"Membership"-style pricing is a spin on interchange plus. Essentially, you pay a higher monthly or annual "membership" fee but no percentage markup to the processor.
Many businesses think that means there's no percentage charge at all. It's important that you understand you'll still pay percentage-based fees, it's just that Payment Depot doesn't keep those fees. We'll cover this in depth in the rates section of this review.
Note: Payment Depot offers certified quotes through the CardFellow marketplace. You can request an instant quote to review in private through this profile or by creating a free CardFellow account.
Payment Depot was founded in 2013 in California and offers membership-based credit card processing accounts. The company uses First Data as its processing network and is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank.
In 2021, Payment Depot was acquired by Stax, a payment processing company founded by Suneera Madhani. Madhani also founded Fattmerchant, a competing "wholesale" credit card processor. Due to this acquisition, you may see the company referred to as either Payment Depot or Payment Depot by Stax.
Before we get into the rest of the info about Payment Depot, there are a few things that need clarification. The company touts itself as the only processor to offer “wholesale” rates and states it charges “no markup” but neither of those statements is completely accurate.
Any processor that offers interchange plus pricing with true pass-through is essentially offering “wholesale” credit card processing. That is not exclusive to Payment Depot. Payment Depot's membership model works by charging the cost of interchange, the same as other interchange plus processors, and then charging its own fee separately.
When Payment Depot (or any processor) refer to wholesale, they're talking about two components of processing costs: interchange and assessments. Interchange is the largest component of cost. It goes to the banks that issue cards to your customers, and it's the same for every processor. Assessments are smaller charges that go to the card brands (Visa, Mastercard) and is also the same for every processor.
Interchange + assessments together are the "wholesale" cost of processing. If you paid only wholesale, a processor would break even, making no money on your account.
Of course, processors are businesses and they need to make money, too. So they charge a markup, or a fee on top of the wholesale costs.
Companies (like Payment Depot) that charge you the "true" wholesale cost (that is, the rates and fees set by the banks and Visa/Mastercard) can truthfully say that they're offering you "wholesale" pricing.
Companies that "pad" interchange or assessments are not offering you wholesale rates.
With that cleared up, let's discuss markup - the way that processors make money.
Every processor charges a markup. As noted above, if a processor only charged you wholesale and no markup, they wouldn't make money and would quickly be out of business.
What varies is how they charge it. Processors can charge a markup separate from wholesale, or they can bundle it together. It's more transparent to charge it separately, which Payment Depot does.
While there is a markup, Payment Depot doesn't charge a percentage of each transaction for their markup. Instead, they charge a flat per-transaction fee. That fee, other monthly fees, and the membership fee all contribute to Payment Depot's markup.
"Wholesale rates" and "no markup" are basically marketing phrases that aren't strictly correct, but neither is negative or misleading enough to warrant not working with Payment Depot. The company's website does explain that there are costs and the company doesn't publish "teaser" or "starter" rates.
However, the company does include somewhat misleading explanations about rates without mentioning per-transaction flat fees.
For example, the company states that since they have no percentage markups, you won't pay more as your volume of card sales increases. However, that doesn't take into account that you will most likely be paying more per-transaction fees. Since Payment Depot charges a flat cents-based fee on each transaction, the more transactions you run, the more you're paying them. That's not inherently a bad thing – processors still need to make money as a business. But the fact that Payment Depot neglects to mention that and instead makes it sound like businesses can grow and grow with no change in how much Payment Depot makes is misleading, since they say you'd be paying other processors more as you grow.
That said, Payment Depot does have the ability to offer competitive, transparent pricing and places certified quotes in the CardFellow marketplace. The explanations we've provided here are included purely for clarification and educational purposes.
Payment Depot gives you the ability to accept major credit and debit cards in person, online, or using your mobile phone. For taking cards in person, you can choose to use handheld and countertop terminals, full point-of-sale solutions including tablet-based systems, or mobile readers that connect to your smartphone. Internet orders can be processed by setting up an Authorize.Net payment gateway to allow your customers to make purchases directly through your e-commerce website.
Payment Depot boasts automatic deposit of your funds in 1-2 business days.
Customer service is available 24 hours a day, including Spanish-speaking support. The Payment Depot website also boasts automatic deposit of your funds in 1-2 business days.
In late 2018, Payment Depot announced that breach protection would be included in annual membership fees. Breach protection comes from North American Data Security RPG, a risk purchasing group and is available to businesses that have not yet had a data breach or security compromise and are not level 1 merchant.
The policy provides up to $100,000 of protection per merchant account, up to a limit of $500,000 for businesses with 5 or more merchant accounts.
Payment Depot generally markets itself to traditional retailers and restaurants. The company does not offer high risk merchant accounts.
Additionally, if you're looking to integrate your credit card processing with QuickBooks, Payment Depot will not be the right fit.
Payment Depot prefers not to handle "specialty" processing scenarios. If you need processing for a business that fits the criteria above, CardFellow can help you locate a good fit at great pricing.
Payment Depot charges using membership and per-transaction fees on top of interchange costs, and that's how they quote through CardFellow. There is no percentage markup when processing with Payment Depot. In the CardFellow marketplace, you'll still see Payment Depot's quote broken down so you can easily view all the rates and fees and won't be hit with hidden expenses.
As of our most recent update, Payment Depot's website lists the following plans:
As you can see, the Starter package will cost you $59/month on top of the costs of interchange and assessments. The Starter Package is available to businesses that process up to $125,000 per year in card sales.
The Starter Plus package is geared toward slightly larger or more established businesses that process up to $250,000 per year in card sales. That one will run you $79/month in addition to the cost of interchange and assessments.
The last plan, the Growth package, is for businesses processing up to $500,000 per year in card sales and costs $99/month on top of the costs of interchange and assessments.
Payment Depot does not list its per-transaction fees, but does charge them, along with batch fees. Be sure to review the per-transaction costs when receiving a quote or signing up with Payment Depot.
Remember, Payment Depot does not control interchange or assessments, but you'll still be charged those costs.
Note that pricing may be lower within the CardFellow system. Additionally, getting a Payment Depot quote through CardFellow will provide you with an estimate of the costs of interchange and assessments so you can see what your "all in" rates will be.
Fill out an instant quote request form to see Payment Depot pricing.
Payment Depot's membership and transaction charges are based on volume. When you enter your processing details to get a quote from Payment Depot, the correct membership and transaction amount for your particular business will be disclosed in your quote.
You can also change your membership package at any time. If you process more than the allowance for your current plan, you will automatically be moved to the plan with a processing allowance that fits your processing volume when your plan renews annually.
Amex cards may incur different costs with Payment Depot than other types of cards. In reviewing the company's pricing here at CardFellow, we've seen volume markups applied to American Express transactions. If you regularly take Amex at your business, be sure to pay attention to the costs for accepting those cards.
For businesses that need equipment, Payment Depot has several options. You can either purchase machines, or use a virtual terminal (included with some membership types) to key in transactions. Payment Depot can also set up Authorize.Net gateways, if you'd rather use that.
If you're interested in purchasing new equipment, Payment Depot can get you set up with popular brands like Verifone, Dejavoo and First Data brand equipment. Since Payment Depot runs on the First Data processing network, they can also support First Data machines including the new Clover terminals. Additionally, the company is compatible with Poynt smart terminals and Swipe Simple.
If you already have equipment, Payment Depot may be able to reprogram it at no cost. This is not available for all types of equipment; contact Payment Depot or use your CardFellow account to determine if your equipment can be reprogrammed.
Remember, if you choose a certified Payment Depot quote through CardFellow, there is never a cancellation fee. We prohibit any early termination fees for all certified quotes in our marketplace.
Additionally, Payment Depot's 100% Satisfaction Guarantee allows full or partial refund of memberships for cancelled accounts. If you cancel your account within 90 days of when you opened it, Payment Depot will refund your entire annual membership fee. If you cancel after 90 days, Payment Depot will refund a pro-rated amount of your membership fee.
For equipment, you must return the Payment Depot terminal in good working order to receive credit for the terminal. If you do not return the terminal, you will be charged $299, to be deducted from your refund or paid by credit card to Payment Depot.
Payment Depot has mixed reviews in the processing world, which is not uncommon for companies that have been around for more than a few years. There are plenty of positive reactions, in part because of the marketing statements we discussed in the history and explanations section above. The company is often praised for transparency and for offering a simpler approach to fees. Negative reviews tend to focus more on poor customer service or difficulties with machines and warranties.
Currently showing a 3.4 star rating (out of 5) from 49 Google Reviews, Payment Depot gets mixed reactions in the comments. Some newer reviews mention that they have been with Payment Depot for years but customer service has gone downhill since the acquisition by Stax, while others say their prices have gone up (in some cases doubling) or deposits have been slow. In many cases, COO Randy Hayashi responds to the complaints to offer context and attempt to resolve the reviewer's issue.
Positive Google reviews praise the low rates, professional staff, easy process to get set up, and customer service helping with issues quickly.
Accredited since 2015, Payment Depot has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, up from our last publication of his profile. (From an A-)
The company has only had 4 complaints lodged against it in the past 3 years, which is relatively low compared to some processing companies. Complaints express frustration getting issues resolved related to fraud and chargebacks, and with payments processed online. In all cases, Payment Depot replied to the complaints.
Additionally, there are 4 customer reviews on the BBB website, giving Payment Depot an aggregated score of 1.8 stars out of 5. This is lower than the company's typical average score across other review sites, but the association with the BBB as a place for reporting customer complaints (as opposed to leaving reviews whether positive or negative) may account for that.
One negative review complains of not being able to work directly with Payment Depot customer service after signup, but instead being directed to Stax, which was not helpful. Others state that Payment Depot / First Data withheld funds. In two of the reviews, Payment Depot responded, explaining some of the factors around funds held due to risk of fraudulent transactions.
The sole positive review on the BBB's website says that the reviewer has been with Payment Depot for a few months and is very happy with the lack of hidden fees and with receiving funds from credit card sales promptly.
For insight from current clients, Payment Depot provides testimonials on their website, primarily pulled from TrustPilot, where the company boasts a 4.7 rating out of 5 stars. Reviews praise customer service and great pricing, reference helpful staff, and user-friendly equipment.
Payment Depot places certified quotes in the CardFellow marketplace, meaning it has agreed to play by our rules. CardFellow and Payment Depot have a legal agreement that dictates what can and can't be done when placing certified quotes. By placing certified quotes in the CardFellow marketplace, Payment Depot agrees to a lifetime rate lock, no cancellation fee, fully disclosed quotes, and more.
While we felt it necessary to add some clarification to how Payment Depot characterizes its pricing on its website and in marketing materials, we do agree with the underlying principle of Payment Depot's services, which is to offer transparent interchange plus pricing. We find that Payment Depot strives to be upfront about costs and does not engage in the sort of deceptive practices that many tiered pricing processors employ.
CardFellow stands behind all processors that place certified quotes in our marketplace, and that holds true for Payment Depot. When you work with Payment Depot through CardFellow, you'll have a dedicated rep at Payment Depot and can also contact CardFellow if you have any questions or concerns. This dual customer service approach ensures that you'll get fast, accurate answers from payment experts.
Do you use Payment Depot for credit card processing? Leave a 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.
From Nick Bloedel, on Aug 13, 2022
Last fall, Payment Depot tacked on a $20 per month fee without my agreement. After several communications, they refunded the amounts. Now, this spring, they changed the subscription fee from $59/mo to $99, again without notification, explanation, or my agreement. Several months went by before I noticed, and now my sales rep has not returned several calls. Shopping for alternatives.
From Kelly Brady, on Aug 08, 2022
After a number of months with Payment Depot/TSYS, I find I am charged a $55/month PCI compliance fee even though scans have passed and I've apparently follow all requirements. Not sure yet how many months I've been charged. I believe they have intentionally set up a confusing and hard to follow PCI compliance process in order to generate additional fees. So I am terminating them and filing a dispute and complaints regarding this fraudulent billing.
From Koichi Sato, on Jan 15, 2021
4 months have passed since we made a contract with the company. (Actually, when I closely looked at the contract, it was made between First Data and us. Payment Depot is like a middleman. But we could get a better rate via Payment Depot than we would get from First Data.) Their monthly statement is very easy to understand. We have been charged as what is stated in its quote. Thank you Payment Depot and Card Fellow!
From Marci, on May 28, 2020
There service is exactly what they say it is. They even go overboard to help me find solutions to new changes in our business.
From Stitch Niche, on Nov 04, 2019
From Jeff, on Sep 18, 2017
Our campground has been with Payment Depot for a year now and all I can say is the experience has been phenomenal. The cost savings are real and the customer service has been terrific, they are clearly an anomaly in the marketplace.
From Jill, on Aug 17, 2017
From Scott, on Aug 17, 2017
CardFellow is a great service and results in the lowest possible credit card acceptance rates, a year in and I couldn't be happier. Our processor Payment Depot is easy to deal with and the self audit even showed a tiny bit more savings to achieve.View Processor's Feedback
From Paul, on May 05, 2017
From Tony, on Feb 14, 2017
Very easy to sign up. Gave us a tremendous deal. We were paying around five percent with Signature. With Payment Depot, we're paying around four.
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.
Do you Know this processor? Write a review about it
Posted by Ben on Oct 06, 2020
Simple to use