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Payments by Wave is a credit card processing service offered by Wave Accounting Inc., a Toronto-based software provider. Wave was founded in 2009 and has since expanded its initial service (free online accounting software) to include invoicing, payroll, personal finance, PayPal integration, and receipt management.
Payments by Wave Payment Processing
The company appears to have debuted its debit and credit card processing service in late 2012, with its mobile payment service for iOS still in beta testing. The company also provides merchants with accounting, invoicing, payroll, and receipts services. Payments by Wave offers merchant accounts through Vantiv (and previously used Stripe), but the service is activated through the company’s accounting software rather than through Vantiv’s website.
Location & Ownership
Vantiv is sponsored by Fifth Third Bank as its acquiring bank, and Wave is headquartered at 501 – 235 Carlaw Ave Toronto, ON M4M 2S1. Kirk Simpson is listed as the CEO and co-founder of Wave Accounting.
Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Offers month-to-month, pay-as-you-go…
- Complaints & Service: Complaints number fewer than 10 on…
- BBB Rating: Has an “A+” rating and has received 154 complaints and 32 reviews in the past 3 years. The company has been…
- Sales & Marketing: Does not engage in misleading sales tactics and has not…
Payments by Wave Reviews and Complaints
Here's What Their Clients Say
Total Online Complaints
Live Customer Support
Most Common Complaint
Low Complaint Volume
We are currently able to locate a number negative Payments by Wave reviews, some of which accuse the company of being a ripoff or a scam. These complaints mostly describe fund-withholding problems through Wave, which is consistent with complaints that are typically filed against its previous processor, Stripe. Many of the other Wave complaints we have found are related to the company’s accounting software, which is a service that is only indirectly related to the company’s Payments service. If you have your own Wave review to make, please do so in the comments below.
Wave Lawsuits and Fines
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Wave. However, it appears Wav was fined three times for consumer protection violations Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
Wave Customer Service Options
The Wave customer service staff appears to respond actively to merchant questions and concerns on the company’s website and in the comment sections of independent reviews of their product. Wave does not publicly offer any dedicated contact information for its customer support department, and some reviews mention that there is not an easily accessible customer service phone number. Additional support may also be available within the Wave Accounting software, but for now, Payments by Wave does not qualify as a top-rated payment processor for great customer service.
Payments by Wave BBB Rating and Report
Our Better Business Bureau Profile Assessment
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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.
Over 100 Complaints
Wave Accounting Inc. has been an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau since September 2013 and currently maintains an “A+” rating. The company is showing 154 complaints with the BBB. 78 of the 154 complaints were resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, while the remaining 76 were either resolved to the dissatisfaction of the complainant or did not receive a final response from the complainant.
What Merchants Say
In addition to the 154 complaints filed against the company, Payments by Wave has also had 32 informal reviews filed against it. All but 2 complaints reflect negatively on the company. The most recent review concerns fund-holds:
We’ve used them for the last few years, we are now going to **********. Over the last year wave has held bank payments for 10 business days and now has cut off our credit card payments out of nowhere! We received an email saying any payments that were not transferred to bank since they hold card payments for 3-5 days will be sent back to customer. At the moment we have customers missing over $20, 000 dollars that was supposedly refunded to them. You can not call them all they have is robo chat.** *** **** ****** **** **** **** ****** *****. We are showing over $5500 just in their “fees”.
High-risk merchants face unique challenges for a multitude of reasons. Those factors can make finding a suitable merchant account difficult. Businesses confronted by these issues should research their best options for merchant accounts serving high-risk industries.
A “B” Performance
The complaint details provided by the BBB strongly suggest that most of these complaints are related to fund-holds placed by Stripe on transactions made through Payments by Wave. As a result, we have adjusted the company’s BBB rating to a “B” for our purposes.
Payments by Wave Fees and Rates
A Closer Look at the Contract
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2.9% + $0.30
1% ($1 minimum fee)
Early Termination Fee
PCI Compliance Fee
Equipment Lease Terms
Processing Through Vantiv
Wave offers electronic payment processing through Vantiv. Unlike most merchant services providers, Wave primarily intends for businesses to utilize its payment service when sending invoices to customers. The Vantiv payment processing service is a part of the overall Wave Accounting app rather than the company’s primary service.
Payments by Wave Pricing
Payments by Wave’s costs and fees are exceptionally straightforward, as all transactions are subject to the same flat fee of 2.9% plus $0.60 except AMEX, which is 3.4% plus $0.60. ACH payments are assessed a fee of 1%, but the minimum Wave fee for those transactions is $1. This means that any ACH payment from $0.01 to 100% through Wave will cost at least $1. Wave also allows users to send direct bank-to-bank transfers for 1% per transaction, although the processing time is a little longer. The company does not charge an early termination fee or a PCI Compliance fee, and merchants are free to cancel their service at any time.
No credit card terminal is necessary with Wave’s platform. The service generates invoices to facilitate online payments. This gives merchants the benefit of being able to avoid costly, non-cancellable equipment leases.
Vantiv Contract Complaints
We have rated Vantiv’s contract terms a “C” because of the company’s high complaint volume. Most of these Wave complaints stem from Vantiv’s pricing and billing practices, but these are superseded by the specific pricing options offered through Payments by Wave. Wave is not one of the cheapest merchant account providers, but its terms are otherwise competitive within the industry. Given the fact that Wave’s pricing negates the worst aspects of Vantiv’s contract terms, we have assigned the company an “A” rating in this section. Payments by Wave’s merchant agreement can be seen here. We also encourage merchants to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant accounts.
Payments by Wave Jobs and Employment
Hiring Standards and Ethical Marketing Assessment
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Employs Independent Resellers
Advertises Deceptive Rates
Discloses All Important Terms
No Sales Complaints
Wave appears to rely primarily on its website and traditional advertising to market its Payments app. The company does not employ independently contracted sales agents, and we are currently unable to locate any negative Payments by Wave reviews that accuse the company of misrepresenting its terms. This compares favorably to our list of best credit card processors.
No Deceptive Ads
Additionally, the Payments by Wave website does not appear to engage in any deceptive advertising strategies. We have therefore assigned the company an “A” rating in this category for the purposes of this review. If you suspect that Payments by Wave is charging you undisclosed fees, however, we recommend seeking an independent statement audit to spot hidden charges.
Payments by Wave Review Summary
Our Final Thoughts and Opinions
A Decent Merchant Services Provider
Payments by Wave rates as a reliable credit card processor according to our rating criteria. Although the company essentially repackages Vantiv’s merchant account services within its own software, and its overall rating is better than Vantiv’s on the whole. Payments by Wave’s has a relatively low complaint rate, but we will continue to monitor feedback on the company and adjust its score as necessary. Merchants are encouraged to compare Payments by Wave’s pricing to that offered by top-rated payment processors.
Customer & Employee ReviewsWhat Others Are Saying About Payments by Wave