Originally established as a bill payment company Billserv and renamed Payment Data Systems after expanding its services, Usio is a U.S.-based merchant account provider headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. It is a Merrick Bank reseller and an authorized ISO/MSP of the Central Bank of St. Louis and Wells Fargo Bank. The company, having offices in New York and California, acquired Singular Payments in 2017 and rebranded to its current name.
Usio purveys payment facilitation to e-commerce, non-profits, government organizations, and retail merchants and offers card-issuing solutions to technology companies. Aiming to revolutionize payment management, the provider brings prepaid solutions and rebuts integrations to the table. It has partnered with multiple software providers to provide more efficient and cost-effective services. Usio’s ‘giving back’ initiative with donations and fund-raising programs to help various non-profits is a way to invest in communities where people can work and thrive.
The company promises tailored features and initiates innovative ideas to help businesses advance and excel in the marketplace. It specializes in assisting merchants on a quick road to revenue and helping them increase footfall. Businesses are offered free consultations to discuss their requirements and understand how the company can benefit them. Here is a thorough Usio review for merchants to gain a better understanding of the perks and drawbacks of signing up with the provider;
Benefits and Services
The provider offers custom-built solutions to multiple industries, including education, legal property management, restaurants, insurance, and software companies. It facilitates merchants with PaaS (Platform as a Service) ACH solutions. Single merchants are provided with flat-rate payment processing to streamline charges, allowing them to accept all payment types without fluctuating processing fees.
Usio accepts cryptocurrency and accommodates card swipers, EMV card readers, mail invoicing, check printing, RCC processing, and text payments. It offers PCI-compliant e-commerce and mobile solutions and lays out loyalty programs to create a meaningful merchant-customer relationship. The company’s fraud prevention services and data reporting features ensure secure checkouts and keep one’s business miles away from scams and data breaches.
iQ Decision Engine
Usio provides an automated platform with an advanced credit decision engine to make decisions based on a company’s policies, helping them save time by minimizing manual work. This decision engine is customized to deliver fast growth strategies and optimize the process to provide a better customer experience. Reducing manual decisions automatically eliminates human error and lowers costs, enabling merchants to focus on their goals without distractions.
Text to Pay
Usio reviews show that the provider enables merchants to offer alternate payment methods to customers with a text-to-pay feature. Merchants can send a text invoice, while customers can store credit information on their phones and pay with one tap. This feature enables customers to respond immediately, making it convenient for both parties and saving them from wasting time on additional steps.
PIN-Less Debit Transactions
The company provides a cost-effective, fast, and convenient alternative payment method, offering instant funding without requiring a PIN entry. With PIN-less debit solutions, merchants can accept all debit card networks and receive instant verification 24/7. They can reduce the waiting time and cash requirement for online funders, pushing funds to the borrower’s card in no time. This service lowers the risk of chargebacks, ensuring secure payments.
Companies, especially healthcare organizations, can store and access multiple documents in one place. The provider being HIPPA compliant, hosts documents, including invoices, store statements, medical records, accounting records, late notices, HR files, delivery tickets, and oil and gas logs. Merchants can secure newsletter templates and logos and protect their documents by keeping a username and password. Furthermore, the company provides a full suite of API integration and customer service tools to keep everything organized, prioritizing customer satisfaction.
Printing and Mailing
Most government agencies, utilities, credit unions, healthcare organizations, and banks are provided with mailing and printing services by including variable data to keep the printed pieces unique for each individual. The provider offers cost-effective colored printing for checks, notices, statements, postcards, newsletters, bills, tax rolls, demand letters, and envelopes. Usio utilizes USPS services to mail invoices at lower postage rates. Merchants are offered real-time reporting on the mail and an online dashboard to track and proof approvals.
Usio Pricing and Contract Intricacies
Merchants are bound to an automatically renewable three-year contract and a tiered pricing plan through Merrick bank. Merchants are charged 1.94% +$0.20 for swiped and 2.28% plus $0.30 for keyed-in credit card transactions. They pay 1.53% plus $0.20 and 1.99% plus $0.35 for swiped and keyed-in debit transactions. Other charges include a $30 application fee, a $25 account fee, and a $25 monthly minimum fee.
The company has not disclosed its virtual terminal rate and has concealed information about the rest of the fees. Furthermore, its early cancelation policies are similar to liquidating damages clause and cost $350 or more depending on various factors, including the time of cancelation.
Marketing Practices and Consumer Service
Usio reviews indicate that the company utilizes the expertise of independent sales institutes to promote and resell its services. Even though this marketing practice receives backlash for obvious reasons, merchants have not accused the company of using deceptive tactics.
The provider has reserved a domestic phone line, an email address, and a contact form for its clients. Merchants can manage their accounts, reach out to the provider, and access consumer support by login into an online portal on the official website. Compared to the top-rated payment facilitators, these options are insufficient, yet Usio has received very few complaints regarding its customer service. However, the lack of complaints is possible because of rebranding.
Usio Reviews and Complaints
The company has maintained a low online complaint rate and has not been accused of deceiving its clients. There are no mentionable negative reviews against Usio, and the few complaints posted by consumers are regarding the high cancelation fee and subpar consumer support. However, merchants may be redirecting their complaints to the partner processor. Furthermore, after rebranding, most old merchants may keep addressing their complaints to the old brand.
Lawsuits and BBB Report
The provider was sued with class action lawsuits in 2014 and 2017 for withholding funds and supporting fraudulent transactions. Both lawsuits are still ongoing without a final verdict.
Usio was accredited by Better Business Bureau as Payment Data Systems in 2011 but is no longer accredited after rebranding. The provider has an A+ rating on its profile with zero formal or informal complaints against it. However, this rating cannot be trusted.
The company lacks adequate customer support options to rank it as a good payment facilitator in the marketplace. It charges a high early termination fee and keeps important information secretive, which are obvious red flags merchants must be aware of. There is evidence of funds withholding and incompetency to stop fraudulent transactions. Here is a Usio review concerning the most common drawbacks of signing up with the company;
New merchants are given zero insight into the company’s rates and the charges they will pay. The provider fails to clarify its contract clauses and other necessary details and does not mention the equipment it offers if it offers any. Consumers cannot determine if the company suits their business and can meet all requirements. The available information is insufficient, lacks transparency, and does not provide as much dependability as new merchants need for their satisfaction.
Early Cancelation Fee and Automatic Renewal
According to Usio reviews, the provider offers a long-term contract that automatically renews if not canceled within 90 days. The automatic renewal clause is a big headache because merchants cannot renegotiate the terms and are forced to remain stuck in the same contract for years without upgrades. If they want any changes, they must cancel the contract and request a new one. It puts immense pressure on a consumer to cancel the agreement on time.
The other drawback connected to this issue is high cancelation charges. The company’s ETF is not fixed and can go higher than expected. When a merchant fails to cancel the contract before the renewal date or wants to try a new service provider, they have to pay a hefty amount to escape, which is unfair. A high ETF is usually a tactic to force merchants to keep using a company’s services.
Inadequate Customer Service
A big company with a large clientele requires exceptional customer service to satisfy its consumers. When a company lacks good customer support, it losses good clients when they cannot reach it to get their queries answered or issues resolved. Resultantly, they feel unheard and start looking for a better payment facilitator they can rely on. Multiple Usio reviews indicate that the company offers limited support options, only available at certain hours.
This Usio review shows that the provider fails to offer a fair contract to its merchants and demands more than it gives. Its pricing is not competitive with the top-rated payment service providers, and the high ETF, along with the auto-renewal clause for a long-term contract, is unjustified. The spotless complaint record is only because merchants still refer to it with its old brand name, and some consumers still direct their complaints to the partner processor. Merchants are advised to look for a better service provider that fits their needs or negotiate with the company and find a middle ground.