US Alliance Group Reviews & Complaints

US Alliance Group
2.5
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How did they treat you? ▼

Pros & Cons
Pros: Cons:
Multiple payment solutions Contractual issues reported
Virtual terminals for online sales Liquidated damages clause
Various POS systems available Moderate complaint volume
Mobile payment options Potential hidden fees
E-commerce payment gateways High early termination fees

Overview

In this article, we examine US Alliance Group (USAG), a key merchant account provider, exploring its transition from Electronic Cash Systems, Inc. to its current operation under the USAG name. We analyze USAG's diverse range of services, including payment processing solutions, POS systems, mobile payments, virtual terminals, and e-commerce gateways, and assess how they cater to varying business needs.

Critical to our discussion is the assessment of customer feedback, contractual terms, and customer service quality, focusing on common complaints and legal challenges the company faces. We also delve into USAG's marketing strategies and employee perspectives, particularly the use of independent resellers and transparency in sales practices.

Concluding the article, we provide an overall review of US Alliance Group, highlighting its strengths, challenges, and the potential impact on businesses seeking payment processing services.

About US Alliance Group

US Alliance Group is a merchant account provider serving both small businesses and large institutions. The company formerly operated this service as a division of itself called Electronic Cash Systems, Inc., but it appears that they are now operating under their parent company's name. However, the name Electronic Cash Systems is still in use on at least some of the USAG website, and it is likely that the company is still using the name in some instances. According to its website, Electronic Cash Systems is an MSP of both Global Payments and First Data (now Fiserv). The company also advertises Clover for POS solutions.

US Alliance Group Payment Processing

US Alliance Group appears to process most major debit and credit cards for “low to moderate risk” businesses. They offer EMV terminals, the Clover family of POS products, ATM machines, and mobile payment solutions. Their services also include virtual terminals, access to payment gateways, PCI compliance, ACH processing, online security features like tokenization, e-commerce solutions, remote deposit capture, cash advances, Bitcoin machines, gift and loyalty programs, and data reporting and analysis. They appear to openly offer all of these services under three different names: Electronic Cash Systems, Alternative Payments International, and Precision Payments International, and it is unclear what the exact differences are between the three.

POS Systems

US Alliance Group also provides businesses with point-of-sale (POS) systems that are designed to streamline the checkout process and enhance the overall customer experience. Their systems are equipped with features such as inventory management, employee management, and reporting and analytics tools, allowing businesses to gain valuable insights into their operations.

Mobile Payments

In today's fast-paced business world, mobility is key. US Alliance Group recognizes this and offers mobile payment solutions that allow businesses to accept payments on-the-go, whether at a trade show, outdoor event, or customer's location.

Virtual Terminals

For businesses that operate primarily online, US Alliance Group offers virtual terminals that allow customers to make payments via the internet. Their virtual terminals are easy to set up and integrate seamlessly with a variety of eCommerce platforms, making it easy for businesses to get started with online sales.

E-commerce Payment Gateways

US Alliance Group's eCommerce payment gateway solutions provide businesses with a secure and reliable way to accept online payments. Their payment gateway integrates with a variety of popular shopping cart platforms, and features such as fraud detection and prevention, chargeback management, and more, help businesses to minimize risks associated with online sales.

Video Summary

US Alliance Group payment processing
US Alliance Group offers standard payment processing services

(949) 888-8024

US Alliance Group Customer Reviews

Here's What Their Clients Say

Customer Reviews Summary
Total Online Complaints 35+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint N/A
Recent Lawsuits Yes

Moderate Complaint Volume

As of our previous update, we were able to locate over 35 negative reviews of USAG/Electronic Cash Systems (ECS) 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 business owners were only able to get USAG/ECS to pay their end of an ATM placement agreement after complaining on consumer protection websites. If you have your own experience with US Alliance Group to share, please do so in the comments below.

Business Consumer Alliance Complaints

It should be noted that a large number of the negative US Alliance Group reviews we’ve found were on Business Consumer Alliance, which is the former Los Angeles branch of the Better Business Bureau. These complaints have since been 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.

At the time of our last US Alliance Group review, we found one particular complaint with the BCA that was especially serious, as the client stated 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 USAG’s size, but it seems to indicate a customer service department that is neither responsive nor available.

USAG/Electronic Cash Systems Lawsuits and Fines

USAG appears to be embroiled in a few lengthy lawsuits at the time of this review. One lawsuit appears to concern a client who allegedly had a large amount of payments held and a loss of profits. Information about a second suit is not publicly available. Dissatisfied business owners who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.

USAG/Electronic Cash Systems Customer Support Options

USAG/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 (Fiserv). If this is the case, then there could be even more USAG/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.

USAG/Electronic Cash Systems Customer Service Information

  • (866) 651-8724 – Toll-Free General Customer Service
  • (888) 327-2860 – Support
  • (949) 888-8580 – Sales
  • (949) 888-8024 – Fax

Other Support Options

  • Customer support form on its website
  • General support email: [email protected]
  • Sales email: sales@usag-inc

US Alliance Group Online Ratings

Here's How They Rate Online

Online Ratings Summary
BBB Rating N/A
ComplaintsBoard Rating N/A
Average Rating N/A

BBB Rating Analysis

US Alliance Group is accredited by the BBB and has an A+ rating. The company has been in business for 16 years and has been accredited since May 8, 2019. However, there are no customer reviews or complaints listed on their BBB profile.

Negative Feedback

There are no negative reviews published about US Alliance Group on the BBB website.

Positive Feedback

There are no positive reviews published about US Alliance Group on the BBB website.

Source: BBB

ComplaintsBoard Rating Analysis

The page on ComplaintsBoard does not provide a specific rating or number of customer reviews for US Alliance Group. However, it features several detailed customer complaints. Common themes among these complaints include allegations of fraudulent practices, unexpected termination fees, and issues with contract terms.

Negative Feedback

Yep… Ripoff! They get you locked into a 3-year contract that automatically renews for 3 years, and you have to cancel on the anniversary date or it doesn’t seem to matter. You’re either too early or too late! They’re going to penalize you and take your hard-earned money. They even take your money if you don’t use their services. Total ripoff! No way to get out once you’re in… don’t even start with them… Stay away!
– Review from May 12, 2016

This company is a rip-off. I’m owed more than $20k in ATM commission fees from them. They ‘don’t know what happened to the money’ but are offering to settle by paying me $3k, screw that, I’m getting a lawyer and can hopefully also get interest from these crooks!
– Review from January 28, 2016

Positive Feedback

There are no positive reviews published about US Alliance Group on the ComplaintsBoard website.

Source: ComplaintsBoard

US Alliance Group Fees, Rates & Costs

A Closer Look at The Contract

Cost & Fees Summary
Cancellation Penalties Yes
Monthly & Annual Fees Yes
Processing Rates Variable
Equipment Leasing Yes

Undesirable Liquidated Damages Clause

Based on numerous Electronic Cash Systems reviews online, it appears that the standard USAG/ECS contract is typically a 36-48 month agreement featuring a liquidated damages clause instead of an early termination fee. This clause holds business owners liable either for the average monthly processing costs for each remaining month of the contract or for $100 for each remaining month. Consequently, businesses have reported significant charges upon cancellation, often exceeding $4,000. This harsh cancellation penalty has resulted in considerable financial burdens for clients. All available complaints indicate that USAG/ECS has strictly enforced these costs without exceptions. Considering this policy, we assign it a “D” rating, advising merchants to opt for a cheaper merchant account provider.

USAG Rates and Fees

The company’s website does not disclose its rates or other fees, including PCI compliance fees. As a reseller of First Data (Fiserv) and Global Payments, it’s likely that the fee and rate structure is based on these processors. Clients should refer to reviews of these companies to understand what to expect. Additionally, each company allows resellers to modify contract terms and conditions, underscoring the importance of researching these aspects for effective negotiation. We also recommend exploring our list of the best merchant accounts.

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing

Apart from its storefront payment processing services, USAG also offers virtual terminal and payment gateway services, with pricing undisclosed on its website. However, the company lists various gateway providers, including BridgePay, First Data (Fiserv), Authorize.Net, and others. Consequently, pricing will vary depending on the chosen provider. Additional rates and fees, such as gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and transaction rates, typically apply to these e-commerce services.

US Alliance Group virtual terminal
US Alliance Group offers a variety of e-commerce and mobile payment solutions

US Alliance Group Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs

Should You Work For Them?

Jobs & Marketing Summary
Uses Independent Resellers Yes
Telemarketing Likely
Misleading Marketing No
Discloses All Important Terms No

Third-Party Resellers

USAG/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 canceling 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 clients. 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. These complaints do not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors. We therefore give USAG a “C” in this category.  If you suspect that USAG or ECS is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to find and eliminate hidden charges.

Our US Alliance Group Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts

US Alliance Group, operating as Electronic Cash Systems (ECS), currently rates as a below-average credit card processing provider. Their standard contract includes a liquidated damages clause that can result in clients being liable for over $4,000 in some cases. Additionally, the company’s high complaint rate and the numerous issues reported regarding its sales practices significantly diminish its overall rating. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is expected to update its files on the company, which could affect the rating in the future. Business owners are urged to carefully compare the contract terms of US Alliance Group and ECS with those of top-rated processors. Understanding how these terms impact their business will help merchants make informed decisions that align with their goals and secure the most favorable pricing and service quality available.

Location & Ownership

US Alliance Group, Inc., doing business as Electronic Cash Systems, is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, California; The Fifth Third Bank, N.A. Cincinnati, Ohio; Evolve Bank & Trust, Memphis, Tennessee; and Cal West Bank, Irvine, California. Electronic Cash Systems is headquartered at 29883 Santa Margarita Pkwy, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688 and claims to have been founded in 1997. Multiple sources list Fadi Cheikha as the company’s CEO.

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Which is Most Important for You?

If you had to pick one, which quality would you say will be the most important with your next credit card processor? Tap or click your selection to register your vote:

  1. Low Transaction Fees
  2. No Monthly Fees
  3. No Contract
  4. Reliable Customer Support
  5. Quick Signup

Testimonials & Complaints

How Did US Alliance Group Treat You?

2 User Reviews

  • Siria Rocha

    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.

  • William C. Buhl

    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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