A U.S.-based merchant service provider headquartered in Orange, California, Payment Depot was established in 2013 to accommodate alternate pricing styles. After its recent acquisition by Stax, the provider is referred to as Payment Depot by Stax. However, it also goes by its original name. Suitable for small to medium-sized businesses, the company mainly caters to B2B, e-commerce, mobile, MOTO, non-profit, MLM, information, tech support, mom & pop, and retail businesses.
Payment Depot is not a direct processor but a Fiserv reseller; it utilizes the processing services of the financial service company. The company is a verified ISO of Wells Fargo Bank and TSYS, serving multiple industries, including healthcare, accounting, airlines, education, dating, legal, marketing, SAAS, hospitality, sports betting, and property management, among several others. Merchants are promised transparent pricing and exceptional customer service to catalyze their growth.
The provider claims to be best suited for merchants processing monthly high-volume transactions without being bound to long-term agreements. It prides itself on training a team that promotes integrity and provides 24/7 assistance to its clients. Payment Depot aims to enable businesses to reach their full potential and utilize it to explore unlimited opportunities.
It should be noted that the company shares its address with another payment processor, and not only that, both companies have listed the same founder. However, it is unclear if they are somehow related; none of the payment facilitators clarify this confusion. Regardless, here is a detailed Payment Depot review concerning its pros and cons for merchants to get a better idea of its competency for their business;
Payment Depot Review- Benefits and Services
Merchants can choose from various hardware options based on their transaction limits. Payment Depot has partnered with several companies to facilitate online, mobile, and in-person payment processing. Some of its valued partnerships include with that of Authorize.Net, SwipeSimple, Pax, Ingenico, Vital, Poynt, and PayTrace. The provider enables consumers to accept all major credit and debit cards and utilize the handheld, countertop, and virtual; terminals to offer alternate payment methods to their customers.
Payment Depot clients can accept EBT, EMV, NFC, and ACH transactions and access card readers, mobile payment apps, and shopping cart integration. The company facilitates user-friendly POS systems through Clover and Dejavoo. Users are provided a free virtual terminal to access card-not-present transactions. They can access a funding program to stabilize their business, free themselves from a crisis, or take advantage of a new opportunity.
The official website displays a set of tools for developers and web designers. Payment Depot reviews show that the provider thinks highly of its wide range of products and services.
The company facilitates its merchant accounts through the partner companies TSYS and First Data. Since it is not a direct processor, Payment Depot focuses on setting up the account and offering valuable services to keep it running. However, merchants may have to contact the back-end facilitator now and then. According to Payment Depot reviews, users benefiting from the Clover POS system are offered a Fiserv merchant account, whereas most other businesses are introduced to TSYS for merchant account services.
It should be noted that the appointment of the third-party processor facilitating the merchant account will likely affect a merchant’s overall experience.
The provider has partnered with Authorize.Net, PayTrace, and other gateway companies to accommodate online businesses. Merchants are offered increased security and flexibility to expand their reach and find new customers. The partnership with PayTrace benefits B2B businesses as it allows them to qualify for Level 2 and Level 3 processing rates which are relatively lower.
Consumers are provided a free virtual terminal to convert their phone or computer into an online store. However, users are to fill in the information manually, slowing down the process.
Users can access the complete Clover line for an up-to-date POS system. They can introduce Clover Station, Clover Station Pro, Clover Flex, and Clover Mini LTE to their in-person payment solutions. They can also accommodate online, tap-to-pay, chip, or swipe credit card payments. Merchant accounts set up through TSYS are offered the Vital Select POS. Both sets of POS systems facilitate variable features such as personalized discounts, real-time reporting, inventory tracking, and employee management.
Credit Card Terminals
Through its partnership with Ingenico, PAX, SwipeSimple, and Dejavoo, the company provides traditional countertop terminals to support NFC, magstripe, and EMV payments. Payment Depot reviews indicate the increasing promotions of ‘smart’ terminals with colored touch screens and multiple payment apps. The Poynt and Clover Flex terminals are among the popular credit card terminals accessible to Payment Depo clients.
Mobile Payment Solutions
The provider’s mobile payment solutions include SwipeSimple mobile apps compatible with iOS and Android and efficient B250 card readers. Connectable via Bluetooth, the card reader can be paired with a smartphone or tablet to receive all payment types. In addition to NFC and EMV, the card reader supports Apple Pay, Google Pay, and contactless card payments. The user-friendly features and easy-to-carry design enable users to control their business remotely.
Payment Depot reviews show that users can paste a digital payment link on their online store’s website or social media or send it to customers via text or email. Customers can easily open the link on their phones and pay within seconds.
Businesses needing quick cash are offered merchant cash advances without leaving their assets as collateral. The company’s business funding program lends up to $500.000 worth of loans that can be repaid within 18 months. Users can receive the money within 24 hours, depending on the amount and approval criteria. However, Payment Depot does not mention the eligibility criteria nor the terms and conditions for repaying these loans.
Although there is not much information regarding the company’s fraud prevention facilities, some Payment Depot reviews hint at the breach protection service offered by North American Data Security. Businesses with five or more merchant accounts are protected up to $500,000. However, this service is unavailable for level 1 merchants, businesses with compromised security, or a history of data breaches.
Rates and Contract Intricacies
Even though Payment Depot offers its merchant accounts through First Data, it does not offer similar rates. The company facilitates subscription-style pricing divided into three membership plans without leaving any chance for negotiations. Yet, if a subscription plan does not satisfy a company’s requirements, merchants can request a customized pricing plan.
The provider’s processing rates are not displayed on the official website, so merchants may have to apply for an estimated rate quote. The payment service provider claims not to demand any markup and facilitate wholesale rates. However, Payment Depot reviews contradict these statements. Here is a brief overview of how it structures its rates and agreement;
Merchants are bound to a month-to-month billing system without any long-term contracts. This frees merchants from the worries of the auto-renewal clause and provides the flexibility to cancel the agreement when seen as feasible. Merchants who prefer annual agreements are offered a standard 1-year contract. Although these conditions seem convenient, users are encouraged to read the fine print on every document and understand the terms and conditions before signing the contract.
Early Cancelation Policy
As Payment Depot reviews portray, consumers can close their accounts anytime without paying an early termination fee or sending advance notice. This leniency allows users to enjoy the benefits without any strings attached and the freedom to switch their payment facilitator when a better opportunity arrives.
Consumers must note that the account will only be completely closed after 120 days from the last transaction to eliminate the possibility of a chargeback filed by a customer. The provider will refund the membership charges, but the processing fee will not be returned.
Payment Depot has divided its membership plans into three categories; Basic, Most Popular, Best Value, and Premier Membership Plan.
- The Basic/Starter membership plan is designed for small businesses processing an annual $125,000. It charges a $49 monthly fee with a per-transaction rate of interchange + 0% + $0.15.
- Small to mid-size companies processing up to $250,000 per year are offered the Starter Plus membership plan. They are charged a $79 monthly fee with a per-transaction rate of ‘interchange + 0% + $0.10.’ This plan includes data breach protection and a traditional credit card terminal.
- The Growth/Premier membership costs $99 monthly processing and interchange + 0% + $0.07 per transaction fee. Merchants signing up for this plan are offered a free smart terminal or payment gateway besides data breach protection.
- Large enterprise-level businesses that do not want a processing limit are offered the company’s Unlimited membership. They are charged $199 per month with interchange + 0% + $0.05 per transaction rate. This plan facilitates a dedicated account manager with a free Clover Mini, a premium gateway, and breach protection.
The provider does not charge PCI, application, setup, or account statement fees. According to Payment Depot reviews, businesses that fail to comply with PCI policies are charged a PCI non-compliance fee of $19.99. Consumers with an annual processing volume above the defined limit can request a custom pricing plan. The company does not disclose the rest of its fees.
The official website displays a support form and an FAQ page for merchants as self-service. The company facilitates a 24/7 phone support line. However, calling during business hours is generally recommended since a full-time company representative will likely assist between 8 AM to 5 PM on weekdays.
Payment Depot reviews do not indicate any email support or comprehensive knowledge base. Users facing a technical issue are directed to TSYS or Fiserv, depending on the area of the problem at hand. The provider’s consumer support options do not qualify as industry-leading.
Marketing and Sales
Payment Depot’s primary marketing center is its website. Merchants can find most of its pricing detail on the official website, which is simple, informative, and easy to navigate. The company does not employ independent sales representatives and ISOs to market its brand and mainly depends on an in-house sales team.
Even though the reviewers do not suggest the practice of deceptive marketing tactics, the provider does not enlist all the necessary information. Payment Depo has offered insight into its contract terms and conditions on the website, which could be helpful for new merchants. However, users have complained about incomplete disclosure and concealed information.
Businesses persistent in signing Payment Depot as their payment facilitator must request additional information to avoid future setbacks. They are encouraged to read between the lines and ask all the necessary questions from the appointed sales agent.
Lawsuits and Fines
Currently, there are no FTC complaints or lawsuits cited against Payment Depot. Similarly, no litigious or non-litigious course of action was pursued against the parent company Stax. Although the absence of legal issues does not clear a company’s name from all the negative feedback, it certainly paves the way for its good reputation.
Payment Depot Reviews and Complaints
The payment service provider has received mixed reviews on multiple consumer protection websites. Users have left praises as well as backlash for one thing or another, although the number of complaints is significantly lower. None of the criticisms suggest the company is a scam. Payment Depot actively engages with consumers to understand the issues and try to resolve them. Attempting to satisfy the complainant’s requirements, the COO responded to all the negative reviews. However, whether the matters were resolved or not is unclear.
A significant amount of negative feedback either highlights isolated incidents or revolves around inadequate customer service, unwarned account cancelation, unrealistic claims, account freeze, unnotified price fluctuation, and insufficient information. Users have complained about chargeback issues, hidden fees, confusing compliance policies, and delayed deposits.
Even though there are several positive Payment Depot reviews to sideline the effects of negative remarks, merchants must remember the following drawbacks they may face after signing the agreement with the provider;
Even though, unlike most payment facilitators, the company lists most of its rate structure on the website, there are doubts about price transparency. Bundling pricing is confusing as it does not clarify to merchants how the rate is divided into individual services. Clients never know what their money is being used for.
The company’s website is only accessible in certain areas, and its content is imprecise and oversimplified. Although it gives an overview of Payment Depot’s services and equipment, it fails to shed light on any concrete information that could help merchants determine its significance for their business.
The provider claims not to charge the additional markup and PCI compliance fee, but an in-depth survey of Payment Depot reviews shows that most of these charges are concealed in the membership fees. In reality, users pay a markup in addition to the wholesale processing rate but are mostly unaware of it.
The company promises an affordable package designed individually for each business type. However, it keeps increasing the initially agreed rates without prior notice. Some clients have complained about the PCI compliance fee, which the provider promises not to charge. Furthermore, new merchants are guaranteed considerable savings after switching to Payment Depot, only to face a rapid increment in their processing fees.
Offering self-service options is a great way to enable customers to find their way out of a common difficulty. The saved time and energy can be utilized in a productive task rather than calling multiple customer service representatives. However, Payment Depot reviews show that the provider fails to maintain a support library and does not offer technical self-service options.
Merchants are bound to call or email whenever the slightest problem occurs. They have to wait for hours to resolve the issue they could avoid with the availability of an adequate self-service facility.
Substandard Customer Service
The company’s customer service faced severe setbacks after its acquisition by Stax. Resultantly users face difficulty getting their concerns heard. Moreover, Payment Depot does not offer email support. There isn’t any knowledge base on the official website for merchants to access additional information regarding common occurrences.
Consumers have complained about unanswered and ignored calls, zero callbacks, and ignored emails. They have commented that the customer service representatives keep transferring them from one person to the other like hot potatoes without providing a tangible solution.
Restricted Access to Services
According to Payment Depot reviews, the provider’s services are restricted to U.S.-based businesses; it does not cater to international companies. Moreover, the company does not approve high-risk enterprises and only signs low to medium-risk businesses. However, since its rates are too expensive for companies with a low processing volume, Payment Depot is only feasible for medium-sized merchandise with moderate-level risk exposure.
The provider is moderately rated among its former employees, and there are a few negative reviews to consider. Some frequently cited complaints against the workplace concern limited growth opportunities, low pay, and sub-standard leadership. Employees who shared their experience on the review websites commented that Payment Depo does not encourage vacations and expects them to work after hours without demanding bonuses. Some employees even complained about not getting any lunch breaks.
As suggested in these complaints, Payment Depot is rigid with its employees and does not give them enough credit where it’s due. Failing to offer a friendly and appreciative workplace, the company only prioritizes getting the work done by any means.
Better Business Bureau Ranking
Since its accreditation with Better Business Bureau in 2015, the provider’s rating has changed from A to B+. Payment Depot’s profile on the review platform displays 20 formal complaints and two informal negative reviews from the past few months.
The BBB complaints indicate billing and collection issues, withheld accounts, product malfunction, and unnecessary delays in the cancelation process. The informal complaints circle back to sub-par customer service, withholding of funds, and unauthorized withdrawals. As usual, the provider responds to all the complainants to resolve their issues. Only some of the complaints were solved to the client’s satisfaction.
Unwarned Account Holds
The are a few consumer complaints about uninformed account holds and terminations. It is a huge drawback since it incapacitates merchants from continuing their business, forcing them to remain stuck in the undesired situation for an unknown period. Such unjust actions severely affect the merchant’s good name and damage their ability to offer convenience to their customers.
Payment Depot reviews portray that the provider does not have control over such issues. All merchant accounts are handled by the back-end processor, making it more bothersome for consumers.
A common issue reviewed on BBB is the company’s habit of charging a client’s account without authorization. Multiple customers have complained about unexpected deductions even after they closed their accounts. When inquired, the provider does not purvey an explanation and keeps taking the client’s money. Several complaints about monthly charges being deducted from a merchant account even after contract termination have been posted.
According to Payment Depot reviews on BBB, merchants cannot close their accounts without going through a tiring routine of calling and emailing multiple times without an answer. The provider disregards the client’s requests to cancel the contract, ignoring their uncountable help requests. A few complainants even sent written notice after several calls and emails, but the company did not respond and continued charging monthly payments. Moreover, consumers are often directed to a partner company without initial assistance from the provider.
The provider is a reasonable payment facilitator with a range of valuable services to offer. It is somewhat transparent about its rates, maintaining a good reputation among most consumers. However, as deduced from this Payment Depot review, the company forces unexpected charges on its consumers. It fails to offer timely support and deliberately ignores help requests, leaving clients to find a solution themselves. The company’s habit of making false promises causes trouble on the clients’ end.
Even though the number of complaints against Payment Depo is lower than the positive feedback, merchants are advised to clear all the bases and take necessary precautions to eliminate hidden fees before deciding on a payment facilitator.