For your business to be able to accept credit cards, you’ll have to work with a merchant services provider. Regardless of the specific provider or service you choose, the entity that you work with will enable you to process payments and provide you with the tools you need to do so. As accepting credit cards payments has become more or less a necessity for businesses, the number of merchant services offerings on the market has grown, meaning you have a variety of options to choose from.
With all of these different solutions, however, it can be more difficult to determine which payment processing company will best fulfill your business’s needs. You might consider, therefore, a U.S.-based provider that is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, like Card Payment Solutions (CPS). In this review, we’ll walk you through the merchant services offered by Card Payment Solutions for small businesses. We’ll explore the features of the CPS service, their pricing, and discuss Card Payment Solutions reviews from customers. Plus, we’ll offer top merchant services alternatives, so that you have all of the information you need to determine if Card Payment Solutions is right for your business.
Card Payment Solutions: The Basics
Founded in 2002, Card Payment Solutions is a merchant services provider based in South Carolina (not to be confused with the very similarly named CardPayment Solutions out of California) that offers various payment processing options for businesses. CPS services can allow you to accept credit cards, in-person or online, as well as provide your business with a merchant account and check processing. Card Payment Solutions also has the ability to reprogram any point of sale hardware you already have with their service. Moreover, CPS is a reseller of POS hardware like card readers and scanners, in addition to full POS systems, like Clover.
Card Payment Solutions Features
Now that we’ve given a brief overview of Card Payment Solutions, let’s dive deeper into their product offerings and features. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of detailed information available on the Card Payment Solutions website, or on the internet as a whole. As we’ll discuss further when we examine pricing, Card Payment Solutions is a quote-based provider and therefore they encourage business owners to contact them directly for more in-depth information. This being said, however, here are the known features of the CPS service:
At the heart of CPS is credit card processing. Card Payment Solutions allows your business to accept credit card payments, whether as a card present or card not present transaction. For businesses that will be accepting credit cards in person, CPS provides you with all of the tools necessary to process these payments, including a merchant account, POS system, or terminal hardware.
If your business needs to process card not present transactions—mail order, phone orders, and online orders, Card Payment Solutions can allow you to do so with a virtual terminal or payment gateway. CPS will also provide a merchant account with these services as well.
Furthermore, in addition to credit card processing, CPS offers check services, enabling business to accept traditional paper checks.
Point of Sale Systems
For retail stores, restaurants, or other brick-and-mortar businesses that need more than just the ability to accept credit card payments, Card Payment Solutions resells complete POS systems packaged with their payment processing services. You have the option of buying the Clover Station or Mini, as well as system called Complete POS directly from Card Payment Solutions.
Both countertop POS systems, the Clover Station, and Mini can operate with either of Clover’s software options: Clover Register Lite or Clover Register. On the whole, the Clover POS system allows you to accept all forms of payment, ring up items and manage customer orders, set employee permissions and shifts, track sales and reports, access integrations in the Clover App market, and more.
According to the CPS website, the Complete POS is a touch point of sale system with multiple screen display options, as well as a mobile handheld device offering. This system includes a point of sale software that allows you to build a menu, list items, manage orders, utilize rewards and loyalty programs, track employee time, and accept multiple payment types. For restaurants and delivery business, Complete POS can manage tips, reservations and waitlists, and online ordering.
Moreover, if you already have a POS terminal or software, Card Payment Solutions can integrate their payment processing as part of their reprogramming service. CPS will reconfigure your existing systems to work with your CPS merchant account.
Card Readers and Additional Hardware
In addition to the full POS systems that Card Payment Solutions offers as a reseller, they also give you the ability to purchase two different card readers to use with their processing service to accept in-person payments. CPS offers the PAXS80 EMV pin pad terminal, as well as the PAXS90 wireless mobile payment terminal. Furthermore, you can also purchase kitchen printers and barcode scanners from Card Payment Solutions to utilize with your other POS hardware devices.
Ecommerce and Online Payment Solutions
Although Card Payment Solutions states that they offer card not present services, they do not provide any other information on their online payment and ecommerce offerings. On their website, they write, “also we focus on ecommerce solutions” as well as “we can create a customized web commerce site for your business,” however, other than these statements, they don’t elaborate on their ecommerce functionality.
With Card Payment Solutions, you’ll receive personalized customer service, even if you purchase one of their reseller products, like Clover. CPS provides you with a dedicated account representative, as well as customer support via phone.
Card Payment Solutions Pricing
As we mentioned earlier, by all accounts Card Payment Solutions operates on a quote-based pricing structure, meaning you have to contact the sales team at CPS directly to get a cost that has been developed specifically for your business. This being said, as with their general service features, Card Payment Solutions doesn’t offer much information with regard to pricing on their website, other than the explanation of their “zero fee program.”
With this program, you do not pay the credit card processing fees that you’ll see with other payment providers. Instead, CPS adds a 3.99% service fee onto every transaction that is paid for by the customer. This zero fee program operates under the idea that as opposed to charging customers to use a credit card, you’re offering a discount for those who want to pay in cash. Card Payment Solutions helps their merchants implement this program, explaining the actions needed to get everything correctly set up.
In regards to the zero fee program, CPS states that you only have to pay “a small monthly program fee,” but does not provide any further information. Additionally, they state there are no annual, transaction, statement, processing, authorization, or online access fees.
Furthermore, although Card Payment Solutions doesn’t provide information on the cost to purchase POS hardware from them, we know that when purchasing directly from Clover, the Clover Mini starts at $599, plus the cost of the Clover software, which starts at $14 per month. Additionally, credit card readers like the ones offered by CPS can cost anywhere from $25 to $50.
Overall, it’s difficult to say exactly how much it will cost to use Card Payment Solutions as your merchant services provider. Although the CPS website focuses greatly on their zero fee program, it doesn’t provide much information in regards to any other costs you might incur with their service. In order to learn more in terms of pricing, therefore, you’ll have to contact CPS directly.
Pros of Card Payment Solutions
Since we have very limited information regarding the extent of Card Payment Solutions services and pricing, it’s difficult to accurately evaluate what they have to offer for business owners. However, taking this into consideration, we can say that the biggest strengths of CPS seem to be their payment processing options and zero fee program. Card Payment Solutions can accommodate in-person and card not present transactions, in addition to traditional checks. Furthermore, CPS can work with any existing hardware or software that you have and integrate it with their service, for no additional cost.
Although zero fee programs are often controversial and involve many fine print details, if you’re interested in this type of processing structure, you might find this a beneficial part of the CPS service—especially considering that Card Payment Solutions directly helps you implement the program.
Cons of Card Payment Solutions
The lack of available, transparent information regarding Card Payment Solutions is first and foremost the most substantial drawback of this provider. Because CPS doesn’t offer in-depth information about their services and pricing, it’s difficult to compare their solution to others on the market and leaves business owners open to face misleading sales tactics when contacting CPS directly.
Additionally, although the zero fee program may seem appealing for cutting business costs, this type of pricing structure, as we mentioned, is at best, controversial. Even though you avoid transaction fees with this program, many providers will charge substantial monthly, compliance, or other fees. Moreover, this zero fee process can only be applied to credit cards, and not any other payment types, meaning you’ll still be paying fees for any debit card and mobile payment processing. Not to mention, there are ongoing legal discussions regarding zero fee initiatives, plus, as this concept involves passing processing fees onto consumers, you’re at risk of incurring backlash from your customers.
Taking these points into consideration, there doesn’t seem to be reasoning to support choosing Card Payment Solutions over another merchant services provider. Marketplace competitors, as we’ll discuss, can offer you transparent solutions that will fulfill your business’s payment processing needs at a reasonable cost.
Card Payment Solutions Reviews
Before we break down alternatives to Card Payment Solutions, it’s worth noting that just as there is very limited information available online about CPS, it’s also difficult to find Card Payment Solutions reviews from customers. One of the only evident places to find commentary on CPS is on the BBB website, which lists one customer complaint and no reviews. In this complaint, the customer writes that CPS continued to charge them money after they cancelled their account. In response to this complaint, a CPS representatives writes that per the merchant agreement, the customer must pay any fees owed after close. In terms of positive Card Payment Solutions reviews, the only ones that are readily available are the testimonials found on CPS’s own website. Once again, the lack of information regarding CPS, even from third-party sources, is important to keep in mind.
Card Payment Solutions Alternatives
If you’re looking for a merchant services provider that offers more information about their products and pricing than Card Payment Solutions, you have a variety of options to choose from. Whether you need a full-service POS system or strictly payment processing for your ecommerce website, there are CPS competitors that can meet your business needs. Here are a few top providers to consider:
There’s a reason why Square is one of the top players in the small business space. Not only does Square provide services for numerous different payment processing needs, but they’re known for their ease of use and availability of information.
Square offers their all-inclusive point of sale software, with payment processing included, as well as a handful of different hardware options. Their basic POS software is free to use—you’ll only pay Square fees per transaction, varying only depending on the way the payment is entered. On the other hand, if you need online-specific processing, Square offers their own payment platform, where you can customize your payment solution to suit your online business. Furthermore, Square recently relaunched their Online Store, which allows you to not only accept payments online, but create a full ecommerce experience. Once again, online ecommerce payments will cost a flat processing rate of 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction and Square only charges additional fees for higher level or specified services.
More than likely, therefore, Square offers a service that can work for your business. Plus, as we mentioned, Square offers an abundant amount of information about their solutions, as well as access to their support center and customer service contacts. Ultimately, for a tried-and-true payment services provider, you can’t go wrong with Square.
On the other hand, if you think you’d prefer a Card Payment Solutions alternative that’s formatted more like a traditional merchant services provider, you might consider Payment Depot. In fact, Payment Depot’s services and product offerings greatly parallel CPS, with the exception that Payment Depot has readily available information and a detailed, transparent pricing structure.
With Payment Depot, you receive a merchant account and can choose the payment processing solution you need: full POS system, mobile POS terminal or card reader, virtual terminal or online payment gateway. Like CPS, Payment Depot resells Clover products, as well as other hardware options. Unlike CPS, however, they list the cost of these tools directly on their website.
In terms of pricing, Payment Depot operates on a subscription basis where you pay a monthly fee for your plan, in addition to payment processing costs. Payment Depot offers four different plans, ranging from $49 to $199 per month. For the most basic plan, Payment Depot charges $0.15 plus interchange per transaction—these fees decrease with the higher plan levels. Furthermore, in their $49 per month Basic plan, they include free reprogramming of existing equipment, as well as a free payment gateway.
At the end of the day, therefore, Payment Depot is a worthy alternative to Card Payment Services—offering a straight-forward pricing system and a variety of processing solutions to meet the needs of different businesses.
Card Payment Solutions: The Bottom Line
Ultimately, the merchant services provider you work with will greatly impact the way your business operates—affecting the payments you can accept, the fees that you’ll pay per transaction, and more. Because payment processing is so integral to your business, it’s important to know exactly what you can expect from your service and be able to make your decision after considering all of the information available online, including customer reviews. This being said, therefore, it’s difficult to say that Card Payment Solutions is the right option for small businesses over any of the other payment services on the market.
Unfortunately, Card Payment Solutions does not provide enough information on their website to instill any confidence in their services or pricing. Although you can certainly reach out to CPS directly to learn more about what they have to offer, we’d recommend first exploring alternatives with robust solutions, verifiable reputations, and a vast availability of information. Whether you need an all-inclusive point of sale system or simply an online payment gateway, we’re confident that you’ll be able to find a transparent provider that will work well for your business.