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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.
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)
Business Planning and Strategy
The Challas Group helps businesses develop and execute strategic plans to achieve their goals and objectives. They work with clients to identify opportunities for growth and develop actionable plans to capitalize on them.
Marketing and Branding
The Challas Group provides marketing and branding services to help businesses develop their brand identity and increase their visibility in the marketplace. They can help with everything from developing marketing campaigns to creating digital content.
The Challas Group helps businesses improve their operations by optimizing processes, reducing costs, and improving efficiency. They can help with everything from supply chain management to process improvement.
The Challas Group provides financial management services to help businesses manage their finances more effectively. They can help with everything from budgeting and forecasting to cash flow management.
The Challas Group provides human resources services to help businesses manage their employees more effectively. They can help with everything from talent acquisition to performance management.
The Challas Group provides IT consulting services to help businesses improve their technology infrastructure and implement effective data management strategies.
Sales Training and Coaching
The Challas Group offers sales training and coaching services to help businesses improve their sales processes and increase revenue.
Challas Group Payment Processing
Challas Group processes most major credit and debit cards for “nursing homes, doctors offices, gas stations, grocery stores and auto repair companies among others.” They offer processing equipment such as terminals, wireless devices, and POS integration, and they also offer services such as check cashing, cash advances, mail-order-telephone-order, and data analytics.
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.
Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Appears to offer a multi-year contract with an…
- Complaints & Service: Complaints number more than 30 on…
- BBB Rating: Has multiple profiles with the Better Business Bureau and has received an “A+’ rating with…
- Sales & Marketing: Hires independent sales representatives and has…
Challas Group Reviews and Complaints
Here's What Their Clients Say
Total Online Complaints
Live Customer Support
Most Common Complaint
Moderate Complaint Total
We are currently able to locate more than 30 negative Challas Group reviews, many of which outright accuse the company of being a ripoff or a scam. Several Challas Group reviews also mention Wholesale Banc, although hardly any of them mention Bankcard Analytics. Nearly all Challas Group complaints are sales-related, as they describe unwanted phone calls, misrepresented fees, slamming, nondisclosure of contract terms, and aggressive or unprofessional conduct. More than one Challas Group complaint also mentions poor customer service and unsavory contract terms, and still others have been posted by employees who describe an unethical office environment. These complaints are consistent with complaints that we have found for Datalink Bankcard and its related businesses, and we see no evidence to suggest that businesses can expect a quality customer service experience from Challas Group. If you have your own Challas Group review to make, please do so in the comments below.
Challas Group Lawsuits and Fines
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Challas Group. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
Challas Group Customer Support Options
Challas Group provides an email address and phone number on its website, but these appear to be channels devoted primarily to sales inquiries rather than customer support. This falls well short of the level of service offered by top-rated payment processors for great customer service.
Challas Group Customer Service Number
- (855) 410-5210 – Toll-Free Customer Service
- (866) 757-9347 – Fax
Other Support Options
- Customer support form
Challas Group BBB Rating and Report
Our Better Business Bureau Profile Assessment
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.
Multiple BBB Profiles
The Better Business Bureau currently maintains two separate profiles for Challas Group and one for Wholesale Banc. Challas Group Illinois has an “A+” rating with the BBB, Challas Group Texas has an “A ” rating with the BBB, and Wholesale Banc an “A+” rating as of this review. For the sake of simplicity, we have combined complaint totals across all of the company’s BBB profiles.
Fewer than 10 Complaints
Challas Group has received 1 total complaint through the BBB. This 1 complaint was resolved by the company to the satisfaction of the merchant. It was resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or received no final response.
What Merchants Say
Challas Group has also received 1 negative informal review through the BBB. The most recent review calls Challas Group a scam:
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!
Given the company’s troubling complaint history, this review may have merit. Merchants stuck in a similar situation can benefit from reporting suspicious activity to the relevant supervisory organizations.
A “C” Performance
Given the company’s complaint total and supplementary information, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C” at this time.
Challas Group Fees and Rates
A Closer Look at the Contract
Don't Fall Into An Expensive Trap. See Who The Worst Processors Are.
Monthly & Annual Fees
1.00% - 4.99%, variable
“Program Fee” Pricing
Challas Group does not disclose its contract terms or pricing on any of its websites, but we can determine some details from client complaints. Business owners state that Challas Group rates are promoted through a “program” that guarantees rock-bottom rates on transactions in exchange for businesses signing a long-term equipment lease well in excess of the purchase price of the equipment. This pricing scheme is popular among merchant services providers that engage in slamming because it enables them to entice clients with huge savings on rates without explaining that merchants will massively overpay for processing equipment. In addition, this plan often does not clearly explain to business owners that only debit transactions will qualify for the extremely low rates, while credit card transactions will process at a much higher rate. We also encourage merchants to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant accounts.
Long-Term Equipment Leases
We have seen a few Challas Group complaints from business owners who state that their overall costs were higher after switching to Challas than they were through their previous provider. Some complaints mention that Challas signed them up for terminal leases through Northern Leasing Systems, which is notorious for providing expensive, non-cancellable, four-year equipment leases. It should be noted that most credit card terminals can be purchased for under $500. Non-cancellable, long-term leases mean a merchant can pay thousands for that same equipment making them a contract term to avoid.
Not Competitively Priced
While we do not have specific details for Challas Group contracts besides an early termination fee of $500, it appears that the company’s pricing is nowhere near the competitive rates offered by the cheapest merchant accounts. Moreover, the methods that Challas Group uses to sell these contracts to clients fall short of what we consider appropriate disclosure, so we do not advise any business owners to sign a contract with Challas Group at this time. If you have any knowledge of the Challas Group contract terms (including any early termination fees or PCI compliance fees), please share it in the comment section below this review.
Challas Group Jobs and Employment
Hiring Standards and Ethical Marketing Assessment
Audit Your Current Statement To Find Its Hidden Fees
Processing statements are intentionally complicated so that they can overcharge you. Get clarity before you switch.
Uses Independent Resellers
Discloses All Important Terms
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” 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 cardx processors. Challas Group not only appears to mimic Datalink Bankcard in its sales approach but also in its use of multiple DBAs to spread merchant 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.
Challas Group Review Summary
Our Final Thoughts and Opinions
Challas Group rates as a substandard credit card processing provider according to all available information. The company is heavily staffed by former Datalink Bankcard Services employees, and Datalink Bankcard and its affiliated businesses have never scored well according to our rating criteria. Challas Group and its DBAs have received complaints from business owners that describe highly unethical sales conduct as well as substandard contract terms, and we do not recommend this company when compared to top-rated credit card processors.
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