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Paysafe is a merchant services provider that supports markets primarily in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Europe. Although it is known for its wide variety of payment solutions, many features are limited to Europe, meaning U.S. businesses primarily use it as a payment service provider for credit cards.
Paysafe's quote-only pricing might be acceptable to businesses that have high transaction volumes and are looking for more tailored fees. However, customer ratings are somewhat low, and the company lacks transparency in pricing and contract terms. Small businesses that process lower transaction volumes and need business-specific software features can likely find a better option.
Varies. Depends on selections and is integrated as part of quotes.
Varies. Depends on hardware selection.
Payment processing cost
Quote-based. Depends on needs and services.
Varies. Options vary from month-to-month to three years.
Email and phone.
Ease of use
Middle of the road. Some customers find it simple to use; others say it is not intuitive.
What is Paysafe used for?
As a merchant services provider, Paysafe offers payment processing that integrates with your business’s point-of-sale, allowing you to accept different payment methods.
Businesses can also get a Clover credit card reader through Paysafe if they want to accept payments, and Paysafe does the behind-the-scenes work to ensure that credit card transactions are successful. Paysafe handles online, in-person and mobile transactions.
How much does Paysafe cost?
Unlike some of its competitors, Paysafe doesn't offer transparent pricing. Instead, it provides individual quotes based on several factors. While this structure can be an obstacle for some small businesses, larger businesses might find that the tailored approach offers competitive rates.
Because Paysafe is entirely quote-based, what you pay likely depends on the services you need, your monthly transaction volume, the average cost of individual transactions and more. Paysafe advertises “supercompetitive processing rates” on its website.
However, without transparent pricing, it’s hard to know upfront if Paysafe will be a good deal for your business. Generally, merchants with higher transaction volumes receive lower payment processing fees, but there’s no way to be sure this applies at Paysafe as well.
Do your research after speaking with a representative to determine if a contract makes financial sense for your business. Keep in mind that you’ll need to sign a contract to start processing payments, and those contracts can range from monthly to three-year agreements.
Paysafe supports in-person and online credit and debit card payments from most major credit card providers. As its name suggests, the company prioritizes security during checkout with fraud prevention tools, tokenization and a chargeback management process that ensures your business will be PCI compliant.
In addition to general payment processing, Paysafe has industry-specific solutions for convenience stores, gas stations, digital marketing companies, regulated iGaming and online lottery services and more.
In-store payments work with several terminals. Customers get a discount on the Clover Station, which is a powerful countertop terminal. You may also qualify for a loan program to avoid the high cost of having to buy a Clover Mini or Flex outright. Businesses can also use Paysafe as their payment processor with Ingenico, Verifone and SwipeSimple, among others.
Online payments are secure with Paysafe's Secured Checkout, which allows you to save customer payment information, create scheduled payments, track data on your transactions and integrate a custom payments page onto your website (with customer support to help with coding). Recurring payments and invoicing are also supported by online payment processing.
Mobile payments are an additional option; you can process them with a smartphone or tablet via Paysafe’s mobile app.
Paysafe offers a digital wallet that stores payment methods, such as credit card information, and allows customers to pay contactlessly. Popular examples of digital wallets include Venmo and Samsung Pay.
Paysafe offers digital wallet services through its subsidiaries Skrill and Neteller. These integrations allow your business to accept payment from users who have the Skrill or Neteller app, which can provide an alternative payment method for users and increase your business’s accessibility.
Non-U.S. alternative payment methods
Paysafe offers several alternative payment methods that are only available in European markets, including the paysafecard, paysafecash and bank transfers. Although this opens up several options to European businesses, this limits the company’s features for U.S.-based businesses. The company has expanded into Latin America with its purchase of SafetyPay.
Small-business loans and merchant cash advances
Paysafe partner Rapid Finance offers small-business loans with variable terms and fixed payments, as well as merchant cash advances. Rapid Finance is not Paysafe, however.
Paysafe offers email support for general account and technical issues with a 24-hour turnaround time for responses.
Phone support is also available during business hours.
Quote-only pricing is less transparent, but customized pricing also is an opportunity to avoid paying for features you don’t need. If monthly transaction volume and average transaction amounts are factors in those quotes, businesses that are processing large volumes every month may get lower rates.
Lack of transparency
Paysafe doesn't clearly explain certain features. There’s a lot of information on the developer side of the company’s website, but it can be difficult for the average merchant to understand how its system works without speaking with a representative.
The lack of transparency applies to its pricing as well, which can make it difficult to assess whether Paysafe will work for you without going through the quoting process.
Limited U.S.-based features
Many Paysafe payment methods aren't available in the U.S. This limits what a business can do.
Here is how Paysafe is ranked on major review websites as of this writing:
Capterra: 2.4 stars out of 5 stars (18 reviews).
TrustPilot: 1.8 stars out of 5 stars (327 reviews).
Better Business Bureau: A+, but 1.14 stars out of 5 stars (37 reviews).
Many customers cited hidden and inflated fees, issues with accessing fees or having them refunded and unexpected termination fees in lower review scores and BBB complaints.
Paysafe did say via email that it takes customer feedback into consideration and works with its teams to address recurring issues, in this case ensuring that customers are informed of all terms and conditions and presented with transparent agreements.
Reviews are inconsistent about customer service. Negative accounts say it’s difficult to have issues resolved or to hear back at all. Positive reviews, however, give glowing accounts of the helpfulness of customer support reps during the initial setup. Users also touted the company's interface and features as a plus, focusing on its capabilities and streamlined process.
Square doesn’t offer an alternative to every Paysafe tool, but it is a straightforward and transparent service that can work for small business payment processing. With Square POS, you can get point of sale and payment processing and pay 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person credit card transactions. Square also sells the hardware you need to accept magstripe, chip and contactless payments. And if you need a digital wallet, Square Cash can work in conjunction with your POS to add cash payments to the mix. Essentially, you get fewer payment options but a more reputable service.
If you’re looking for a merchant services provider that gives you a POS, payment processing and a hosted website, consider Shopify POS. Starting at $29 per month, you’ll get all of the aforementioned features plus a payment processing fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents for online purchases. Shopify is also scalable, allowing you to pay higher monthly fees to facilitate more sales while receiving lower processing fees.
A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.