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Circle Credit Card Processing 2023: Reviews & Complaints
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Launched in October 2013, Circle is a peer-to-peer payments technology company. The company offers payment processing, automatic payout services, ACH, and other related services through its online API. The company utilizes the USD Coin for all transactions, a so-called “stable coin” that is reported to be backed by actual dollar investments. Circle is the creator and primary issuer of the USD Coin.
Previously the company operated like Venmo or Square Cash, and offered a free mobile app called Circle Pay that enabled its users to pay each other via linked bank accounts, debit cards, or credit cards. Circle advertised its vision of a crypto-backed payment platform that enables transactions, investments, and financing through Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies. Since its inception, the company has come to host over 8 million customers and more than 1,000 organizations, which have made transactions totaling over $200 billion dollars worth of the 60-plus financial assets its platform supports.
In 2023, Circle acquired merchant and developer-first payments orchestration platform Elements.
Circle Payment Processing
While Circle previously focused on cryptocurrency-oriented services, it now advertises credit and debit payment processing. This service is a part of their Payments package, and costs $1,000 dollars monthly. There are still the usual transaction fees associated as well, making it a costly option for most businesses looking for payment processing services. However, for those looking for easy access to crypto-based payments as well as ACH and bank wire services, Circle’s payment processing services might provide merchants with more options than other providers. Circle also provides a Payouts package priced at $250, however, this package does not feature payment processing services.
Circle APIs for Developers
Circle offers a suite of APIs for developers, allowing businesses to integrate digital currency payment processing into their existing platforms or create custom payment solutions. These APIs provide flexibility and customization options, enabling merchants to adapt their payment systems to their specific needs and requirements.
Wallet and Account Services
With Circle, businesses can create digital wallets and accounts to manage their digital currency transactions. This feature provides merchants with an organized and secure way to store, send, and receive digital currencies, streamlining their payment processes and reducing the need for manual management.
Circle enables businesses to expand their reach by accepting payments from customers around the world. By leveraging digital currencies like USDC, merchants can process international transactions quickly and with lower fees compared to traditional payment methods. This can result in a more seamless cross-border payment experience for both businesses and customers.
Circle Business Account
The Circle Business Account is a comprehensive solution designed to help businesses manage their digital currency transactions. With features like multi-user access, advanced reporting, and transaction tracking, this account allows merchants to effectively handle their digital currency payments and maintain clear records of their financial activities.
Payouts and Mass Payments
For businesses that need to send multiple payments to vendors, suppliers, or other stakeholders, Circle offers payout and mass payment solutions. This feature enables merchants to send digital currency payments to multiple recipients simultaneously, reducing the time and effort required to process individual transactions.
Security and Compliance
Circle places a strong emphasis on security and compliance, ensuring that businesses can process digital currency payments safely and in accordance with regulatory requirements. The platform employs advanced security measures and adheres to industry standards, such as KYC and AML policies, to protect both merchants and their customers.
Location & Management
Jeremy Allaire is the CEO and founder of Circle, which is headquartered at Keystone Building, 99 High St #1701, Boston, MA 02129.
Table of Contents
Circle Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||500+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Fund-holds|
High Complaint Total
We have found more than 500 negative Circle reviews, some of which accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. At the time of our last review, Circle had an overall rating of 4 out of 5 on the Google Play Store based on 10,486 reviews and an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 on the iTunes App Store. However, the app is no longer available on the Apple Store and the version on the Google Play Store does not seem to be current. Despite the positive rating on the Google Play Store, the Circle Pay app had more than 500 complaints. The complaints range from poor customer service to fund-holds to failed transfers. If you have your own Circle review to make, please do so in the comments below.
By far the most common issue cited by complainants is Circle’s decision to freeze accounts or withhold payments without warning. This practice is widespread throughout the payment processing industry, but Circle appears to be struggling with it more often as its user base grows. Users describe sending payments only to have them placed “under review” for an indefinite period of time. When they attempt to contact Circle to fix the issue, they are unable to achieve a timely resolution.
Other Circle Complaints
The remaining complaints include software malfunctions within the app, the inability to buy or sell Bitcoin, unexpected fees, unhelpful or rude customer support, and scam operations conducted by other users of the app. A large number of complaints in recent years seem to be tied to the company’s temporary decision to no longer allow users to buy and sell Bitcoin, but Circle has since reversed this policy.
Circle announced in 2021 they set aside $10.4 million to settle a case related to their former ownership of company Poloniex. Poloniex is under federal investigation for the potential processing of transactions to embargoed countries.
Circle is also in the midst of an investigation by the IRS concerning the names of users who have made large cryptocurrency transactions. The company itself is not accused of wrongdoing, but rather, the IRS is attempting to tax those who have made money through crypto.
Dissatisfied clients who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
Circle Customer Support Options
Circle’s overall complaint total is low-to-moderate for a free service, but we have lowered its score in this section due to the middling user consensus it has developed in the past year. Circle offers email support, chat support, and phone support from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT.
Circle Customer Service Number
- (800) 398-7172 – Toll-Free General Customer Service
Other Support Options
- Live chat
- support email address at [email protected]
Circle Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
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.
Fewer than 5 Complaints
Circle currently has an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau and is not accredited with the BBB. The company has received 4 complaints in the last 36 months.
What Merchants Say
Circle has also received 1 informal review from users, which was negative in tone. The review describes held funds and poor customer service:
Circle Internet Financial, Inc. has not been answering any of my emails regarding my blocked access to poloniex crypto coins. I just need to withdraw them but so far no luck. It seems like they would love to claim them as their own assets. I will update my review if i get ant resolution for my case.
Customer satisfaction is imperative for any business. This makes the quality of customer service an important consideration when choosing a merchant account provider.
A “C” For Declining Performance
Given Circle’s size, complaint total, and resolution efforts, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C.”
Circle Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Monthly & Annual Fees||Yes|
Circle offers two tiers of monthly plans. The first, called the Payments package, will cost you $1,000 per month with additional transaction fees associated. This plan includes payment services for cards, bank wires, and ACH’s. It also advertises fixed-rated yields on all accounts holding in USD Coin. The cheaper monthly service still offers payouts from wire transfers, ACH, and soon-to-be Visa Partner Wallets.
Circle Mobile App Limitations
Circle Pay was not intended for business transactions and imposed individually set limits on its accounts. Circle also stated that cashing out to a linked debit card or bank account can take from one to four days. The Circle user agreement grants the company the right to terminate accounts that operate in violation of its terms, so users are advised to review Circle’s list of prohibited activities before processing large amounts through the app.
Increased Contract Complaints
Overall, there are no public complaints about Circle’s pricing, but there are a growing number of reports of sudden account cancellations. Circle’s free service makes its pricing competitive with even the cheapest merchant account providers, but reports of fund-holds have lowered its rating in this section.
Circle Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Uses Independent Resellers||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||Yes|
In-House Marketing Team
Circle appears to market its service through a combination of traditional advertising and strategic partnerships. The company does not use independent sales agents, and it appears that its focus on Bitcoin has attracted a user base that its competitors are unable to serve. The company’s marketing materials repeatedly state that its service is free, but this claim is only partially true. While the company does not generate revenue by charging users, it’s possible that some users may encounter small fees when paying with credit cards. Circle maintains, however, that it does not charge a markup on any transfers.
Third-Party Cash Advance Fees
Some users who purchase cryptocurrency through the app using a credit card have encountered cash-advance fees from their credit card issuers. Circle currently does not allow users to link their Circle accounts to credit cards, but at least one Circle review has stated that the company allows users to link business debit cards and that fees may be charged when these cards are used.
Circle Pay Pricing Disclosure
Circle does not prominently identify or warn users about these potential costs on its website. Circle users should be aware that not all uses of Circle are completely free. We cannot locate any Circle Pay complaints that mention unexpected or hidden fees, which is more than can be said for even the top-rated mobile credit card processors.
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