Updated 2/4/2019: Victory Square acquired a little more than 30% of PayVida in February 2018, and the PayVida website currently promises that its “new game changing payment platform is coming soon.” The company still appears to be in a period of transition, and we will withhold a rating until it relaunches.
PayVida (payvida.ca) is a merchant account and point-of-sale (POS) solutions provider that appears to be headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company provides traditional retail processing, mobile payment acceptance, and a virtual terminal to merchants. PayVida is a reseller of Talech’s iPad-based point-of-sale products, but it appears to attach its own merchant account to its various POS solutions, making it similar to most traditional payment processors. PayVida is a registered MSP/ISO of the Canadian branch of U.S. Bank National Association and Elavon, and, according to multiple sources, is headquartered at 1350 Burrard Street, #182, Vancouver, BC Canada V6Z 0C2.
On May 31, 2014, we were contacted by a third party regarding allegations of unethical and possible criminal behavior regarding PayVida’s president and CEO, Robert Ronning. It appears that Ronning may have formerly operated under, or could still be operating under, the aliases of “Robert Zoost” and “Robert Raymond.” According to three articles published in 2008 by the Vancouver Sun (found here, here and here), a real estate agent named Robert Zoost (whose realtor profile can be found here) was publicly accused of misrepresenting his sales achievements in order to obtain a competitive advantage over other realtors. These Vancouver Sun articles also claim that Mr. Zoost had been suspended by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia, was the subject of lawsuits related to unpaid advertising expenses, and had repeatedly lied about his client base and sales record to the media and on his website.
A blog post from May 2008 (found here) contains a user comment filed in August 2013 stating that Robert Zoost had changed his name to Robert Ronning and is now working in the payment processing industry. The commenter explicitly names PayVida as Robert Zoost / Robert Ronning’s new venture. There is also some evidence that a Robert Ronning spent time in the intervening years working at Federated Payments (according to this profile) and Dominion Card Services (according to three Ripoff Report complaints).
As additional supporting documentation, we were able to locate civil cases naming Robert Zoost (screen capture here) and criminal cases naming both Robert Zoost (screen capture here) and Robert Ronning (screen capture here) within the British Columbia Court Services database. Dominion Card Services, PayVida, and Robert Zoost’s real estate agency are currently or were once based in British Columbia, while Federated Payments operates out of Ottawa, Ontario.
We reached out to Ronning regarding these allegations and he neither confirmed nor denied their accuracy. We consider this information to be unrelated to the quality of the products and service offered by PayVida; however, it is relevant to this review because the CEO of a payment processing company has access to sensitive personal and financial data of its customers, and this sort of behavior could be reflective of the company’s overall culture.
As an additional note, PayVida was the subject of a lawsuit filed by POS provider ShopKeep in January 2015. ShopKeep alleged that PayVida knowingly utilized ShopKeep’s trademark, promotional materials, and website content on its own website without authorization. The outcome of the suit is still pending. Details of the case can be seen here.
- Sales & Marketing: PayVida appears to hire independent sales representatives but has not received any complaints about its sales practices.
- Costs & Contract: PayVida appears to offer month-to-month contracts with interchange-plus pricing and no early termination fees.
- Complaints & Service: PayVida has received fewer than 10 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: PayVida currently has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received two complaints in the last three years.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With PayVida