Paya Overview

Paya May Have Overcharged You

If you accepted credit cards through Paya or any other credit card processing company between 2017 and 2019, recent changes to the law may entitle you to refunds of certain debit card and credit card processing errors and overcharges. See this post to find out if your were among the businesses affected and to learn how you can get your money back.

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. 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.

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. Jeff Hack 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 and long-term equipment lease.
  • Complaints & Service: Paya has received more than 40 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Paya has an “A+” rating with the and has received 11 complaints and 6 reviews in the last 3 years. The company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2006.
  • 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
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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%
Virtual Terminal Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Payment Gateway Fee Undsiclosed
Early Termination Fee $900+
PCI Non-Compliance Fee $35
PCI Compliance Fee $100 Per Year
Equipment Lease Terms 48 Month (locked)

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 publicly available. 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.

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing

In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Paya also dedicates a portion of its website that advertises its virtual terminal and payment gateway services. However, pricing on either of those services is not disclosed. 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. 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.

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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 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. 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 3
Billing & Collection Complaints 8
Advertising & Sales Complaints 0
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 11 complaints in the past 36 months, with 3 related to product or service issues and 8 due to billing or collection complaints. Paya has successfully resolved 2 complaints, while the other 9 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 6 informal reviews through the BBB, all of which were negative in tone. The most recent negative review describes excessive charges:

I would give no stars if it would let me! Absolutely horrible customer service! They take out returned checks and don’t even notify you. They held $15,000 of checks over a $2.50 fee that wouldn’t process when $100 of other fees did process. Then took out another $65 “fee” out of the $15,000 worth checks when they finally posted them a week later. The equipment is complete junk and they tricked us into a 4 year lease so we have paid $15,000 for junk equipment that actually would have cost $1000 to just buy it. Total SCAM!

Merchants should research contract terms to avoid to escape unnecessary charges like those mentioned in this review. Long term equipment leases can be avoided by purchasing equipment outright. Choosing to own equipment is a prudent decision as merchants are often charged thousand of dollars upon what the cost of purchasing the equipment would be through lease terms.

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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Paya Logo

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.

We rely on your feedback about Paya to keep this review accurate and up-to-date. Please take a minute to tell us about your experience. We and the small business owners of this world thank you!

Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.

Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing and Merchant Account Services

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.

From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, 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 on this website.

How I Can Help You

I specialize in helping businesses get refunds of excessive fees and have recovered $1,567,184 this year alone! Submit a recent statement below to find out if you are getting overcharged. I'll take a look at it for free. If I find fees that can be refunded, hire me on contigency. I only get compensated if I put money back into your pocket.

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6 Reviews Leave Your Review for Paya Below

  1. Marilyn Blandford says:

    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.

  2. Andrew Heitner says:

    Stay away. High cost and hidden fees.


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

    -Phillip

  3. Mike Payne says:

    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

    -Phillip

  4. Troy D Duran says:

    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

    -Phillip

  5. KUEHNL CLAUDIA says:

    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

    -Phillip

  6. 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

    -Phillip

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