Paysafe Overview

A Rapidly Growing Payment Processor

Also known as “Paysafe Group,” Paysafe (paysafe.com) is a UK-based merchant account provider that has acquired multiple large payment processing subsidiaries during the past five years. The company was formed in 2015 as a rebranding of Optimal Payments, and it was subsequently acquired in August 2017 by two private equity firms called The Blackstone Group and CVC Capital Partners. Its major acquisitions under both the Optimal Payments and Paysafe brands include Skrill, Meritus Payment Solutions, MeritCard Solutions, Merchants’ Choice Payment Solutions, and, most recently, iPayment.

Paysafe Headquarters and Ownership

Paysafe is a registered ISO/MSP of Merrick Bank, South Jordan, Utah, and is headquartered at 41 Victoria St, Douglas, Isle of Man IM1 2LH. Joel Leonoff is the president and CEO of Paysafe.

Paysafe Review Table of Contents

  • Sales & Marketing: Paysafe maintains different sales practices at each of its subsidiary organizations.
  • Costs & Contract: Paysafe offers variable pricing terms among its many products and services.
  • Complaints & Service: Paysafe has received more than 100 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Paysafe’s California location currently has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received eight complaints in the last three years.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Paysafe

Products & Services Offered

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • Mobile
  • E-commerce
  • Online gaming
  • Travel
  • Property management
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Paysafe Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Swiped Rate Variable
Keyed-In Rate Variable
Early Termination Fee $495+
PCI Compliance Fee Variable
Equipment Lease Terms Variable

Variable Contract Terms

Paysafe owns a wide range of sub-brands that each offer their own products and pricing structures. Its pricing is therefore likely to vary depending on which Paysafe subsidiary you are working with and who your sales representative is. One Paysafe merchant agreement from 2016 (available below) describes a one-year contract, but we have seen other evidence that Paysafe’s standard merchant account contract is a three-year agreement with an early termination fee of at least $495, a monthly minimum fee of $14.99, and a long-term, non-cancellable equipment lease. This pricing would be consistent with iPayment’s reported pricing.

Industry-Standard Pricing

Paysafe does not list any specific pricing or contract terms on its website, but the few pieces of evidence we have suggest that Paysafe merchants will pay standard merchant account prices. At this time, there is no reason to believe that the company’s pricing will undercut the cheapest merchant accounts in the industry. Merchants are advised to work with sales representatives they trust and to read all relevant documentation. See the Paysafe Merchant Agreement.

Response from Paysafe

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Paysafe Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints 100+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Paysafecard Issues

Moderate Complaint Total

The parent organization of Paysafe Group has received almost no public complaints, but we are currently able to locate hundreds of complaints filed against Paysafe subsidiaries and Paysafe-owned brands. Complaints related to Paysafe’s payment processing products describe misleading sales tactics, undisclosed fees, fund holds, high cancellation penalties, undesirable equipment leases, and poor customer service. There does not appear to be any change in the frequency or the content of these complaints as a result of Paysafe’s acquisition of smaller brands, which suggests that Paysafe does not impose new corporate policies on its acquisitions.

Paysafecard Complaints

The overwhelming majority of Paysafe complaints are related to the company’s consumer-oriented Paysafecard product. Paysafecard is an online platform for making prepaid e-commerce purchases, and it is commonly used by consumers in high-risk sectors such as online gaming, online gambling, and the adult industry. Paysafecard complaints generally describe account termination, invasive demands for personal information, and poor customer support from Paysafe following violations of the company’s terms of use. While these complaints indicate inadequate complaint resolution efforts by Paysafe, they are unlikely to impact merchants.

Paysafe Support Options

Paysafe does not list any dedicated customer support contact information on its official website, but this is because each of its subsidiary services offer their own support options. Most Paysafe subsidiaries offer phone support with the notable exception of Skrill, which has racked up hundreds of public complaints. In general, Paysafe appears to perform at an average level in this category—well below the top-rated processors for great customer support.

Response from Paysafe

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Paysafe BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 4
Billing & Collection Complaints 2
Advertising & Sales Complaints 1
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 1

Formerly Meritus Payment Solutions

The Better Business Bureau’s profile for Paysafe is simply the retitled BBB page for Meritus Payment Solutions. This is due to the fact that the BBB does not cover UK businesses and therefore only reviews Paysafe entities based in the United States. We will factor this profile into our review because it is relevant to a certain sector of Paysafe’s business, but merchants should note that it is not representative of the overall Paysafe organization.

Paysafe BBB Profile

The BBB currently assigns Paysafe an “A+” rating and BBB accreditation. The company has received eight complaints in the past three years, with four related to products or services, two related to billing and collection, one related to advertising or sales, and another related to delivery. None of the complaints were successfully resolved, but all of them received an answer from Paysafe.

An “A” Rating Overall

We do not see enough evidence to adjust the BBB’s rating at this time, but merchants should be aware that there are reasons to be skeptical of the BBB’s review process.

Response from Paysafe

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

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

A Different Approach From Each Subsidiary

As the parent organization of many different payment processing companies, Paysafe appears to adjust its sales approach from market to market. The company’s high-level advertising is very generalized, and there does not appear to be a unique “Paysafe” sales team so much as a distribution of ISOs, sub-ISOs, and resellers. Paysafe’s traditional merchant account sales operation functions like most of its competitors, with independent sales agents initiating telephone and in-person contact with merchant prospects. By contrast, the company’s e-commerce and online platform products appear to rely more on internet marketing and strategic partnerships to target niche and high risk industries.

Paysafe Sales Complaints

Despite the company’s aggressive growth strategy, we have not found many Paysafe sales complaints from merchants. The available complaints cite misleading rate quotes, undisclosed cancellation fees, and promised savings that did not materialize. Paysafe’s recent acquisition of iPayment (a “D” rated provider on CPO) could generate more sales complaints in the future, as iPayment has a reputation for providing negative sales experiences. For now, though, the company is outperforming expectations on this front. If you suspect that Paysafe is overcharging you, we recommend a third-party statement audit to find and eliminate hidden fees.

Response from Paysafe

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Paysafe Marketing Example

Paysafe Logo

Our Opinion of Paysafe

An Average Option for Most Merchants

Paysafe rates as a fairly standard merchant services provider according to our rating criteria. Paysafe Group itself is more of a parent corporation managed by equity firms than an actual payment processor, so the quality of its products and services will vary according to the policies of its subsidiary branches across the globe. In general, the various Paysafe sub-brands have established their own industry reputations ranging from average to below-average. Merchants are therefore more likely to have a better experience through a top-rated merchant account provider.

Phillip Parker is a former merchant services sales agent who believes the industry has been overrun by people who engage in fraud and deception in order to steal from hard working business owners. He created this website to help you avoid the bad players, save money on fees, and to get peace of mind with your merchant account. If you would like to help support his work, learn more about our cost reduction service. We can evaluate your statement, tell you exactly how much you're overpaying, and then help you dramatically reduce your fees with your current credit card processor. Looking to switch instead? See our list of the best merchant account providers.

Schedule a Consultation with Phillip

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