B- overall rating

Sales & Marketing Tactics

Costs & Contract Terms

Complaints & Service

BBB Rating

Sage Payment Solutions has been serving customers as a merchant account service provider since 1989. Since its inception, Sage Payment Solutions has been supporting business with credit card processing services for brick and mortar, online and telephone ordering systems.

Sage offers a variety of payment solutions to fit any business requirement. Sage offers payment gateway and virtual terminal solutions, in addition to a range of check processing services. Sage’s products include:

– Sage Payment Gateway
– Sage Virtual Terminal
– Check 21
– Check Conversion
– Check by Phone
– Check by Web

Sage’s check processing benefits include the Sage Check Guarantee and Sage Check Verification services. Sage also provides ACH processing services, as well as payroll and mobile payment products.

Sage Payment Solutions is a registered ISO agent and a merchant service provider supported by several funding institutions including:

– HSBC Bank USA
– Chase PaymenTech Solutions
– BMO Harris Bank NA
– National Association of Buffalo, NY

The company is headquartered in Irvine, CA. and maintains several local offices throughout the U.S. and Canada. The company’s mailing address is:

Sage Payment Solutions
6561 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618

Review of Services

Sales and Marketing Strategies: Grade A-

Sage employs a multi-level reselling business model that enables agents to become registered or non-registered sub-ISO agents of Sage. Registered agents are provided with a “white-labeled” payment processing solution, allowing them to brand the products they sell with their own brand. Non-registered agents must represent themselves as reselling agents of Sage according to Sage’s standards and policies.
The Sage company maintains a good reputation for their sales and marketing practices. However, some merchants have reported less than ethical behavior from some of Sage’s reselling ISOs. Sage in no way condones unethical behavior from any of their registered or non-registered ISOs. However, Sage may enforce questionable contracts, even when the merchant reports that deceptive practices were used to obtain the contract. Though this does not appear to be a widespread issue with Sage, we did downgrade the rating as the result of such reports. Merchants are advised to thoroughly read and understand their contracts prior to signing.

Contract Terms and Costs for Services: Grade C-

Merchants have reported high fees for cancellation of service and automatic renewal of contracts without merchants’ prior approval. Sage reportedly charges merchant accounts an annual fee of $100 for “PCI Compliance.”

Merchants report that fees vary. Reasons for varying fees may be due, in part, to business type, volume of transactions, as well as the ISO agent or reseller who initially set up the account. Merchants report that Sage may charge a Liquidated Damages fee for early termination, which may account for the varied fees. This statement, however, has not yet been confirmed by Sage at the time of this writing.

Due to the varied fees and merchant perceptions of less than obvious contract terms, the company scores a low C- on this dimension.

Customer Service and Resolution of Complaints: Grade B

Sage receives a grade of “B” on the Customer Service and Complaint Resolution dimension because, when the company’s size and length of time in business is considered, Sage has relatively few complaints and unresolved customer issues. A search of online reviews reveals only about 20 negative entries about the company. Most of the complaints are in regards to undisclosed fees or high cancellation charges, which may range from $100 to $700. Most of the complaints appear to be from merchants that utilized a particular ISO who did not disclose the additional charges. ICON Payment Solutions was the ISO that failed to verbally disclose automatic renewals and cancellation fees to merchants.

Better Business Bureau Evaluation: Grade B+

The Better Business Bureau rates Sage with a “B+.” However, Sage is not accredited by the BBB. Thirty-eight complaints have been filed against the company with the BBB in the past 36 months. However, all complaints appear to have been resolved to the merchants’ satisfaction.

Overall Evaluation

In comparison to other merchant service providers, Sage scores well overall. With a long history of providing credit card processing services to merchants and resellers, Sage has few negative reviews and a relatively high score with the BBB.

Sage appears to employ a competent customer service department and seeks to resolve merchant issues to the merchant’s satisfaction. Sage’s rating may be improved with a few changes in their business model, such as:

– Eliminating automatic renewal of accounts without the merchant’s express permission.
– Eliminating or reducing high cancellation fees.
– Eliminating the annual PCI Compliance Fee
– Reducing the number of customer complaints.