Challas Group INC Reviews & Complaints

Challas Group Logo
Overall Score
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How did they treat you?
Pros and Cons
Pros: Cons:
Fast processing speeds. Contractual obligations.
Enhanced security features. Occasional downtimes.
Competitive transaction fees. Setup costs.
Reliable customer support. Limited global reach.
Easy integration. Monthly fees.
Broad payment options. Limited customization.

Note: As of April 2022, the Challas Group website appears to be gutted of content. It is unclear what this means, but we are unable to find any recent activity online from the company. It is possible Challas Group is out of business. We will continue to monitor the situation and update this profile as necessary. If you have any information about the status of the company, please let us know in the comments below. 


In this review of Challas Group, a merchant account provider with roots in Texas and Illinois, we'll explore their range of services, including payment processing, advanced Point-of-Sale (POS) systems, mobile payment solutions, and eCommerce gateways, highlighting their application in various business sectors.

We'll then analyze Challas Group's business practices, including their fee structure, contract terms, pros and cons, and customer support quality. We'll provide insights into customer experiences through online reviews and feedback, giving a clear picture of the company's reputation among its clients.

We'll also examine controversial aspects of Challas Group's operations, such as marketing tactics, customer complaints, and ethical concerns. Additionally, we'll touch on any legal challenges the company has faced, offering a comprehensive overview of their practices within the payment processing industry. This review aims to provide a concise yet thorough understanding of Challas Group's business model, market position, and the challenges it faces.

About Challas Group INC

Incorporated in 2012 but properly activated in mid-2014, Challas Group is a merchant account provider based in Texas and Illinois that is currently operated by former executives of Datalink Bankcard Services. Challas Group also appears to operate under the names “Wholesale Banc” and “Bankcard Analytics”, although the three brands might be used interchangeably. Most of Challas Group's employees appear to have departed Datalink Bankcard in June or July 2014, which is also when the Challas Group website first appeared. An incomplete list of these employees, as well as their current and former positions, can be found below:

  • Walter Ranstrom – Chief Operations Officer at Challas Group (former director of sales at Datalink)
  • Garry Garmash – President at Challas Group (former vice president of Datalink)
  • Daniel Avalos – Chief Technology Officer at Challas Group (former help desk tech at Datalink)
  • Ryan Miller – Director of Recruiting at Challas Group (former corporate recruiter for Main Street Processing and Datalink)
  • Jennifer Marcano – Escalated Audits Manager at Challas Group (former national account manager at Datalink)
Challas Group Homepage

Challas Group Products and Services

Payment Processing

Challas Group processes major credit and debit cards for various industries, including nursing homes, doctors' offices, gas stations, grocery stores, and auto repair companies. Their offerings include terminals, wireless devices, and POS integration. They also provide services such as check cashing, cash advances, mail-order-telephone-order, and data analytics.

Point-of-Sale Solutions

Challas Group offers advanced Point-of-Sale (POS) systems tailored to the diverse needs of businesses. These systems support multiple payment methods and offer additional features like inventory management and sales tracking, enhancing overall business operations.

Mobile Payment Solutions

Challas Group provides a mobile payment solution that allows businesses to process payments anywhere using a mobile card reader and a dedicated app. This service is particularly useful for businesses that operate on the move or in the field.

eCommerce Payment Gateway

For online businesses, Challas Group offers a secure eCommerce payment gateway. This gateway integrates seamlessly with existing websites and supports various payment methods, ensuring a smooth online shopping experience and secure transactions to protect customer financial details.

Challas Group payment processing
Challas Group offers standard payment processing services

Challas Group Customer Reviews

Here's What Their Clients Say

Customer Reviews Summary
Total Online Complaints 30+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Sales Tactics
Recent Lawsuits No

Moderate Complaint Volume

Our research has revealed over 30 negative reviews of Challas Group, with many customers expressing concerns about potential deceptive practices or scam-like behavior. While Wholesale Banc is occasionally mentioned in conjunction with Challas Group, there is minimal reference to Bankcard Analytics in these reviews. The predominant issues raised in Challas Group reviews revolve around sales-related matters, including unwanted solicitation calls, misrepresented fees, slamming allegations, lack of transparency in contract terms, and instances of aggressive or unprofessional conduct. Additionally, a subset of complaints highlights dissatisfaction with customer service and unfavorable contract terms, with some reviews even originating from employees alleging unethical office practices. These complaints bear similarities to those associated with Datalink Bankcard and its affiliated entities, indicating potential patterns across related businesses. However, it’s important to approach these complaints with an open mind and consider individual circumstances. We encourage individuals to share their own experiences with Challas Group in the comments section below.

Legal Matters and Regulatory Oversight

Currently, there are no outstanding lawsuits or FTC complaints against Challas Group. Dissatisfied clients seeking alternative avenues for recourse are advised to consider reporting their concerns to relevant supervisory organizations.

Challas Group’s Customer Support Channels

Challas Group offers contact options, including an email address and phone number listed on its website. However, these channels seem predominantly geared towards sales inquiries rather than dedicated customer support, suggesting room for improvement in service provision. This falls short of the standards set by the best credit card processors renowned for exceptional customer service.

Challas Group Customer Service Information

  • (855) 410-5210 – Toll-Free Customer Service
  • (866) 757-9347 – Fax

Other Support Options

  • Customer support form

In conclusion, while Challas Group provides avenues for communication, there is room for enhancement in its approach to customer service, particularly in addressing the grievances outlined in reviews. It’s imperative for individuals to conduct thorough research and exercise caution when engaging with any service provider.

Challas Group Online Ratings

Here's How They Rate Online

Online Ratings Summary
BBB Rating 3
Average Rating 3

BBB Rating Analysis for Challas Group, Inc.

Challas Group, Inc. has an average customer review rating of 3 stars on BBB based on 2 customer reviews. The company is not BBB accredited on any of its 3 profiles, though it has an A+ on two and no rating on the third.

Negative Feedback

I have canceled THREE times. 2 times i sent a letter like i was instructed and they said they did not receive it. I then contacted them again and they said to send an email, which i did. Conveniently they did not recieve that either and continued to charge me. Do NOT use them!! They clearly do not have a care about charging service for a YEAR that has not been used. They REFUSED to even give a little of my money back. Not even this last month! HORRIBLE SERVICE! – Review from June 16, 2022

Positive Feedback

I started with this company back in 2018 and my rates and terminal have been working properly and exactly how they said since then. I worked with a Chris over there in the sales department and he was very helpful and attentive. 10/10. – Review from April 6, 2023

Source: Better Business Bureau

Challas Group Fees, Rates & Costs

A Closer Look at The Contract

Cost & Fees Summary
Cancellation Penalties Yes
Monthly & Annual Fees Unclear
Processing Rates 1.00% - 4.99%, variable
Equipment Leasing Yes

“Program Fee” Pricing

Challas Group doesn’t publicly disclose its contract terms or pricing details on its websites. However, insights from client complaints shed light on certain aspects. According to business owners, Challas Group promotes its rates through a “program” promising competitive rates on transactions. This program, though, typically involves committing to a long-term equipment lease that exceeds the equipment’s purchase price. Such an arrangement, common among merchant service providers, allows for enticing clients with perceived savings on transaction rates while potentially overcharging for processing equipment. Notably, the program may not clearly communicate to business owners that only debit transactions qualify for the lowest rates, with credit card transactions incurring higher fees. For alternatives, business owners are encouraged to explore our curated list of the best merchant accounts.

Long-Term Equipment Leases

Several complaints against Challas Group highlight instances where business owners reported increased costs after switching to their services. Some of these complaints mention Challas Group’s association with terminal leases through Northern Leasing Systems, known for offering expensive, non-cancellable, four-year equipment leases. Notably, many credit card terminals can be purchased for under $500, making long-term, non-cancellable leases financially burdensome for businesses.

Competitive Pricing and Transparency

While specifics about Challas Group’s contracts are limited, reports suggest an early termination fee of $500. However, its pricing doesn’t seem to align with the competitive rates offered by the cheapest merchant accounts. Moreover, concerns have been raised about the transparency of Challas Group’s sales practices, prompting caution against signing contracts with them without thorough consideration. If you possess insights into Challas Group’s contract terms, including any early termination fees or PCI compliance fees, we invite you to share them in the comments section below this review.

Challas Group point of sale
Challas Group’s point-of-sale options

Challas Group Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs

Should You Work For Them?

Jobs & Marketing Summary
Uses Independent Resellers Yes
Telemarketing Yes
Misleading Marketing No
Discloses All Important Terms No

Independent Sales Team

Challas Group primarily markets its merchant services through a combination of telemarketing and independently contracted sales agents. This sales approach is also used by Datalink Bankcard Services, Tier 1 Processing, and Main Street Processing, and it tends to generate a high number of negative Challas Group reviews from business owners. Challas Group is no exception, as we have found more than 30 Challas Group reviews that describe unwanted phone calls, nondisclosure of fees, a negative work environment for agents, misrepresentation of rates, unprofessional conduct, and, most alarmingly, “slamming.” This does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors.

Slamming Allegations

“Slamming” is the practice of calling businesses and posing as their current processor in order to trick them into signing a contract or equipment lease with your company. A representative Challas Group complaint is detailed here:

They called to say they are a 3rd party auditing firm and saw a red flag on my merchant service account. They tricked one of my employees into sending them one of our statements. Challas ( calling themselves Wholesale Bank) said I was being overcharged and they were going to call my current provider to tell them they are in trouble for over charging me and that Wholesale Bank will be taking over my account and giving me “cost” on my processing. Marci ( probably not her real name)that I was speaking with even got off the phone with me to “call my local sales office to yell at them”. She also said I qualified for a class action law suit because I had been being over charged and she would sign me up for that as well. She had me going until she wanted me to sign a lease for a credit card terminal. NEVER LEASE A TERMINAL. She wanted me to pay $95 a month for 4 years! Terminals are about $200 all over the internet. She said the one I had was not compliant and that my current company was charging me $256 a month for non compliant. Not true.

This Challas Group complaint is typical of the complaints we have seen about Challas Group and Wholesale Banc, and it is identical to the feedback we have previously seen about Datalink Bankcard-affiliated companies. The practice of slamming is highly unethical and has resulted in legal action being taken against some credit card processors. Challas Group not only appears to mimic Datalink Bankcard in its sales approach but also in its use of multiple DBAs to spread client complaints out across several brands.

No Misleading Quotes

The Challas Group, Bankcard Analytics, and Wholesale Banc websites do not display misleading rate quotes on visible or archived pages. This lone bright spot is not enough to overcome the company’s large number of consistent Challas Group complaints from employees and clients about its sales practices. If you suspect that you have been misled by a Challas Group agent, you can double-check your monthly bill with a third-party statement audit.

Our Challas Group Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts

Challas Group rates as a substandard credit card processing provider. The company is staffed primarily by former Datalink Bankcard Services employees, and Datalink Bankcard and its associated businesses have consistently underperformed according to our rating criteria. Challas Group and its DBAs (doing business as entities) have garnered numerous complaints from business owners, highlighting unethical sales tactics and unfavorable contract terms. These patterns raise serious concerns about the company’s ability to provide transparent and fair services.

Given the nature of these complaints and the company’s troubling history, we cannot recommend Challas Group when compared to top-rated credit card processors. Business owners are better off seeking providers known for their transparency, customer service, and favorable contract terms. Exploring alternative options will help ensure that merchants secure a processing solution that aligns with their needs while avoiding the pitfalls associated with substandard providers.

Location & Ownership

Dmitry Faybysh has been the CEO and founder of Bankcard Analytics since mid-2014, but we are unable to verify whether he was connected to Datalink Bankcard Services prior to 2014. We are also unable to determine at this time whether Challas Group is actively affiliated with other Datalink Bankcard Services DBAs such as Tier 1 Processing and Main Street Processing, but there is strong reason to believe that it operates in a similar fashion to these poorly rated providers on CPO.

Challas Group and Wholesale Banc are registered ISOs of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, California. Challas Group, Wholesale Banc, and Bankcard Analytics have headquarters located at 2720 Dundee Rd. Ste 200, Northbrook, Illinois 60062, and 1251 S. Sherman St. Ste 101, Richardson, Texas 75081. It should be noted that the Richardson, Texas, address is not far from Datalink Bankcard’s headquarters at 3505 Token Dr, Richardson, Texas 75082.

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Testimonials & Complaints

How Did Challas Group Treat You?

14 User Reviews

  • Nate

    **Watch out**

    They have repeatedly called my clients and claimed they were with my company. They claim there is a billing error and they needed my clients to send them a copy of their statements so they could reconcile.

    They then attempted to have my client sign up with their service claiming there was an error and they were migrating them to an updated platform.

    Clever, i’ll give them that, but entirely unethical.

    Can’t imagine the experience, post sign up, is one you can trust. Especially if that’s how they get your business.

  • Jason Pelish

    Someone with an email address at their domain had contacted me twice. They then sent me this email implying they knew about a specific overcharge I had experienced and were going to give me the money back as a refund. It’s a scam.

    >>> Hi this is Lawrence from Top Tier, I’m providing you with the information you requested per your telephone conversation with Ofelia If you could respond to this with a faxed or emailed copy of your overbilled July or August merchant service statement verifying the fees that were applied to your account, I will give you a confirmation call back confirming we did receive the statement and we are going about getting this situation resolved. At the top of the page if you could write Attention Ofelia with corrections code at the bottom of the email I would really appreciate it.

    Fax 1 877-277-1875
    Phone 888-315-9629
    Top Tier
    CC Code: TM03298 <<<<

  • Gene Brantley

    Was told lies about what we were signing up for. What I was told we would be charged each month did not match up with our monthly statements. Took almost two months to get ahold of our rep, Josh Kohler ext: 1223, after given the run around for the two months. He told me the extra charges were because “we may have been using the machine wrong and they (the challas group) wanted us to get a hold of them. Was told they are not a third party company, I found out they are indeed a third party company. When I asked him about it he said “well technically we are a third party but we are not like other third party companies.” Was told that we were going to be put on “placement.”(free use for terminal) Josh emailed us the contract and said everything we talked about is on it, and all we have to do is sign it, and we are good to go. We decided we are not going to use them anymore and have tried to cancel the account with them but are now stuck in a 48 month lease for this machine (I was told the machine would be the newest model, it is in actuality older than the machine we had from years prior)

    This post will help: Cancelling a Merchant Account Without Paying a Fee


  • donna doran

    Unfortunately I was scammed by the Challas Group sales department. The sales agent “Teddy” that called our business had me believing that what was then our credit card processor had been over charging us. She also told me that her company was auditing Tsys on our behalf but in the mean time because her company over saw all credit processing companies she would place us with a new company called One Tier which turned out to be the Challas Group. She emailed me in one emailed all the forms to sign and did not mention that she was putting me with a cc machine processing company that was not affliated with Challas and she did the confirmation call with this company “Assentium Capital” instead of having them call us to confirm {illegal practice} so we are now stuck with a cc machine for $56.04 a month for 48 months with no way to get out of the contract.
    Shame on Teddy at Challas!!! Buyer be where of this lying company, everything Teddy told me to get our business was an out right lie. I have gone back to TSYS and they rerated my fees and I am now saving over $60 a month which will cover the cost of the cc machine I will be paying for from Assentium Capital for the next 48 months. Unbelievable!

    This post will help: Cancelling a Merchant Account Without Paying a Fee



      Earth Works Landscape Supply, LLC

      Is Top Tier still ripping people off? You have already cost us over $7500 which will go to over $15000 before its over. You stuck us with the bogus Challas group for a $12000 lease on the $528 terminals. We only have the lies of Marcie and Dean to thank for our loss. I pity all of you when you stand before God!!!

      That’s funny (not really). Teddy tried to steal me away from Challas to TSYS saying that “Challas has closed their doors”.

  • Kyle Kraven

    I recently had this wholesale office correct my account that I was pretty much fed up with to the point I was just going to stop accepting credit cards. I’ve been screwed by so many of these companies I didn’t really want to bother with it but I let my wife handle it and they ended up saving me around $250 and that’s monthly. I regret ever dealing with Elavon in the first place.

  • Robert

    Your recruiter, Ryan Miller – Director of Recruiting seemingly hired me, on the 28th. As evidenced by the 2 accompanying emails. I showed up on time today, Monday the 4th, expecting to get trained to help the company and was told by Ryan that he did not send me the emails that I received and I was not welcomed to be there. So who sent them? This was a major shock to me as I told him I had left another company to come to work for him and Challas. You guys obviously do not operate a business well and should not be in business. As evidenced by your Merchant Account
    Trust Score
    Rated 2.3 out of 5
    “D” rating also.,

  • Pete Nemeth

    I have been with the Challas Group for a couple of years, The rates I pay are excellent, and their equipment (wireless FD410’s are offered at half the price of their merchant service competitors. No negative issues here.

  • Kathy Symington

    i was just a victim of their “slamming“!! wish i had thought to google them first before i signed up!! Luckily for me once i got the new equipment and was about to hook it up the lady working with me on hooking it up said “you are aware that we are in no way affiliated to your current credit card processor right?” and i put a stop to the whole thing right then and there. :-(

    From The Editor
    This Post Might Help: Cancelling a Merchant Account Without Paying a Fee

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