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First American Payment Systems Review

First American Payment Systems was founded in 1990 in California. Shortly after, the company relocated to Fort Worth, Texas, where headquarters are to this day. First American Payment Systems is a registered ISO of Fifth Third Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, and MetaBank. In January of 2016, Chase Commerce Solutions announced the sale of its processing portfolio to First American Payment Systems. In this First American review and profile, you’ll find all the details about the company’s rates and fees, services, and more.

First American Payment Systems’ Services and Equipment

First American Payment Systems provides services for credit and debit transaction processing, including in-person, mobile, and ecommerce options.

In Person Processing

For taking credit and debit card in person, First American offers 1stPayPOS, a cloud-based system that lets you process transactions through hand keying or using the 1stPayPOS card reader. The system also features inventory tracking, access to sales history, and other reports from anywhere with an internet connection. It uses a tablet with a tablet stand and can process transactions, manage employee punches, process gift cards, and more. Businesses can print or email customizable receipts to customers.

The point of sale system option includes:

  • A tablet stand (tablet not included)
  • Locking cash drawer
  • Barcode scanner
  • 1stPayPOS card reader
  • Receipt printer

If you don’t need or want the entire point-of-sale equipment setup, First American Payment Systems also offers handheld countertop terminals, including its proprietary model, Xion, or models from popular brands Ingenico and Verifone. Exact features vary by model, but may include EMV capability for accepting chip cards, integrated PIN pads, backlit keys, and NFC acceptance.

Note that First American Payment systems leases terminals, which may be an expensive option. We recommend not leasing a credit card machine.

Mobile Processing

For accepting payments using your mobile device, such as an iPhone or Android phone, First American offers the M+Terminal to allow you to swipe cards, capture customer signatures, and email receipts. You can begin processing immediately after downloading the app for your phone and receiving an activation email.

The M+Terminal is designed for when you need to accept payments “on the road” such as during deliveries or at tradeshows and other events, or for businesses like landscaping or art dealers. The M+Terminal is PCI compliant and utilizes encryption for security.

Ecommerce Processing

First American Payment Systems offers a proprietary gateway, called FirstPay.Net, for processing online transactions. The FirstPay.Net page builder allows you to set up your site to securely accept cards without programming knowledge by integrating shopping carts. FirstPay.Net is available in different packages so that you can choose a simple solution to accept online transactions, or a robust package that includes templates to use for your site.

Additional Services

In addition to credit card processing, First American Payment Systems offers check processing, gift and loyalty card programs, merchant cash advances, and ATMs.

Check Processing

First American offers Secur-Chex and gives you the choice between processing checks electronically or as paper checks. A Check Verification feature lets you know if there is any negative information about the check writer by swiping the check through a reader or entering check information. Using Check Verification with Guarantee provides you with a guarantee from First American that you won’t be held responsible for checks returned because of insufficient funds. However, with this option, you will not receive funds if a check is returned due to insufficient funds.

If you choose to convert paper checks to electronic checks using the Check Conversion feature, you may be eligible for Check Conversion with Guarantee. With Check Conversion with Guarantee, First American will deposit funds into your account the next business day even if the check is returned due to insufficient funds.

Gift and Loyalty Cards

If you want to offer gift cards or loyalty cards, you can do that through First American. Gift cards can be branded with your name and logo. The starter kit includes 25 cards with card holders, a display rack, and a window sticker.

Additionally, gift and loyalty cards have a special support team available from 8am – 5pm Central time Monday through Friday.

Cash Advances

First American offers a merchant cash advance program for businesses that need capital. Money can be used for renovating, expanding, emergencies, inventory purchases, equipment upgrades, marketing, and more. Unlike loans, there is no fixed monthly repayment amount. Cash advances are often easier to obtain than loans, but may be more expensive.

ATM Solutions

If you’d like to offer an ATM in your store for customers, First American provides that option. Machines are customizable, with on screen advertising options so you can promote your business or specials to potential customers.

What are First American’s rates and fees?

First American doesn’t publish rates, because the company utilizes tiered pricing. The company also doesn’t disclose recurring fees on their site, but has monthly fees and compliance fees. The best way to get an accurate, no-obligation quote for your particular business is to request one through CardFellow. Simply sign in to your CardFellow account and request a quote directly from this First American review and profile.

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First American Payment Systems’ contract

First American’s standard contract term is 3 years, and renews automatically. An early termination fee up to $495 applies.


First American offers reporting with FirstView, a system that provides access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. FirstView is cloud-based, and features advanced encryption for security. With FirstView, you can create reports, search transactions, analyze types of cards accepted, view long-term volume trends, see what days of the week you sell best, and more. Reports can be exported to Excel.

First American Payment Systems reviews and reputation

Since First American Payment Systems has been around for a number of years, there are many reviews available online. Unfortunately, the reviews are primarily negative, likely in part because of First American’s use of opaque and expensive tiered pricing.

First American Payment Systems’ Reviews and Grade with the BBB

First American Payment Systems has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2015 and has an A+ rating, the highest rating available. It has had 74 complaints lodged with the BBB in the past 3 years, though details for all complaints aren’t available. Reviewing the details of available complaints show allegations of deceptive practices such as hidden fees, bad explanation of fees, high rates, bad customer service, and unauthorized continuations of contracts.

First American’s Reviews with Yelp

Yelp! shows 3 one-star reviews for First American, with complaints alleging the company is rigid and unhelpful, and advising not to do business with First American because of their forceful and deceptive tactics.

First American’s Reviews with Ripoff Report

Ripoff Report also has a collection of complaints against First American, showing 84 reviews. Reviewers complain of deceptive business practices, high-pressure sales, hidden fees, auto-renewing contracts that were not explained, and impossible to reach customer service reps.

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Posted by J Alan on Aug 27, 2020


Bad customer support. They did not deliver what they promised and we could never get help. Insult to injury, they argued about how my name was pronounced, (as if I wouldn't know) and then when I canceled they asked me I would please refer them. Then when I canceled they left rude and threatening messages. Just the worst of the worst.

Posted by CardFellow on Mar 22, 2016


First American Payment Systems is an independent sales organization that primarily uses First Data as its processor. First American has been around for a long time, and we used to hear more about it in years past. The frequency of First American statements and quotes to pass our desk has slowed in recent months. Like with any processor, First American sets its pricing on a per-case basis, and the statements we've reviewed are in keeping with this fact.