Payza is a secure way to send and receive money worldwide "Review"

Payza is a secure way to send and receive money worldwide "Review"

Payza is an online payment processor that functions in a manner similar to PayPal or Dwolla. There are a number of unusual features about the company and its service that make it a difficult provider to research and rate. For one thing, the company was formerly based in Canada and known as AlertPay before it was bought by MH Pillars, Ltd. in 2012. This “acquisition” appears to have been more of a rebranding, as there is not a great deal of information available online about MH Pillars, Ltd beyond the fact that it is a DBA of Payza.
For another thing, the company appears to have offices all over the world. Payza is headquartered in London, has a regional office in New York City, uses an acquiring bank located in Moscow, and has made significant recent gains in the Bangladesh payments market. Part of this global success is likely attributable to the fact that the company actively promotes its ability to process remittances (the earnings that a foreign worker sends to his or her home country), which is a largely untapped market among payment processors.
The company appears to have only recently ventured into the U.S. market under the Payza name, but it is unclear at this time whether it can actually process payments for U.S. users.

How it works

Payza appears to operate by having its users send and receive money from dedicated Payza accounts. The company offers both personal and business accounts, and businesses can accept credit card payments from customers who do not have Payza accounts via “pay now” buttons on their websites. It’s free for anyone to send money from their Payza account to someone else’s Payza account, but a transaction fee is assessed for anyone who accepts money from another Payza user.
It seems that Payza users transfer funds through some sort of email authorization system like that used by Square Cash. The company allows users to fund their Payza accounts through ACH transfers, bank wires, cashier’s checks, money orders, or credit and debit cards. Payza users can withdraw money from their accounts using ACH transfers or credit cards, or by loading a prepaid Visa card with their funds in countries where this service is available.

Payza Sales & Marketing Tactics

Payza mostly markets its services through its website, and the company does not appear to employ a large outside sales team or utilize telemarketing. While these sales and hiring practices are favorable in our view, the company still has a long way to go when it comes to transparency.
It is difficult to understand the details of how Payza works by visiting its website. There appears to be some sort of email authorization that takes place between users who are sending payments, and the company seems to be oriented exclusively toward e-commerce rather than brick-and-mortar merchants. According to some merchant reviews, the company has a complicated fee transfer schedule depending on the type of transaction taking place and the two types of accounts involved. The company does not visibly list its rates on any of its product description pages, but its “Fees” page does appear to fully disclose its pricing.
It’s tempting to simply attribute the company’s confusing payment system and rate structure to poor website design, but there may be more to the story. The vast majority of Payza negative reviews by merchants have been filed with regard to sudden, long-term fund holds and account freezes. Most of these merchants seem to have very little understanding of what exactly they did to cause Payza to hold their funds, and the public reasons given by the company both on its website and in its public responses to these complaints are numerous and inconsistent. Since the company reserves the right to place any funds withheld from merchants in an interest-bearing account, the company does have some incentive to withhold funds. Given the company’s apparently aggressive hold policies, the lack of clear information on its website is a major cause for concern and has lowered the company’s score to a “C” in this section.

Payza Costs & Contract Terms

Payza does not charge setup fees, monthly fees, PCI Compliance fees, or cancellation fees. The company offers two tiers of service with different transaction rates, although there appears to be no difference between the rates paid by “Personal” users and “Business” users.
Personal and Business users may send funds for free at all times, but they are assessed a fee of 2.50% plus $0.25 on any payments they receive. Some industries (likely high-risk transaction types) will be assessed a fee of 3.90% plus $0.59 per transaction, but it’s not clear which industries this applies to. Both account types can add funds to their Payza accounts via credit card for 3.50% per transaction or for free through a prepaid card or bank transfer. It also appears that customers are charged either $1.00 CAD (for prepaid card transfer), $0.50 (for bank transfer), 2% (for bitcoin), or a minimum of $8.00 (for credit cards) for each withdrawal from their Payza account. This withdrawal fee is a clear incentive for users to wait until their balances are very large before making a withdrawal.
Despite the company’s lack of long-term contracts and its mildly expensive transaction fees, its grade has been lowered to a “C-” for what appears to be an aggressive and inconsistent fraud prevention policy. Public complaints abound regarding funds withheld on user-to-user payments, personal-to-business payments, refunds, withdrawals, and sometimes for no clear reason. For example, in early December 2013, it appears that the company abruptly sent out a notice to its users explaining that it was suddenly unable to process payments in the U.S., effectively freezing the accounts of any U.S. users until further notice. Whether or not Payza can currently process withdrawals in the United States is unclear. The reasons given by the company for holds and service interruptions are disturbingly vague in most cases, and they’re made more worrisome by language in the company’s official terms and conditions that threatens merchants with a fine if they contact Payza’s partner banks when investigating a hold.

Payza is a secure way to send and receive money worldwide "Review"

Payza Complaints & Service

Payza is currently showing approximately 150 complaints on various consumer protection websites, and many of these complaints accuse the company of being a fund holding scam that signs new customers up for service with the intention of holding their funds and gathering interest on them. Some of these complaints have been filed against the company’s former name of AlertPay, and an equal amount have been filed in a forum specifically created to warn business owners against using Payza.
The story behind this forum,, is that the owner of a company called Themco felt that the company withheld $1.289 million from his business in order to fund its operations with the interest gathered on the amount. When legal recourse failed to obtain the disputed funds, Themco launched this forum to alert merchants to the risk of fund holds at Payza. The forum appears to be mildly active with members from all over the world, but it’s unclear how many of its users are simply shareholders of the company. It’s difficult to determine the validity of Themco’s claim, since details about the organization are scarce. Either way, the amount in dispute is an obscenely large hold amount and merits discussion in this review on that basis alone.
Payza offers a live support phone number, an FAQ section on its website, chat support, and a ticketing system. One merchant’s experience with the Payza support team has been documented on YouTube:

Payza BBB Report

Payza is not an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau at this time, but it is nevertheless showing an “A+” rating based on 62 complaints filed in the two years since the account was created. Of these complaints, 35 are related to problems with the product or service, 11 had to do with delivery issues, and eight apiece were attributed to advertising and billing issues. The company has resolved an impressive 58 of these complaints, while four merchants were left dissatisfied despite what the BBB considers a good faith effort by Payza. Considering the company’s complaint volume for its size in the U.S., we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C.” For more about why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our rating criteria.

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