1 Federal St, Floor 2
Boston, Massachusetts 02110

Main: 978-807-0803

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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 screenshot

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 in a deal for just over $1 billion. 

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. 

Have you used Cayan? Leave your own review!


Unlike general web reviews, verified reviews are posted by businesses that have chosen the processor's quote through CardFellow's marketplace, and CardFellow has confirmed with the processor that the business is using its service. Businesses can update verified reviews at any time to ensure the review accurately reflects the processor's performance over time.

Cayan has not received any verified reviews.

Web Reviews

Unlike verified reviews which are validated by CardFellow, web reviews can be submitted by anyone viewing this profile. While we validate these reviews as best we can, CardFellow does not verify that a reviewer is using or has used a processor's service.

Cayan Web Reviews

Holding My Funds

new   Posted By: Tommy Loren on 02/22/18

I have not had a deposit in 2 weeks. They keep telling me it will be there tomorrow. Look for a better processor.
They are wrecking my business. I have to have my funds to operate.


new   Posted By: james doyle on 08/12/17

Only have made two transactions with this company and they will be the last. Both times I was told my money would be in my account in 1-2 business days. Both times a week into me calling and trying to find out when they will release funds they tell me I need to send them a copy of the invoice. So they sit on your money and I’m sure are Using it to make more money. And then when you have bothered them enough they finally tell you the truth. STAY AWAY!

1 strike and your out!

new   Posted By: AkDogTrainer on 05/24/17

So I had a refund and was short by $2 dollars so my back wouldn’t let it process. I received a n email stating that the refund was not processed and would be re processed in a few days. So I put the money needed in the account and waited…a week later and nothing. So I called them and inquired about the reason.
They said since I was a new account the Risk team closed my account since the refund couldn’t be processed.
A) They did not tell me they closed the account due to this issue.
B) I received no other correspondence about the issue.
C) They didn’t even give me a chance to fix it…which took all of like 4 seconds, before they closed the account.

So if you are a new account…or an account in general since I’ve heard this from established accounts as well, they have a 1 strike rule. Be aware!!!

Payment on hold for no reason

new   Posted By: Frank executives on 02/25/17

I have processed a payment of 3100 , and my payment is on hold for 2 weeks already, I was told to send 4 months of statements and invoices of the client , few days later they needed customer contact information to confirm they authorized the payment, then they need conversation between me and my client which I refused .. then the matter was resolved but the payment has not been released called again and I was told that they forgot to release the payment today is Saturday and now I have to wait till Monday for the office to open … so basically have to wait another week ….

Do your homework

new   Posted By: CardFellow on 03/04/16

Cayan used to go by the name Merchant Warehouse. The switch to Cayan is the company’s strategy to move away from a price-based model to a technology and value-added model. In addition to a new look and logo, Cayan pushes the company’s proprietary Genius processing equipment heavily, which boast a suite of features and compatibility with the latest payment methods and security requirements. The underlying payment processing is still handled by First Data, and the pricing your business will receive is dictated by your knowledge of processing fees. Cayan sets its rates and fees on a per-business basis. You may secure competitive pricing if you know the right questions to ask. Of course, an easier way to obtain the most competitive pricing is by using CardFellow free marketplace to let processors compete for your business.

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