ChargeNational Overview

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Canadian Merchant Account Provider

ChargeNational is a merchant account provider based in Montreal, Quebec. This provider is a dba of Nuvei (formerly 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 41 complaints and 14 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.
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Products & Services Offered

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • E-commerce
  • Mobile
  • Restaurant
  • Lodging
  • Healthcare

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ChargeNational Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

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.

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Response from ChargeNational

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ChargeNational Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

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.

ChargeNational Lawsuits

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.

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Response from ChargeNational

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ChargeNational BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 20
Billing & Collection Complaints 15
Advertising & Sales Complaints 6
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.

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 41. Of those complaints, 20 are related to the product or service, 15 are related to billing and collection, and 6 are related to advertising and sales. Nuvei has resolved 7 complaints to the satisfaction of the complainant. The remaining 34 complaints were answered but have not received a final response from the merchant.

What Merchants Say

Nuvei has also received 5 positive and 9 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.

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Response from ChargeNational

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

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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Response from ChargeNational

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ChargeNational Logo

Our Opinion of ChargeNational

Poorly Rated in Every Category

ChargeNational rates as a substandard merchant services provider according to our criteria. The company’s close relationship to Nuvei appears to have negatively impacted its sales practices, contract terms, and complaint rate, and we have held the credit card processor accountable for the reputation of its alternate business name. Merchants are advised to read their contract terms carefully and research both companies when dealing with ChargeNational. For now, Canadian merchants should consider opting for a top-rated Canadian merchant account provider instead.

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Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.

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.

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14 Reviews Leave Your Review for ChargeNational Below

  1. MD Shahad Ali says:

    Very deceptive, fraud and cunning. In every aspect they mislead.

    1. Advertisement: They advertised, Full Free of Terminal, but when I filled in the info, they called and said, it’s not free, it’s $22.94 charges monthly.

    2. Information Shared with other company: They took our information shared with other company, and other company don’t le us go, ‘must have to buy service from us’ type of nature.

    3. Their fee rate is very deceptive, no fixed rate. From their quote, it seems they want to milk every new business enters into market, want to take opportunity who does not understand about payment processor.

    Very sad, this type of company still not blocked in Canada.

  2. Sandra Laramey says:

    I signed up with Pivotal Payments and Charge National when I opened my Business in Febuary of 2011.
    Everything was done on the phone and fax, they made me a promise if I signed up with them right Now, I would recieve a 300.00 credit on my account….it took me over 2 years to recieve it.
    The fees, on the contract was Never what I ended up paying, and there would be charges that no one seemed to know what they were…After 2 and a half years of this, I sent them the code of conduct, and the machine back…told them, I no longer wished to deal with them, and now they have put me into collections for breaking my contract. Whenever I tried to contact them asking why they would take money out of my account, without any prior communication, there was always an evasive answer, and they would refer to some paragraph on this faxed contract that never had a witness and they would tell me in fine print the reason would be there….the fees were always more than I agreed to, and when that was questioned, they would tell me there was an increase…If this contract was that flexible on their end to change pricing, to change fees, to take money without consulting me first, then the early termination should be as much my right…I have recieved numerous letters, there has been numerous attempts at taking even more money out of my acccount, and now they have put me into a collection agency…I am not impressed with this company at all.

  3. Marianne says:

    I was checking reviews before and saw a glimmer of hope to get my processing fees reduced and signed up with Charge national. I havne’t had any problems and the one time I had to call in over a year, the customer service person was friendly and solved my issue quickly. So they get a thumbs up from me.

    1. Phillip Parker says:

      Hi Marianne,

      Please add a reply to this comment with your business name and location in order to verify your testimonial. Thanks!

  4. CR says:

    Like all above, Pivotal Systems and Charge National are big rip offs. Service sucks, and while they rush you to sign a lease calling everyday, bugging you, pushing you, they after sale service sucks as no one cares to look after you. I have been with them 3 weeks and am regretting it every day. I will never recommend them to anyone. They promise things on the phone, and never deliver in terms of rates and charges. All they could say is you signed the lease…

  5. Jessica says:

    I have switched to ChargeNational 2 years ago and am very pleased! I was contacted by my sales rep and she has literally saved me over $150 a month!! YES nothing is perfect but i am extremely happy here and would recommend them to anyone! Lets put it this way I am going on a trip this year on all of the money that charge national has saved me! Word of advise to everyone out there…. make sure you know what you are signing because sometimes its your own fault for not reading right. 5 stars for these guys!!!

  6. Tom says:

    I have considered this company because they called and gave me much better deals than anyone else out there but is small fine print on their contract I had to sign it said pivotal payments which when i looked up was much worse than who I was with. They also mentioned that they used to be CardEx which I was with years ago and dreaded horribly. It seems too good to be true but yes, same person calling all the time, seems like there is not management and I am pretty sure its best to stay away but other than they are with Pivitol, the rest seems good, Just not sure on tech support, machines and their speed and it appears there are no hidden fees or gimmicks but im not sure. Their contract is only 1 page opposed to 12 or more…
    Any info?
    Thanks

    1. Marilyn says:

      Their contract states in the small print acknowledgement (just above where you sign) that you must agree to their Terms of Service with a link to their website http://www.pivotalpayments.com/ca/en/tos/ It is here that you will find 32 pages of additional contract. Read it carefully as a signature on the one page contract is in effect an agreement to the additional 30 plus pages, some of which may surprise you.

      1. Peter says:

        Section 5.08 of the terms and conditions needs to be read. There are additional fees in there that the majority of merchants are not aware of.

  7. Alex says:

    this company repeatedly calls me at work asking me to use their services. I have asked multiple times to be removed from their calling list. They always apologize and promise to remove me, but two days later they call me back. Very annoying and unprofessional

  8. Mike Benwell says:

    I have been contacted by this company and was wondering about them any info would be greatly appreciated

    1. Martina says:

      I had a very bad experience with them. The salesman promised all these things, like waiving certain fees etc…well I switched from Moneris and suddenly I was getting billed for all these items that initially were waived. I tried and tried to contact the salesman. Suddenly his extension belonged to someone else. When I finally got in touch with someone they said he was fired. I plugged in my moneris terminal again and to this day I lost about 600.00 dollars to them which was never returned.
      Don’t do it.

      1. Susanne says:

        Martina:
        We are currently with Moneris and Charge National has been calling daily (and emailing) offering all kinds of incentives and better rates??? Can you give me any more information as to your experience. Moneris is more expensive BUT we are on line which has made things much quicker and their service is amazing!! Help, my boss is looking at the savings but I have to deal with all the rest!! Thanks for any input you can give me:)

  9. Anna says:

    Please be aware of this company! Never, ever deal with them! They are complete scam! sales people are not knowledgeable, have no idea what they talking about and an experience with them so far has been nothing but pain in the bu…:(( I cant reach my sales person for 2 days, I called today and they dont even have a receptionist there!..No one answers the phone and it looks like that the size of the company is just 3 people, with no manager!:( I am trying to get rid of them!

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