Providing Merchant Services Since 2005
Launched in 2005, Priority Payment Systems (prioritypaymentsystems.com) is a merchant account provider headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia. In January 2013 it partnered with TSYS for its payment processing services, and in 2014 it merged with Cynergy Data, creating Priority Holdings, LLC. In July 2015 the company acquired credit card processor American Credit Card Processing Corporation (‘ACCPC’).
Location and Ownership
Priority Payment Systems is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank N.A. in Concord, California, a registered ISO/MSP of Synovus Bank, Columbus, Georgia, and a registered ISO of Citizens Bank N.A., Providence, Rhode Island. John Priore is listed as the president and CEO of Priority Payment Systems, which is headquartered at 2001 Westside Pkwy Ste 155, Alpharetta, Georgia 30004-8905.
Priority Payment Systems Review Table of Contents
- Sales & Marketing: Priority Payment Systems hires independent sales agents and has received a low-to-moderate number of complaints about its sales practices.
- Costs & Contract: Priority Payment Systems offers variable contract terms that typically include an early termination fee.
- Complaints & Service: Priority Payment Systems has received more than 40 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Priority Payment Systems has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 27 complaints in the past three years.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Priority Payment Systems
Sales & Marketing
Key Points - Sales & Marketing
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Independent Sales Team
Priority Payment Systems partners with ISOs and independent sales agents to market its services. This is a common hiring practice within the merchant services industry, and it can often result in a sales team that is untrained and unregulated. We are currently able to locate a low-to-moderate number of negative Priority Payment Systems reviews that accuse the company’s sales agents of deceptive sales tactics, specifically nondisclosure of fees and misrepresentation of rates. We have also located an equal number of complaints filed by current or former employees that describe a work environment with unethical policies and minimal agent support.
No Deceptive Advertising
To its credit, the company’s flagship website does not appear to engage in deceptive advertising strategies, so it appears that the sales experience will vary depending on which sub-ISO of Priority Payment Systems is involved. If you suspect that Priority Payment Systems is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to eliminate hidden costs.
Priority Payment Systems Marketing Example
Costs & Contract
Key Points - Costs & Contract
|Early Termination Fee||Variable|
|PCI Compliance Fee||Variable|
|Equipment Lease Terms||Variable|
Tiered Pricing Structure
There are currently several reports of Priority Payment’s contract terms across different consumer protection forums. According to the company’s program guide (available below) and various merchant complaints, the company’s standard contract is a three-year service term with an early termination fee that can range from $200 to over $600, an annual fee of $129.99, a monthly minimum fee of $25, and an unspecified PCI Compliance fee. The company also appears to offer a tiered pricing structure that may not be appropriately disclosed at the point of signing. Priority Payment System’s rates are not competitive with those of the cheapest merchant accounts.
Varying Contract Terms
A representative of Priority Payment Systems Gulf Coast (ppsgulfcoast.com and revelinstallers.com) has contacted us to state that this particular sub-ISO of Priority Payment Systems offers Interchange-plus pricing and clearly discloses all fees at the point of signing. A review of this location’s Better Business Bureau profile supports the representative’s claims, as it has no complaints from within the past three years and an appropriate “A+” rating. Given this location’s stark contrast with the overall BBB profile for Priority Payment Systems, it seems likely that the company’s various independent offices can offer vastly different contract terms from one another.
Similar to Processors’ Contracts
As a rule, it is probable that the standard Priority Payment Systems agreement closely resembles that of its processors, TSYS and First Data, meaning that merchants should expect a multiyear contract with an early termination fee. If you have any specific knowledge of the standard Priority Payment Systems contract, please leave that information in the comment section of this review. See the Priority Payment Systems Program Guide.
Complaints & Service
Key Points - Complaints & Service
|Total Online Complaints||40+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Hidden Fees|
Moderate Complaint Total
We are currently able to locate at least 40 Priority Payment Systems complaints on this and other consumer protection websites, some of which outright accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. Common complaints include misrepresentation of rates and fees, difficulty cancelling service, poor customer support, and unexpected withholding of funds. As noted above, there are also a handful of complaints from former or current employees who express dissatisfaction with the work environment. Some of these complaints have received rebuttals from Priority Payment Systems that are generally professional in tone.
Room for Improvement
Overall, this is a relatively low complaint volume for the company’s size and time in business, and there does not appear to be a severe issue with any single department within the company. However, there is not any indication that Priority Payment Systems has made improvements on issues like sales tactics and cancellation fees that have generated most of its complaints.
Priority Payment Systems Support Options
Priority Payment Systems’s website both offers a contact form welcoming merchant feedback and lists a dedicated customer support line. The company is not qualified as a top-rated processor for customer service as it stands to improve on addressing its most common complaints. We have awarded Priority Payment Systems a “B” in this category at this time.
Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||15|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||10|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||1|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
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.
Priority Payment Systems is an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau. The company currently holds an “A+” rating with the BBB and has had 27 complaints filed against it within the last 36 months (down from 38 as of our last review). Fifteen of these complaints stemmed from problems with products and services, 10 involved billing or collections issues, one was filed regarding problems with advertising or sales, and one had to do with delivery issues. Priority Payment Systems successfully resolved only one of these complaints with BBB assistance, while the remaining 26 either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final response from the merchant.
What Merchants Say
A July 2018 complaint describes withheld funds over the course of several months:
Company refuses to release funds being held in reserve. Began seeking a reserve release in May 2018. Sent an email with notarized reserve release form attached on 5/24 per vender request. Was informed that the funds would be released and mailed to me within 30 days. It has now been over 50+ days and funds have not been released/received. Contacted vender and was informed that there was an “electronic error” and the funds were misplaced. Claim they have been working on locating funds for the last three weeks and are refusing to release the fund to me until they are located. Pointed out that a check was to be mailed so where is this electronic problem coming from? Why do I have to wait on my funds being released due to their electronic error? There has been no activity on the account since December 2016, notarized and signed reserve release has been submitted and received and I am in complete compliance with the merchant agreement.
Merchants in this situation should look into how to make their payment processor release their money.
A “B” Performance Overall
Given the company’s complaint rate and resolution ratio, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “B” for the purposes of this review.
About Phillip Parker
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