UPDATE 2/8/2019: The Encore Payment Systems website is no longer active, and the company appears to have been fully absorbed into the EVO Payments International brand. For up-to-date information about this organization, see our EVO Payments International review.
Encore Payment Systems (encoreps.com) is a merchant account provider based in Addison, Texas, that began operations in 2004. The company also does business in the U.S. under the names Prodigy Payment Systems and Momentum Payment Systems. Additionally, Encore has a Canadian sales arm called MOCA Payment Systems. At the time of this review's original publication, two different agents claimed that Encore Payment Systems is a direct processor with HSBC Bank, which was surprising considering it was a young company. After pressing the issue, one agent admitted that Encore occasionally uses Chase Paymentech for a processor, but insisted that the company is a direct processor in all other cases. The Encore Payment Systems website now states that Encore is “a division of EVO Payments International” following its 2013 acquisition. The company is a registered ISO/MSP of Deutsche Bank AG, New York, and the CFO of Encore is Blake Pyle, while the chief sales officer is Mark Harrelson.
- Sales & Marketing: Encore Payment Systems hires independent sales agents and has received a high number of complaints about its sales practices.
- Costs & Contract: Encore Payment Systems appears to offer a three-year contract through EVO Payments International with an early termination fee of $195 or more.
- Complaints & Service: Encore Payment Systems and its DBAs have received more than 100 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Encore Payment Systems (as EVO Payments International) has an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 265 complaints in the past three years.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Encore Payment Systems
Encore Payment Systems Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints
|Live Customer Support
|Most Common Complaint
For a provider of its size and time in business, Encore Payment Systems has a moderate-to-high number of complaints when we combine all of them together from its other DBAs. Many of these complaints are from the comment sections of our reviews. Of additional concern are the numerous complaints from former agents of the company found on jobs websites. Nearly all of these former agents complain of deceptive hiring practices and state that they were encouraged to lie to and mislead merchants.
As for merchant complaints, the most common theme they cite is the use of predatory equipment leases that cost merchants thousands of dollars for equipment that can be bought in the low hundreds. Nearly all of the reported leases are four-year terms with no ability to cancel without incurring significant financial cost. Other complaints include hidden fees, aggressive sales tactics, unavailable customer support, difficulty cancelling service, and fund holds. One merchant’s experience with misleading sales tactics, poor customer service, and unexpected equipment expenses is chronicled here.
Encore Payment Systems Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
|Product & Service Complaints
|Billing & Collection Complaints
|Advertising & Sales Complaints
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints
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 review, Encore Payment Systems does not have a rating from the Better Business Bureau because the Better Business Bureau has folded Encore’s profile into EVO Payments International’s profile. EVO Payments International currently has an “A” rating with the BBB and has been accredited since September 2017. The company has received 265 complaints in the past three years, with 148 related to product or service problems, 93 having to do with billing or collection, 21 due to delivery issues, and three stemming from advertising or sales issues. The company has successfully resolved 115 complaints, while 150 either were resolved to the merchant’s dissatisfaction or did not receive a final assessment from the merchant.
It is impossible to know how many of these complaints are related to Encore and how many have been generated by EVO’s other subsidiaries. However, Encore’s customers will be dealing with EVO, and EVO’s complaint total and resolution ratio deserve a “C” rating according to our standards.
Encore Payment Systems Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Early Termination Fee
|PCI Compliance Fee
|$49 Per Year
|Equipment Lease Terms
|48 Months, Non-Cancellable
Encore Payment Systems’s pricing and contract terms appear to vary based upon the merchant and the agent setting up the account. The company’s standard merchant account contract has a three-year service agreement with automatic renewal for one-year terms and an average Early Termination Fee (ETF) of $195; however, some merchants have reported ETFs up to $450.
An older version of the standard Encore Payment Systems contract is available below; it outlines a four-year agreement with automatic renewal for one-year terms, a $450 “deconversion” fee (which acts as an ETF), an annual fee (probably a PCI Compliance fee) of $49, a monthly “bank service fee” of $4.00, a merchant account setup fee of $125, and an expensive tiered pricing structure. Although this agreement appears to be outdated, we do not have any evidence that the company’s contract terms are any more favorable today.
Aside from the standard three-year merchant account contract, there are numerous reports stating that merchants are sometimes locked into four-year, non-cancellable equipment leases. Cancelling these leases before the termination date is reported to cost in the thousands of dollars. We do not recommend that merchants lease equipment from any company because it is often the most expensive option. Buying your equipment outright is often the best and most cost-effective solution. See the Encore Merchant Application.
Encore Payment Systems Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers
|Advertises Deceptive Rates
|Discloses All Important Terms
Encore Payment Systems appears to use an ethically questionable marketing strategy. First, the use of multiple DBAs suggests that the company is purposely attempting to spread its complaint count among the different business names. It also makes it possible for a merchant to cancel an account under one business name and then inadvertently sign up with the same company represented under another name. Nearly all merchant services providers that take part in this strategy have very poor reputations.
Second, the company appears to be a “hiring mill” that markets its business by continually recruiting independent outside sales agents (ISAs) who are only paid upon making a sale. Like many companies that use this hiring practice, Encore’s agents appear to be trained primarily on how to sell expensive merchant accounts and equipment leases in exchange for high commissions. They also appear to be poorly trained about the details of the merchant account agreements they are selling and the credit card processing fees associated with them. Agent turnover with this type of provider is typically very high.
Based on reports by merchants, there is evidence suggesting that Encore’s marketing strategy often results in the use of deceptive sales tactics. We cannot say if Encore encourages or endorses misleading tactics, but it seems that its pricing and underwriting policies make it possible. The company also appears to enforce contracts even when merchants claim to have been misled by an agent.
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