Processor Directory > Cayan

Cayan Review

Cayan is a payment processor formerly known as Merchant Warehouse, which was founded in 1998. Cayan is headquartered in Boston and has offices in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Cayan boasts that the benefit of using its services is a fully-integrated solution that works across multiple channels, including online, in-person, and via mobile device. 

Cayan page

As you can see from the screenshot above, from Cayan’s website, the company touts acceptance of multiple payment types including EMV chip cards, offers a secure card vault, and provides API integration and reporting capabilities. Let’s take a closer look at the services Cayan offers, as well as costs, equipment, and customer reviews.


In late 2017, payment processor TSYS announced that it is buying Cayan.

What services does Cayan offer?

Cayan provides payment services through a variety of methods, including point-of-sale, virtual terminal, online, and mobile. When you work with Cayan, you can accept many different payment types including credit and debit cards, EMV chip cards, gift cards, and more. You can also take advantage of Cayan’s merchant cash advances for working capital.

Point of Sale Processing

Cayan’s point-of-sale processing lets you accept credit and debit card payments at the time of purchase, and is ideally suited for retail stores or businesses with a permanent location. You can take major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. (Note that American Express may require separate approval from Cayan.) If you already have equipment, you may be able to continue using it with Cayan. If you don’t, you can purchase equipment when you open your new merchant account.

Virtual Terminal

Cayan provides a virtual terminal option if you need to take card payments but would prefer to use your existing computer with internet connection instead of dedicated point-of-sale equipment. With the virtual terminal, you can still accept credit and debit cards, you’ll just do so through the internet and your computer rather than a credit card machine. The virtual terminal lets you set up multiple users, process transactions in batches, and analyze reports to effectively manage business. Virtual terminals are suggested for businesses that accept cards over the phone, through mail orders or faxes, and businesses that don’t need specialized equipment, like doctors’ offices and other clinics.

Online Processing

For merchants who want to be able to accept payments online via a business website, Cayan provides a payment gateway option using Authorize.Net. The popular Authorize.Net gateway integrates with a variety of shopping carts. You can optionally set up recurring billing for customers who purchase goods or services on a recurring basis, such as memberships or subscriptions. Cayan offers the following short video about recurring billing:

Authorize.Net accounts can include a virtual terminal for manually entering credit card transactions accepted in-person, by phone, or by mail.

Mobile Processing

If your business takes payments on the go (such as landscapers, contractors, delivery businesses, artists, and more) you may benefit from Cayan’s mobile processing option. With mobile processing, you can accept credit card payments with a smartphone or tablet, and accept mobile payments (such as Google Wallet and Apple Pay) from a smartphone. Cayan offers Genius EX, a free mobile point-of-sale app that lets you process transactions with a mobile device connect to WiFi or 3G.

Merchant Cash Advance

For business owners who need access to working capital, Cayan partners with First Data to offer a cash advance system. Available funds and eligibility is determined by average card processing volume, with no collateral required and no fixed payment schedule. Instead, you’ll repay the advance through a percentage of your daily credit card sales until the amount (plus any applicable fees) is paid off.

While merchant cash advances are usually easier to obtain the small business loans, they are often also a higher cost option. Be sure to weigh your choices carefully and read all of the details of a merchant cash advance before taking one.

Related Article: Should You Get a Merchant Cash Advance?

Gift Cards

Cayan also offers a gift card program. You can offer preset amounts or let customers choose the amount. Pick between reloadable or single use cards, and decide if you want to go with a premade professionally-designed card, or a customizable card for greater brand consistency. When you include a gift card program, you’ll get reports specific to card usage. A basic welcome package with 50 pre-designed, reloadable cards is available at sign up if you just want to try out a new gift card program at your store to see if it’s a good fit.

Cayan offers services in three packages: flex, genius, and enterprise. Each package provides different options for businesses.

The Flex option provides you with the basic levels of processing, security, and reporting. You can accept major credit and debit cards, view and analyze reporting and statements, and take advantage of PCI compliance assistance. Additionally, Cayan offers the ability to add extra services to the Flex option, including the ability to accept gift cards, PIN-based debit, and contactless/NFC payments, as well as take advantage of check verification.


The Genius option offered by Cayan is a cloud-managed solution that provides you with additional security options such as tokenization and encryption, helping reduce PCI compliance scope. Merchants can accept a range of payments, including EMV technology, and take advantage of business management tools.


The Enterprise option allows you to create custom solutions to integrate with existing systems. You can accept new mobile payments and changing technologies without the need to add additional devices or software, accept all payment types, take advantage of API solutions, benefit from enhanced security features, and more.

Does Cayan provide equipment?

Yes, Cayan offers a small selection of equipment, including wireless models and EMV-capable terminals. Cayan offers popular brands, including Ingenico and Verifone. Features vary by model. All of the currently available countertop machines are chip card capable, helping ensure you accept transactions in the most secure way possible.

The Cayan smartphone reader (pictured below) is also EMV chip capable, putting it ahead of many other headphone jack card readers that can only accept magnetic stripe cards, leaving you on the hook for fraudulent transactions.

Cayan magstripe reader

Using the Cayan smartphone reader requires the mobile app, which is available for both Android and Apple devices. If you want to take payments in multiple locations but not use a smartphone, you can either use the wireless terminal options or consider Cayan’s Genius Handheld.

In early 2017, Cayan announced an addition to its equipment line, the Genius Handheld terminal. Like it sound, the terminal is designed to be carried around, providing a payment option on your salesfloor, at the customer’s tablet in your restaurant or cafe, or for ”line-busting” in a retail setting. Cayan offers this short video introduction to the Genius Handheld:

The terminal can also be used for sidewalk sales or popup shops, at tradeshows, for deliveries, or anywhere else that you need to take payments away from a traditional countertop terminal or POS system. Additionally, the Genius Handheld is EMV chip card-capable, giving it an edge over some of the card readers that connect to smartphones for mobile payment but only accept magnetic stripe cards.

For gateways, Cayan works with the popular Authorize.Net platform.


Cayan offers a PCI compliance package to help you achieve compliance. Additionally, some processing options (such as the virtual terminal) include fraud prevention tools like Address Verification and CVV. The Genius package utilizes industry standard safety precautions such as tokenization and encryption to add further security.

Cayan also offers equipment that utilizes new technology designed for security, like EMV chip cards. Cayan even has an EMV-capable smartphone card reader, which some companies still don’t offer.

Related Article: Using Address Verification Service (AVS).

What will processing with Cayan cost me?

Cayan doesn’t publish rates on its website, as it sets pricing individually based on the business’ needs and specifics. For quick comparison and to see a full cost breakdown for your business, you can still request and review a Cayan quote through your CardFellow account. If you don’t have a CardFellow account yet, you can get one for free in just a few minutes, and use the quote request to see pricing from as many processors as you’d like. (Don’t worry, we keep your contact info private – no sales calls!)

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How’s customer service?

Cayan offers 24 hour customer service through a variety of channels. Customer support is available via live chat Monday – Friday from 9:00am – 5:00pm Eastern time and by phone at all hours. Customer support is also available through email. Cayan boasts 30 minute response time to email during business hours of 9:00am – 6:00pm Eastern time.

Cayan Reviews 

Cayan has been around for awhile (formerly as Merchant Warehouse) and in that time has accumulated reviews both positive and negative. Unfortunately there tends to be more negative than positive. There are quite a few complaints on the Better Business Bureau’s website,

Cayan at the Better Business Bureau

Cayan has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2002 and currently has an A+ rating, the highest available. That rating is despite 119 complaints lodged with the BBB, mostly in the categories of “Billing/Collection Issues” and “Problems with Product/Service.”

Complaints allege undisclosed fees, refusal to release funds, deceptive practices, inability to cancel service, unresponsive customer service, unauthorized debits after cancellation, overbilling, and misleading practices.

Additionally, Cayan has 42 customer reviews with the BBB. Unfortunately, the vast majority are negative. The negative reviews complain of a wide range of things, including Cayan’s inability to reprogram equipment after signing up, expensive pricing (especially for large transactions), not being sent the right equipment, difficulty getting answers from sales reps, and frustrating wait times for solutions.

The few positive reviews praise Cayan for responsive customer service, fast funding, and quickly correcting issues.

Cayan doesn’t currently list customer testimonials or reviews on their website.

CardFellow’s Experience with Cayan

Cayan placed quotes through the CardFellow marketplace at one point in time, when it operated as Merchant Warehouse. Unfortunately, Cayan was removed from the CardFellow system due to violations of our terms.

Currently, Cayan does not place certified quotes in the CardFellow marketplace. Certified quotes receive numerous protections due to CardFellow’s legal agreement with processors. Every certified quote through CardFellow comes with a lifetime rate lock, no cancellation fee, fully disclosed pricing, and more.

Note that you can still request quotes from Cayan through CardFellow to compare apples to apples. We make it easy to see how Cayan stacks up to any other processors you’re considering. Just be aware that choosing a quote from Cayan will not confer the CardFellow protections afforded to certified quotes.

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Posted by Philip on Feb 03, 2021


If you process larger amounts ($30k and up) they will hold you money for weeks. They required that I talk with my client and I had to send them sales paperwork, and then after 14 days they released the money. Do not use this company.

Posted by Clinton Black on Oct 19, 2020


Cayan/TSYS/Global payments has charged us early 50% of our sales over the past year. During 2020 while not able to operate due to COVID they continued to charge made up and excessive fees including "infrastructure upgrade fee", monthly fees, annual fees, PCI fees, and about 15 other types of fees on a billing statement. Most of which were never agreed to.

Posted by Marta K on Jul 22, 2020


This company is full of hidden fees and dishonest practices. Go with a company!

Posted by JOhn Newby on Apr 13, 2020


Do not use this service. They are crooks! I was told my office could delay everything until we were ready to go live with one of their partners. The salesman lied to me on the phone....turns out they will not release the recording of the conversation I had with this salesperson.

Posted by Pat on Jan 27, 2019


Cayan is a s*** company. I was with them for a year and I couldn't get away from them fast enough. They very easily take money from your account erroneously, and then you have to jump through hoops to get it back and wait forever, and I really mean forever, to issue a simple refund. Even when they admit they made a mistake, it will take them several months to refund you. Do not give them your banking information, you will regret it. There are many other companies out there that can do as good of a job for a similar cost, and have much better customer service. Run do not walk away from them. I endured a miserable experience using this company.

Posted by Brian James on Jan 18, 2019


Cayan is a terrible credit card processor. Avoid them at all costs. They will continue charging monthly fees long after you close your account. They will promise refunds of unauthorized fees - in writing - and then they never arrive even after 3 follow up calls. If you want to leave your credit card processing up to a group of corporate thieves then choose Cayan and you will probably find you are being charged all kinds of extra, hidden fees. BONUS - if you use them for Amex CC processing you can expect your payouts to take 2-3 business days longer than every other major credit card processing company.

Posted by Luke Barnes on May 15, 2018


I switched bank accounts for my Cayan processing. This turned into a nightmare situation. I have sent them multiple documents they have requested, still not fixed. They request the same documents over and over again. Customer service is terrible and incompetent. I'm still sending them papers, been working on this for over 3 months now. This is ridiculous. They suck.

Posted by Ana Fernandes on May 08, 2018


Their customer service is the worst I have dealt with. No one can resolve an issue of Amex funds missing for 2 weeks. Can't seem to be able to talk to a supervisor. Worst ever. Very frustrated!

Posted by S G on Apr 19, 2018


Stay away from Cayan. They keep charging more fees than you are told and have no customer service.

Posted by William S on Apr 11, 2018


I had been with Cayan for a two years with no problems, no chargebacks and no customer complaints. I shut down for a year due to health issues. The first of March I applied for a new account and it was approved within a couple days. Then the problems began. It took another 10 days or so to receive my credentials and another two or so days to get my account information for the Cayan portal. I was up and running at the end of the month and asked my sales rep (Kevin Andrews) what I needed to do if I wanted to sell at local fairs and flea markets. He gladly signed me up for yet another account with mobile swipe (SwipeSimple) and I got a reader via UPS after a couple more days. I had made sales and received the money just as always then another employee and I inquired about certain products being added to our line (inquiry only - not added to the site). This caused my account to immediately get terminated with no explanation of why and I was told that there was NO appeal and all decisions are final. I called and emailed Kevin Andrews at Cayan - he would not answer or return email. The risk manager that terminated the account would not answer the phone and only returned an email saying those products were high risk. (Products NOT added to site I only made an inquiry). So after spending time designing my site, adding products and becoming visible on search engines, they shut me down with the flip of their magic switch. Why approve me in the first place to run less than 15 days just to get shut down? They should be required to give some sort of explanations into their actions.

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