Certified Payment Processing Review

Certified Payment Processing Overview

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Updated 2/14/2019: The Certified Payment Processing website (cpp-360.com) is not active at this time, nor are the websites of its affiliated companies Axis Payments, Intrepid Payment Processing, Summit Merchant Solutions, or TransTech Merchant Group. It seems likely that Certified Payment Processing’s management has shifted its focus to Cypress Bay Solutions, which shares the same address as Certified Payment Processing and all of its affiliated companies. We will therefore no longer update this review and plan to publish a review of Cypress Bay Solutions in the near future.

Certified Payment Processing (cpp-360.com) is a merchant account provider launched in 1991. Certified Payment Processing and its partner companies, TransTech Merchant Group and Summit Merchant Solutions, are owned by First American Payment Systems. Certified Payment Processing also provides a variety of point-of-sale and payment processing devices through a partnership with Lease Finance Group, a DBA of Northern Leasing Systems.

A commenter has stated beneath our Apex Merchant Group review that Apex Merchant Group’s portfolio was purchased by First American Payment Systems and was subsequently merged with Certified Payment Processing. This commenter also stated that Andrew Frankel, the CEO of Apex Merchant Group, is now running Certified Payment Processing, and that Certified Payment Processing has launched two DBAs called “Axis Payments” and “Intrepid Payment Processing.” Several of the commenter’s assertions were corroborated in responses from company representatives. There is also some evidence to suggest that the company has recently started operating under the name “Cypress Bay Solutions.” Certified Payment Processing is a registered ISO/MSP of Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California. The company is located at 3350 Boyington Dr, Carrollton, Texas 75006. Tony Norrie is listed as the president of Certified Payment Processing.

Key Points

  • Sales & Marketing: Certified Payment Processing hires independent sales agents and has received a high number of complaints about its sales practices.
  • Costs & Contract: Certified Payment Processing appears to offer a three-year contract through First American Payment Systems with an early termination fee of up to $595.
  • Complaints & Service: Certified Payment Processing has received more than 70 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Certified Payment Processing has an “A-” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 89 complaints in the last three years.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Certified Payment Processing
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Products & Services Offered

  • Debit and credit card processing
  • Online payment gateway
  • Gift and loyalty programs
  • Recurring billing
  • POS equipment
  • ATM placement

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • Mobile
  • MOTO
  • E-commerce

Response from Certified Payment Processing

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Certified Payment Processing Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Swiped Rate Variable
Keyed-in Rate Variable
Early Termination Fee $495-$595
PCI Compliance Fee $124.75 Per Year
Equipment Lease Terms Non-Cancellable

The standard Certified Payment Processing contract appears to be a modified version of the standard First American Payment Systems contract, which is a three-year agreement with automatic renewal, an early termination fee of $495-$595, an annual fee of $95, and various other fees that may include a monthly minimum of $25, a PCI Compliance fee of $124.75, and variable other fees. In addition, some merchants state that they were signed up for long-term equipment leases with exorbitant cancellation fees through Lease Finance Group. Overall, the consensus among complainants is that the rates offered adhere to a tiered pricing model, and these rates are often misrepresented at the point of signing. The service length and early termination fee also appear to be a source of confusion among merchants. The company’s contract terms are less competitive than industry averages according to nearly every source, and most complaints about Certified Payment Processing’s contract express a sentiment among merchants that they are overpaying for services.

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Response from Certified Payment Processing

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Certified Payment Processing Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints 70+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Hidden Fees

We are currently able to locate over 70 Certified Payment Processing complaints, most of which accuse the company and its related businesses (Summit Merchant Solutions and TransTech Merchant Group) of being a ripoff or a scam. A large number of these complaints are from current and former sales employees of the company who allege a lack of training or support, bad leads, and a high-pressure, aggressive work environment. Among merchants, complainants tend to cite expensive contract terms, misrepresentation of rates and fees (either over the phone or in person), an inability to resolve the issue through the company’s customer service, and rude or unprofessional communication on the company’s end. Numerous complainants also describe expensive equipment leases through Lease Finance Group. The Certified Payment Processing website does not appear to list dedicated support contact information.

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Response from Certified Payment Processing

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Certified Payment Processing BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 21
Billing & Collection Complaints 13
Advertising & Sales Complaints 55
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery 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.

Certified Payment Processing is not an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau. As of this review, the company holds an “A-” rating with the BBB and has had 89 complaints filed against it in the last 36 months (down from 186 at the time of our last review). Of those complaints, 13 involved billing or collections issues, 55 were filed regarding problems with advertising or sales tactics, and 21 had to do with product or service problems. Out of all 89 complaints, only 25 have been successfully resolved. Five received what the BBB did not consider to be a good faith effort toward resolution, while the remaining 59 either received a dissatisfactory resolution or did not receive a final response from the merchant. Taking this high complaint rate and low resolution rate into account, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “D.”

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Response from Certified Payment Processing

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

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

Certified Payment Processing utilizes telemarketing and independent sales agents to market its services. This practice appears to be a major source of merchant frustration, as we are currently able to locate numerous negative Certified Payment Processing reviews that describe nondisclosure and misrepresentation by the company’s telephone and in-person sales agents. Additionally, there are multiple complaints filed publicly by the company’s agents in which the complainants describe incomplete training, poor or expired leads, a high-pressure work environment, and inadequate compensation for their time. These types of complaints are especially alarming, as a sales agent’s expertise and job satisfaction factor heavily into the kind of service a merchant will receive. As a slightly positive sign, the company does not appear to engage in deceptive advertising in its official materials.

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Response from Certified Payment Processing

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Certified Payment Processing Marketing Example

Certified Payment Processing Logo

Our Opinion of Certified Payment Processing

Like other companies in the First American Payment Systems network of businesses, Certified Payment Processing rates as a substandard credit card processor according to our rating system. The company’s high volume of complaints, many of which have been filed by current and former employees, coupled with its pedestrian contract terms and poor complaint resolution rate, have all lowered its overall rating in this review. Business owners are advised to carefully examine all contract terms before signing an agreement with this merchant services provider.

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Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing and Merchant Account Services

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.

From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers on this website.

How I Can Help You

I specialize in helping businesses get refunds of excessive fees and have recovered $1,567,184 this year alone! Submit a recent statement below to find out if you are getting overcharged. I'll take a look at it for free. If I find fees that can be refunded, hire me on contigency. I only get compensated if I put money back into your pocket.

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11 Reviews Leave Your Review for Certified Payment Processing Below

  1. Lisa says:

    Pay Certify is one of the worse payment processors out there – they ask you to send in loads of paperwork, finally approve you, process a few initial transactions and then hold your money for 120 days. the customer service is really really awful or it may be by design how once they have your money they don’t answer your calls and when they do they bounce your around from person to person with no resolution to your issue. I implore you not to waste your time with these scammers.

    I would give a negative 2 stars if it were possible. I ran my transactions at the end of September and have yet to receive my payout. They will kill your small business!! I would sooner stick with PayPal.

    1. Brian Clark says:


      This article may help: How to make a payment processor release your money.


  2. Brian says:

    I worked for this company. they tell you to target small unsuspecting business owners and to hide the plethora of hidden fees. This company literally is evil, do not work for them, do not buy from them. Their rates are absolutely awful, their reps are completely unknowledgeable and are not trained. F- for this fraud of a company

  3. Denver Hager says:

    This company has called my house 23 times this morning alone and for last several weeks. No one should ever do business with a company that uses this type of business tactics. We have previously declined their services. It took several phone calls to get a live person, who then stated that it wasn’t them (the company) but the automated sales calls. I have been on do not call list since 2003. I have filled FCC complaint.

    Try using Integrity as a model and you may do well after this business fails.

  4. Hard Sell says:

    Starts with telemarketing phone call and caller would not take no for a answer. Rep shows up and can tell he is a total beginner. paper work in FedEx envelope. Dressed in shorts and t-shirt. I explain to rep that the company he works for is a total scam and show him several reviews that prove my point. I also show how payment processing actually works and Visa and MC interchange rates that are non negotiable. Rep gets inside sales manager on phone (speaker phone) he explains to sales manager that my current effective rate is 2.42% to 2.65% per month. Effective rate is calculated with all fees included. I am on interchange plus at a rate of .10% plus .05 cents (this is a very low low rate. and I own my own machine.) He sends a picture of my statement to SM and SM swears up and down He can lower my effective rate to 1.23% (YEAH RIGHT). So I ask sales manager how he can get a rate that low? He never answers the question. Finally after hounding SM with all kinds of question on how interchange is non-negotiable, are there other monthly fees. Rep at this point shows me a note “I am QUITTING this company!)

  5. Kim says:

    They just called me 5 times before 10:00 at my home! How is this not harassment?

  6. Kelly says:

    CPP calls our shop quite regularly asking for our business. It is a complete nuisance and very time-consuming! I have asked that they remove us from their calling list and have started noting dates and times of the calls. I will report them to the FCC next.

  7. Nikki Nguyen says:

    This company is a joke. Their sales Reps are rude by calling my business several times a day just asked for the owner and then hang up the phone or cussed out with my associates. Unprofessional and improper traning

  8. Melodie McBride says:

    I feel this is a particularly a brutally biased report considering that more than half of the issues were resolved. As far as those issues that weren’t resolved to customer satisfaction, I can personally attest that many companies with more acclaim have not resolved issues to my satisfaction like FedEx not delivering my package upon my specific request when I have not been physically able to be at home to sign for my package. I consider this pretty detestable and unresolved, and disrespectful to the customer when I have a porch and quiet neighbors and know it would be waiting for me when I got home…..oh and I’m sure the cancellation fee for a cell phone company is much larger than Certified Payment Processing, not to mention that every time I talk to people, they always tell me that telephone never makes it to the 2 year agreement and they always are stuck using a refurbished unit til they end their contract…so they don’t have to pay to cancel with a very large fee. Don’t forget Summit has an equipment maintenance program,replacing any unit that does not work during the entire agreement with free printer paper ribbons and manual imprint slips and customize your receipts. Of the clients that I have found using the service honestly, they all said they were saving money. It seems that the biggest cancellation and complaints are coming from folks that are reading negative reviews, panicking, and not openly negotiating with the company and allowing them to make billing corrections or resolve normal issues. Good grief, my local phone company has much worse prorated charges that can kill any budget, and still they don’t even have an F rating. This report is so shameful that it has not even compared other companies complaint ratios. It has chosen only one company to pick on completely out of context. I work for Summit and feel that only non sales people could have so many antagonistic experiences. I have managed to find over 100 new clients who liked what we offer in comparison to their existing service in the last 3 months. My pay reflects good performance. Lowsy reps are weeded out quick in my opinion and cut out company waste. We are still in the top 25 companies in America, tough cut throat competition, and some other companies are rejecting as high as 20% of their applications. Does this mean they are refusing to do business with 20% of American businesses? Summits approval rating is 98%. I guess that means we give more people a chance for credit card service than other providers that deny them. That alone means we take greater risk for the sake of business.

    1. Ron says:

      I’m unclear who you actually work for. You’re defending the business practices of Certified Payment Processing but then you say you work for Summit? Other than the fact that you can’t seem to write or spell correctly, you started pointing out your issues with OTHER companies. Everyone knows (except maybe you) that when you want to take the attention off of yourself, you point the finger at others. Your defense of Certified and Summit spells it out clearly what type of company you work for. Nowhere did you state the companies didn’t do what the complaints were about. You just blindly defended them and tried to call out other companies. This afternoon I was approached by a sales rep. When I said no, she called her supervisor, Walter “Trey” Rush, who proceeded to tell me he could get me better rates on my merchant account without doing a credit check and give me a specified time period to respond. The sales rep started filling out an “application” asking for my date of birth, company info, and my social security number. When I wouldn’t give her my social, she called her supervisor again and put the phone on speaker. When I asked why they wanted my social, he said “How am I supposed to give you rates without it”? Any idiot would know the rates were based on a credit check (even though he told me he wouldn’t do one). When I said “That’s it, I’m done”, the rep took the phone off speaker but didn’t have it far enough away from me for me not to hear him say “WHAT A DUMBASS!”. The sales rep apologized for what the supervisor said. I told her “NO, I’m sorry you have to work for a person like that”. This pretty much sums up MY experience with Certified. SO, Melodie McBride, I hope you’re proud of the people you work with. Some of your customers are not.

  9. joseph murphy says:

    Certified payment processing keeps calling my cell number and then hanging up when i answer. I hear operators specking in the background. it is a nuisance. they call constantly. how do i stop this?

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