A U.S.-based merchant account provider located in Woodbury, New York, was established in 1987 to serve small and low-risk businesses. The company has expertise in providing consumer lending and credit card payment processing solutions to small-scale companies with a focal point on animal hospitals and veterinary clinics. Here is a detailed CardWorks review concerning its services and shortcomings to help merchants understand what they are getting into.
It is an authorized ISO/MSP of the sister company Merrick Bank, catering to multiple industries, including telemedicine, nutraceuticals and supplements, personal services, healthcare, SAAS, retail, and e-commerce.
CardWorks aims to operate ethically under any circumstances, pursue the guiding values of respect, commitment, integrity, and teamwork, and embrace innovation, communication, accountability, and learning. It promises to run the extra mile for its clients and prioritize them as its most valued assets. The provider focuses on knowing and understanding the unique background of each merchant and accommodates them with individual attention to ensure maximum success.
The company’s major criterion is to build a secure environment for businesses to prosper while keeping their ideology and identity intact. Its objective revolves around creating a middle ground for the company and its merchants to work side by side.
The company does not offer information about its equipment and services. However, judging by some CardWork reviews, the provider prides itself on providing PCI-compliant infrastructure, displaying a people-centric infrastructure equipped with cutting-edge technology and security features to help merchants secure customers’ data.
The provider offers payment gateways and virtual terminals through Authorize.net, BridgePay, CyberSource, NMI, NETePay, and Braintree to facilitate online payment solutions. It purveys electronic invoicing and third-party shopping cart integration for e-commerce businesses. Merchants are offered EBT acceptance and recurring billing options and benefit from the company’s EMV card swipers and readers. The company utilizes the services of Verifone, Dejavoo, Ingenico, PAX, and Poynt to offer the best mobile payment solutions and POS equipment.
Multiple CardWorks reviews show that the provider offers referral programs which are a great way for merchants to reach out to potential customers by encouraging existing clients to refer their business to friends and family and offering rewards in return. It is the safest promotional strategy that generates loyal advocates and creates a strong bond between a business and its customers. With this program, merchants can increase customer engagement, brand awareness, and retention rates and hit the target audience.
The provider offers user-friendly, multi-functional, and cost-effective POS systems with reliable and effective features, helping merchants reach their goals while keeping customers satisfied. Handheld and smartphone-compatible systems are designed for hospitality and restaurant businesses with comprehensive solutions streamlining meal ordering and delivery operations. Numerous bars, cafes, nightclubs, casinos, golf courses, counter services, and wineries trust CardWorks to benefit from the flexible payment systems.
Sports and fitness businesses are offered web-based software to streamline and manage daily operations, whereas small to medium-scale pharmacies benefit from integrated and automated solutions. The company provides front and back-office functionality and facilitates email receipt printing and iOS compatibility.
CardWorks reviews indicate that the company has partnered with some of the best gateway and virtual terminal providers. Merchants can launch their online stores from anywhere and reach customers globally. They can connect with several domestic and international processors and offer ACH end e-check processing to customers. The provider accommodates PIN debit, Apple Pay, signature capture, and EMV transactions. Merchants can connect their existing systems to CardWorks online payment solutions and access QuickBooks integration and multiple terminal management.
Merchants are offered a range of terminals to choose from. From traditional countertops and standalone credit card terminals to handheld devices, the provider enables people to take their businesses wherever they go. The terminals are equipped with advanced technology, multiple communication features, and fully encrypted data security to eliminate data breaches and the risk of stolen credit cards. NFC technology, contactless payments, a built-in scanner, and dual screens are the conveniences of choosing CardWorks terminals.
Merchants can access frequently used features on the home screen to save time and gain efficiency in their daily operations. A loudspeaker, large touch screen, and unlimited memory increase a merchant’s capacity to offer an exceptional shopping experience.
Merchants are bound to an automatically renewed three-year contract with liquidated damages or a $350 early cancelation fee. The provider offers variable contract conditions depending on the company facilitating the payment gateway and virtual terminals.
The company does not mention its pricing model, and most of its fees are a mystery. According to several CardWorks reviews, the provider’s average agreement costs 1.00% to 4.99% per transaction for swiped and keyed-in card payments. Merchants pay a $180 annual PCI compliance fee, a $20 monthly minimum fee, and a $10 service fee.
The provider recently launched a pricing model called CWA select, combining a list of monthly charges into one. Depending on the merchant’s processing volume and ticket size, the rates start from $49.99 per month. However, this pricing plan is exclusive of the gateway, ACH return, and chargeback fee and does not mention the cost of gift cards, check services, and the charges of other value-added features.
The provider trains an in-house team and employs independent sales representatives to promote its services. Its marketing strategies seem honest and free of deception. However, the company does not provide all the necessary information, and its website offers no substantial knowledge about its contract details, pricing, or services.
CardWorks has maintained a merchant portal and reserved a domestic customer support line available during office hours. There is a support form on the website, and merchants are provided multiple email addresses to write their queries and concerns to the provider. The company has also reserved a tech support line available 24/7. Furthermore, CardWorks facilitates merchants with a knowledge base containing user manuals and basic instructions regarding the equipment offered by the company.
The company has a mild complaint rate, but the few negative reviews posted by the merchants have a serious tone. According to multiple consumer reviews, CardWorks has overtaken ill-reputed companies to offer credit card processing solutions, attracting numerous consumer complaints. Hidden charges, lack of communication, high termination fee, and undisclosed terms are some of the repeated complaints posted by clients. Multiple class-action lawsuits were filed against CardWorks for stealing clients and depriving employees of deserved pay over the years.
The provider has a non-accredited profile rated A+ on Better Business Bureau since 1992. Out of the total 65 formal and two informal complaints against CardWorks on the review platform, 20 complaints were about product malfunctioning, 38 complaints regarding billing problems, and the rest indicated advertising and sales issues. The informal reviews address the untimely updates in the credit reports.
Deduced by multiple CardWorks reviews, the company has limed capacity to onboard businesses and several shortcomings tainting its view. Merchants need to be aware of the possible drawbacks of signing up with a payment processor to ensure they will not regret their decision.
Lack of Communication
The provider does not initiate information regarding its contract and fails to provide price transparency. It does not disclose its batch, payment gateway, and setup fee, and the company’s credit card transaction rates are an assumed estimate that may be inaccurate. Merchants are not given insight into CardWorks equipment lease terms and are deprived of all the necessary information. They are unaware of the warranty policies, virtual terminal rates, and terms of the company sourcing the gateway facility. Lack of disclosure and communication confuses merchants and messes up the process.
Multiple CardWords reviews claim issues with the credit report. Merchants have complained that the company fails to update the credit reports, does not provide receipts for the paid charges, and keeps them under the unpaid tab. Resultingly, merchants are forced to pay the dues they had already cleared.
High Termination Fee
A service provider conditioning contract cancelation is never a positive sign, and a high termination fee is an obvious red flag. When merchants are unsatisfied with the contract or services offered by a payment processor, they may want to switch their service provider to find better opportunities.
Being demanded to pay hefty charges forbids most companies from getting out of an agreement and discovering other possibilities to grow their business. CardWork reviews show that the company’s early termination rate is $350 and goes higher, which is expensive for most small businesses.
As gathered by this CardsWorks review, the company is an average service provider with some reliable services and valuable equipment for credit card processing. However, its standard rates and contract details are missing making it impossible for merchants to determine if it is the best option for their business. The company attracts suspicion, which may result from an innocent mistake or a well-planned tactic.
Merchants are advised to look for a more straightforward payment processor capable of offering complete disclosure and providing a sense of certainty by communicating every aspect of its services. Merchants looking forward to signing up with CardWorks should hire a third-party audit to eliminate hidden charges, negotiate the rates, and demand all the necessary information to ensure they make the right decision.