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9-25-2020 update: At this time ChargeNational has been completely absorbed by Nuvei and their online presence has been removed or redirected. All social media accounts have been silent since 2018. If you have had recent contact with the company please let us know in the comment section below.
Canadian Merchant Account Provider
ChargeNational is a merchant account provider based in Montreal, Quebec. This provider is a DBA of Pivotal Payments, which acts as its back end processor. Despite Pivotal Payments’s recent rebrand to Nuvei, the ChargeNational website still exclusively refers to its parent organization by its original name. Based on merchant reports, ChargeNational also appears to be associated with two other merchant services providers: Tangerine Merchant Services and Axxess Payments. The relationship between all of these companies is unclear, but there are several complaints stating that they are all the same company owned and operated under the newly rebranded umbrella of Nuvei.
Headquartered in Montreal
ChargeNational began operations in 2010, and its website lists the company as a DBA of Pivotal Payments Direct Corp., and registered ISO/MSP of Elavon, the Canadian branch of U.S. Bank National Association, and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Canadian Branch. ChargeNational is located at 1100 Rene Levesque West, Suite 900 Montreal, Quebec H3B 4N4.
ChargeNational Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: ChargeNational appears to offer a three-year contract through Nuvei with a $395 early termination fee for customers processing up to $25,000 and $495 for merchants processing more than $25,000 each month. Contracts also contain a liquidated damages clause meaning the cost of terminating a contract could exceed the termination fee.
- Complaints & Service: ChargeNational and Pivotal Payments have received a large number of public complaints.
- BBB Rating: ChargeNational does not have a Better Business Bureau profile. However, it’s parent company, Nuvei, currently has an “A+” rating with 47 complaints and 15 customer reviews. Nuvei has been accredited by the BBB since 2015.
- Sales & Marketing: ChargeNational appears to employ independently contracted sales agents and has received complaints related to its sales team.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With ChargeNational.
ChargeNational Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||150+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Hidden Fees|
High Complaint Volume
We are currently able to locate over 150 public complaints filed against ChargeNational and its alternate business name of Nuvei, many of which accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. It is worth noting that Pivotal Payments complaints are relevant here despite the company’s rebranding, as the name change seems to have had little effect on Nuvei’s organizational structure. Of these complaints, only a few dozen at most specifically refer to ChargeNational, but we are not inclined to treat the companies as two separate entities since they share ownership and contract terms.
Cause For Concern
Common ChargeNational complaints include nondisclosure of fees, aggressive telemarketing, and poor customer service. Generally speaking, the company’s rating in this category suffers from the consistency of the complaints filed against it and its affiliation with Nuvei more so than the actual complaint volume.
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against ChargeNational. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
ChargeNational Support Options
ChargeNational offers a 24/7 support phone line for its current clients, but this channel is not sufficient to qualify it as a top-rated merchant account provider for customer service.
ChargeNational Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
|Product & Service Complaints||23|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||16|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||8|
|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.
Parent Organization BBB Profile
ChargeNational does not have a Better Business Bureau profile. The BBB‘s Nuvei profile currently assigns the company an “A+” rating. Nuvei has a complaint total of 47. Of those complaints, 23 are related to the product or service, 16 are related to billing and collection, and 8 are related to advertising and sales. Nuvei has resolved 9 complaints to the satisfaction of the complainant, while 38 either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final response from the merchant.
What Merchants Say
Nuvei has also received 7 positive and 8 negative informal reviews through the BBB. The most recent review filed against ChargeNational describes deceptive fees:
I have used Pivotal Payments (now Nuvei Technologies) for a few years and they have been good up until last November when I had a family come in on the same day and make 2 transactions (dad paid in the morning and them mom paid in the afternoon not knowing that dad had paid). As soon as the mistake was figured out her transaction was voided before a batch was made. Here comes the headache. Her money was taken out of her account and never put back when the transaction was voided. We did everything we could with this company to get her money back and all we were told was that they did not have it and the transaction never happened. When I called tech support I was told to never void a transaction, but to got to menu and follow the steps to refund it. By the way if you are not supposed to void a transaction why is the Void button put on the main screen and the Refund hidden down inside 3 different menus?? After all of this transpired the mom disputed her transaction and her bank disputed the wrong card, they did her husbands instead of hers. Our account was deleted by the amount for a charge back. When she realized her mistake, she had the bank return that money and dispute the right card. Again our account was deleted for the amount. Here lies the problem! The first charge back was taken out The money that was returned never got into our account The second charge back was taken out It has now cost me 3 times the amount it should have for one transaction. The company has been no help what so ever and there famous last words, “there is no record of that transaction” Avoid this company at all costs. They are no longer customer friendly, their customer service reps are no help, and in the last few months their hidden fees have added on an extra $200.00 to our monthly costs. On top of all that we had to pay a “penalty” for dropping their services. Lesson Learned.
Merchants who have a similar experience may benefit from understanding which contract terms to avoid in order to protect themselves against unforeseen fees.
A “C” Performance Overall
At the time of our last update, the BBB had also added a note regarding unverifiable “lowest rate” claims advertised by Pivotal Payments, which were consistent with the advertising material we’ve found for ChargeNational. This warning has since been removed. Given these figures and the fact that ChargeNational is a subsidiary of Nuvei, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C.” Merchants should be sure not to rely on the BBB alone for validation of a company’s trustworthiness; we urge merchants to regard the BBB’s rating system with skepticism.
ChargeNational Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Swiped Rate||1.59 - 4.00% + $0.19|
|Keyed-in Rate||1.59 - 4.00% + $0.19|
|Virtual Terminal Rate||1.00% - 4.99%|
|Payment Gateway Fee||Undisclosed|
|Early Termination Fee||$395+|
|PCI Compliance Fee||$99 Per Year|
|Equipment Lease Terms||$0.00|
ChargeNational Contract Pricing
According to multiple merchant complaints, the standard ChargeNational contract is based on Nuvei’s Global Payments terms and conditions., which is a three-year agreement with automatic renewal for three-year terms, an early termination fee of $500 per merchant location or Liquidated Damages (whichever is greater), a $99 annual PCI Compliance fee, a $25 monthly minimum fee, monthly fees of either $5.99 or $9.95 for terminal maintenance, a $250 reconnection fee upon resuming service after a suspension or termination, and a handful of other fees listed in section 5.08. Customers report being quoted a rate of 1.59% plus $0.19 for payment processing plus EMV but have reported being charged rates as high as 3.5% to 4.0% plus $0.19 per transaction.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, ChargeNational also dedicates a portion of its website that advertises its virtual terminal and payment gateway services. However, pricing on either of those services is not disclosed. Additional rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.
Expensive Contract Terms
Taken as a whole, these contract terms are much more expensive than the average rates and fees for the industry and do not rival the cheapest merchant accounts. The possible cost of a ChargeNational contract is especially high due to the company’s use of a Liquidated Damages clause, which charges a merchant for the remaining monthly fees in his or her contract upon termination. Dissatisfied customers wishing to terminate or not renew their contracts with ChargeNational have reported being charged early termination fees in excess of $395.
Early Termination Fees
According to the company’s Terms and Conditions, in no event will the company’s early termination fee be less than $400, which is still higher than average. Further termination fees are included if a merchant signs up for an equipment lease through the company. However, a company representative has informed us that the company’s standard early termination fee is now a flat $395 fee for merchants processing up to $25,000 per month and $495 for merchants processing over $25,000 per month. Merchants are advised to read the linked contract very carefully and to ensure that they understand all rates and fees included in their own contracts.
ChargeNational Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||Yes|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Outside Sales Agent Issues
It is unclear at this time whether ChargeNational employs independent sales agents under its own name, but it is known that Nuvei, the company’s alternate business name, utilizes outside sales agents and suffers from numerous merchant complaints as a result. We are currently able to locate multiple ChargeNational reviews that describe aggressive telemarketing, misrepresentation of rates and fees, and a sharp decrease in quality of service following account setup.
No Cost Terminal Offer
One aspect of ChargeNational’s sales and marketing strategy is its advertisement of a free point-of-sale terminal. CardNational’s terminals offer 24/7 tech support and support all electronic payment methods including EMV chip, PIN, magnetic stripe, and wireless card reading.
Old Deceptive Quotes
At the time of an earlier update, the ChargeNational website repeatedly quoted “rates as low as 1.39%” with no additional information. This quote was likely the company’s “Qualified” rate, while the website made no mention of the higher “Mid-Qualified” and “Non-Qualified” rates that most merchants will pay for the majority of their transactions. We considered this type of rate quote to be deceptive, as it could give merchants an unrealistic expectation of the rates they will pay. The company appears to have removed these quotes from its website following a total redesign, but they may still appear in some of its promotional materials. If you suspect that ChargeNational is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to eliminate hidden charges.
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