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Paysafe Group Merchant Services 2023: Reviews & Complaints
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Also known as Paysafe Group, Paysafe 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. In 2020, Paysafe announced a partnership with US-based sports-betting platform FOX Bet as well as one with the Microsoft Store. In 2021 Paysafe expanded into cryptocurrency with a partnership with transcoin.me, and in 2022 they acquired SafetyPay. Further partnerships in 2023 included Greyhound and HotelKey.
Before we dive in, here’s a short summary of what we’ll cover:
- Paysafe’s various payment processing services.
- Paysafe is a very large organization with branches in many nations.
- The company has received a consistent number of complaints, usually about held funds.
- Paysafe owns a number of subsidiaries through which most clients will get their services. This means that contract terms can vary greatly.
- Optimal Payments
- Meritus Payment Solutions
- MeritCard Solutions
- Merchants’ Choice Payment Solutions
Paysafe Payment Processing
Paysafe enables businesses to accept credit and debit card payments quickly and easily. Whether you’re looking to accept payments in-store, online, or on-the-go, Paysafe has a solution that can meet your needs.
Payment Gateway Services
Paysafe’s payment gateway services enable businesses to accept credit and debit card payments securely and easily via their website. The payment gateway is fully customizable and integrates with major e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and more.
Digital Wallet and Online Cash Solutions
The company offers digital wallets and online cash cards. These are designed to conduct online transactions with speed and security.
Paysafe focuses on a variety of industries, including gaming and investing. They offer a suite of product solutions tailored to these sectors.
Currencies and Payment Types
The company supports more than 40 currencies and offers over 250 types of payments. They claim to have more than $15 billion in wallet deposits.
The company is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 for the issuing of electronic money and payment instruments.
Location & Ownership
Paysafe is a registered ISO/MSP of Deutsche Bank AG, New York, NY; Citizens Bank, N.A., Providence, RI; PNC Bank, N.A., Pittsburgh, PA; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, CA; Woodforest National Bank, Houston, TX; BMO Harris Bank, N.A, Chicago, IL; and Merrick Bank, South Jordan, UT. Paysafe Merchant Services Corp. is a registered ISO of Fifth Third Bank, N.A., Cincinnati, OH, USA. The company is headquartered at 1st floor, 2 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7AD, United Kingdom. Bruce Lowthers is the CEO of Paysafe. Joel Leonoff, who has also served as the CEO of Skrill, founded the company in 1997.
Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Offers variable pricing terms among its many products, services, and…
- Complaints & Service: Has received more than 100 public complaints regarding…
- BBB Rating: The US branch of Paysafe has a rating of “A+” with…
- Sales & Marketing: Maintains different sales practices at each of its subsidiary organizations and has…
Paysafe Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||100+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Paysafecard Issues|
Moderate Complaint Total
We have found fewer than 10 negative Paysafe reviews, 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 has not imposed new corporate policies on its acquisitions.
Paysafe Lawsuits and Fines
In 2021, a class-action suit was announced against Paysafe for investors in the company’s securities. 2022 saw a similar suit: Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP filed a class-action lawsuit against Paysafe Limited, a payment processing company, alleging violations of federal securities laws. The lawsuit claimed that Paysafe made false and misleading statements about its financial performance and the impact of its merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The plaintiffs alleged that Paysafe’s statements artificially inflated the company’s stock price, causing investors to suffer damages when the truth was revealed. The case seeks damages and injunctive relief on behalf of the class of shareholders. The case is currently ongoing.
Dissatisfied clients who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
Paysafe Customer Support Options
Paysafe lists some general support options on its site, but each of its subsidiary services will offer its 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.
Paysafe Customer Service Numbers
- (888) 709-8753 – Toll-Free Support
- (888) 299-3324 – Small Business Support
- (866) 826-8003 – Sales
Other Support Options
Paysafe Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
No Dedicated Profile for Headquartered Office
The Better Business Bureau’s profile for Paysafe is for only the US branch of Paysafe, called Paysafe:Group. 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 larger Paysafe:Group profile currently has an “A+” score with the BBB and has been accredited since 2011. The company’s profile is currently showing a much larger number of complaints than in the past, with 123 complaints in the last 36 months. Only 48 of these 123 complaints were resolved by the company to the satisfaction of the merchant. The remaining 75 were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or received no final response.
What Merchants Say
Paysafe has also received 22 informal negative reviews to its BBB profile, all negative. The most recent calls the company a scam:
Do not trust this company. It is a truly a scam. Look at all the other reviews from people that are saying the same thing. This company literally took our money (over thousands of dollars) that 2 customers gave us from 2 different invoices we sent them for our services. Paysafe sent us ONE email stating they are closing our account because of “actual processing observed is inconsistent with expected”. The risk management analysis Monica would not even tell me or my husband who OWN our business, the reason why they took and withheld our money. She just kept repeating herself stating that they can’t disclose that information and after 180 days (6 months) there will hopefully be an explanation as in we should get our money back if everything checks out. We literally have never done anything wrong, we just started out at the end of 2020 meaning we didn’t even have employees until 2021. Since then, we have been by the book with everything. This Paysafe is literally a scam company. Do not trust them or SwipeSimple. They are associated with each other. SwipeSimple also withheld so much info from us when they tried to get our services. They didn’t mention that they are a financial institution and a risk department. You will regret it if you use their services, I promise you. Don’t fall into the same trap I did. If I can help at least ONE person or company from getting their money taken, that’s good with me. I usually never write reviews, but I just had to make others aware of Paysafe. This company should be shut down. It almost seems illegal to just take our money without a reason. We will most likely have to get our lawyer involved at this point and take further action. it is a real shame at this point. We are a small business trying to do right in life and make a future especially for our kids and Paysafe just steals our hard earned money. I literally can not believe that Miles who I was dealing with at SwipeSimple withheld all that information from us about Paysafe.
Businesses in this situation would be better served by a company with excellent customer service.
A “C” Rating Overall
With the influx of negative reviews and complaints, and considering the low number of resolved complaints, we have decided to lower Paysafe’s rating in this section to a “C”. It should also be noted that since this is only the US branch of Paysafe being reviewed on the BBB, and since Paysafe is a UK-based company with a large number of subsidiaries, it is difficult to determine whether the negative trend of the US branch is representative of the company at-large.
Paysafe Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Monthly & Annual Fees||Yes|
|Processing Rates||1.00% - 4.99%|
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. This Paysafe merchant agreement from 2016 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.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Paysafe 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.
Paysafe does not list any specific pricing or contract terms on its website, but most evidence suggests that Paysafe clients will pay standard merchant account prices. At this time, there is no reason to believe that the company’s pricing will compete with the cheapest merchant accounts in the industry. Business owners are advised to work with sales representatives they trust and to read all relevant documentation. We encourage businesses to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant services.
Paysafe Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Uses Independent Resellers||Yes|
|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 potential clients. 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 found only a few sales-related Paysafe reviews from businesses. The available complaints cite misleading rate quotes, undisclosed cancellation fees, and promised savings that did not materialize. Paysafe’s 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. This does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors.
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