Pearl Payments Overview

Pearl Payments May Have Overcharged You

If you accepted credit cards through Pearl Payments 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.

Founded by a Securus Payments Veteran

Also known as “American Pearl Group, LLC”, Pearl Payments is a merchant account provider that serves most standard-risk business types. The company was founded by Andrei Wirth, a payments industry veteran with experience working for low-rated processors like Securus Payments and National Paymentech.

Andrei Wirth History

Andrei Wirth served as the National Sales Director for the Portland-based payment processor Securus Payments from 2011 to June 2015. During that time, Securus accumulated the vast majority of its complaints related to deceptive sales practices and expensive contract terms. In June 2015, Wirth became a manager at National Paymentech, another Portland-based payment processor that also attracted complaints during the short period of time that it was active. In 2017, he founded Pearl Payments in Dallas, Texas. Although Wirth does not appear to have ever faced any legal actions related to his career in payment processing, we have located some public documentation of other criminal offenses that are beyond the scope of this review.

Pearl Payments Location and Ownership

Pearl Payments is headquartered at 1919 McKinney Ave, Dallas, Texas 75201 and resells Clover, Poynt, and NCR products. Andrei Wirth and John Sarkissian are the registered owners of Pearl Payments.

Pearl Payments Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Pearl Payments offers a multi-year contract with a $495 early termination fee.
  • Complaints & Service: Pearl Payments has received more than 20 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Pearl Payments does not currently have a profile with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Sales & Marketing: Pearl Payments appears to hire independent sales agents and has received multiple complaints about its sales practices.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Pearl Payments
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Products & Services Offered

  • Debit and credit card processing
  • Mobile phone processing
  • Online marketing
  • POS equipment

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • Mobile
  • E-commerce

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Pearl Payments Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Flat Rate 2.90% + $0.30
ACH Payment Processing Fee 0.8% (Capped at $5)
Early Termination Fee $495
PCI Compliance Fee $159
Monthly Minimum Fee $20
Equipment Lease Cost $84/month
Equipment Lease Terms 48-month (locked)

Multi-Year Contract

Pearl Payments lists its a 2.90% flat fee for card transactions along with a 0.8% transaction fee for ACH payments, which is capped at $5. Given the company’s personnel connections to Securus, it’s likely that Pearl’s contract terms are very similar to Securus’s standard contract terms. Securus’s basic contract appears to be a three-year agreement through First Data with an early termination fee of $495 and other miscellaneous fees, including a monthly minimum of $20, a $159 annual PCI compliance fee, and a variable monthly statement fee.

Long-Term Equipment Leases

Multiple Pearl Payments complaints also claim that the company sells expensive, long-term equipment leases through First Data Global Leasing. One merchant reported an equipment lease cost of $84 per month and another reported a length of 48 months, which would result in payments totaling more than $4,000 over the life of the lease. Most credit card processing equipment can be purchased for less than $500. Merchants are strongly advised to purchase equipment rather than lease it whenever possible.

Higher-Than-Average Costs

Considering the available complaints of higher-than-expected rates and expensive equipment leases, we are currently assigning Pearl Payments a “C” in this section. If you have any knowledge of the standard Pearl Payments contract, please share that information in the comment section below this review.

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Response from Pearl Payments

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Pearl Payments Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints 20+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Sales Tactics

Over 20 Complaints

We are currently able to locate at least 20 negative Pearl Payments reviews, some of which accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. Commonly cited issues among complainants include misleading rate quotes, expensive equipment leases, and unreachable customer service. These complaints are very similar to the typical complaints that are filed against Securus Payments and National Paymentech. For the amount of time that Pearl Payments has been operating, this is a moderate-to-high number of complaints, but the complainants all paint a consistent picture of less-than-adequate service.

Pearl Payments Lawsuits

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Pearl Payments. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.

Pearl Payments Support Options

Pearl Payments offers phone support contact information on its website, but some complainants have stated that this channel is not especially responsive or helpful. This level of service falls short of our expectation of top-rated payment processors for great customer service. We have therefore assigned the company a “C” rating in this category for now.

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Response from Pearl Payments

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Pearl Payments BBB Rating Summary

No Profile Available

The Better Business Bureau does not maintain a profile for Pearl Payments at this time. It is worth noting, however, that National Paymentech currently has an “F” rating with the BBB. We will not factor a BBB rating into this review until the BBB establishes a dedicated profile for Pearl Payments.

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Response from Pearl Payments

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

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

Independent Sales Agents

National Paymentech appears to primarily market its services through a combination of telemarketing and independent sales representatives. Andrei Wirth’s background with National Paymentech and Securus makes it likely that Pearl’s sales tactics will be similar to those utilized by Securus. In fact, we have located over 15 Pearl Payments complaints that accuse the company of misrepresenting potential savings to merchants and selling long-term, non-cancellable equipment leases that cost up to $84 per month. The details of these complaints are consistent with the more than 60 complaints we have received about Securus Payments and National Paymentech.

No Rate Quotes

To its credit, Pearl Payments does not list any misleading rate quotes or unrealistic promotions on its website. However, given the available complaints and their collective resemblance to complaints filed against Securus Payments and National Paymentech, we are assigning Pearl Payments a “C” in this category for the time being. If you suspect that a Pearl Payments agent has misrepresented your contract terms, you can double-check your monthly bill with a third-party statement audit.

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Response from Pearl Payments

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Pearl Payments Logo

Our Opinion of Pearl Payments

An Average Option for Most Businesses

Pearl Payments currently rates as an average merchant services provider according to our rating criteria. The company has amassed at least 20 public complaints in two years of operation and appears to have a number of ties to poorly rated providers. Merchants are encouraged to read and understand all contract terms, including equipment lease terms, before signing up for a merchant account. You can also likely obtain a better deal by working with a top-rated merchant account provider.

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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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2 Reviews Leave Your Review for Pearl Payments Below

  1. Colin Qian says:

    This is not an honest company. There are fees that are not disclosed at the agreement signing. They don’t honor what they promise to do like a free trial. Also I just noticed that they could alter the contents of the agreement you signed off. And the worst is their merchant support. For legitimate issues and concerns, they ignore your calls and emails, not willing to help you resolve them.

    1. Colin Qian says:

      This is a follow-up to my review on October 19, 2019.

      I want to commend Mr. John Sarkissian, Director of Operations, for reaching out to me and trying to address my concerns. I got sold a plan that didn’t meet the goal of saving card processing fees using a second payment system at my store. There were also fees that were not communicated to me when I signed up. John was willing to address my concerns. Now I’m on a different plan that he thinks would work for me. For his efforts, I would recommend Pearl Payments. Also I really like the smart terminal they have, Poynt. It is flexible in that it has apps to allow different plans to meet different customers needs.

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