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PaymentSense

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Monday, July 30th, 2018
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What We Like

PaymentSense offers a quick set up and easy to use equipment.

What We Didn't Like

PaymentSense fails to disclose all of its pricing, and there are many customer complaints about deceptive sales practices and hidden terms and fees.


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Marketing

Sales

Support

Pricing

Overall

Overview

Based in London and founded in 2010, PaymentSense is an independent sales organization and merchant service provider of First Data, which is one of the largest payment processor’s in the United States. Serving more than 30,000 businesses in the UK, PaymentSense offers countertop, online, and mobile payment solutions.

George Karibian and Jan Farrons founded PaymentSense because they understood what it was like for small businesses to be burdened with high credit card processing fees. When they created the company, it was designed to serve small businesses with little or no experience in the credit card processing industry.

The company aims its services at small businesses. Some business owners may have little or no experience with card processing technology. Additionally, PaymentSense states it can set up a merchant with a card machine in three days and a payment gateway or virtual terminal in as little as 24 hours.

Marketing

It advertises no misleading rates, and we didn’t see them market any deceptive advertising strategies. Also, it is fairly active on Facebook, using the social media page to promote services and to engage with customers. Basically, it shares the same information on Twitter.

Honesty

Though we didn’t see anything false or misleading on its site, there are many complaints of hidden fees, undisclosed terms, as well as reports of dishonest, and unscrupulous employees.

Sales

Similar to many independent sales organizations, PaymentSense expands its customer base by using resellers and telemarketers. Unfortunately, this leads to many customer service issues and complaints. Many of the complaints about PaymentSense are about aggressive sales tactics, undisclosed terms, and false and unfulfilled promises. The problem is that once a reseller sales representative enters the game, often times there are discrepancies in rates, contract lengths and terms, and services. The best way for merchants to protect themselves is to get everything in writing and read all of the fine print before signing.

Support

Availability

PaymentSense is available by phone and email. Also, it offers live customer support 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Its help centre is a great place to find answers to the most commonly asked questions, including using your new terminal, payment security, and billing information.

Staff Responsiveness

This is the one area where we felt PaymentSense shined. Its team members responded to emails and inquiries promptly. The responses were nothing special but we did get responses within a few hours of sending our initial messages.

We didn’t get the same good experience when we called. Calling was awful. We lost count how many times are calls got dropped during a transfer or how many times it felt like the call was answered and then, hung up on intentionally. This was disappointing and frustrating.

Though some customers give PaymentSense positive reviews for customer service, some have noted that they can be slow in responding to technical and connectivity issues. We weren’t calling with these types of issues, but based on this experience, we would proceed with caution.

Staff Knowledge 

During our interactions, we found the staff to be fumbling for answers and unsure what to say next. We will give the team credit for being quick to ask questions, but it wasn’t easy for us to reciprocate.

We found their responses vague and confusing, especially when it came to our questions about pricing, equipment leases, and contract terms. Everyone we spoke to needed to be better trained and professional.

Staff Interaction

In our experience, PaymentSense’s team seemed poorly trained and lacked a clear understanding of what it was selling. During our best interactions, the team polite yet confused. Others provided flat-out false information. We didn’t feel good about any of the information we were provided.

Pricing

PaymentSense doesn’t share all of its pricing and fees on its website. Rates and fees are variable, depending on the type and size of a merchant’s business. It does state that there is no charge to open a merchant account. Otherwise, the only pricing listed is for its monthly fees for online payments through a payment gateway and phone payments though a virtual terminal. PaymentSense allows fees to be paid every month or once per year, however, those who pay annually get charged a discounted rate.

Both the online payment and phone payment plans each cost:

  • £9.95 per month or £8.30 if paid annually for businesses that process up to £50,000 per year
  • £14.95 per month or£12.45 if paid annually for businesses that process between £50,000 and £250,000 per year
  • £19.95 per month or £16.60 if paid annually for businesses that process between £250,000 and £1.2 million per year

These monthly charges don’t include VAT or per transaction fees.

Early Termination Fee

Contracts are variable, and, according to users, run anywhere between 18 months and 60 months. However, the contracts do come with locked-in rates that gradually decrease over the life of the contract. A five-year contract is especially large, considering contracts with other providers average about three years. There also is a variable early termination fee. Customers have complained of fees in upwards of £1,155.

Hardware Costs

It leases countertop, portable, and mobile card machines from Spire and Ingenico. It doesn’t disclose fees, but instead notes that the cost depends on factors, such as the nature of the merchant’s business, the type of the card machine, and transaction turnover. Merchants can expect to pay a card machine rental fee, which is a monthly fee that is based on the type and number of terminals leased, and card processing fees, which per transaction fees that vary based on the card types, card turnover, and the nature of the business.

There are many complaints from customers that it is very difficult to cancel one of its lease agreements. This is not surprising since it works with First Data. Due to its partnership with First Data, it is likely that the lease agreement dealt with by First Data Global Leasing (FDGL) and cannot be cancelled until the full term is up. In this situation, the only option the merchant has is to contact FDGL to find out how much it would cost to buyout the rest of the contract. Since many customers complain about contracts that are up to five years, needless to say, expect it to be expensive.

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