Payment Gateways are one of those arcane pieces of business that any organisation that wants to take credit cards or Interac have to deal with. There are numerous gateway services out there, and frankly, most of them aren’t very good. In Canada in particular, there’s a lack of transparency and a lack of good competition which means our rates are generally higher than those in the US.
I’ll go into detail about payment processing and the various methods that are used to charge / invoice businesses; but suffice to say that 99% of the companies in Canada do their best to obfuscate how much you are paying. At the end of the day, their goal is to get you signed as most merchants won’t go through the hassle of moving their business.
I mention all this so that you can understand that even with the very low expectations I have for these providers, Elavon & CollectivePOS are in my experience, the very bottom of the barrel.
Now, to be clear – CollectivePOS is a not a payment processor themselves, they are basically an agent of Elavon. Elavon has multiple agents out there; so it’s best for you to always check who the final payment processor you are working with.
Here’s a bullet point list of the things we had to deal with:
- Lousy to no support unless threats were made
- An arcane processing system that even their tech department doesn’t understand
- Setting up our merchant account wrong – and then continuing to bill us even though we couldn’t actually use the account
- Highly dangerous, privacy endangering practices (they wanted us to save credit cards on our server!)
- Continual billing 5 months after we had closed the accounts
I could go on, but really, I don’t want to think about it any further. I believe I’ve finally dealt with the last of their billing issues, but who knows. It might still happen…