Community Merchant Solutions Review

Community Merchant Solutions Overview

Founded in 2007

Community Merchant Solutions (CMS – communitymerchantsolutions.com) is a small merchant account provider that has been active since 2007. In addition to supplying traditional merchant services, CMS at one point marketed a now-discontinued point of sale system called GoPago.

Community Merchant Solutions Location and Ownership

The company is headquartered in Mission Viejo, California, at 27201 Puerta Real #120, and is sponsored by Citizens Bank, N.A., Providence, Rhode Island, as its acquiring bank. According to this 2014 press release, Wain Swapp is the CEO of Community Merchant Solutions.

Community Merchant Solutions Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Community Merchant Solutions appears to offer variable contract terms depending on each merchant’s business type.
  • Complaints & Service: Community Merchant Solutions has received fewer than 10 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Community Merchant Solutions does not have a rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received zero complaints in the last three years.
  • Sales & Marketing: Community Merchant Solutions appears to hire independent sales agents and has received some complaints about its sales practices.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Community Merchant Solutions

Advertising Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews are supported in part by helping you find highly reviewed merchant accounts. You can learn more here.

Products & Services Offered

  • Debit and credit card processing
  • Electronic check conversion
  • ACH processing
  • Merchant cash advance
  • Gift and loyalty programs
  • POS equipment

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • E-commerce
  • MOTO

Community Merchant Solutions Rates, Fees, and Costs

Standard Fees

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

Community Merchant Solutions Contract Terms

There is not a lot of publicly available information regarding CMS’s contract terms. Given the company’s size, it is likely that CMS relies on a larger company for its processing services. One complaint filed elsewhere indicates that CMS often signs merchants up for three-year leases for POS terminals, which are also likely to be provided by the same large processor. The complaint mentions an early termination fee associated with this lease. As this is the only publicly listed complaint that discloses specific CMS contract terms, we will not penalize the company too harshly in this category. If you have any knowledge of CMS’s standard contract terms, please share that information in the comment section below this review.

Industry-Average Terms

Overall, these terms are average to slightly below-average for the industry, but the specific rates and fees for each agreement may vary depending on the agent setting up the account. Merchants should compare CMS’s rates to those of low-cost merchant account providers before signing up for service with the company. If you have any specific knowledge of the standard Community Merchant Solutions contract, please share that information in the comment section below this review.

Response from Community Merchant Solutions

Are you a representative of Community Merchant Solutions? Add your voice to this section for free!

Community Merchant Solutions Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints <10
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Unauthorized Charges

Low Complaint Volume

We are currently able to locate fewer than 10 Community Merchant Solutions complaints on other consumer protection websites, but some of these complaints accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. Most of these complaints are more than two years old, and a good portion of them have disappeared since our last update. Currently, the company’s Yelp page contains the most recent negative reviews of CMS. Consistent themes among complainants include unauthorized charges, undisclosed fees, unreachable customer service, and withheld funds.

Community Merchant Solutions Support Options

Due to the disappearance of some merchant feedback, it is hard to tell whether Community Merchant Solutions has corrected the issues it previously had. In general, however, the consistency of the complaints inclines us to lower the company’s score to a “B.” CMS offers a dedicated phone support number on its website and an email template, but these channels are not sufficient to qualify it as a reliable payment processor for customer service.

Response from Community Merchant Solutions

Are you a representative of Community Merchant Solutions? Add your voice to this section for free!

Community Merchant Solutions BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 0
Billing & Collection Complaints 0
Advertising & Sales Complaints 0
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.

No BBB Complaints

Community Merchant Solutions currently does not have a rating with the Better Business Bureau and is not BBB-accredited at this time. The company has received zero complaints to its profile in the past three years. It has, however, received one negative informal review, although it should be noted that these reviews are not typically subject to verification by the BBB.

An “A” Performance

In light of the company’s clean complaint record, we are awarding the company an “A” in this section. Merchants should note, however, that there are good reasons to be skeptical of the BBB’s rating system.

Response from Community Merchant Solutions

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

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

Telemarketing and Outside Agents

Community Merchant Solutions appears to market itself primarily through its website, through telemarketing, and through independent sales agents. The company appears to most heavily market its gift & loyalty cards program, the Community Connect Card, which consists of a plastic punch-out mailer that merchants can send directly to customers. We were previously able to locate roughly a dozen negative Community Merchant Solutions reviews (many of them filed here) that accuse the company’s sales staff of persistent telephone calls, nondisclosure of fees, and unauthorized charges for services that were never agreed to. However, these complaints have since disappeared. Most of the complaints were filed before 2014, but their tonal consistency was enough to lower CMS’s grade to a “B” in this section.

No Deceptive Quotes

To its credit, the company does not list any deceptive rate quotes on its website. If you suspect that Community Merchant Solutions is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to eliminate hidden costs.

Response from Community Merchant Solutions

Are you a representative of Community Merchant Solutions? Add your voice to this section for free!

Community Merchant Solutions Marketing Example

Community Merchant Solutions Logo

Our Opinion of Community Merchant Solutions

An Above-Average Option

Community Merchant Solutions rates as a decent merchant services provider according to our criteria. However, the disappearance of a number of older complaints has prevented us from understanding the company’s current level of service. We will continue to assess the company as we receive more merchant feedback. Merchants are encouraged to read their contracts carefully, to ask questions about any items they find confusing, and to compare Community Merchant Solutions’s rates to the top-rated credit card processors to get the best deal overall.

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.

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