Payments by Wave was founded in 2009 by Kirk Simpson. Today a co-founder is working as the company’s CEO. This credit card processing service was offered by a Toronto-based software provider called Wave Accounting Acc. Its headquarters are in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The company introduced itself as a reliable payment solution for small businesses compared to other alternatives and branched into multiple tertiary services. Initially, its services as an accounting software included Wave Invoice, payroll, Wave Receipts, personal finance, and integration with PayPal. Most of them were free of cost. If not free, it went for a lesser price than other alternatives for the features like Payroll, Accounting, Tax management, and Wave Money.
It launched a new set of services in 2012 as a reseller of Vantiv’s payment processing solutions for US-based small online businesses. Payments by Wave is a credit card processing tool initially built with Stripe credit card processing. This advanced product optimally integrates with Wave Accounting software, solving many of the problems of merchants who want to use both services together. However, the mobile payment services for IOS are still under beta testing.
Payments by Wave introduced itself to promote an easy month-to-month billing system. This way, merchants save themselves from getting trapped in long-term contracts. Merchants are not charged with PCI compliance and early termination fees.
However, like most providers, it also comes with a few setbacks. In these issues, billing disputes and chargebacks are a great deal, and it somewhat decides the provider’s reputation.
Having covered the basics, this Payments by Wave review will help you conclude if it seamlessly squares with your business.
Services of the Provider
Payments by Wave was just an accounting software until 2012. Now, it serves several businesses, mainly small retailers, on monthly terms and flat fees. It performs integrated payment processing through Vantiv along with its essential tertiary services. Below you’ll find an exclusive review of its services.
Payment Processing through Vanitv
As discussed earlier, Payments by Wave functions as a reseller of Vantiv, which is associated with The Fifth Third Bank, N.A of Cincinnati, Ohio, and uses it as its acquiring bank. Retailers integrate Vanitv Payments with the company’s accounting software invoice functionality to operate this service. It is necessary to consider that Vanitv’s payment processing service is just a part of the service and not the primary offering of Payments by Wave.
Wave encourages merchants to use its payment service while sending invoices to the customers rather than Vantiv or any other service. Most of the other providers outsource these operations to the backend processor.
Payment Processing by Wave
Although Vantiv offers merchant account services, Wave performs as a point of contact for them. That being said, Wave decides the pricing of the services. Through Wave, merchants can process Visa, Discover, MasterCard, American Express, and ACH. Different flat rates are applied to each card based on the interchange set by their organization. It offers a set of tertiary services with payment processing to its merchants; you can review them below;
Wave Accounting is free-of-cost accounting software that manages small businesses by integrating with bank accounts, Payment processing, and other accounting tasks.
Wave Receipts easily integrate with Wave accounting and help scan and post all payment receipts to customers. These receipts can be stored for future business records as well.
Wave Payments offers the merchants to invoice the customers. Wave invoices can be sent once or set as recurring invoicing. The software also allows you to update the invoices with design changes like logos, color schemes, and templates. You can send invoices for different currencies too. With only a mobile or desktop device, Wave Invoicing easily integrates with Wave Accounting to update the changes.
Wave Money is an online bank account that keeps all transaction records and synchronizes with Wave Accounting.
Wave also provides professional advisory services to the merchants to discuss the matters like accounting and tax.
Wave Payroll was also launched in 2012 before Wave Payments to handle the back business projects like employee pay, deposits, and tax filing. It also manages an employee portal to enter personal information, W2 forms, and Paystubs.
Contract and Terms of the Provider
Although Payments by Wave resells the services of Vantiv, its terms are pretty competitive compared to Vantiv. Despite long-term contracts, this company offers a month-to-month billing system to its customers. Keeping it transparent, Payments by Wave offers flat fees and cancel PCI compliance and early termination fee.
Prices and Fees of Payments by Wave
Payments by Wave provides clear-cut and straightforward pricing plans to save the merchants from confusion regarding the payment structure. As reviewed by merchants, the unambiguous fee structure is well received by clients and online reviews.
Visa, Master Card, and Discover transactions are keyed-in to a flat 2.9%+$0.30 rate. At the same time, American Express is charged as 3.4%+$0.30. ACH payments come at a 1% fee per transaction. However, there is a limitation to ACH transactions. The minimum limit is set up to $1. In this context, all ACH transactions by the Wave from $0.01$ to 100% are charged a flat rate of $1. There is another feature where Payments by Wave allows users direct bank-to-bank transactions with the flat 1% deduction rate. Yet, Payments by Wave reviews show that this is not entirely efficient. Feedback shows that payments sometimes face excessive delays using this method.
Another feature that makes this provider an inexpensive choice is that it has no PCI compliance and no early termination fee. Plus, account setup and gateway setup are entirely free. Merchants are free to use this provider without any monthly or batch fee.
There is no compulsion on merchants to use a credit card terminal for low fees. Merchants can avail the robust invoicing feature to make secure B2C transactions through online means.
Customer support is offered through almost the same means as the other providers. However, the efficiency of customer support depends on the representatives. Wave reviews have brought some negative points to attention. It has no dedicated contact information for customer support on its website. The customer support of Wave deals with payment-related problems and offers minimal help with account support. There are certain mediums it uses to contact its users.
Unlike the other providers in the market, it does not provide live support 24/7. Unfortunately, the company’s representatives are available only during office hours and working days. That makes the live chat support available eight hours a day for six days a week. According to the eastern time zone, you can consult live with the representatives from 9 am to 5 pm between Monday to Friday.
Its website has informative documents to understand the company’s basic concept and get along with the system. However, it only provides introductory information like the mission and whereabouts of the company. Merchants and online sources applaud the provider for the transparent payment terms and precise figures. There are no misleading figures used mentioning pricing or contract terms.
Apart from the live chat, and e-mail address is also provided on the website of Wave. Merchants can submit their queries anytime they face an issue through this e-mail. However, the customer support representatives are most likely to respond during office hours only.
The company also uses social media mediums like Facebook for advertising purposes. Wave primarily uses social media to announce the latest updates and changes in the system.
Reviews and Rating of Payments by Wave
There are many formal and informal reviews filed against the Payments by Wave. Merchants have used the sources like BBB, Google Reviews, and other informal sites to submit their reviews. Based on these ratings, Payments by Wave acquires an average assessment compared to other alternatives. The company usually discusses and replies to the complaints filed against it; still, some issues remain unresolved.
Better Business Bureau has authorized Wave on their website since September 2013. The company acquired an A+ rating there, with 101 complaints filed against it in all these years. Out of 101 reviews, 73 discuss the service issues, 23 represent billing disputes, four are filed against delivery issues, and 1 describes sales problems.
Of these complaints, 58 were professionally dealt with by the system representatives and solved ultimately. However, the remaining 43 were either left unnoticed or solving process terminated without adequately handling it.
On Google, it acquires an average rating of 2.8 stars, with almost 100 complaints filed against it. Most reviews discuss the company’s negative aspects, including account termination, fund holding, and customer service issues.
Besides BBB and Google, it also holds informal complaints against it on various online platforms. About 25+ comments are imposing negative charges on the company.
No formal lawsuit addressing any aspect of the company is yet filed against Payments by Wave.
Setbacks of the Company
Based on all the reviews reported by merchants till today, specific issues seem to affect the overall performance of the provider. Customer service, fund holding, and account termination are the significant issues impacting the merchant’s trust in the company.
Poor Customer Service
Unfortunately, Payments by Wave fails to publicly offer formal contact information to the merchants. However, the representatives address many reported complaints and resolve them quickly. Still, unresolved ones can’t be ignored. Some retailers mentioned difficulty finding contact numbers, and problem resolutions often come at extensive delays. Wave Accounting may have a better service in dealing with the customers, but Payments by Wave is not trusted as a top-notch customer service by the users.
Some retailers reported termination of the account after one transaction, and the company flagged them as high-risk accounts. Often these account restrictions come unexpected, regardless of how long the merchant was signed up with Wave.
Merchants have faced holds on credit card transactions that can last for months. There is no certainty given if it will be restored or not. Besides, no response to the retailers’ e-mails and the unavailability of a contact number increase the customers’ frustration.
Challenges for high-Risk businesses
There are many restrictions applied to high-risk merchants by the company. Many complications occur when opening a high-risk account or processing a transaction. The most significant issue is the excessive waiting time and proof needed in the form of documents.
No integration with credit card readers
Payments by Wave does not integrate with any credit card readers. It is ideally suited for either manually entered or online transactions.
Incompatibility with digital wallet
Payments by Wave does not work with all digital wallets. Although it works seamlessly with Apple Pay, Google Wallet and Samsung Pay are out of the services.
Payments by Wave is considered a transparent and reliable credit card processor in terms of pricing details and advertising. It is not the cheapest, but the offered prices are considered reasonable in the market. The system easily syncs with Wave accounting to integrate with various other services. Another positive point is the fast funding. It completes the transaction and processing in merely two days. Recurring invoices are offered for the standard regular charges.
The company uses Vantiv as its backend merchant account provider, and Vantiv has quite a low rating compared to Wave itself. Plus, the system’s setbacks like account freezing, poor customer service, and termination of accounts certainly cannot be ignored.
Based on the Payments by Wave review above, it is not a good choice for high-risk merchants as the account is always on the verge of termination. Payments by Wave can be an adequate solution for daily transaction needs if you are a small business owner and already use Wave services. Otherwise, better options are available in the market at better pricing and more features.