Coastal Pay 2023: Card Processing Reviews & Complaints

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Coastal Pay
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Coastal Pay

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Company Overview

Founded in 2013, Coastal Pay is a merchant account provider that serves standard and high-risk business types throughout the U.S. The company resells the products and services of First Data (now Fiserv) and Elavon.

Coastal Pay Payment Processing

Coastal Pay processes major debit and credit card payments for most business types. The company offers POS, mobile, and countertop terminal solutions using equipment from the Poynt family of products. They also offer check processing, analytics, loans, marketing solutions, API integration, anti-fraud tools, and e-commerce online payment solutions.

POS Systems

Coastal Pay offers a variety of point-of-sale (POS) systems, including countertop, wireless, and mobile options. Their POS systems are designed to be user-friendly and efficient, with features such as inventory management, employee management, and sales reporting.

Mobile Payments

Coastal Pay offers mobile payment solutions that allow businesses to accept payments on-the-go using their smartphone or tablet. Their mobile payment solutions are designed to be easy to use, with features such as secure payment processing and real-time reporting.

Virtual Terminals

Coastal Pay offers virtual terminal solutions that allow businesses to process payments online or over the phone. Their virtual terminals are designed to be secure and user-friendly, with features such as recurring billing, fraud prevention, and customizable payment pages.

Gift and Loyalty Programs

Coastal Pay offers gift and loyalty program services that allow businesses to create custom gift cards and loyalty programs for their customers. These programs can be a great way to increase customer retention and encourage repeat business.

E-Commerce Solutions

Coastal Pay offers e-commerce solutions that allow businesses to sell products and services online. Their e-commerce solutions are designed to be secure and user-friendly, with features such as customizable shopping carts, secure payment processing, and real-time reporting.

Location & Ownership

Coastal Pay is a registered ISO/MSP of Elavon, Inc. and of Wells Fargo Bank, NA, Concord, California, and is headquartered at 2445 Impala Dr, Carlsbad, California 92010. It appears that Coastal Pay also operates as Costal Labs, a CBD producer. Kavan Thanasith is listed on the Coastal Pay website as the CEO. Travis Chrisman is listed as the president and also as the co-founder of Coastal Labs with Kavan Thanasith. We have found reports that Green Hygienics Holdings, Inc, a cannabis cultivation and branding enterprise, intended to purchase Coastal Pay and Coastal Labs in 2019.

Unprofessional CEO Conduct and Behavior

Travis Chrisman has repeatedly emailed us using unprofessional language and tone stating that Green Hygienics is unrelated to Coastal Pay, going as far as calling this reviewer a “liar.” However, he lists himself as a Board Member of Green Hygienics, CEO of Coastal Labs, and President of Coastal Pay in Travis Chrisman’s own LinkedIn profile. We consider shared leadership and ownership across companies a relevant topic for our readers.

Table of Contents

Coastal Pay payment processing
Coastal Pay offers standard payment processing services
these processors announce that they now sync with quickbooks

Coastal Pay Reviews and Complaints

Here's What Their Clients Say

Complaint Summary

Total Online Complaints
Live Customer Support
Common Complaint
Service Quality
Recent Lawsuits

Decreasing Complaint Volume

Since we began monitoring Coastal Pay, we have found approximately 100 negative Coastal Pay reviews on various websites. The vast majority of the reviews were complaints regarding fees, lease terms, and service quality. Common complaints from merchants included persistent telemarketing, aggressive in-person sales conduct, nondisclosure of contract terms, misrepresentation of fees, exorbitant termination fees, difficulty canceling service, and hard-to-reach customer service. For a company that was founded in 2013, it was receiving a remarkably high volume of complaints.

As of 2019, the negative Coastal Pay review frequency has drastically decreased. This is likely due to the company’s policy changes regarding early termination fees and the collapse of Northern Leasing Systems which voided the predatory lease agreements of which numerous Coastal Pay customers had be subjected, thereby releasing them of the associated exorbitant lease fees. If you have your own Coastal Pay review to make, please do so in the comments below.

Coastal Pay Lawsuits

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Coastal Pay. However, as mentioned previously, Coastal Pay heavily marketed Northern Leasing Systems equipment leases, a company that was sued out of existence by the New York Attorney General. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.

Legal Firm Responses

One uncommon aspect of Coastal Pay’s customer service has contributed to its low score in both this section and the BBB section of this review. Unlike most merchant account providers, Coastal Pay had appointed an independent legal firm to respond to the client complaints that the company receives through the BBB. This approach to complaint resolution is not standard for the industry and could be interpreted as an effort to deter and shut down client complaints rather than respond to them in a satisfactory manner. Furthermore, the actual responses from this law firm to business owners are atypical for the industry, as explored further in the section below.

Coastal Pay Customer Support Options

Coastal Pay’s website boasts a 24-hour technical customer service phone number and a promise to respond to all written inquiries within 24 hours, but several client complaints (including some found at the bottom of this review) reported a completely unresponsive support team. It appears that customer support may have improved within the last couple of years. If you have experience with Coastal Pay customer support, please tell us about it in the comment section below.

Coastal Pay Customer Service Number

  • (888) 266-1715 – Toll-Free General Customer Service

Other Support Options

  • Dedicated email support address at [email protected]
  • Customer support form on its website

Find a top-rated payment processor for customer service.

Coastal Pay BBB Rating and Report

Our Better Business Bureau Profile Assessment

BBB Summary

Total Complaints
Resolved Complaints
Unresolved Complaints
Response Rate

Better Business Bureau Complaints

Coastal Pay currently has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and became accredited in April of 2019. The company has received 4 complaints in the last 3 years. Coastal Pay resolved 0 of these complaints to the satisfaction of the merchant. All 4 complaints were either resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final response from the merchant.

What Merchants Say

Coastal Pay has also received 1 informal review on its profile, which was negative. This recent merchant review describes a common complaint of poor customer service:

Having Coastal Pay as our third party processor for our business has been an extremely stressful experience. The customer service is suboptimal. The staff do not understand how to get people to the right department and we have been hung up on more than once. Most of the time we call there is no one readily available to help and we have to hold for a long time or get a call back (which doesn’t always happen). Save yourself the hassle, look elsewhere.

Merchants who find themselves dealing with shady behavior should understand how to cancel their merchant account without paying a fee.

A “D” Performance

In light of Coastal Pay’s complaint total, its resolution ratio, its resolution strategy, and the time that its profile has been active, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “D” at this time.

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Coastal Pay Fees and Rates

A Closer Look at the Contract

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Cost Summary

Cancellation Penalties
Monthly & Annual Fees
Processing Ratres
2.5% + $0.15
Equipment Leasing

Coastal Pay Contract Terms

Coastal Pay has informed us that the company no longer charges any fees for canceling services. Previously, according to more than 20 client complaints and the company’s own website at the time, the standard Coastal Pay contract was a three-year agreement through First Data (Fiserv) with an early termination fee of $495 and a separate four-year equipment lease through Northern Leasing or First Data Global Leasing.

The company promotes on its website, of this review, that it offers a flat processing rate of 2.5% and 15 cents per transaction but does not indicate if this rate applies to all transactions or business types. According to a merchant application provided to us, it remains unclear if the rate can change for any reason as the fields in the application were not filled in. The application did however list a $25 monthly minimum fee, a $5 monthly PCI Compliance fee, and a $10 monthly fee, all of which are considered “junk fees” according to our standards.

Beware Equipment Leases

The company has not indicated in its communication to us if it is still offering equipment leases. Previously, Coastal Pay had offered leases though Northern Leasing and First Data Global Leasing, which were notorious for providing long-term, non-cancellable agreements that would cost thousands over the life of the lease for equipment that could have been purchased for a few hundred dollars. In fact, the New York state Attorney General successfully shut down Northern Leasing systems over its predatory business practices.

The majority of client complaints that we have found regarding equipment leases through Coastal Pay claim that the terms of these leases were undisclosed or misrepresented by sales agents. It’s important to note that Coastal Pay itself did not supply the equipment or manage these leases, so businesses who wished to cancel needed to do so through the third-party leasing provider.

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway

In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Coastal Pay also dedicates a portion of its website to advertising its virtual terminal and payment gateway services which it promotes at its flat processing rate of 2.5% and 15 cents per transaction.

Adjusting Course

The abundance of complaints from business owners who claimed to have been unwittingly locked into long-term contracts with large termination fees previously caused us to lower Coastal Pay’s rating significantly. The company appears to have adjusted its policies within the last few years to be more favorable for its customers. However, new policies do not erase past behavior that might have continued if it weren’t for reviews like this one that exposed it. We will continue to monitor and adjust our rating if Costal Pay continues to operate ethically.

Coastal Pay offers e-commerce solutions including access to virtual terminals

Coastal Pay Jobs and Employment

Hiring Standards and Ethical Marketing Assessment

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Key Points

Uses Independent Resellers
Misleading Marketing
Discloses All Important Terms

Declining Sales Complaints

Coastal Pay appears to utilize a combination of independent sales agents and telephone appointment setters to market its services. This strategy is commonly linked to elevated complaint rates in the credit card processing industry. We have located over 30 Coastal Pay complaints that mention the company’s sales team since we began monitoring Coastal Pay’s customer complaints, but the rate of complaints has been declining since 2019. Business owners had reported persistent, irritating telephone calls, nondisclosure of contract terms (specifically the details of equipment leases), and false verbal promises from sales agents. A few businesses also describe conduct that sounds very similar to “slamming,” in which the company’s telesales representatives claim to be from “merchant services” and avoid stating the name of the company they represent. A company representative has stated that Coastal Pay’s marketing team makes approximately 150,000 sales calls per month.

Company Responses

As noted above, Coastal Pay’s most common response to these complaints had been to hold each client accountable for the terms of his or her contract, even when the merchant claims that an agent made verbal misrepresentations. For instance, we found some complaints stating that Coastal Pay agents promised to pay the cost of the business’ early termination fees with their previous processors if they switched to Coastal Pay. However, language on the company’s website stated the following: “Merchant and the guarantor who signed page one of the MUA (“Merchant”) understand that it is solely the Merchant’s responsibility to cancel all prior services and equipment contracts and accepts responsibility for any termination or cancellation fees and agrees to hold harmless CP of any obligation related to prior processing and equipment lease contracts, unless otherwise agreed to in writing.” In other words, business owners should disregard any promise made by a Coastal Pay agent that contradicts the exact language of the company’s full contract. The front page of the Coastal Pay merchant agreement (seen here) includes a line requesting the amount of the client’s ETF from their current processor, but it does not include any language that guarantees that this fee will be paid. A company representative has stated that Coastal Pay does pay merchants’ ETFs.

Travis Chrisman of Coastal Pay has contacted us stating that the company ceased enforcing ETFs in 2017 and no longer includes them in their current merchant account terms and conditions.

Employees Weigh In

One positive review of Coastal Pay from a former sales employee mentions that the company’s sales agents “mainly go off of the Straight Line Persuasion System by Jordan Belfort.” It’s worth noting that Jordan Belfort is the subject of Martin Scorsese’s 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street. Another employee review states “No leads or appointments with clients that really need your service. They are always already committed to a contract. Most times the client doesn’t want to see you and they are pissed off that your there, because the rep that called and set up the appointment on you behalf. badgered them into taking the appointment. I had one client threaten to shoot me when I walked in the door, because the appointment setter brow beat him into the appointment.” A company representative has disputed the accuracy of both reports.

No Misleading Rate Quotes

As a small point in the company’s favor, we are unable to find any misleading rate quotes or unrealistic guarantees on the Coastal Pay website. If fact, we were unable to find very little information regarding rates and fees, aside from a promoted flat rate of 2.5% +$0.15 per transaction. The sheer volume and consistency of complaints regarding the company’s sales force have lowered Coastal Pay’s score overall score in this review. If you have had any experience with Coastal Pay sales representatives, we encourage you to tell us about it in the comment section below.

Coastal Pay Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts and Opinions

Coastal Pay rates as a substandard credit card processing provider according to our rating criteria. The company’s history of less-than-ethical business practices and numerous reports of poor-quality customer service has negatively impacted its rating. It appears that the company has been making efforts to improve its policies and reduce customer complaints. However, it is the opinion of this reviewer that such improvements may only be the result of outside factors that forced such changes on the company, not a desire from within the company to operate more ethically. Additionally, we have lowered the company’s rating due to Travis Chrisman’s unprofessional conduct directed at this website.


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17 Responses

  • Steve

    I am surprised to see so many bad reviews. I’m guessing it’s from people who don’t read their contracts. They have hired new staff, Vanessa is very nice to work with and I never have an issue with reaching them.

    • CPO

      Hi Steve,

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

  • Julie H

    Not Reputable!! Also unable to contact to cancel contract after 2 requests. Mailed cancellation notices to Impala Drive in Carlsbad. One was ignored and the other was returned saying their “forward time expired return to sender”. The forwarding address is two four one Camino Del Postigo, Escondido, CA . Pretty snazzy private home…check for yourself! We finally faxed 2 cancellation notices and stopped their monthly auto payment and are now dealing with First Data and the leasing company to complete the cancellation. During this process, even First Data was unable to contact Costal Pay. I emailed pretending I wanted to sign up. Travis Chrisman (President & Co-Founder) responds in less than 1 1/2 hours with his cell number. Waited a couple weeks and mentioned the address and phone issues and asked him to explain. He responds with, “What can I help you with? You can reach me on my cell phone at six one nine six six five nine nine six six.” If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck……

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  • Elizabeth

    Do not do business with these people. They tell you one thing and charge you another. They take forever to get back with you, and that is if they get back with you. I have been trying to get in touch with them to end our lease agreement for over 2 weeks and have yet to get any type of response back. Save yourself the headache and DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THESE IDIOTS

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  • D’Ann Kerby-Edl LMT

    I have had this company a little over a year. Overall they are pretty prompt about paying. I got a notice of an increase, that I did not agree to. I have called and left messages 3 times, also e mailed . No response. The misrepresented them selves from the beginning

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  • Sheree

    Horrible Company! Was with them for over a year and was charged over 2% every month. I had a separate charge for the equipment of $64.20 per month and this is non cancellable and is costing me $3,081.60 for a piece of equipment that I can’t use and is out of compliance. Not to mention it is also on my personal credit report. What! The machine also changed dates on its own and I had to call technical service through my bank to have them give me the code to change the date back so the funds would deposit the next day instead of 2 days later. This happened twice. There is absolutely ZERO customer service. If you call the phone number it goes to voice mail and the mailbox is full unless you call Technical Support. So.. you can’t get a resolution to anything. I changed companies 6 months ago and not only am I being charged $64.20 per month for the equipment but they are also charging me $34.99 per month to do NOTHING! I called in March to get them to stop charging the $34.99 and refund the last 5 months. I was on hold with Technical Support for 18 minutes before he transferred me to someone else and he says I need to go to Coastal Pay and he said he couldn’t get through to their number either… 22 mins later I get on the phone with another number he provided me… 858-848-0705. It asked me for my name and then I left a voice mail. This is ridiculous!

  • Cynthia

    I was told that I would be have to pay $69 a month. Also that I would not have a device that I had to pay for. I told the lady that came out that I did not want anything is I was having to pay for a device because I was already going through square. So I did not need a device but I would like the advertising because I a new place in town. I got sent a card device and it is $59 a month for four years. I call them to see if could return it and get out of the monthly payments because they already took out $104.27 out of my bank account. Told them that I didn’t agree to the card device. They told me that is I have emails stating the agreement that to send it to them. I told them that it was not emailed it was told in person. So I do not know what to do.

  • judy swain

    bad company. I to signed the paper that I received the equipment before it came by UPS, which I refused it. eric, who calls regularly from coastal pay telling me I cant get out of this contract. I had put this on hold with the company 2 days after signing in order for me to see some of the websites they built for other merchants. I didn’t have a good feeling from the start. I called and put a stop payment thru my bank so they can not take any money from my account. if I have to, i’ll add them to my bankruptcy.

  • Chiropractic

    Horrible Company. Liars, breached contract, stealing money for services not provided. Starting legal action.

    • George

      Looking to start a class action lawsuit. Please contact.

    • Deborah Calamia

      Hi, I have been taken also. They told me I was going to save $57.00 a month, when in fact they are costing me $ 175.00 a month more. They are Liars,cheats,unethical and in moral. I’m a small business just trying to stay afloat and they are totally screwing me.


    TODAY 3/28/2017
    I have been asking for the longer to cancel this contract, your sales representative and Kevin is trying to make treats to me, every company have a time frame to cancel a contracts ten days grace period, I did not wait ten days to cancel. Michel waited exactly until today March 28 in which i signed the contract on Feb 28 one month to show up here, so that i would not have any choice but to stay into the contract, if that’s the way your company does business then that is the wrong way. And while i am speaking to Kevin, Michel is making adjustment to the contract not even noticed that i have a camera right above his head recording, I HAVE THE FIRST ORIGINAL ON MY EMAIL WHEN MICHEL SENT IT TO TRAVIS WITHOUT CORRECTION. I spoke with you Travis you asked to send Michel in my office to speak with, I told you that I do not want to see Michel or speak with him, Michel is very arrogant and I am another one, this morning he is stating that I told him that I did not spoke with anyone which is not true, I can see that I would go through hell with your company for all these dilemmas that brought in my office. I do not have your equipment all were sent back the same day there were in my office, since Kevin that we will go legal I am waiting for legal.

    On Fri, Mar 3, 2017 at 6:51 PM, DAout Tax & Immigration Expert wrote:

    Good afternoon Sharon,
    I am not sure who i must talk too, cause i have asked numerous time that i want to cancel this transaction. I just now found out that your company has charged my account without notices and I was blaming Blackstone for it, I do not like that. this machine will be sent back to your company. I am starting to be irritating about this, I made a decision not to have this credit machine any longer, in a business a customer have ten business days to cancel any transaction. I have requested to cancel the day after, my husband said no and he is my business partner and its final.

    Good morning Travis,

    I would like to cancel my service with you guys, as I know in most business I have a time frame to cancel. I did not appreciated the fact that Michel took a picture of my machine and sent it to you without my consent, second my husband found the machine to lease for $37.00 a month 2% amex + .19 cent flat, i am saving $42 a month, I was not told that with Michel whether there was a plus or not. He just told me not to worry about. Also when I asked what is the fee for cancellation, that information was not provided to me therefore of course my business partner asked me to cancel, Sorry for the inconvenience, and I also would like a confirmation of cancellation thanks.

    Good morning Zendayah! I hope you are doing well. You do have the guarantee that you have the best rates with Coastal Pay. I can also guarantee you that that other program will not beat our price, They might be saving you on the lease but they will be making it up 10 fold on the rates. It’s impossible to do .19 cents when the cost of debit is .22 cents unless you are on ERR system. Be very careful with this system as their is a downgrade surcharge that is very expensive. Lets hop on a call in a few hours and I’ll do my best to explain this out to you. Remember, you have a rate match guaranty in writing which means we guarantee to beat any rates at any time. Many companies will tell you they have the best but they will not guarantee it in writing. Talk to ya soon…

    Best regards,

    Travis Chrisman

    D: (619) 452-3215
    O: (888) 266-1715 Ext. 301
    F: (888) 266-1716

    2445 Impala Dr.
    Carlsbad, CA 92010

  • Bonnie Gill

    I worked there. They stole my accounts. They lied all day to every customer. They insult employees all day if they aren’t pushy and demanding and try to force sales all day. My boss got caught in lies tons but always tried lying his way out. I reported to abuse to the company. So far they don’t even care. Stay away from this place.

  • Cindy

    I had a pushy dishonest sales lady also. She had my husband sign while I was away and told him I forgot to sign some of the documents after I told her I did not want to sign I just wanted information. Then told me the same later that he already signed some and forgot a few signatures. I should have said oh well and left them unfinished at least until I spoke with him first. I got locked into a 5 year contract at 98/mo for the terminal and they charge me $153 per month for non usage. I told them from the beginning we do not have sales every month and I do need a terminal for more than one bank account for more than one business. The terminal does not meet my needs. I have spoke with Dianet several times and nothing gets done. So over $250 per month for nothing for going on 3 year so far. They do not care of the tactics the sales person uses, do not care if this package fits the customer. They do not look out for the customer at all. I would not recommend Coastal Pay never!!!!!

    • Tobin

      Close your bank account ASAP

  • Sandi Katz

    I was called today by Coastal Pay and they spent about 10 minutes trying to convince me to have someone come to my home and explain their services. I continually told them I needed to know more first and they did tell me exactly what they do. After giving him the courtesy of listening to his high pressured sales pitch, I told him I would check the online reviews of his company before I went any further. At that point, he hung up on me. I was not at all surprised when I read the reviews which were awful. My suggestion to anyone who gets these types of calls saying they can save you money and help grow your business – hang up immediately. This is the third company that has turned out to be a scam….another one is They are just as bad.


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About The Author

Phillip Parker is the creator and author behind this website. He has over 15 years of experience in the credit card processing industry as a journalist, consultant, and former merchant account sales professional. He started this project as a blog to expose merchant services providers that engage in predatory business practices, such as deceptive marketing, misleading pricing, and high-pressure sales tactics. His goal is to help business owners find merchant account providers who serve their industry well while offering fair rates with no junk fees and no long-term commitments.

Phillip has researched over 1,000 payment processors and been quoted in numerous high-profile publications, including the Los Angeles Time, INC Magazine, The Atlantic, and the Miami Herald among others.

Need advice on card acceptance? Schedule a consultation with Phillip.

Phillip’s Top Processor Picks:
Retail, restaurant, e-commerce, mobile, professional services, and invoicing, Phillip recommends Helcim and CDG Commerce.

High-risk businesses, Phillip recommends PaymentCloud and Host Merchant Services.

How Our Ratings Work

Please note that our rating system was overhauled on April 26th, 2023. Reviews dated before this date may not score in accordance with the following.

Star Rating Criteria:

At the start of our research, all processors are awarded five stars. We deduct stars if the processor engages in any of the following:

– One star deduction if the processor has any junk fees.

– One star deduction if the processor does not post its pricing clearly on its website.

– One Star deduction if the processor is suffering from moderate client complaints.

– Multiple Star deductions if a processor is suffering from severe complaints, imposes unjust cancellation fees, markets non-cancellable equipment leases, engages in predatory rate pricing, or may be engaged in illegal activities.

Get all of the details regarding out rating criteria here.

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