Founded in 1994 by John Dorsey, Electronic Payment Systems (eps-na.com) is a midsize merchant account provider based in Englewood, Colorado. In addition to offering credit card processing services, Electronic Payment Systems (EPS) also provides a variety of other business financial services including a self-branded ACH payment plan service called EZ Payment Plan (formerly EPS90). This service allows merchants to offer a 90-day payment plan to customers and appears to be mentioned in many merchant complaints against the company. John Dorsey is listed as the CEO of EPS, which is a registered ISO/MSP of Esquire Bank.
- Sales & Marketing: Electronic Payment Systems appears to hire independent sales agents and has received a moderate-to-high number of complaints about its sales practices.
- Costs & Contract: Electronic Payment Systems offers a multi-year contract with an early termination fee of $295 or more.
- Complaints & Service: Electronic Payment Systems has received more than 100 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Electronic Payment Systems has an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 66 complaints in the last three years.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Electronic Payment Systems
Sales & Marketing
Key Points - Sales & Marketing
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
We are currently unable to find any misleading or deceptive advertising in EPS’s official materials. However, the company does employ both inside sales agents and independent outside resellers, and evidence was found to suggest the use of misleading sales tactics by both parties. The most common tactic found was nondisclosure of important details of the merchant account agreement, which this reviewer experienced directly.
Posing as a potential merchant, I spoke with the “National Sales Manager” and was told that the contract was “month-to-month with no cancellation fee.” However, upon reading the merchant account agreement, it states in section 3.05 that it is actually a one-year term that automatically renews for another year unless the merchant cancels within 90 days prior to the expiration. Not only did the sales manager fail to disclose this fact, but he also lied about the actual term.
EPS may argue that without a cancellation fee its contract is month-to-month, but the merchant account agreement states that it “shall remain in full force and effect relative to all debt purchased under this Agreement.” This vague clause means that the future monthly fees and an annual fee ($85) of the agreement are “debt” and that the merchant must pay them in full if service is cancelled prior to the one-year term. This could be done by one lump sum, or by finishing out the contract and paying the monthly fees over time. Several merchant complaints suggest that the latter is the most common scenario, but the contract allows EPS to automatically withdraw the whole amount. Although this is a clever tactic for avoiding having a defined cancellation fee, it still forces merchants to pay for cancelling the account prior to one year of service and is therefore an early termination penalty.
If you have experienced a fee for cancelling service with EPS, please leave a comment below letting us know the amount you paid.
Electronic Payment Systems Marketing Example
Costs & Contract
Key Points - Costs & Contract
|Early Termination Fee||$295+|
|PCI Compliance Fee||$99.50 Per Year|
|Equipment Lease Terms||48 Months, Non-Cancellable|
Now that we have covered the nondisclosure of the contract length, EPS’s merchant account agreement would be fairly attractive if it removed its Liquidated Damages-style cancellation fee. A one-year service term is less than the average length for the merchant services industry, and EPS’s agents should not feel compelled to hide this fact. Aside from the normal monthly fees and processing fees that will vary by merchant, EPS also has an $85 annual fee for each terminal the merchant uses. It is unclear if this fee covers the company’s PCI Compliance fee, or if the merchant may be subject to both. Additionally, EPS will not prorate it for partial years of service.
Another version of the company’s terms and conditions (available below) outlines a two-year agreement with an annual PCI Compliance fee of $99.50 and an early termination fee of $295 plus Liquidated Damages, so it appears that merchants can encounter various contract terms and fee structures through EPS. None of the company’s contracts we have found would rate as “favorable” according to our criteria.
EPS also appears to lease credit card processing equipment through Northern Leasing Systems and First Data Global Leasing. Merchants have reported extremely high monthly fees for the equipment and that the leases are non-cancellable for 48-month terms. Business owners are advised to fully understand the terms of any proposed equipment leases before signing any documents and to purchase equipment outright rather than lease if they have the funds to do so. See the EPS Terms & Conditions.
Complaints & Service
Key Points - Complaints & Service
|Total Online Complaints||100+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Hidden Fees|
Electronic Payment Systems has a relatively high number of complaints filed online for a processor of its size, some of which can be found in our comment section below. Many of the complaints are in regards to the EZ Payment Plan (formerly EPS90) payment service the company offers, but a large portion also point to credit card processing issues.
Just like this reviewer experienced, numerous merchants report being told that the merchant account agreement is month-to-month only to find otherwise when they try to cancel. Not only is the merchant account agreement a one-year (or more) auto-renewing term, but it appears that a few merchants were led to believe that their equipment leases would not let them cancel service with EPS. One merchant even reported that he opted in for a “purchase protection plan” that also had a one-year agreement and monthly fee. Aside from this, one of the most common complaints was the nondisclosure of EPS’s $85 annual fee during the account signup process. Several of the reports also complained of poor customer service.
There are several rebuttals by EPS representatives to many of the complaints filed online, and nearly all of them are very unprofessional. Instead of attempting to resolve the complaints, the representatives issued backhanded apologies, attacked the merchants’ intelligence, and blamed them for not reading the fine print of the contract.
Lastly, there are also a few complaints from former agents mostly indicating that they were misled at some point during their employment with the company. This further confirms the issues that the company appears to be having with its sales tactics.
Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||34|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||8|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||16|
|Guarantee & Warranty 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.
As of this update, Electronic Payment Systems is showing accreditation with the Better Business Bureau since October of 2012. The BBB is reporting a “A” rating due to 66 complaints filed in the last 36 months (down from 101 at the time of our last review). Of the complaints, the majority are attributed to service, advertising, and delivery issues. The complaints are broken down into 34 regarding problems with service, eight regarding billing and collection disputes, 16 with advertising and sales issues, and eight having to do with delivery problems. Seven complaints have been resolved to the satisfaction of the merchant, while 59 either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final response from the merchant. EPS also has nine negative informal reviews, but it is important to note that these reviews are unverified.
Based on Electronic Payment Systems’ complaint count and the content of the complaints, we are adjusting the company’s rating to a “C” for the purposes of this review.
Related: EMV Terminal Recommendations
About Phillip Parker
Hi, I’m Phillip and I’m disgusted by the state of credit card processing in the U.S. and abroad. I believe that the industry has been overrun by people who engage in fraud and deception in order to steal money from hard working business owners. I’ve made it my mission to expose the companies and individuals who engage in predatory marketing, pricing, and contracts, or just provide terrible service. Along with uncovering the bad guys, I’ve also discovered the good guys who do stand out from the status quo. CPO is a website where you will find ratings and reviews of these companies along with advice on how to save money and which service providers consider. Together we can move the industry in a positive direction. If you would like to help support my work, please checkout “Fee Sweep” my eGuide to getting the lowest possible fees when accepting card payments. If you haven’t heard of “interchange” this advice will save you hundreds, even thousands, in processing fees.Schedule a Consultation with Phillip
Related: Phillip’s Top All-Purpose Merchant Account Picks
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