Originally named Financial Transaction Services, CardConnect, a leading U.S.-based credit card service provider, was established in 2006. Headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, the company expanded by partnering with Bank of America, FTV Capital, and SecureNet Payment Systems. It was acquired by Fiserv in 2017 as its independent sales agent network and credit card processing subsidiary. After rebranding in 2013, the provider prefers to be known for its tech-based services.
CardConnect caters to SAAS, healthcare, accounting, electronics, education, beauty, gaming, and retail. It serves most business types, including MLM, low-risk, subscription and memberships, non-profits, MOTO, enterprise, and B2B. The provider focuses on offering seamless payment integration that evolves with the changing dynamics of a business to help its clients grow in the ever-expanding payment processing world. It promises the best resources and secure solutions customized to meet consumers’ unique needs.
The company is a verified ISO of Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo Bank. It provides an omnichannel platform where users can gain insight into every aspect of their business and track every transaction from a single dashboard. It keeps all incoming sales in one place, allowing merchants to efficiently manage multiple channels without losing track.
Recommended for small to medium-scale companies, the provider facilitates integrated payment solutions and a range of quality features and products to ensure merchants’ safe and convenient selling experience. Below is a detailed CardConnect review discussing the key benefits and drawbacks of choosing the company as your payment facilitator;
Features and Services
Even though the provider’s specialty is its payment gateway and processing services, it offers a variety of tech-savvy equipment highly recommended for most business types. CardConnect has designed separate packages for merchants, ISVs, and ISOs with payment processing solutions compatible with their requirements. Consumers can integrate these processing solutions with existing sales and accounting tools to enhance productivity and competence. This way, they can reduce potential errors and save considerable time.
According to CardConnect reviews, the company offers a virtual payment gateway, mobile card readers, a complete set of POS equipment, and a mobile payments app. It facilitates e-check processing, hosted payment pages, and EMV-compatible software valuable for secure transactions. Merchants are offered customized payment plans tailored to their needs to improve workflow and ensure better results.
CardPointe Payment Processing
Merchants are offered a complete payment processing platform with a user-friendly portal and numerous features allowing a seamless checkout experience. CardPointe features transaction management software containing real-time reporting, recurring billing options, and PCI compliance management tools. Consumers can export analytic reports to plan future strategies and make well-informed decisions.
CardConnect reviews show that the CardPointe-hosted page enables users to customize their online store and payment page to match their brand’s theme. It also helps them pass annual PCI scans, reduce fraud exposure, and secure customers’ data with tokenization. Furthermore, merchants are provided countertop terminals, virtual terminals, a free mobile app, and numerous add-on features and integrations.
The CardPointe EMV and NFC-enabled countertop terminals allow point-to-point encrypted transactions to secure sensitive information. Compatible with Apple Pay and Google Pay, the credit card machine has a tip adjustment feature recommended for restaurants, bars, and spas. The CardPointe account comes with a complimentary virtual terminal for online transactions. Consumers can use the company’s terminal or connect their existing virtual terminal with its integrated terminal device to accept payments anywhere with one CardPointe account.
Payment Processing Integrations
CardConnect reviews indicate that the provider enables merchants to integrate with multiple third-party software and services to expand their company’s potential. They can avail of POS and shopping cart integrations and choose between CardPointe mobile SDK, CardPointe integrated terminal, and CardPointe desktop SDK. E-commerce businesses can offer a seamless checkout experience to their customers with advanced API integration. This facilitates faster order completion, increases efficiency, and improves customer experience.
Payment Gateway and Plugins
The provider offers an efficient payment gateway for e-commerce and SAAS businesses to accommodate online and in-store virtual transactions. Consumers can access automated reporting tools and account update features to track all transactions and avoid invalid payments. They can customize the payment plans and offer e-check acceptance to customers. The company provides interchange optimization with advanced security for Level 2 and Level 3 data processing, lowering payment processing costs. Moreover, users can set up recurring billing to avoid delayed payments.
CardConnect reviews show that the provider keeps long-standing partnerships with renowned companies, including Gingr, GPS Insight, SpeedETab, Clover, and iD Tech to ensure safer NFC payments. In today’s fast-moving world, contactless payment is convenient for both the seller and the buyer as it saves a significant amount of time and effort for both parties involved.
With Clover Flex, merchants can accept payments seamlessly on the go through their existing software or the company’s integrated terminal. They can email the invoices to customers with iFrame Tokenizer without requiring in-person contact. CardConnect’s mobile payment app offers mobile SDK contactless payment solutions, allowing restaurants and other businesses to take orders and accept payments on their phones. This way, they can avoid long queues and provide a safer environment for their employees.
CoPilot Merchant Management
The company has a separate portal for ISOs, ISVs, and sales agents, helping them track their portfolios throughout the process, from onboarding a merchant to assisting them in their business. CardConnect reviews state that its merchant management solutions enable users to order and manage the devices and assess line-item reporting for efficient onboarding. They can also track application status and benefit from the automated application submission feature.
CoPilot has some excellent features to enhance productivity. It offers account reconciliation, ticketing management, and data mapping. Vendors can access the merchant’s chargeback information, batch reports, and transaction history to better strategize with their growing business.
With the CoPilot API, users can integrate the functionalities into their existing POS system for a smooth, uninterrupted experience. They can customize their hosted page for enrollments, accept electronic applications, and track applications on CoPilot Plus anywhere in real-time.
Rates and Contract Details
The company does not disclose its contract terms and processing fees on the official website. However, multiple CardConnect reviews cited online suggest that the agreement is underwritten through Fiserv, so merchants should assume the contract terms to be similar. Currently, the provider charges the highest rates for its merchant accounts and is not an affordable payment facilitator for most businesses.
Consumers are bound to variable contract lengths depending on their business size and processing history. Typically, a CardConnect agreement last five years with an early termination fee of $750. However, merchants can request a month-to-month contract if they give up the free processing equipment.
Instead of getting stuck in a never-ending contract with a free terminal, merchants are advised to buy the equipment after signing a monthly agreement. Although, not all businesses can avail of month-to-month contracts. Merchants are subjected to a long-term, unconcealable equipment lease, but the terms are not mentioned.
The company offers its clients both interchange plus and tiered pricing plans depending on the business type. High-risk companies, startups, and businesses that do not specifically ask for interchange pricing are mostly signed for a tiered pricing model.
According to CardConnect reviews, the payment service provider charges a swiped and keyed-in per-transaction rate of 2.32% plus 0.25% plus $0.07. It only discloses the qualified rate (2.32%) for tiered pricing. Merchants pay a $9.95 monthly, a $228 annual fee, a $25 monthly minimum, and a $5 statement fee. There is also a per-incident chargeback fee of $25. The company does not demand an account setup fee.
Virtual Terminal Rate
The provider advertises its online payment solutions but does not reveal its payment gateway fee. Consumers are offered a virtual terminal rate of 1.00% to 4.99%, but this is just an estimate and can vary. The undisclosed charges include batch, technical support, and gateway setup fee.
PCI Compliance Charges
One of the perks of choosing CardConnect as your service provider is that it does not charge an annual PCI compliance fee like most companies but instead demands monthly charges. This way, it is easier for merchants to make the prorated payments. However, the payment processor charges a high non-compliance and PCI compliance fee if a merchant account is out of compliance. The provider’s per-month compliance charges are $8.25.
Level 2 and Level 3 Payment Processing
B2B and B2G businesses can enjoy lower transaction rates for Level 2 and Level 3 processing by providing enhanced data. The company charges 1.90% plus 10 cents for Level 3 and 2.50% plus 10 cents for Level 2 transactions. It offers an autofill feature for consumers to provide additional data, easing them from the tedious task.
On the downside, merchants signing up for level 2 or 3 processing but failing to provide the enhanced data will be charged for commercial transactions more expensive than consumer transactions.
According to CardConnect reviews, the provider offers 24/7 technical support. The official website displays multiple email addresses and a toll-free support number for consumers to address their concerns. ISV vendors are provided with a separate support line. The company has active social media handles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It also has a YouTube channel with informative tutorials.
CardConnect also has a support center acting as a knowledge base on the website. It helps new merchants with initial software services. Moreover, consumers can request in-person assistance to sort out any account-related issues. Although the provider offers reasonable support options, its customer service is inadequate and receives severe backlash.
Sales and Advertisement
The provider trains an in-house team and employs outside sales agents and organizations to promote its brand, and its sales practice has received its fair share of consumer complaints. However, the company has a developer center on the website with a library of integration APIs.
The company also shares documentation links to the company’s hardware and integrated payment platform. Even though CardConnect is now more upfront than it was in the past, it still does not reveal all the necessary information.
A class-action lawsuit was filed against the company by a small family-owned business Teh Shou Kao, in 2017. CardConnect was accused of charging unauthorized junk fees not mentioned in the contract. Moreover, the complainant stated that the provider withdrew the prior month’s processing fee without notifying the consumer and sent the monthly statement after deducting the amount.
The company was also accused of sending misleading notices to deceive its client. CardConnect made a settlement with The Shou Kao at the end of the lawsuit in 2021. There are no other mentionable FTC reports or lawsuits against the processor. Merchants should be aware of their rights and the possible legal actions to take if they are exposed to fraud by their service provider.
CardConnect Review and Complaints
CardConnect has received over a hundred complaints in the past few years. Several consumer protection websites are filled with negative reviews about it, and the company has not taken any pivotal action to clear its reputation. Merchants have accused the provider of deceiving its clients, and there are multiple instances of the provider embracing unethical sales practices. Furthermore, CardConnect is notorious for its unreasonably high rates and irresponsible customer service.
The company has zero positive reviews or video testimonies in its favor from its clients. The absence of positive reviews could merely suggest the consumer’s lack of interest in posting online feedback. However, the abundance of negative reviews paints a different picture. Here are the most common complaints against the payment facilitator;
Substandard Customer Service
As deduced from CardConnect reviews, merchants are displeased with its customer support team and have posted multiple complaints against it. They have indicated unresolved issues and long waiting hours for one phone call. There were repeated instances of an accidental extra account being opened and clients being charged for services they did not request. The company makes no effort to resolve its mistakes, indicating that everything is done purposefully.
Merchants have complained about emails going to the wrong person and the company ignoring their requests to investigate the matter. The provider keeps stalling the consumers until they give up. It should be noted that several customer service-related complaints were raised when consumers were trying to close the account. It proves the provider only pretends to hear its clients if they pay the monthly charges.
Dishonest Sales Agents
Another common complaint cited in the CardConnect reviews concerns its sales practices. The provider hires irresponsible sales agents who lie to the clients and hide important information. Consumers have complained about unprofessional representatives failing to answer their questions and being rude. The sales agents even display unrealistic and false offers to attract new clients. There are also hints of forgery by the agents.
Since independent representatives work on commission and their commission is based on the rates the client signs up for, consumers are offered expensive rates and aggressive lease terms by the agents. The provider’s ISOs deprive merchants of critical contract clauses, forcing them to pay unexpected charges they could have avoided. CardConnect was even sued for its confusing notices and deceptive quotes.
Ridiculously High Rates
As indicated by the CardConnect reviews, there are no standard rates or fixed pricing models for the company. Since the rates vary depending on the resellers and agents setting up the accounts, merchants face high charges than most service providers can offer them. Merchants can get the CardConnect account through multiple channels, so the pricing is never the same.
Consumers have complained about a second agreement attached to their original contract with ridiculously high charges. The provider also charges a high annual fee, and its PCI compliance rate is not affordable for most businesses.
Long-term Contract and High ETF
The company claims to offer variable contract lengths and advertises a month-to-month contract, but the CardConnect reviews portray the opposite story. Consumers are forced to sign a five-year argument with a high ETF. There are complaints about the early cancelation fee starting from $750, double what most companies charge. Merchants are forced to stay with an unsatisfying processor when they cannot afford its unreasonable rates. The combination of a long-term contract with a high ETF is never a good sign.
The company and its sales agents deprive merchants of price transparency and hide valuable information. The official website lacks complete disclosure and only reveals product information and some of the services CardConnect offers. It does not display the provider’s rates, and the agents conceal contract details. Moreover, merchants are not given insight into the equipment lease terms and the gateway charges.
Even though there are more consumer complaints against the company, some negative CardConnect reviews from its former employees have surfaced online. Some employees are displeased about being overworked but undercharged. They have expressed that the provider practices poor management, favors certain employees over others, and does not offer guidance when a staff member needs help. Employees are forced to obey unreasonable rules and stay in an unfriendly environment with no hope of growth.
Better Business Bureau dissolved the company’s accreditation in 2019 and rated it F on its profile. Over 84 complaints were posted against CardConnect in the last three years revolving around billing and product issues, hidden charges, deceptive rates, and poor customer service. There are also some informal reviews concerning account cancelation and unauthorized access. Only 22 of these complaints were given any attention.
There are several CardConnect reviews about the company forcing hidden charges on its clients. The provider does not disclose most of the fees in the contract but regularly puts unexpected bills on clients’ statements. Merchants are frustrated by false quotes and fake claims by the company. Some even complained that the provider promised them zero ETF and PCI compliance fees but later demanded an unjustifiably hefty amount.
CardConnect has displeased uncountable clients by taking unauthorized actions on their behalf. Consumers have complained about their accounts being closed, an extra account being opened, and large amounts being deducted from their accounts without their approval. CardConnect had taken money from its clients and not returned it even after several calls and emails. This is a big red flag. The company is scamming its clients and failing to respect their rights.
Product and Billing Issues
Another common complaint on the company’s BBB profile includes billing issues and product malfunctioning. Multiple users requested the provider to replace a defective terminal but received no response. Merchants also posted about being charged for two terminals when they only ordered one. CardConnect reviews show that the company ignores all such complaints and does nothing to resolve the issues.
Difficult Account Cancelation
It is not possible to close a CardConnect account without regretting signing up with the company in the first place. The company charges a high ETF that most businesses cannot afford in an attempt to keep its clients or get paid more than it deserves when they leave.
After the merchant pays the cancelation fee, CardConnect prolongs the cancelation process to months and even years and keeps billing them. Users have complained about large amounts being withdrawn even after they closed the account.
As evident from this CardConnect review, the company is an unreliable service provider that lies to its clients and tricks them into signing up. The company practices deceptive tactics and charges for more than it offers. The excessive complaints by infuriated clients and the lack of positive comments show that choosing CardConnect as your payment facilitator is a horrible decision.
The provider does not care about consumer satisfaction and fails to offer the expected support. It strategizes to make money off its clients’ inconvenience and does not aim to hear their complaints. The hunger to make money by any means and having no intention to resolve the issues make the company the worst choice for any business. Merchants are advised to look for a payment facilitator they can trust with their business. They deserve a company that offers transparency and truth to its clients.