Stax Review: Rates, Fees, Complaints, and Lawsuits
Stax Payments, or simply Stax, is a U.S.-based merchant account provider headquartered in Orlando, Florida. Established in 2013, Stax offers its subscription-based services to all business types. It is a verified ISO/MSP of Fifth Third Bank and a Worldpay reseller. Initially starting as Sunshine Payment Services, the provider changed its name to Fattmerchant, Fatt standing for ‘Fast Affordable Transaction Technology.’
In 2020, the company rebranded to its current name after creating a new logo and remodeling the official website. It is especially suitable for high-volume e-commerce businesses with annual processing of a minimum of $500,000. As the company claims, merchants processing high volumes are offered valuable discounts. Stax expanded itself by acquiring multiple competitors, including Payment Depot and CardX, in 2021. Although the provider took over their clients, both companies kept their brand names.
Stax Payments aims to empower all businesses, regardless of the type and size, by providing them with an all-in-one platform. It trains a team of well-informed enthusiasts readily available to assist clients’ needs and help them find real solutions. By facilitating a seamless payment experience, the company enables consumers to focus on the bigger picture. This way, they can reach their goals and be ahead of the game instead of dealing with everyday minor issues.
The company prides itself on going the extra mile for clients’ satisfaction. It purveys tailored solutions compatible with unique business requirements to ensure all its customers find equal growth opportunities. Here is a detailed Stax review listing its pros and cons for consumers to determine if it is the right choice for their business;
StaxProducts and Services
By utilizing the services of partner companies and third-party facilitators, the provider accommodates all business types and processes major credit card brands. It facilitates mobile and e-commerce transactions by offering tech-savvy virtual terminals and mobile apps. The omnichannel payment processor is equipped to cater to card-present and card-not-present transactions. Even though it is not a direct processor, Stax offers a full-fledged merchant account.
Merchants are provided with various technology-oriented features and robust tools to be aware of every aspect of their business and track each transaction. It enables them to eliminate potential threats and avoid setbacks. When reviewed, the Stax toolkit contains valuable features to cover all demands. It includes online invoicing, multi-channel reporting, payment integration, business analytics, inventory management, and gateway and shopping cart integration. Here is an overview of what to expect as a Stax merchant;
With Stax API, developers can integrate the company’s processing capabilities into their software or mobile app to accept payments through their website. Consumers can direct customers to the provider’s hosted site to avoid keeping customers’ data in their system. Stax also offers terminal integration for businesses to add the company’s terminal to their existing system and process seamless transactions in-store.
According to Stax review, the provider initiates an invoicing feature enabling businesses to send online invoices, set future scheduled invoices, and set recurring invoices. The details are automatically filled in by syncing the customer’s database. However, the provider does not offer advanced features; its technical aspects are more likely beginner-level.
With Stax Pay, merchants can create a link with their desired criteria and send it to customers through email, text, or social media to start accepting contactless payments. They can specify the payment methods and transaction limit and add personalized fields. Users can save a customer’s payment information online, access it later, and track payments anywhere on a user-friendly dashboard. Text2Pay, Google Pay, and Apple Pay are some of the compatible payment apps for contactless payments through Stax.
Equipment and Hardware
Merchants are offered a complete point-of-sale system with Clover and Dejavoo terminal series to accept credit card payments. They can accept chip, swipe, and contactless payments and serve customers at the table with the handheld terminal. Connectable through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, the Clover Station Due has a dual-facing colored touch screen allowing users to enhance sales transparency and build customer trust.
Stax reviews suggest the company facilitates Swipe Simple mobile card reader compatible with iOS and Android. It supports EMV and tap-to-pay mobile and card payments. Merchants can utilize Google Pay and Apple Pay and accept payments anywhere without setting up a traditional terminal. Other efficient equipment by the provider includes the Dejavoo QD series, Clover Flex, Clover Mini, Clover Station Solo, and QD2 and QD4 Dejavoo.
Consumers can avail of the terminal protection plan and get the terminal repaired free of cost or replace it in case of defects, malfunction, wear and tear, cosmetic damage, or accidental impairment.
With the company’s e-commerce tools, consumers can expand their reach to online customers by building an easy-to-navigate online store. They can sync sensitive data, purchases, and catalog items with QuickBooks, compare product trends, add a pre-designed cart, and integrate with multiple payment gateways. Stax reviews indicate that the company purveys detailed reporting and inventory management features, enabling clients to keep track of their online and offline stores. They can review customers’ purchases and monitor the most active daytime to make well-informed changes.
Merchants can look through multiple loan options to receive favorable funding with acceptable terms. Stax Capital is a platform for small businesses to choose from diverse financial support options for their growing needs and gain the ability to expand their business. Whether a merchant is short of money to hire more staff, pay taxes, launch a new store, purchase equipment, or renovate, Stax offers capital for all purposes.
Rates and Contract
The company’s official website does not offer insight into its rates and contract details. According to Stax reviews, small businesses are facilitated with an all-in-one pricing package, while merchants with high-volume processing are offered multiple subscription-based packages depending on their business type, size, and processing needs. The provider promises zero markups but fails to give further details and price transparency.
The provider purveys variable contract terms depending on the client’s preference. A standard Stax agreement binds merchants to a three-year time with an automatic two-year renewal clause and punitive charges. The official website also mentions a month-to-month contract with zero cancelation charges. Merchants are encouraged to read the agreement carefully before signing it to avoid any future misunderstandings.
Early Termination Charges
The company claims zero cancelation penalties but does not clarify the terms and conditions. As gathered from Stax reviews, merchants signing up for a month-to-month contract are excused from ETF. However, to land a three-year contract, consumers are subjected to a liquidated damages clause with strict cancelation penalties. This could confuse new merchants as the provider does not mention these details thoroughly.
The provider offers a subscription-based pricing plan that can be customized for businesses processing more than $5000,000 annually. Stax prides itself on charging 0% markup on interchange costs and offers competitive rates to all business sizes. Along with the subscription charges, merchants pay a per-transaction fee for each payment. Moreover, SaaS companies are facilitated with tailored rates through Stax Connect, a platform designed to purvey integrated payment solutions. However, these rates are not disclosed on the website.
Merchants can request a rate quote by providing initial processing information. This will help them understand how much to set aside to pay for payment processing through Stax.
Small businesses with annual processing of up to $500,000 are offered three subscription packages. Additionally, they are charged a per-transaction processing fee of $0.08 plus an interchange fee for swiped transactions and $0.15 plus an interchange fee for keyed-in transactions. Here is an overview of the three subscription plans;
- The growth plan costs $99 per-month and offers a free terminal and mobile reader, next-day funding, PCI compliance tools, and basic analytics.
- The pro plan facilitates enhanced analytics capabilities, digital invoicing, Text2Pay, payment links on the website, software and QuickBooks integration, recurring billing option, and API key integration for $150 per month.
- For $199 per month, the ultimate subscription plan accommodates automatic card updates, advanced reporting, catalog management, and customer support through a dedicated account manager.
According to the Stax reviews, these subscription plans are automatically renewed after each interval. Users can cancel the subscription anytime before they are billed for the next term. The company considers refunding under specific circumstances.
Regardless of the subscription plan, consumers can benefit from add-on features such as surcharging, one-click shopping carts, digital gift cards, same-day funding, and terminal protection for an additional cost. Stax does not demand PCI compliance, batch, monthly minimum, gateway, or statement fees.
The provider’s hardware charges are unclear. A standard agreement includes a free terminal or mobile card reader. There is a hint of a $300 corded card reader, and some reviews indicate the possibility of long-term equipment leasing. However, the information is not transparent.
Stax reviews portray that merchants can process ACH transactions by paying a per-transaction rate of $0.25 for standard and $1,50 for expedited payments. All Stax merchant accounts are offered the same rates for whatever subscription they avail.
Consumer Support Options
The provider maintains a comprehensive knowledge base on the website. It comprises detailed insight into the products and services it offers. Merchants can access email support through a digital ticketing system. They can benefit from the 24/7 phone support from a U.S.-based support team. Stax has also displayed a live chat option and a support form on the official website.
The company’s social media handles cover video testimonials, tutorials, and instructional clips. Moreover, there is a company blog for consumers to learn about Stax and what it stands for. Even though most payment facilitators with large clientele tend to lack efficient customer support, the provider is equipped with most consumer support options and hardly receives complaints from this department.
Sales and Advertisement
The provider does not rely on independently-hired sales representatives and trains an in-house sales team to promote its brand. Traditional marketing and a consumer-friendly online signup process help the provider reach new clients. Stax has an active web presence on multiple social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The company has a YouTube channel with the latest informative videos and testimonials.
Since the provider does not hire outside sales agents, the complaints against its marketing practices are not widespread. A link on the website directs to the contract information and pricing details. However, Stax does not provide interchange rate transparency. Merchants are advised to seek assistance from a sales representative instead of signing up online to gather maximum information regarding the compatibility of their business with the provider.
Lawsuits and Fines
Stax reviews do not indicate worth-mentioning FTC complaints or lawsuits filed against the provider in the past few years. The company has maintained its good mark in the payment processing industry without coming across any litigious actions from its employees or clients. It could be that the payment facilitator keeps its clients satisfied or that none of its wrongdoings were problematic enough to stir legal action.
Stax Reviews and Complaints
Even though the company has maintained a low complaint volume, there has been a sudden escalation in the negative reviews for Stax’s consumer support and sales practices. Other commonly cites issues are hidden charges, high fees, partial transparency, and confusing contract terms. Consumers have also complained about facing unjustifiable difficulties in account cancelation, and the provider’s sales team has received its fair share of backlash.
Some isolated comments hint at the payment processor’s misleading tactics and false information displays. However, Stax makes an effort to take notice of consumer complaints and reply to negative comments. Yet, the promise of resolving complaints is unclear. Here is a detailed review of the shortcomings faced by the company’s clients;
Restricted Customer Support
Although the provider is equipped to offer most consumer support options, these facilities are not for everyone. Its dedicated account managers only assist clients with the ultimate subscription plan. All the other clients are offered ticket-based email support. The knowledge base on the official website mostly has old articles and worn-out information and does not include the company’s latest branding.
Users have complained about customer service going downhill after the merger. They have commented about being ghosted by the support representative whenever an issue arises. Most negative Stax reviews revolve around zero callbacks and irresponsible attitude. The chat feature on the website keeps notifying that no representative is available to assist.
Unsuitable for Small Businesses
The payment processor accommodates all business types and offers the required services, yet its rates are significantly expensive for small-scale companies. Its standard agreement is somewhat feasible for merchants processing up to $5 million annually, and those with a higher processing volume can access customized payment plans. But the provider does not specify anything for consumers processing below the standard limit. Some users have also experienced constant price fluctuations.
Small business owners who process around $10,000 monthly are better off with a payment facilitator designed for the said business type.
The company claims to offer complete transparency and has linked its contract details and processing charges on the official website. Yet, Stax reviews show that this so-called price transparency is restricted to overall monthly fees and a few other generic costs. The provider does not give insight into equipment lease terms, product rates, and chargeback fees.
Consumers are deprived of a complete disclosure regarding account statements for each transaction and their interchange fees. The company denies all requests for any additional information.
Stax has a limited reach; its services are only available to U.S.-based merchants. Although it seems unconcerned, it can be an issue for businesses with an international presence. Singing up a payment service provider with a restricted approach narrows down a company’s options and restrains its growth. Consequently, Stax is a reasonable payment facilitator for local businesses. It is not an option for customers planning to spread their wings to off-shore opportunities.
Users have reported paying PCI compliance charges when the provider claims a zero% compliance fee. They complain about being promised services that do not exist and being exposed to unrealistic prices. The provider professes not to charge a markup on its processing fee, but multiple Stax reviews show that it demands it like all payment processors. The difference is that the company slips it cleverly with other charges.
Some merchants even accuse Stax of fraud and lies. The facilitator claims that its processing time ranges between 2 to 3 days, but clients have experienced weekly delays. Most of the company’s declarations seem to be pure bluffs.
A recurring complaint is found on multiple consumer protection websites blaming Stax for stealing customers’ money. The provider keeps signing users into new programs without permission and deducting the monthly charges after the client has canceled the contract. Merchants have complained about multiple bogus charges on their statements and zero refunds.
There are not many Stax reviews from former employees, so it is hard to decipher its workplace ethics. Some complaints suggest that the provider micromanages employees and believes in aggressive leadership tactics. Employees have posted about arrogant team leads, low pay, conservative administration, and a dull workplace environment. No unconventional suggestion is appreciated since the new investors took over the company; anyone with a different perspective is fired or isolated.
The provider was rated A+ since its accreditation by BBB in 2020 and currently displays 72 formal and 28 informal customer complaints. The negative feedback revolves around unresponsive customer service, lack of refunds, product issues, technical defaults, hidden charges, and negligent sales representatives. Deceiving rates, billing issues, uninformed price increments, and funds withholdings are other commonly cited problems on the review platform.
The company keeps advertising a fixed subscription rate and several other monthly charges but does not reveal a list of concealed fees to the clients. There are several Stax reviews about customers finding unexpected payments each month. The provider keeps billing merchants for unmentioned services and demanding them to pay without inquiring about the charges appearing on their monthly statements.
Unprofessional Sales Practices
As gathered from the consumer complaints, the company is guilty of employing irresponsible sales representatives and practicing deceptive marketing tactics. Multiple users have posted about the sales agent ignoring their calls and failing to respond. They prolong the matter for weeks before promising to look into the matter, only to disappear again for days. The company promises customers of consistent prices but blindsight them with a sudden increase in monthly fees.
The consumer protection platform has received complaints about technical difficulties with the equipment. Users have written about incorrect programming of the terminals, prohibiting funds deposits and leading to uncredited transactions. Others have mentioned that the provider does not rely on the feature to type banking information twice to reduce errors. This causes several declined requests, stressing merchants and their customers.
According to Stax reviews, the company refuses to look into developmental hurdles and add advanced features, making it even more frustrating.
Account Cancelation Issues
The provider has a habit of dragging the cancelation process for months, disabling consumers to move forward with their business. It fails to provide an easy way out to clients and surprises them with a list of hefty charges for services they never heard of before. Several complaints on BBB indicate withheld funds before account cancelation and Stax’s refusal to speed up the process. Consumers are not given satisfactory solutions, and the concerned department bushes away their queries.
Even though Stax has received positive feedback, the context of negative reviews against it makes consumers hesitant to trust it with their business. The company’s inability to provide attentive assistance and resolve complaints makes one question its professionalism. As deduced from this Stax review, the provider is only suitable for enterprise-level businesses that can afford to deal with unresponsive behavior and rate inconsistencies.
Small businesses looking for a hassle-free payment processing experience are encouraged to find a service provider equipped to prioritize clients and their requirements. They must read the contract thoroughly and demand complete disclosure before signing up with any payment facilitator.