Electronic Cash Systems Review

Electronic Cash Systems Overview

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First Data and Global Payments Reseller

Electronic Cash Systems is a merchant account provider serving both small businesses and large institutions. The company is part of US Alliance Group, along with Alternative Payments International and Precision Payments International. According to its website, Electronic Cash Systems is an MSP of both Global Payments and First Data. The company also advertises Clover for POS solutions.

Electronic Cash Systems Location and Ownership

Electronic Cash Systems, a DBA of US Alliance Group, is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, CA. MB Financial Bank/Fifth Third Bank, Chicago, IL, Evolve Bank & Trust, Memphis, Tennessee. Cal West Bank, Irvine CA. Electronic Cash Systems is headquartered at 29883 Santa Margarita Pkwy, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, and claims to have been founded in 1997. Fadi Cheikha is the CEO of US Alliance Group.

Electronic Cash Systems Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Electronic Cash Systems offers a 48-month contract with a liquidated damages early termination fee.
  • Complaints & Service: Electronic Cash Systems has received more than 35 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Electronic Cash Systems (as USAG US Alliance Group) has an “A+” and has received 0 complaints in the past 3 years. The company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since May 2019.
  • Sales & Marketing: Electronic Cash Systems appears to hire independent sales agents and has received a low-to-moderate number of complaints about its sales practices.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Electronic Cash Systems
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Products & Services Offered

  • Debit and credit card processing
  • Online payment gateway
  • Electronic check acceptance
  • ATM placement
  • POS equipment
  • Gift and loyalty programs

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • Restaurant
  • Convenience store
  • E-commerce

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Electronic Cash Systems Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Swiped Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Keyed-in Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Virtual Terminal Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Payment Gateway Fee Undisclosed
Early Termination Fee $100 - $4,000+
Monthly Fee $9.50 Per Month
PCI Compliance Fee Undisclosed
Equipment Lease Costs $148+ Per Month
Equipment Lease Terms 48 Month (locked)

Undesirable Liquidated Damages Clause

According to numerous Electronic Cash Systems reviews online, the standard ECS contract appears to be a 36-48 month agreement with a liquidated damages clause in place of an early termination fee. This liquidated damages clause holds the merchant accountable either for the average monthly processing costs for each remaining month of the contract or for $100 for each remaining month of the contract. As a result, merchants have reported being charged multiple thousands of dollars upon cancellation, with some figures exceeding $4,000. We regard this as an extreme cancellation penalty that has clearly cost merchants excessive amounts of money. In all of the complaints we were able to locate, ECS enforced these costs without compromise. This policy is worthy of a “D” in our assessment, so merchants will be better off opting for a cheaper merchant account provider.

Electronic Cash Systems Rates and Fees

The company’s website does not disclose the rates or other fees like PCI compliance fees. As a reseller of First Data and Global Payments, it is likely that the companies fee and rate structure is some variance of either of those two processors. Merchants should refer to reviews on those two companies to familiarize themselves with what to expect. It should also be noted that each company allows its resellers alter the terms and conditions of their contracts. This discretion is all the more reason for merchants to research those terms and conditions so they can effectively negotiate a merchant agreement that works for their business.

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing

In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Electronic Cash Systemsalso 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. However, the company does list BridgePay, First Data, Authorize.Net, VeriFone, Global Payments, npc, Vantiv, NMI, apriva, and creditcall as its gateway providers. Therefore, pricing will vary depending on which provider a merchant utilizes their gateway from. Additional rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.

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Response from Electronic Cash Systems

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Electronic Cash Systems Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints 35+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint N/A

Moderate Complaint Volume

As of our previous update, we were able to locate over 35 negative Electronic Cash Systems reviews on other consumer protection websites, many of which accused ECS of being a scam or ripoff while expressing confusion over the company’s liquidated damages clause. In addition, it seems multiple merchants were only able to get ECS to pay their end of an ATM placement agreement after complaining on consumer protection websites.

Business Consumer Alliance Complaints

It should be noted that a large number of the complaints were found on Business Consumer Alliance, which is the former Los Angeles branch of the Better Business Bureau. These complaints have since been almost entirely purged from the Business Consumer Alliance’s profile for Electronic Cash Systems, but they are available via direct links. It is unclear why these complaints have been hidden if they are still stored by the Business Consumer Alliance, but we will note that the Business Consumer Alliance is an entity of controversial origin.

One particular complaint with the BCA is especially serious, as the merchant states that “[t]he sales agent initially informed me that the service would be $9.50/mo. Turns out I was charged $4229.70 for their services.” Surprisingly, this figure is accurate, as confirmed by a company representative’s response to the complaint:

The customer was assessed an early termination fee because, under the terms of the Merchant Agreement the customer signed, a breach of the agreement results in termination and assessment of an early termination fee. More specifically, the customer terminated the agreement by failing to process transactions and/or switching processing to another provider. The terms of the agreement provide that “in the event that Client terminates this Agreement within (5) years from the date of approval by ECS or this Agreement is terminated by the servicers within (5) years from the date of approval, Client will be charged a fee for such early termination in the amount of one ($100.00) multiplied by the number of months remaining in the existing term”. Company calculated the number of months remaining in term of the agreement and assessed termination fee accordingly.

This complaint indicates that it is standard practice for the company to enforce early termination fees of multiple thousands of dollars. The company’s overall complaint rate is moderate for a business of ECS’s size, but it seems to indicate a customer service department that is neither responsive nor available.

Electronic Cash Systems Lawsuits

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Electronic Cash Systems. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.

Electronic Cash Systems Customer Support Options

Electronic Cash Systems offers a dedicated support line on its website, but it is possible that the company outsources its support to either Global Payments or First Data. If this is the case, then there could be even more ECS complaints scattered across the online profiles of its two processors. Either way, the company’s support options do not earn it a place among top payment processors for great customer service.

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Response from Electronic Cash Systems

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Electronic Cash Systems 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

Former BBB Rating

Due to the shuttering of the Better Business Bureau’s Los Angeles branch, the BBB‘s records for ECS are unavailable before March 10, 2013. These complaint files have instead been moved to the Business Consumer Alliance (see above). Before this branch was closed, Electronic Cash Systems was not an accredited business of the BBB and maintained a “B-” grade. The key factor lowering the company’s overall BBB score was a total of 28 complaints registered by merchants. These complaints were categorized as five in advertising and sales, 12 in billing and collection, and 11 in products and services. While 13 of the complaints had been fully resolved with BBB assistance, the remaining 15 left the customers dissatisfied with the business response; however, the BBB believes a good faith effort was made for each unresolved issue.

A Current “A” Rating

Currently, the BBB maintains a profile for ECS under the name “US Alliance Group.” This profile is showing an “A+” rating. It has received 0 complaints over the past 36 months. The company has also been accredited as of May, 2019. Despite the BBB’s inconsistent coverage of this company and the figures formerly available on its profile, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time. Merchants should note, however, that there are good reasons to be skeptical of the BBB’s rating system.

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Response from Electronic Cash Systems

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

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

Third-Party Resellers

Electronic Cash Systems appears to utilize sub-ISOs and independent sales agents to market its services. The use of independent resellers can often result in an elevated complaint rate for a company, as it is difficult for any business to monitor and regulate outside sales entities. At the time of past reviews, we located over 20 Electronic Cash Systems complaints online describing nondisclosure or misrepresentation of contract terms by ECS agents, and in all of these cases, Electronic Cash Systems enforced its agents’ terms.

Some Red Flags

Most complainants stated that they were told by their agents that there was no early termination fee, only to learn upon cancelling that there is instead a liquidated damages clause that will cost them far more. This is a common policy among companies in the credit card processing industry, but that doesn’t make it any more palatable for merchants. A large number of these complaints have disappeared as a result of poor archiving by third-party review sites, but we retain a record of the grievances they described. We therefore give ECS a “C” in this category.  If you suspect that ECS is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to find and eliminate hidden charges.

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Response from Electronic Cash Systems

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Our Opinion of Electronic Cash Systems

An Average Credit Card Processor

Electronic Cash Systems rates as an average merchant services provider according to our rating criteria. The company’s standard contract appears to include a liquidated damages clause that can leave merchants on the hook for over $4000 in some cases. Other factors lowering ECS’s overall rating include a high complaint rate and numerous complaints about its sales practices. It is likely that ECS’s overall rating will change as the BBB updates its files on the company. For now, merchants are urged to compare Electronic Cash Systems’ contract terms to those of top-rated processors to get the best deal.

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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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2 Reviews Leave Your Review for Electronic Cash Systems Below

  1. Siria Rocha says:

    Electronic Cash Systems sales representative misrepresented the third party contract with the credit card company. The sales representative said that they would only charge $100 per month and that due to a new law our company would be refunded the cost every three months – this of course has not happened. Also, the credit card lease cost came out to $148 per month, plus equipment taxes and an additional fee if we do not process an X amount of money per month!! The sales representative had me initial and sign a document that ended up being the contract with the credit card company and I made the mistake of when the credit card company called I said “yes” to the agreement. Upon receiving the actual 8 page contract I read it all and called Electronic Cash System’s sales representative in which he said “I will take care of this” of course he didn’t. After that, he kept avoiding me and wouldn’t return our calls and or stop by the office. I am extremely disappointed and do not recommend getting involved with this company! I will have to seek legal counsel to handle this matter now.

  2. William C. Buhl says:

    My client was approached by a ECS salesman who flat misrepresented what the contracts said in every area on concern my client had. The lease to Lease Finance Group was exorbitant. The liquidated damages clause with ECS was grossly excessive. ECS failed to remit what little in fees my client was entitled to, and ignored all my correspondence, as did LFG. I was forced to litigate, and was successful in sparing my client suffering, and in fact got her some relief otherwise. Fortunately LFG has been taken to task by the Attorney General of New York. These entities are predatory and make victims of small business people.

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