also indicate that CPAY needs to improve its training program to better educate agents about the details of the contract. CPAY could improve its rating in this section by reducing its complaint count regarding deceptive sales tactics and by removing the ability for agents to set expensive pricing plans. If you suspect that a CPAY sales agent has added undisclosed fees to your account, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit.
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