Paya Credit Card Processing 2023: Reviews & Complaints

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Company Overview

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.

Article Summary

Before we dive in, here’s a short summary of what we’ll cover:

  • Paya’s various payment processing services.
  • Paya has received a number of complaints over the years about a variety of issues.
  • The Paya contract contains a number of undesirable fees.

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

Integrated Payment Solutions

Paya offers integrated payment solutions designed to work with various SaaS platforms. The company focuses on providing secure and reliable payment options for businesses.

Digital Boarding Process

Paya has a digital boarding process that allows businesses to quickly acquire new customers. This is part of their effort to expand their customer portfolio.

Multitiered Support

The company provides multi-tiered support to ensure client relationships are managed by a team of experts. They emphasize professionalism and responsiveness in their customer service.

Technology Platform

Paya leverages an agile technology platform that aims to adapt to market changes. They offer smart business solutions that integrate seamlessly with current technology.

Financial Metrics

Paya processes $40 billion annually and serves 100,000 customers. They have over 2,000 distribution partners and 300+ software integrations.

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.

Video Summary

Table of Contents

Paya payment processing
Paya offers a variety of standard payment processing services

Paya Customer Reviews

Here's What Their Clients Say

Customer Reviews Summary
Item Result
Total Online Complaints 40+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Poor Support
Recent Lawsuits Yes

Low Complaint Total

Considering Paya’s size and time in business, there is a relatively low amount of negative Paya reviews 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 settlement terms, Paya Holdings Inc. agreed to pay $3.5 million to resolve the allegations but did not admit to any wrongdoing.

Nuvei Corp is facing another lawsuit in 2023 for allegedly refusing to pay shareholders of Paya Holdings Inc. after acquiring the Atlanta-based payment processing company. The lawsuit claims that Nuvei agreed to pay $9.75 per share for Paya shares but did not follow through after the merger was completed on February 22, 2023. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, seeks compensatory and consequential damages from Nuvei for alleged violations of the merger agreement and Delaware law.

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

  • Support form
  • Live chat support

Paya Online Ratings

Here's How They Rate Online

Online Ratings Summary
Item Result
BBB Rating 3
ComplaintsBoard Rating N/A
Average Rating 3

BBB Rating Analysis for Paya

Paya is not BBB accredited but holds an A+ rating. It has an average customer review rating of 3/5 stars based on 4 customer reviews. There are 8 customer complaints closed in the last 3 years, with 2 closed in the last 12 months. Common themes in the reviews and complaints include issues with billing and collection as well as dissatisfaction with the response to customer inquiries.

Negative Feedback

Paya is our credit card processing company, and they have been charging us erroneous fees since July 2022. We originally requested our rates be reviewed in May 2022 as we were looking into a new credit card processing company. They quoted us new, lower rates, and said these would be effective in July 2022. We have actually noticed our rates have increased drastically, with no explanation from Paya. We have reached out numerous times to have our rates reviewed and all extra charges refunded, and nothing has been done. We issued a 7-day demand letter requesting extra fees be refunded to our account as well as how these were calculated, and there was no response. We are left with no option but to escalate this as far up as we need to so we can recoup funds from these erroneous credit card transaction fees.
– Complaint from January 18, 2023

Positive Feedback

I’ve been using Paya for 5 years and have processed millions of dollars of payments with them. The internet is the Wild Wild West and most people don’t leave reviews unless they are unhappy. The team I’ve worked with at Paya has been 5-star people.
– Review from February 21, 2023

Source: BBB

ComplaintsBoard Rating Analysis for Paya

Paya has a significant number of customer complaints on ComplaintsBoard. Common issues include poor customer service, delayed payments, technical glitches, hidden fees, and unauthorized transactions. Many customers express dissatisfaction and frustration due to these problems. It’s important to note that only 0% of the 10 complaints listed have been resolved, indicating a lack of effective complaint resolution by Paya.

Negative Feedback

I been tryna cancel my merchant account for weeks now. I called like 8 times and left voicemails but nothin’. I talked to 3 different peeps in the cancelation department and all 3 times they put me on hold and then the phone just sends me to another voicemail. I called twice and waited like 10 minutes and then it says ‘we can hold your place in line and call you back’ but then it says ‘error has occurred.’ Like, what the heck? I just want my account canceled and it shouldn’t be this hard.
– Complaint from A. Hackett

So, I got this bill from a doctor I paid last year, and it said I still owed them money. But I had proof that I paid it already. So, I called them up and they said that Paya, the company that processed their credit card payments, messed up and didn’t take the money from a bunch of people’s accounts. My bank confirmed it too. The doctor said they fired Paya, but now they want their money back from me. I think Paya should take responsibility and help out somehow. Don’t companies like this have insurance for when they mess up big time?
– Complaint from A. Powlowski

Positive Feedback

There are no positive reviews published about Paya on the ComplaintsBoard website.

Source: ComplaintsBoard

Paya Fees, Rates & Costs

A Closer Look at The Contract

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

Variable Pricing

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.

Worse-Than-Average Terms

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 Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs

Should You Work For Them?

Jobs & Marketing Summary
Item Result
Uses Independent Resellers Yes
Telemarketing Likely
Misleading Marketing 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 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.

Our Paya Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts

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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Your Comments & Reviews

How Did Paya Treat You?

8 Responses

  • Ted Leitter

    American Hammer

    Paya is a second rate business credit card processing company. They actually held a large credit card payment from a long term (20 years) customers of ours and wouldn’t release the funds even though our customer AND American Express approved the transaction! They wouldn’t release the payment in full until after we shipped the product! They made us jump through hoops and treated us like criminals as if we were acting in a fraudulent manner. This very unprofessional act costs us unnecessary time, labor and money!

  • I had Sage then Paya through my Hudson Limited ltd airporter transportation software subscription. Hudson spoke very highly of Sage. We had them for 14+ years with minimal interaction after sales except PCI Compliance. I terminated my merchant account through Hudson(same way it was setup – never spoke with Sage Sales Department; just submitted application provided by Hudson) in April 2021 as we were no longer processing transactions through Hudson. According to my call today, the account was never shut down. We have incurred monthly merchant fees and non-compliance fees. The names of the charges are so vague it is difficult to tell one merchant fees from another when they overlap. The agent I spoke with said that he would submit a request for a refund of all fees since April 2021 to the Sales Department. I asked if that was the same sales department that ignored the request to shut down the account through Hudson? He mumbled, “I don’t want to deal with this.” and hung up.

  • Marilyn Blandford

    While processing a customer payment for a smaller invoice, a larger down payment invoice was mistakenly included with the transaction. The transaction was flagged by Paya, they informed us they could not allow the transaction. We confirmed the transaction was unauthorized, and asked Paya to reject the payment.
    Paya informed accounting to run a credit on our end to reject the payment, never informing us of the fees to do so. Had we done nothing, then the original request would never have been completed because of it being unauthorized by Paya as it was over the approved amount both by us and Paya.
    Paya charged us the full fee as if the sale went through. Secondly, they also charged us the full fee to process the credit that they had instructed us to do. The funds were not deposited to our bank account, we also contacted our depositing bank and they confirmed the funds were never received by them to deposit to our account.
    The amount charged for the first transaction was $6,059.37 and the amount charged for the processed credit was $4,423.05.
    A customer support supervisor was contacted, requesting a refund. We received confirmation that their executive team authorized a refund to us. The refund was never received. The original customer support supervisor was removed and now follow-up emails and phone calls are going unanswered. This has been going on since June, Paya’s support ticket # is 3A6D4B. They also reference A564B6.

  • Andrew Heitner

    Stay away. High cost and hidden fees.

    This post will help: Find and Eliminate Hidden Fees in Your Monthly Bill


  • Mike Payne

    I used Braintree, Squareup, and Paya. Closed business for move. Had IRS problem pop up. Needed access to two year old statements. With braintree and Square, I was able to go back as many years as I had account. With Paya, I am sealed off. They said the “research fee” is $55 per hour and then $10 per statement. I don’t begrudge them the right to do as they like, but these sorts of things are not on someone’s mind when first time starting out in a small business venture. Mind you, I do not know if it would have been better if they were still Sage.

    This post will help: Best Merchant Accounts for Great Customer Service

  • Troy D Duran

    Paya (Sage Payment Solutions, whatever, same company) sent me a 1099(k) listing all of the money I received from customers. As you might imagine this resulted in a letter from the IRS, claiming that I under-reported my income, as I also received 1099(k) forms from my actual customers.

    In attempting to remedy this issue with Paya, I was shuffled from one “customer service” to another, over the course of two hours.

    Finally, exhausted, I called once more to the ‘Virtual Terminal‘ support desk, and simply asked for help generating a report for that tax year listing the payer and amounts paid. Simple enough.

    I just received an email informing me that they charge $55 per hour and would require 10-15 days to complete this simple archive search.

    If you choose to use Sage Accounting and/or Paya processing services, this is what you can expect.

    This post will help: Best Merchant Accounts for Great Customer Service



    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


  • Becker Plumbing Supply Co.

    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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