Overview

CoCard (cocard.net) is a company whose exact role is difficult to determine due to a complex set of partnerships with other payment processors and merchant services providers. After calling CoCard corporate headquarters to get more information, this reviewer was given several different phone numbers of local offices/agents and directed to call them. Each time this reviewer asked the person at CoCard HQ if they could answer a few simple questions and to send me a merchant account application, I was told that only a local office/agent could help me.

Upon calling the phone numbers that were given, this reviewer was less than impressed with the level of professionalism demonstrated by the agents. None answered the call by identifying themselves as a CoCard representative/office, and a couple agents seemed confused when asked if they represented CoCard Merchant Services. Three of the agents seemed to have difficulty with the English language, and it took several attempts to find out if they did in fact represented CoCard, which it turned out they did. Eventually, I was able to reach an agent who was able to answer my questions and promised to email a merchant account application, which was never received.

After several hours of research and telephone calls, I was able to piece together that CoCard is a sales organization partnered with National Processing Company (NPC) and Fifth Third Bank, and that First Data supplies the merchant accounts that CoCard agents sell. It appears that CoCard’s main role is recruiting and managing independent sales agents who market and sell the merchant accounts on CoCard’s behalf. CoCard also appears to operate under the name Strategic Payment Systems.

CoCard is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. of Walnut Creek, California, and First National Bank of Omaha of Omaha, Nebraska, with headquarters located at 3401 West End Ave., Ste. 306, Nashville, Tennessee 37203. Jenny Allen is the most recently listed general manager at CoCard.

Key Points

  • Sales & Marketing: CoCard appears to hire independent sales representatives and has received some complaints about its sales team.
  • Costs & Contract: CoCard appears to offer contract terms that vary depending on the agent and office involved.
  • Complaints & Service: CoCard has received more than 20 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: CoCard has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received four complaints in the past three years.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With CoCard

CoCard Products and Services

Industries

  • Retail
  • Mobile
  • E-commerce
  • MOTO
  • Restaurant

Response from CoCard

Are you with CoCard? Add your own voice here!

b

Sales & Marketing

Key Points - Sales & Marketing

Employs Independent Resellers Yes
Advertises Deceptive Rates No
Discloses All Important Terms No

As mentioned earlier, CoCard is a sales organization that primarily recruits and manages independent sales agents to market and sell the merchant services of National Payment Processing, Fifth Third Bank and First Data. These agents sell merchant accounts under CoCard’s oversight and collect a commission for each sale. In fact, CoCard positions itself as a marketing company with its official name being “CoCard Marketing Group, LLC.” CoCard earns a “B” in this section because it utilizes a common and “average” sales strategy in the merchant services industry.

Here is a list of some of the websites that independent agents have used to market CoCard’s merchant services:

  • cocardsystems.com
  • cocardmerchantaccounts.com
  • avataspayments.com
  • cocardaustin.com
  • cocardfhp.com
  • cocarddifference.com
  • cocardmd.com
  • cocardanderson.com
  • cocardsystemsny.com
  • cocardusa.com
  • cocardmerchantsolutions.com
  • tracercocard.com
  • cocardbanksolutions.com
  • cocardinfo.com
  • cashlesspayments.com
  • cocardflorida.com
  • cocardnw.com
  • cocardb2gx.com

Response from CoCard

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CoCard Marketing Example

b

Costs & Contract

Key Points - Costs & Contract

Swiped Rate Variable
Keyed-in Rate Variable
Early Termination Fee Variable
PCI Compliance Fee Variable
Equipment Lease Terms Variable

As with any merchant account provider that resells the merchant services of partnered companies, CoCard’s costs, fees, and contract terms will vary by merchant. Additionally, independent agents often have pricing flexibility and can set rates and fees on a case by case basis. Agents typically receive higher commissions for signing merchants to higher rates and fees. CoCard appears to follow this model, so merchants are advised to work with an agent they trust and to thoroughly read the merchant account agreement before signing. If you have any knowledge with the standard CoCard merchant agreement (including any early termination fees or PCI compliance fees), please share that information in the comment section below this review.

Response from CoCard

Are you with CoCard? Add your own voice here!

b

Complaints & Service

Key Points - Complaints & Service

Total Online Complaints 20+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Poor Service

CoCard itself has received only two public complaints in the past two years and appears to do a good job servicing its merchants. However, in this reviewer’s opinion, the lack of complaints associated with CoCard are likely due to the fact that CoCard doesn’t actually manage, or service, the merchant accounts after they are signed. Instead, it is very probable that complaints get attributed to National Processing Company, Fifth Third Bank, and First Data. Complaints may also get attributed to the independent agents that initially sold the accounts. This reviewer asked both the agents and CoCard headquarters about who handles the customer service if a merchant has a problem, and they both said to call the other. This is confusing to say the least. Overall, the many different locations, websites, and names used by CoCard make it difficult to assess the overall quality of the company’s customer service.

Response from CoCard

Are you with CoCard? Add your own voice here!

a

BBB

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 2
Billing & Collection Complaints 0
Advertising & Sales Complaints 2
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 0

CoCard is accredited with the Better Business Bureau under the business name “CoCard Marketing Group, LLC” and currently holds an “A+” rating with four complaints filed in the last 36 months. There are also several other BBB profiles for other CoCard independent sales offices with ratings that have historically ranged from a “C+” to an “A+” score. Of the total complaints filed to CoCard’s main BBB profile, two are relating to a product or service problem and two to do with an advertising issue. CoCard has successfully resolved two complaints, while the remaining two either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final response from the merchant. In light of the company’s complaint total and resolution ratio, we agree with the BBB’s rating.

Response from CoCard

Are you with CoCard? Add your own voice here!

COCARD Logo

CoCard Bottom Line

When merchants sign up with a CoCard agent, they are actually getting a merchant account with a CoCard merchant services partner rather than a single company called “CoCard.” It appears that the majority of merchant accounts are supplied by First Data or serviced by National Processing Company. These complex relationships may cause confusion, so merchants are advised to thoroughly read and understand all paperwork before signing with CoCard.

Phillip Parker is a former merchant services sales agent who believes the industry has been overrun by people who engage in fraud and deception in order to steal from hard working business owners. He created this website to help you avoid the bad players, save money on fees, and to get peace of mind with your merchant account. If you would like to help support his work, learn more about our cost reduction service. We can evaluate your statement, tell you exactly how much you're overpaying, and then help you dramatically reduce your fees with your current credit card processor. Looking to switch instead? See our list of the best merchant account providers.

Schedule a Consultation with Phillip

22 Reviews Leave Your Review for CoCard Below

    Eliminate hidden fees and mistakes without switching merchant accounts. Get a free statement audit today to see how much you are overpaying.

  1. Raul says:

    This is probably the worst company I ever do business with, I return their equipment so I can get my money back but this lady Nilda Mays so call supervisor have ignored all my e.mails and voice messages on top of that they deduct $500.00 from my bank Acc# claiming a ETF which it wasn’t in my contract as I always remind this guy ( Ryann Christman who by the way says that he is no longer with Cocard ) so I’m walking in circles with this with this fraudulent CC processing company who takes advantage of small business owners like my self, my total losses with them including the ETF is around $2400.00. for all new small business owners please do your research before you end up with this company who pretends to be someone who cares for you end your company when in reality they just want your money.

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

  2. Eric Bremer says:

    The worst CC processors that I have dealt with in over 25 years in the business. Lost our account, never got anything from them except bills, and statements that are blank. When you call to get help, explanations, etc… you get to go on hold for hours….

  3. Eliminate hidden fees and mistakes without switching merchant accounts. Get a free statement audit today to see how much you are overpaying.

  4. Tony says:

    This company is run by two people, Owner and very young and unprofessional secretary who is always trying to put you on hold to seek advise from the owner who never wants to come to the phone when you have complaints, I signed a contract with them for my credit cards need and they were unable to provide me with Credit card Chip reading services, when I questioned them ., their reply was that they were suing the company who was supposed to provide them this option but they failed to deliver the service as results they are passing the buck, so I decided to cancel my contract as I did not want to deal with charge backs occurring because of not having a processor with chip reading technology.
    I was charged $250 early cancellation fee and the owner did not even want to come on the phone to speak with me.
    Be careful with these guys they are totally Scheme artists!!!!!

  5. Oscar Sanchez says:

    CoCard Merchant Services is mediocre company with terrible customer services and many underhanded practices to rip-off business owners.
    We had a slew of issues within a 3 month of services. From wrong encoding with Credit card machines, wrong Pin pads, exhorbiting charges, and group of sales and service dpt that belong in a circus.
    This company is a big Circle Jerk!!!
    Please stay away.

  6. Eliminate hidden fees and mistakes without switching merchant accounts. Get a free statement audit today to see how much you are overpaying.

  7. BenT says:

    Cocard has been around for a while in Jacksonville, FL. The lady that started it was nice, her son, not too much. We met them a while back and didn’t go with them. Amy now runs things in Jacksonville, or so she says. She is kinda pushy and acts like business owner’s are stupid for not immediately going with her.

    Amy contacted us out of the blue and kept on even though we asked her to give us some time to think about it. We called around to some friends who had her and been approached and we got mixed reviews. We decided to give her a shot … and boy was that a mistake!

    The Jacksonville people were not too bad to deal with, other than Amy being pushy and the big guy who came to program the machine being a pain, but the fees weren’t that much different than what we had and what she promised. We gave it 3mos to see and still not that much change ($10 per month saved on about $50,000 in credit sales.) She promised $150 savings per month. On top of that, calling customer service was a nightmare. At one point, we called and they told us they couldn’t see if a sale had gone through and we were afraid to charge the card again without knowing. Another time, we called and got transferred to a few different people … just to then get to what seemed to be India.

    We cancelled our services with them, went back to our old provider, who gave us a credit for the cancel penalty we had originally paid to switch from them to Cocard.

    Do your homework, ask Amy (or any other Cocard salesman) to tell you who else they work with and call them to find out if they are happy! It may just be Amy or it may be the whole lot of them … who knows!

    1. Amy says:

      “Ben T”,

      There are quite a few inaccurate statements in your blog.

      First, I do not claim to run things in Jacksonville. Elan Bennett is the owner of the Jacksonville office.

      I sincerely hope that I do not come off as pushy, although I know that I am diligent and persistent. It is never my intent to be “pushy” and I work on improving myself everyday. I am proud to say that I have been with the company since July 2007 and work hard every day to provide the best in merchant services.

      If you are with the Cocard Jacksonville office, you will not receive any call centers or be transferred to India as claimed. We service ALL customer calls here in Jacksonville.

      I would also be more than happy to provide any current Cocard customers to anyone considering signing up with Cocard so that they can feel confident in our company and reputation.

      “Ben T” , please feel free to email me at [email protected] or give me a call directly at 904-657-7747. I would love the opportunity to sit down with you to better understand how I can become better at my position and how the Jacksonville office can improve as a whole. I welcome the feedback and hope to hear from you.

      1. Hilda Lewis says:

        Amy,

        I work as a bookkeeper for a company in Virginia. He has been with the company for a few years. We’ve called several times to find out if he is in a contract and if so how long is the contract for. We’ve also asked for a copy of the contract and they never send it. Can you please explain the terms of the contract? Do you have a contract? If so, how long? Do they auto renew? If so, for how long? What is the ETF?

        I would appreciate a response since we never seem to get a straight answer.

        Thank you for your time.


        Are you with CoCard? Learn how to resolve this complaint.

  8. Christi says:

    I will be very Frank about the Credit Card Payment Industry. I am a W2 sales rep for one of the leading processors in the nation. I have been proud to serve my company for over a 1 1/2 years. I read the comments from true Business owners that are disgusted from the unethical practices that exist in this industry. Please understand, I’m not picking on CoCard. This Cat and Mouse game is prolific through most of the industry. When will all sales Reps, ISO’s Banks and Processors understand that with good practice, comes good business. Our Business Owners not only provide jobs and economic prosperity, they also give their Vendors (AKA: Processors among many others) a job. No doubt this may strike many the wrong way. But, why does this industry try to hold their business owners hostage with crazy 10 page contracts, ridiculous termination fees and a near impossible feat to speak with a live person to terminate the account and stop billing.

    This is not a post of solicitation, it is simply a response to the posts I see in these forums. The business of Merchant Processing is equivalent to a financial institution. I’m sure the unscrupulous leaders of poor business practices forget about the man behind the counter trying to build his business. They might think differently if the American Business Owner could turn the tables and collect the overpayments, surcharges, and ridiculous termination fees back on the management team and ACH thief personal accounts.

  9. Eliminate hidden fees and mistakes without switching merchant accounts. Get a free statement audit today to see how much you are overpaying.

  10. John Musci says:

    I have a rental property that I self-manage, and established a Merchant Account with CoCard after looking for a Merchant Processor with more reasonable rates. Last July, after receiving very poor customer service and responses (or lack of) from CoCard, I changed Merchant Accounts. and sent a letter of disconnect to CoCard via both the US Mail, and to the two emails of my CoCard contacts. Upon auditing my books, I found that CoCard continued to debit my bank account for various fees totaling $365. I called the 800 number on the Merchant Statement from CoCard, and it is actually the customer service number for NPR – the Merchant Account provider – who had no record of my cancellation. They gave me CoCard’s number (888-666-3066) which no one answered, but went into a voice mail where I left a very detailed message on 5/16/13. I also sent an additional email to both of my CoCard contacts. As of today (5/20/13), I have not received any responses back from CoCard – which has been my more typical experience. Today, I filed a complaint with the BBB of Nashville.

  11. Karrie Ewers says:

    We originally signed up with NPC approx. 13 years ago and recently decided to change to another credit card processor with a local bank representative, (I am coming to realize the importance of having a physical branch I can contact a local person at for assistance). Currently we are paying $35 on a CoCard account with no activity. When I tried to call the customer service number for CoCard who took over for NPC, to complete our cancellation they said they could not provide that information and we would have to refer to our original contract for instructions. When I informed them I had no idea where that would be they referred me to our servicing agent who has not returned my calls. I find it extremely frustrating that businesses like these have somehow managed to create a labyrinth of hoops a customer must jump through to cancel service and somehow we have no control on blocking future fee withdraws. Why can’t customer service simply provide the information of an address or fax number in which I can send my cancellation request. Added note: review your monthly bills and compare the fees you are being charged. I questioned a $9 acquiring network fee and they said it must be some computer glitch and they would put the request in to refund it. How many accounts do you think didn’t even notice?

    1. Karrie Ewers says:

      Update: One month and several phone calls later and our account is still not canceled with an additional bill of $133.95 deducted from our account. When I called the customer service number (888) 208-7231, listed on the CoCard Merchant statement I was informed that I had not reached a CoCard representative but rather the merchant processor. At least she gave me a new number for CoCard which is 615-783-0230. I suggest you start with this number if you are having issues closing your account. The gentleman I spoke with at this number asked me to reissue my request since he did not see any request for cancellation on our account and he would try to follow up with our merchant rep. on processing the cancellation and issuing a refund for the additional charges.

  12. Eliminate hidden fees and mistakes without switching merchant accounts. Get a free statement audit today to see how much you are overpaying.

  13. Eric says:

    I signed up with CoCard thru a local representing, her name was Amy, she offer savings over what I had with Heartland, even thought I was perfectly happy with Heartland and my local representative Mike. I decide to switch to save $400.00 or $500.00 per month. But after I processed my first month with CoCard, I didn’t notice any difference and when I brought that up to Amy, she pointed out that she had only charge the Rate she offer me and then I said, if that is so then why wasn’t I saving the money she said I would. thats when she decide to show me the pass thru Fee’s from First Data and NPC and Wells Fargo. See what I didn’t realize was CoCard is a middle man, they don’t Process and Credit Card Transaction and they don’t Fund my Bank Account either, Wells Fargo Bank out of California does that. See First Data does all there Processing, NPC doesn’t all there servicing and as time went on I found out, that they NPC out source there night and weekend service calls to over seas companies that just take your compliant and tell you they’ll will get back to you. So when you call them about anything they say they will have to check with which ever partner is the problem and then they will get back to you, but they never do.

    The Pass thru Fee’s are additional cost pass on to them CoCard by First Data, for each individual card and debit and you also have charges from Wells Fargo for Funding. So the reality of I was I didn’t save any money and I didn’t get better service either. So I went back to Heartland and I’m very happy again and I wouldn’t ever think of leaving them again. One other big thing that happen that they failed to inform me of is, when I switch I have a Aloha POS System, Heartland lease me my Gateways for some very I inexpensive price, like $40.00 Dollars per month. When I switch to CoCard I had to pay Aloha to switch me $499.99 Fee and they also charge me for 4 Gateways, so each of my individual POS Systems could communicate with First Data to process my Credit Card Transactions and that ran me $800.00 Per POS System, so that was a additional $3,200.00 Dollars. I was very upset when I found that out, but I never asked them when I sign for there service about that, so even thought I really feel they should have pointed that out to me, I took responsibility for that for not asking them. See I thought when I purchase those License for the Gateways I was done I owned them, but about 8 months late Mike at JCR came to me and let me know I was not PCI compliant and need to update those Gateways and for the latest version it would cost ma $400.00 for each of the Licenses, so that was a additional $2,000.00 Dollars for the License and to install them. So I decided to call Mike back at Heartland and find out from him why they could lease the Gateways and not charge for the Updates. He told me they have a Contract with Net-Epay and DataCap, because they do so much business with Restaurants and thats when realized that I should have know if they were the only Credit Card Processor Endorsed by the Florida Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association there was a reason for that.

    I’m back with Heartland at all 3 of my Restaurants and I referred all me fellow owners to go with Heartland, I know I have friends tell me they got a better deal somewhere else, but they also tell me how there system went down on the weekends and they lost a bunch of business or that they wanted to know if I have charges from Heartland for PCI Compliance or pass thru Fee’s for things like a unauthorized card charges or certain cards have a higher fee. There are a lot of ways to save money in a Restaurant, but if it constantly have to question my Credit Card Processing Bill or I have to worry about my POS System and PCI Compliance issues for my POS System with additional cost, I’d rather go with someone that does it all, see Heartland Processes there own and they Fund there own and when I call them I get someone in America that will help me 7 days a week even at Midnight on Saturday Night.

    I hope this will help you understand how complex the Credit Card Processing Business is and that you don’t fail fate to the old trick of someone saying they can save you money when they don’t process your transaction or fund them or Service them. There just there to sell you and turn you over for a commission and pass your service question over to a third party.

    1. Amy says:

      This is so disappointing to read as this is a complete & utter misrepresentation of myself and Cocard. I could go through each sentence & refute the inaccurate comments stated in your posting; however, there are far too many statements that contain contradictory information and that would only end up in unnecessary industry “babble”. I have never, nor would I ever, inflate figures to earn an account. I pride myself on my honesty & integrity and would never compromise that. I am confident in saying that whoever wrote this was never a Cocard customer. “Eric”, I would be more than happy to sit down face to face at any time to better understand & get clarity on the situation as a whole. Please feel free to contact me at 904-657-7747.
      Kind regards,
      Amy Huffman

  14. Larry Self says:

    I just went with CoCard here in Jacksonville, FL, with website http://www.cocard.net. Some of the reviews here made me wonder if there is more than one CoCard. I called CoCard and they said there were. If so, Phillip Parker should clarify.

    There is no contract! My rate is cost (interchange) plus a quarter of one percent!! A few other small periodic fees; PCI, Statement. There is a $50 termination fee but that is only a charge they are passing along from First Data.

    Tired of getting burned and coming off of a 3-year extremely punitive processor, I interviewed 6 processors and decided on CoCard and am very pleased with the change, unusually low cost, very helpful salesman and customer service staff. I like them so well I took the time to write this review.

    1. Phillip Parker says:

      Hi Larry,

      I’m not sure which part of the review you found to be unclear, but it goes into detail about which company it is and how it operates. Feel free to point out anything that seemed confusing to you. Also, please reply to this comment with your business name and location to authenticate your review.

      1. Larry Self says:

        Hi Phillip. I just found your reply because I got an email when someone posted a comment recently. Maybe I got an email from your reply but I might have missed it. So I regret not having seen your reply sooner.

        My business name is The Casket Store at 4555 San Juan Avenue in Jacksonville, Florida. I switched to CoCard March 2013.

        Confusing elements of your review:
        – Competent Agent – Contact my agent [contact information redacted – promotional]
        – CoCard Costs – I’ve never had lower costs compared to about 6 other processors I’ve used (see my original reply)
        – CoCard Service – It is handled locally. You don’t have to read your name/rank/serial# each call (you know what I mean). It may be casual but you get solutions fast.
        – Rating – I see CoCard’s rating A+, closer to the BBB rating, which comes only from my experience with them.

        When I really like any vendor I will recommend them to my contacts and this vendor is one of them. They are so much better in both cost and service than any I’ve had to date (8 years).

  15. Eliminate hidden fees and mistakes without switching merchant accounts. Get a free statement audit today to see how much you are overpaying.

  16. M. Joseph says:

    I used CoCard for three years without issue. After no longer needing this service, I processed a cancellation order. CoCard then withdrew an unauthorized ACH transaction in the sum of $150.

    When asked, they said that it was a cancellation fee that was agreed upon in the original signed agreement. I then emailed them my original signed agreement that has no mention of of cancellation fee. They said that they would then charge me $200 — Quoting: ‘Then we will back charge you the $200 for the annual fees we never collected’

    Bottom line…. if you do business with CoCard, you are giving them full access to your bank account…. and they used that access to make an unauthorized charge from my bank account.

    Proceed at your own risk!

    Then we will back charge you the $200 for the annual fees we never collected

  17. Everything we do is online so we have no terminals or hardware. We used CoCard to set up our merchant account through NPC about 9 years ago. I have never had any other contact with them but every January they hit my checking account for a $50 fee. Not sure what I’m getting for that fee. I may call them one day to find out.

  18. Eliminate hidden fees and mistakes without switching merchant accounts. Get a free statement audit today to see how much you are overpaying.

  19. Sean says:

    CoCard is a low down, dirty business. Absolutely no morals or support for their customers. After using them for 5 years, I notified them that I would be going elsewhere for cc processing services. They then hijacked my gateway and made it next to impossible to set up with my new processor. They then flat out told me that they could instantly fix everything if I signed a 1 year contract. Im blown away by this and will take this to the highest level to get dealt with. Do yourself a huge favor and dont even think about using CoCard. Absolute thieves..

    1. E.Bennett says:

      What Cocard office were you using? People need to say what office before trashing Cocard as a whole because we are a cooperative and each office is individually owned. We try very hard to not let anyone fall through the cracks ever and if I am ever called a resolution will be found.

  20. ElleB says:

    COCARD Merchant Services is no more a scam than any other sales office, like Heartland, Sekure Card, or any number of other sales offices. COCARD maintains relations with local banks and several top processors, not just NPC or FirstData. The marketing materials and contracts come directly from the processors themselves, though COCARD arranges special pricing deals for merchant associated with COCARD.

    The main issue is that they sell a service to merchants and business owners that no one understands, and with continuous pricing updates and establishment of new pricing structures the confusion for business owners continues.

    Elle

  21. Eliminate hidden fees and mistakes without switching merchant accounts. Get a free statement audit today to see how much you are overpaying.

  22. Kieu Nguyen says:

    A Cocard saleman office in Massachusetts withdrawn a 50.00 for annual service and i also got a 20.0 fine for insufficient fund.
    The office was stoneface and make a promise to refund but never issue a check.
    My account was a CLOSED account for 6 months.
    Nevertheless, Cocard also charge 99.00 for Compliance. I got a Secure metric compliance myself. This is another ripoff from a saleman’s office.

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