Paya Overview

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Old Company, New Name

Formerly known as “Sage Payment Solutions,” Paya ( is a large, U.S.-based merchant account provider that was founded in 1989. 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.

Headquartered in Reston, Virginia

Paya is a registered ISO/MSP of BMO Harris Bank N.A., HSBC Bank USA, National Association of Buffalo New York, and of Chase Paymentech Solutions. Paya’s headquarters can be found at 12120 Sunset Hills Rd #500, Reston, Virginia 20190, but the company also has several other offices located throughout the United States and Canada. Joe Kaplan is the CEO of Paya.

Paya Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Paya appears to offer a multi-year contract with a liquidated damages-style early termination fee.
  • Complaints & Service: Paya has received more than 40 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Paya has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 12 complaints in the last three years.
  • Sales & Marketing: Paya appears to hire independent sales agents and has received some complaints about its sales practices.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Paya

Paya Statement Analyzer

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Products & Services Offered

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Manufacturing
  • Non-profit

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Paya Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Swiped Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Keyed-in Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Early Termination Fee $900+
PCI Non-Compliance Fee $35
PCI Compliance Fee $100/yr

Variable Pricing

Pricing and fees of a Paya merchant account appear to vary based on a merchant’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 available below. Paya charges a Liquidated Damages early termination fee, which is calculated by multiplying the remaining months in a merchant’s contract by $25. This can result in very expensive penalties for termination that essentially force merchants to buy themselves out of contracts. Additionally, the company is reported to charge an annual PCI compliance fee of around $100.

Worse-Than-Average Terms

Paya scores a “C” rating in this section due to its high cancellation fees and automatically renewing contracts. Merchants 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. See the Sage Merchant Agreement.

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Response from Paya

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Paya Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints 40+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Poor Support

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.

Paya Lawsuits

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

Paya 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. The company offers phone, email, and live chat support to new and existing customers.

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Response from Paya

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Paya BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 5
Billing & Collection Complaints 6
Advertising & Sales Complaints 1
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 0

Over 10 Complaints

Paya has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2006 and currently maintains an “A+” rating. The company has received 12 complaints in the past three years, with five related to product or service issues, six due to billing or collection complaints, and one having to do with advertising or sales. Paya has successfully resolved six complaints, while the other six complaints either were resolved to the merchant’s dissatisfaction or did not receive a final response from the merchant.

What Merchants Say

Paya has also received six informal reviews through the BBB, all of which were negative in tone. The most recent negative review describes difficulty closing the account:

Do not do business with this company. I used this company for several years and decided to close my account after having several issues that I should never have had to deal with over charges, PCI Compliance charges even though my contract states I do not pay them. Four months later they are still taking money for my account. They continually say I never closed my account or that they did not receive some sort of paperwork when they certainly have. The reps are rude and will call you a liar when you inform them of the dates you communicated with them last among other things. They do not answer the phone you must always leave a message and have them return your call if your lucky after 5-10 messages they will. They have ripped me off for well over $100 bucks so far. Be warned this company is as crooked as the day is long.

It appears that this merchant could benefit from researching how to cancel a merchant account without paying a fee.

No BBB Adjustment Necessary

In light of Paya’s complaint total and resolution ratio, we see no reason to adjust the BBB’s rating at this time.

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Response from Paya

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

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

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 merchants 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.

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Response from Paya

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Our Opinion of Paya

An Above-Average Option

Paya rates as a “B” merchant services 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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Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.

My Qualifications

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry to start my own a small business. From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to write about it, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this insider knowledge to myself, so decided to build this website to help you research which providers to use and how to save money on rates and fees. 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 here. Simply scroll to the top of the page to find the search bar. You can also message me if you need any guidance.

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2 Reviews Leave Your Review for Paya Below


    I thought I was donating to the African Wildlife Foundation. I was told it did not go through and to use another CC. I did not. 2 seconds later the donation did intact go through. A Bunch of liars and cheats. I immediately contacted Am/EX. I went to their web site and they are so opaque there is no way to see if they do in fact, Represent The above foundation. We will of course be contesting them, but just by the way they act and their exclusive web site made only to garner more business for them selves speaks volumes. Stay away from them. I believe they are part of a scam posing as anybody they choose to present they are.

    This post will help: Best Payment Processors for Non-Profits


  2. Becker Plumbing Supply Co. says:

    Been with them for several years. Very happy with them until recently they change to “Paya” . They have increased fees and added fees and charges. They never notified our company too update the horrible PCI and started charging us $75 plus a $35 fee monthly fee – (several extra hundred dollars in PCI fees). They have been charging us all sorts of unknown fees that we have no idea what they are – we are thinking of switching processors. We are now searching for another processor and may switch very soon. We don’t like being cheated !!!!!

    This post will help: Eliminate Hidden Rate Increases And Markups From Your Monthly Bill


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