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Formerly known as Sage Payment Solutions, Paya is a large, U.S.-based merchant account provider that was founded in 1989. According to its website, the company specializes in providing solutions for education, government, B2B, healthcare, and nonprofit processing. When it operated as a subsidiary department of Sage Group, Paya specialized in payroll and accounting services for businesses, but it also managed to carve out a solid share of the payments market in both the U.S. and UK. In August 2017, a private equity firm named GTCR acquired Sage Payment Solutions from the Sage Group. It officially rebranded the organization to Paya in January 2018. The company now claims to serve more than 100,000 merchants and has narrowed its focus to becoming a top-rated payment processor. In August 2020 Paya announced a merger with FinTech Acquisition Corp. III. In 2023, Pay was purchased by fintech giant Nuvei. It appears that Nuvei will continue to operate Paya under its own brand, but we will update this Paya review if that changes.
Paya Payment Processing
Paya processes all major debit and credit cards for most business types including B2B. Their services include POS solutions, mobile payments, check/ACH processing, access to virtual terminals, e-invoices, data reporting and analysis, and PCI compliance
Paya’s integrated payment solutions allow businesses to seamlessly integrate payment processing into their existing systems, such as accounting and POS software, ERP systems, and e-commerce platforms. This integration streamlines payment processing, eliminates manual data entry, and reduces errors.
Paya’s merchant services include a range of tools and features to help businesses manage their payment processing needs more efficiently. These services include chargeback management, fraud detection and prevention, payment gateway services, and more.
Paya’s business insights tools provide businesses with real-time reporting and analytics on payment processing data. This information can be used to gain valuable insights into customer behavior, sales trends, and other key metrics that can help businesses make more informed decisions.
Paya’s payment security solutions help businesses protect themselves and their customers against fraud and data breaches. These solutions include PCI compliance tools, tokenization, encryption, and other security measures to ensure that payment data is kept safe and secure.
Location & Ownership
Paya is a registered ISO of BMO Harris N.A., Chicago Il. Paya’s headquarters was previously listed 12120 Sunset Hills Rd #500, Reston, Virginia 20190, but the company also has several other offices located throughout the United States and Canada. Currently, it lists its headquarters at 303 Perimeter Ctr N STE 600 Atlanta, GA 30346. Jeff Hack is the CEO of Paya.
Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Appears to offer a multi-year contract with…
- Complaints & Service: Has received more than…
- BBB Rating: Has no rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received…
- Sales & Marketing: Appears to hire independent sales agents and…
Paya Reviews and Complaints
Here's What Their Clients Say
Total Online Complaints
Live Customer Support
Most Common Complaint
Low Complaint Total
Considering Paya’s size and time in business, the company has a relatively low amount of complaints under both of its names. We have found approximately 40 negative Paya reviews on various online forums and consumer complaint websites. Most complained of undisclosed and unexpected fees, poor customer support, high cancellation fees (ranging from $100 to $700), and the company’s auto-renewing contract. Most of the company’s recent complaints are related to unreachable or unhelpful customer support, which is a big reason why we do not consider Paya a top merchant account provider for customer service. If you have your own Paya review to make, please do so in the comments below.
Paya Lawsuits and Fines
A 2020 lawsuit (Jasmine Young v. Paya Holdings Inc.) alleged that Paya Holdings Inc. violated federal law by making unsolicited telemarketing calls using an automatic telephone dialing system, and the parties reached a settlement agreement that included a payment of $4.2 million and changes to Paya Holdings Inc.’s telemarketing practices.
In October 2020, KSF filed a class action lawsuit against Paya Holdings Inc. and certain of its officers and directors, alleging violations of federal securities laws. The lawsuit alleged that Paya Holdings Inc. had made false and misleading statements and had failed to disclose material information related to the company’s business and prospects, which had caused the company’s stock price to be artificially inflated.
In March 2021, Paya Holdings Inc. announced that it had reached a settlement agreement to resolve the lawsuit. Under the terms of the settlement, Paya Holdings Inc. agreed to pay $3.5 million to resolve the allegations, but did not admit to any wrongdoing.
Paya Customer Support Options
Paya earns an above-average rating in this section because of its low complaint count in comparison to industry averages for a company of its size.
Paya Customer Service Numbers
- (800) 261-0240 – Toll-Free General Customer Service
- (866) 307-1627 – Check Services
- (888) 884-7171 – Gift and Loyalty
Other Support Options
- Customer support form on website
- Live chat support.
Paya BBB Rating and Report
Our Better Business Bureau Profile Assessment
Over 10 Complaints
Paya was formerly accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2006, but is no longer accredited. It currently has no rating with the BBB. The company has received 13 complaints in the past 36 months. Only 2 of these 13 complaints were resolved by the company to the satisfaction of the merchant. The remaining 11 were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or received no final response.
What Merchants Say
Paya has also received 5 informal reviews through the BBB, 3 of which were negative in tone. The most recent negative review describes being charged an unexpected fee:
Noticed a strange fee that came out of my checking account for $110 (not insignificant); after lengthy research, tracked it back to Paya. What was the fee for? After finally receiving a call back after days from an account representative, he disclosed to me that the fee was due to me not filling out a business “assessment” by some weird tertiary company – though I was NEVER made aware that this was part of the process to get enrolled. I did NOT authorize this charge – so this is in fact completely unacceptable and unethical business practice. Furthermore, the token they sent me to get my account activated did not work for several months, while I continued to pay for the service. All around a joke of a company.
Merchants should research contract terms to avoid unnecessary charges like those mentioned in this review.
A “B” Performance Overall
In light of Paya’s complaint total and resolution ratio, and taking into account the BBB profile for Paya we agree with the BBB’s rating of a “B”.
Paya Fees and Rates
A Closer Look at the Contract
Don't Fall Into An Expensive Trap. See Who The Worst Processors Are.
Monthly & Annual Fees
Pricing and fees of a Paya merchant account appear to vary based on a client’s business type, processing volume, and the agent or sub-ISO setting up the account. A copy of the company’s standard terms and conditions under the name Sage Payment Solutions is publicly available. Paya charges a Liquidated Damages early termination fee, which is calculated by multiplying the remaining months in a client’s contract by $25. This can result in very expensive penalties for termination that essentially force business owners to buy themselves out of contracts. Additionally, the company is reported to charge an annual PCI compliance fee of around $100.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Paya also dedicates a portion of its website to advertising its virtual terminal and payment gateway services. However, pricing is not disclosed on either of those services. Additional rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.
Paya scores a “C” rating in this section due to its high cancellation fees and automatically renewing contracts. Businesses have not filed many public reports against Paya due to the brief amount of time that the company’s new name has been active, but its track record under the Sage brand was consistently marred by reports of high costs. We do not consider Paya to be a cheap merchant account provider at this time. We also encourage business owners to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant accounts.
Paya Jobs and Employment
Hiring Standards and Ethical Marketing Assessment
Audit Your Current Statement To Find Its Hidden Fees
Processing statements are intentionally complicated so that they can overcharge you. Get clarity before you switch.
Uses Independent Resellers
Discloses All Important Terms
Many Third-Party Resellers
Paya markets its services via several different types of sales partnerships. These include independent software vendors, value-added resellers, independent resellers and agents, and sub-ISOs. Paya’s sub-ISO program allows other merchant account sales organizations to resell Paya credit card processing services. These third-party organizations can partner with Paya as either a “non-registered ISO” or as a “registered ISO.” Registered ISOs are allowed to operate under their own separate brand names while reselling Paya’s services. A non-registered ISO must sell under the Paya brand and present itself as an independent representative of Paya.
Paya Sales Agent Complaints
Several reports from Sage users indicated some problems with sales agents using deceptive sales tactics. Although there is no evidence that Paya condones these types of tactics, it’s apparent that the company did at one point enforce contracts even when business owners claimed to have been deceived. Since this does not appear to be a widespread problem with Paya, we have not lowered the company’s grade in this section. If you suspect that Paya is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a free third-party statement audit. This does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors.
Paya Review Summary
Our Final Thoughts and Opinions
Paya rates as an average credit card processing provider according to our rating criteria. It’s too early to say whether the company’s practices and policies deviate in any meaningful way from Sage Payment Solutions, but there does not appear to be any significant overhaul. Paya has some improvements to make if it wants to meet its stated goal of ranking as a top merchant account provider for retail, education, healthcare, manufacturing, or non-profits.
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