AdvoCharge is a payment processing company specializing in merchant services to small and medium-sized businesses. With AdvoCharge, U.S. and Canadian merchants can accept payments through their website or mobile app and in-store with a terminal.
With its headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, the company caters to merchants in various industries such as retail, hospitality, professional services and more.
The company offers two service levels – ZING and Wave. Both offer payment processing services, including credit and debit card acceptance, automatic deposits, online payments, virtual terminals, gift cards and loyalty programs.
This AdvoCharge review will discuss the services, fees and other features offered by AdvoCharge to help you determine if this is the right merchant service provider for your business.
Services and Features
When reviewed, AdvoCharge was found to offer its customers the following range of services and features.
Credit Card Terminals
AdvoCharge provides merchants with a range of credit card terminals for processing payments. Customers can choose from several models, including both countertops and wireless units. All machines are easy to operate and feature a simple user interface. They also come with integrated fraud protection technology that helps prevent fraudulent charges.
Integrated Point of Sale (POS) Systems
AdvoCharge also provides integrated Point of Sale (POS) systems for businesses. Customers can choose from various hardware and software packages to create a custom POS solution that meets their needs. The systems have advanced features such as inventory management, reporting, customer loyalty programs, etc. The system is also designed to integrate seamlessly with existing software and hardware.
Fully Integrated ECommerce Gateway Solutions
The company offers a fully integrated eCommerce gateway solution allowing businesses to accept online payments. The gateway provides customers with an easy and secure way to process and access real-time transaction data. The system is also designed to be compatible with popular shopping carts and payment processors, making it easy for businesses to set up an online store.
PC-Based Processing Solutions
For customers who want to process payments directly from their computers, AdvoCharge offers PC-based processing solutions. These allow businesses to accept credit card payments without purchasing dedicated hardware. Its system is designed to be compatible with popular operating systems and provides users with secure payment processing.
AdvoCharge has an A+ rating with Better Business Bureau. However, the company is not accredited when reviewed due to insufficient activity. It is a red flag, as it may mean the company is not interested in customer satisfaction or resolving complaints to BBB’s standards. Several complaints have been filed against AdvoCharge, primarily related to billing and collection issues.
The company has responded to the majority of these complaints, but there have been some that remain unresolved. It suggests that customers may not be happy with the services they receive from AdvoCharge and could experience difficulty resolving disputes or refunds promptly. Therefore, it is important for potential customers to carefully consider their options before engaging in any business relationship with AdvoCharge.
Lawsuits and Fines
No company wants to be the target of a lawsuit or fined by regulatory authorities. Unfortunately, this can happen if business practices and procedures are not up to standard. Fortunately, there have been no lawsuits or fines levelled at AdvoCharge. It means the company complies with applicable laws and regulations and provides customers with a safe and secure environment.
But, when not taken seriously, issues like data security, user privacy and PCI compliance can lead to lawsuits and fines. Therefore, any company like AdvoCharge must strictly adhere to the rules and regulations surrounding these matters. It’s also important for customers to be aware of any changes or updates in the law that could affect their ability to do business with AdvoCharge.
Regarding rates, the review of the company highlights some of the negatives. The rates for the merchant account are on a sliding scale and vary depending on card type, transaction volume, and other factors.
The following factors can affect AdvoCharge’s overall rate:
Some transactions may have higher rates than others, depending on the type. It means that e-commerce transaction rates may be higher than in-person transactions. It might be a cause of concern for businesses that rely heavily on online payments or virtual terminals. Hence, it is important to understand the fees associated with each transaction type.
The interchange-plus pricing model AdvoCharge utilizes has been criticized for its complexity and potential to be confusing. With this model, merchants are responsible for two separate fees: the interchange rate and a markup. The fee structure is based on individual merchant needs and can be difficult to evaluate without proper knowledge of the components and their interaction. Additionally, there is potential for hidden costs to be buried in the interchange rate.
Partnership with CardConnect
AdvoCharge’s partnership with CardConnect also has a potential downside. CardConnect is known for its high transaction fees and lack of transparency. For example, merchants may be hit with extra fees for chargebacks or PCI compliance, making it difficult to accurately predict costs and manage cash flow. It can be a major source of frustration for merchants, especially those unfamiliar with the exact terms of their agreement.
AdvoCharge has been accused of improper treatment of employees. Specifically, employees have complained about a lack of training opportunities and inadequate compensation for the hours worked. Additionally, some workers have reported being forced to take unpaid overtime or not having their vacation requests honoured. It is all compounded by the fact that many workers have raised concerns about a hostile work environment and unfair treatment.
When it comes to reviews for AdvoCharge, there are mixed opinions. While some customers seem satisfied with their service, there are many complaints from customers who have had difficulty with the company.
Following are some of the points that merchants must remember before using the services of AdvoCharge
Unresponsive Mobile/Wireless Solutions
Several reviews on AdvoCharge mention that its mobile and wireless solutions are slow to respond, often unable to complete transactions. Customers may have problems completing payments or refunding with AdvoCharge’s mobile and wireless options.
Occasional Failure in QuickBooks Integration
AdvoCharge also appears to have occasional failures when integrating with QuickBooks accounting software, resulting in incomplete or incorrect information being uploaded or transferred. It can lead to discrepancies between the accounts and financial records of customers who use both platforms.
Less Efficient Business Marketing Tools
AdvoCharge also offers business marketing tools, which are less efficient than other payment processing solutions. It could leave businesses at a disadvantage regarding promotion and exposure. Hence, it is important to weigh the benefits of AdvoCharge’s other features against the possible disadvantages of its business marketing tools.
Partnership with Easytrack Payroll
This partnership is a big plus for AdvoCharge, but it does limit the types of services offered. Easytrack only covers payroll and benefits processing, leaving out other important financial activities like tax filing, business banking, and bookkeeping. Customers may not receive the comprehensive financial services they need with AdvoCharge.
Overpriced ATM Equipment & Services
Some reviews indicate that AdvoCharge’s ATM equipment and services are overpriced. It could mean businesses are paying more than necessary for these services, thus eating away at their profits. It causes an extra burden for those who are already struggling with the increasing rates of payment processing fees. Moreover, this could also lead to a negative customer experience, as slower and more expensive ATMs would make customers less likely to use the services offered.
Cumbersome Check Validation Process
Many reviews mention that the check validation process at AdvoCharge is quite cumbersome, as customers have to wait for days to complete the verification process. The merchants must provide their banking information, which the company verifies.
This process can take days to complete and may hinder customers from needing money quickly. It could lead to long wait times and a negative customer experience, as customers may feel frustrated by the delay in processing their payments.
Limited Usability of Gift & Rewards Cards
AdvoCharge’s gift and rewards cards also have limited usability, as customers can only redeem them at participating merchants. It could inconvenience customers, as they may not always have access to the necessary shops or services to use these cards.
Poor Customer Service
It requires merchants to use email-based communication for customer service needs. It can be inconvenient at times as it can take a while for the merchant to receive a response from AdvoCharge. Moreover, the customer service team is not always available, and customers may have to wait longer than necessary.
The inability to call AdvoCharge customer service means that merchants may be unable to get real-time answers and advice. It can result in delays in resolving queries or problems that the staff could have quickly and efficiently handled over the phone. Customers may also experience frustration when explaining their technical issues or queries via email.
The AdvoCharge review suggests that while the company provides a wide range of services and features, it may not be perfect for merchants who need low rates and transparency. However, their partnership with CardConnect may benefit merchants who need an established payment processor that is easy to integrate into existing systems. As always, the merchants must review the agreement’s terms carefully and seek a second opinion if they have any questions or doubts is important. Ultimately, they should decide based on their individual needs and preferences.