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PayAnywhere Review

Category Breakdown
Sales & Marketing rated B
Costs & Contract rated C
Complaints & Service rated D
BBB Rating rated C

Overall Rating



Pay Anywhere Logo

PayAnywhere Logo

PayAnywhere (payanywhere.com), sometimes spelled as “Pay Anywhere,” is a mobile credit card processing service of North American Bancard; however, PayAnywhere warrants its own review because the service is a departure from North American Bancard’s typical merchant account setup. It should be noted that even though the service is powered by North American Bancard, the actual processor of the credit card transactions is Global Payments.

Much like Intuit’s “GoPayment” app, PayAnywhere is North American Bancard’s answer to Square’s mobile credit card processing service. The service appears to have launched in 2010, so it is still relatively new to the merchant services arena and has not enjoyed the same kind of buzz and popularity as Square and GoPayment. Even so, PayAnywhere has been garnering a lot more media attention and has become a solid competitor in the wireless credit card processing industry.

Sales & Marketing | B

Key Points – Sales & Marketing
Uses independent resellers? Yes
Promotes deceptive rate quotes? No
Discloses all important terms? No

PayAnywhere does not appear to use any deceptive marketing or sales tactics that are apparent to this reviewer. It looks as though the company primarily markets its service through advertising, public relations, strategic partnerships, and referrals from North American Bancard. However, merchants have reported similar complaints found with Square in that PayAnywhere fails to mention prior to account setup that it holds funds to mitigate risk. Merchants have complained that the company held large amounts of funds with no prior warning of such policies. Therefore, we have lowered the score of this section to reflect merchants’ sentiment that PayAnywhere’s marketing is slightly misleading when it comes to ease of use.

PayAnywhere Marketing Example

Costs & Contract | C

Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms
Swiped rate: 2.69%
Keyed-in rate: 3.49% + $0.19
Termination fee: None
PCI compliance fee: None
Equipment lease: None

As of this review, PayAnywhere has no setup fees, no monthly fees, and no cancellation fee, and it comes with a free card reader that plugs into the audio jack of compatible smartphones. The processing fee is also similar to those of Square and GoPayment with 2.69% fee for sliding a credit or debit card through the attached card reader and 3.49% plus $0.19 for keyed transactions. It appears that the processing fees are the same for all card brands, including American Express and Discover. Also as of this review, the service is compatible with most current Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, iTouch), Android (2.4 or later), and many Blackberry models.

Since our last review, PayAnywhere has seen a sharp increase in complaints regarding its cash reserve and termination policies. Like many of its competitors, the company appears to commonly freeze accounts or withhold large payments in anticipation of potential chargebacks. The problem is that the service appears to provide little notice or justification for these holds, effectively keeping merchants from their own money without their knowledge. The company’s terms of use grant it a great deal of liberty when establishing reserve accounts (including the right to collect interest gathered on withheld funds), and the pattern of merchant complaints about this policy seems to indicate that the company may be taking advantage of this power to an inappropriate extent.

Complaints & Service | D

Key Points – Complaints & Service
Total complaints: 180+
Live customer support: Yes
Most common complaint: Fund holds

We are currently able to locate over 180 PayAnywhere negative reviews, many of which describe the company as a scam or ripoff. Although the company has a very large client base and should be expected to have some complaints, it has seen a rapid uptick in complaints since our last update. Two major themes are consistently mentioned by complainants. As mentioned earlier in this review, the service holds funds in order to reduce the risk of fraud. The company’s policies seem to have a broad definition of which types of transaction appear to be fraudulent, which has resulted in numerous complaints from seemingly legitimate merchants reporting fund holds. The next common complaint is of receiving poor and unprofessional customer service when calling into PayAnywhere’s customer support. It appears that the calls are routed to the same call centers as regular North American Bancard customers, which also receives poor ratings in our review of the company. This definitely diminishes the edge over Square that PayAnywhere might have achieved with live customer support.

There have also been a few merchants reporting that PayAnywhere charged other fees in addition to the processing fee. PayAnywhere’s full pricing can be found here, but we have found reports of other possible fees that include a $25 Chargeback fee, $25 NSF fee (Non-Sufficient Funds), and $15 “Retrieval” fee which is left undefined. If you have experienced fees outside of the processing fees or those listed in PayAnywhere’s disclosed pricing, please leave a review in our comment section below detailing your experience. Although we are under no obligation to verify the content of user reviews, a valid email will be required for pricing-related comments as further evidence of these claims may need to be supplied in order for your comment to remain published.

BBB Report | C*

Key Points – BBB Report
Product/service: 78
Billing/collection: 69
Advertising/sales: 8
Guarantee/warranty: 1
Delivery: 3

As of this update, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is showing that PayAnywhere has been accredited since August 2012 and is awarding the company an “A+” rating. Our last update showed 128 complaints filed in the previous 36 months, but that total has jumped to 159 in under six months. Out of the 159, 69 are regarding billing and collections disputes, 78 with product or service problems, eight with advertising or sales issues, and three with delivery problems. Of the complaints, all but 11 have been resolved to the merchant’s satisfaction. Although this resolution ratio is impressive given the large increase in complaints, the complaint volume itself is troubling. This has prompted us to adjust the BBB’s score to a “C” for the purposes of this review.

* Denotes CPO-adjusted BBB score

Bottom Line

PayAnywhere Review

Rated 2.4 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Reviewed on 2014-08-26

PayAnywhere rates as an average mobile payment processor according to our rating system. The service is beginning to gain ground in the mobile processing market. There are currently numerous reports of merchants experiencing holds, poor customer service, and fees outside of company’s stated pricing. Some of these fee complaints may just be a misunderstanding of charges, or confusion in the way PayAnywhere bills its fees.

It should also be noted that, although our initial review of the company was positive but contained outdated pricing and device compatibility information, North American Bancard’s approach was to threaten us with “legal redress” if we did not update it immediately. We have updated this review (as we do every 12 to 18 months) only in the interest of accuracy, and with new insight on NAB’s strategy for dealing with publishers.

This review was originally published on 12/3/12 and was last updated on 8/26/14.

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