Payment Depot: Affordable Credit Card Processing
Updated: November 21st, 2023
Payment Depot, by Stax, is a US-based Financial services company founded in 2013 in Orange County, California. With their credit card processing services, they aim to provide businesses with more budget-friendly and simple payment processing options. Could you benefit from their services, or are you better served elsewhere? Read our review of their services, benefits, drawbacks, prices, and customer experience, then decide for yourself!
Payment Depot at a Glance
Payment Depot was acquired by Stax, a top payment processor, in 2021. Despite this, they still operate as a distinct credit card processor and serves as a more affordable option than many of its competitors through its simple pricing strategy. That being said, keep in mind that Payment Depot's terms and conditions statement only lists Stax as the services provider.
Payment Depot offers credit card processing services that work with all the major credit card networks like Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Apple, and Google Pay. However, they do so while providing wholesale interchange rates without marking up those networks' fees. They work with merchant businesses of all sizes, although they position themselves as a top option for established small to medium-sized businesses. They offer industry-customized services for retail, healthcare, restaurants, B2B, auto shops, pet groomers, hair and beauty salons, and other client service businesses. They also offer a collection of hardware tools, although none are included free of charge with their monthly agreements.
They seem to enjoy a good reputation in the payment processing field, if not stellar but have not won any awards or been placed on any top lists for service excellence. They are accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which gives them a B+ rating.
Payment Depot Credit Card Processor Features
Payment Depot operates under a simplified merchant service model that offers the processing services, compatibilities, and integrations you'd expect. However, they do not discuss any of their features or benefits in detail. With that said, here is what they do offer:
- All-in-one software: As a Stax company, they also offer all their service via a single software solution, accessible anywhere, with broad network capabilities and robust hardware and software integrations
- Virtual terminal: They partner with payment gateways like Authorize.Net to support card-not-present transactions
- Mobile capabilities: Though they do not have their own mobile app, they use SwipeSimple for their mobile processing, which includes the mobile credit card reader and app
- Hardware capabilities: They will help you reprogram your current equipment, or sell you many hardware tools from Clover, Dejavoo, and SwipeSimple. These tools include smart terminals, POS solutions, and mobile card readers
- Third-party software integrations: Their software solution integrates with an extensive list of third-party eCommerce and accounting tools, including Intuit Quickbooks, WooCommerce, and Shopify
- Merchant account: Payment Depot partners with Fiserv and TSYS, two of the best credit card processors on the market. Payment Depot does the heavy lifting for you by setting up and managing your merchant account
Payment Depot Top Perks
This merchant service provider can make for a reasonably cost-effective payment services solution for your business. We think you may choose them if the following aspects are important to you:
- Wide credit network compatibility: They accept all major types of credit card transactions, including compatible debit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay
- Extensive integrations: Payment Depot offers essentially the same level of comprehensive integrations as Stax, although they don't go into as much detail about them as their acquiring company does. Those integrations include hardware such as POS systems, smart terminals, and EMV card processors, as well as third-party eCommerce solutions, mobile apps, accounting software, and payment gateways
- Compatible with existing hardware: Speaking of integrations, Payment Depot will work with your existing terminals and systems, and will help you reprogram them to ensure that they do
- Straightforward billing model: They boast that they bill you a transparent monthly membership fee with no contracts, no hidden fees, and wholesale rates; which means they don't charge interchange markup fees over what you already incur from the credit card networks. They may also not charge extra fees for accepting ACH payments, though we recommend discussing this specifically with their sales representatives
- No cancelation fees: If you cancel with them, you will not incur any extra charges. Additionally, they promise that new customers who opt for annual memberships can cancel within 90 days and get a full refund of their fees
The Disadvantages of Payment Depot
While there is much to recommend this processor on the surface, there are a few matters that may make you consider another provider. Those are:
- Limited to the US: Your business has to be based in the United States to be able to open an account and accept payments through Payment Depot, and it is unclear if you can accept payments from outside the US
- Do not accept high-risk merchants: If you have a business that may be considered of high risk, such as a web hosting company, marijuana vendor, or cash advance service, then you will not qualify for a Payment Depot account. They list the complete list of high-risk businesses in this post
- Limited support structure: They may not have as robust a customer service team as top processor companies. Although they promise 24/7 support, their in-house team is only available nine hours a day on weekdays
Payment Depot Pricing
As previously mentioned, their plans don't involve marking the interchange fees, unlike many similar providers. Instead, they charge membership fees that start from $79 a month if you process up to $250,000 a year. If you take in more than that, you'll need to request a quote, as they currently don't share their higher-tiered pricing.
They share the interchange rates charged by card networks online so you know how much you'll have to pay for swiped and keyed payments.
Payment Depot doesn't charge any hidden fees on their plans, including those for set-up. Also, while credit card processors usually charge for PCI compliance, they claim to offer it free of charge.
Security & Compliance
Payment Depot encrypts sensitive information per industry recommendations like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). Servers storing this information are kept in a secure environment. External PCI-qualified security assessors review their software services for compliance. If a security breach occurs, they commit to notifying affected customers and then take measures to contain the breach in compliance with legal and customer agreement requirements.
The Payment Depot Customer Experience
This merchant services provider attracts generally positive customer reviews, receiving 3.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. Much positive feedback surrounds a caring customer service experience, even if some found it took a long time to connect with the right person, and many found the processing services and costs satisfactory. Most reviews awarded them 5 stars, although most were from over two years ago.
It must be said that most reviews from the past year have been critical, with a few pointing to when Stax acquired them as when their services became less satisfactory. A few longer-term customers stated that Payment Depot's customer service experience has deteriorated after being quite reliable, saying that the company representatives either don't have the necessary knowledge or take a long time to reply. A few reviewers noted that the reason for such problems is that Payment Depot transfers their calls to an answering service and not directly to their support team.
Clients complained of being charged higher amounts for PCI non-compliance and chargebacks; some mentioned having hidden fees tacked on. Some brought up having to pay annual membership fees aside from the monthly fees--- fees which have increased significantly over time. A few also complained of being charged even after canceling, an issue that reportedly takes a while to correct.
The company sometimes replies to critical reviews and BBB complaints and seems to address issues directly and promptly. They issue refunds for any overcharges, and their responses are brief, professional, and seem to show respect for their clients--- even those clients who had canceled their accounts.
Customer Support at Payment Depot
You may reach this company's support by calling them at 877-877-7668. Alternatively, you can fill out a form to have them contact you. While you may use the live chat option on their website, that seems available for the general inquiries of prospective customers.
Please remember that the company's main office is in Orange, California, where the in-house support team works from Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM PST. They have after-hours support located in Arizona, and the company may also rely on their bank's support team which is available 24/7 and located in Colorado.
The Bottom Line
Payment Depot presents itself as a more straightforward processor than other payment processing services by offering fixed monthly memberships with wholesale credit card processing fees and no cancelation fees, making them a more affordable option for businesses processing large amounts of transactions. They accept credit card transactions from all the major card networks and offer a variety of hardware and software integrations that can be accessed in one platform.
On the other hand, they don't accept all types of businesses, especially those they deem high-risk industries. Also, there are reports from customers of increasing costs, unexpected fees, and difficulties accessing proper support. Due to the fixed nature of those higher fees, they might not suit a business with low monthly revenues.
If you're a small business owner, consider whether Payment Depot's fixed membership is cost-effective for you. We suggest comparing them to other credit card processing companies to see who ticks more boxes for you. If you want to learn more about other processors, visit our reviews page and read about their features, fee structures, benefits, and more. Also, check out our blog page, with many helpful articles meant to shed light on complex issues. Doing a little research right now could save a lot of trouble later!
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