CDGcommerce Review

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Date Established
1998
Location
Chesapeake, VA

Highlights:

  • Interchange-plus pricing offered
  • Great customer support
  • Great for e-commerce businesses
  • Free payment gateway
  • No termination fees
  • No monthly minimum
  • No setup/application fees
  • No PCI compliance fees

Overview:

We don’t give out perfect scores lightly. Only truly exceptional providers can hope to get a five-star review, and even those who make it to that elite level have to keep up the good work, since we constantly reevaluate our ratings to make sure last year’s perfect providers are still the best of the best today. As a reviewer, I’m always looking for things to complain about and will downgrade ratings without any hesitation when I can no longer stand behind an earlier rating (lest they make me look bad!). So let me tell you, CDGcommerce is the real deal. They’ve been among our favorite payment processors for a while now, and have never faltered.

Formed in 1998, CDGcommerce has had plenty of time to cultivate a reputation – and they have. Across the board, independent reviewers have praised this company for years. Customer complaints are nearly non-existent, and absolutely never habitual. The internet has a very good memory, so even good companies tend to rack up a bunch of reviews on popular complaint sites. CDGcommerce, on the other hand, has a fairly spotless reputation, with absolutely no damning complaints to be found in 15 years!

This is no accident. CDG simply provides excellent service and clear, honest marketing. To that end, they have:

  • No set up fee
  • No monthly minimum
  • No early termination fee
  • No PCI compliance fee
  • Free use of Quantum gateway

Finding all of these features in one place for as little as $10 per month in base fees is exceptionally rare. Beyond that initial $10, you can pick and choose additional services to pay for. This way you aren’t paying for things you don’t want or need. Want to use an Authorize.Net gateway instead? Only $15 per month, no set up fee. Want $100K in data breach insurance and other security upgrades? $15 extra (and $15 very well spent, in my opinion). Want a terminal? Well, you only have to pay $79 annually for insurance, nothing more. Don’t want any of those things? That’s fine too. You won’t be charged for them.

CDGcommerce might not have the name recognition of a big processor, but that doesn’t stop them from providing some of the best, most flexible service around. They make a great option for those who just want to process sporadically, or even those interested in mobile processing (they’ll even give you a free card reader). While I’d really like to see CDG advertise an interchange-plus program, you can get it if you ask for it, or through this offer.

All said, I’m glad to recommend CDGcommerce to any and all businesses, especially ecommerce businesses. Whether you’re looking for barebones service or a fully equipped account, CDG will set you up with an affordable plan and honest, high-quality service. They’ve earned their 5-star rating, and I have a feeling they’ll be holding on to it for many more years.

Check out the full review below for more details on this stand-out processor.

Get Started with CGDCommerce

Products and Services:

CDG’s line of products and services covers all the bases, with a focus on ecommerce and small to mid-sized businesses. Their one-step PCI compliance program and robust optional CDG360 security features come in handy for ecommerce and beyond, and their free additional account tools will help you get the most out of your processing experience. CDG offerings include:

  • Merchant accounts
  • Virtual terminal/gateway: You can use a Quantum gateway for free, or pay $15 per month for an Authorize.Net gateway. Virtual terminal is free, and allows you to process from any internet-connected computer instead of a traditional credit card terminal.
  • Terminal leases: While I’m normally not crazy about terminal leases, CDG does a pretty god job of keeping it affordable. While other companies will set you up with a non-cancellable third-party lease amounting to thousands of dollars in fees or cancellation penalties, CDG offers truly free terminal leases. You’ll just have to pay a $79 annual insurance fee and, of course, return the machine when you wish to cancel service. Wireless terminals (not the same as mobile) carry different fees, however.
  • Mobile readers and USB readers: These terminal alternatives allow you to process swiped transactions from any computer or smartphone, and are available for free with your account – you won’t even have to pay the insurance fee. Good deal!
  • Online reporting and tools: I usually consider online reporting and some additional tools a given, but CDG really goes above and beyond the industry standard here. Features include detailed account information, chargeback/fraud warnings, automated alerts, real time reporting, historic trends and graphs, Quick Books integration, and a bunch of other useful tools.
  • Security service: Called CDG360, this $15 optional add-on includes $100K breach/data theft protection, PCI/DSS vulnerability scans, customized security alerts, staff awareness training, and a Merchant Trust seal for your website. For $15 a month, the $100K insurance alone could be worth it.

Fees and Rates:

While I found this portion of the CDG site a little difficult to navigate, that’s really only because they provide so much information. Right off the bat, they won’t charge you for the usual money pits:

  • No set up fee
  • No monthly minimum
  • No early termination fee
  • No PCI compliance fee
  • Free use of gateway and virtual terminal

BAM! That’s great news. Generally, you would expect to pay $8 per month for PCI, up to $25 for monthly minimum, $100+ in set up fees, and $300 in early termination fees. Gateway fees are usually around $10-15, and many companies charge for virtual terminal use on top of that. (Great job CDG!)

Okay, so what will you have to pay then?

  • Statement fee: $10

…that’s it. You are not obligated to pay any more than that for your baseline cost. Of course you’ll also pay processing fees, but even those rates are competitive. If you want to use an Authorize.Net gateway instead of Quantum, then you will need to tack on $15 per month. If you want their CDG360 security package (including $100K of data breach insurance), then you’ll have to add on an additional $15. These services are entirely optional, though.

You can get an interchange-plus plan if you ask for it, or through this offer created specially for our readers. (I know it looks gimmicky, but trust me – it’s real.)

Ten bucks for base fees is about as low as it gets in this industry. Even mobile processors like Inner Fence are charging $25 monthly just to maintain your account.

You can also get free use of a credit card terminal, provided you pay a $79 insurance fee annually. Mobile phone-based swipers come completely free of charge. For merchants interested in wireless terminals (NOT mobile card readers), you have to pay:

  • $35 set up fee
  • $19.95 monthly wireless fee
  • $79 insurance fee

But you will get to lease the wireless terminal at no additional cost, which is nice.

You can find CDG’s standard processing rates here, but I’m not going to include them in this review. In all likelihood, your actual quote will not be exactly the same as what you see on their site. If you want a quick quote without calling them up, you can use their online application process to get a no-commitment rate quote.

Contract Length and Early Termination Fee:

No early termination fees means that, for all intensive purposes, you will have a month-to-month contract with CDG. You should note, however, that you will need to complete the necessary steps for cancellation outlined in your merchant agreement in order to stop your monthly fees from being billed.

Sales and Advertising Transparency:

CDG Commerce does an outstanding job disclosing all account fees and major contract stipulations to potential customers. You will see a couple of offers that I might call “gimmicks,” but none are deceptive. For instance, they offer free terminal leases, but fully disclose the mandatory $79 annual insurance fee.

I also like that they don’t depend on sales-driven independent agents, a practice that can lead to a poorly trained and inconsistent salesforce encouraged to sell expensive accounts for higher commissions. The CDG salespeople I spoke with on the phone and via chat were very helpful, honest, intelligent, and offered me very fair and consistent pricing information.

Their Resources page offers a few useful documents. It’s nothing too impressive, but nice to see nonetheless. I would like to see more information about interchange-plus pricing, but I’m glad that they at least offer it.

Customer Service and Technical Support:

We’ve personally experienced CDG’s customer service, in addition to the responses that we’ve heard from references and other friends. Their staff is very helpful, knowledgeable, and operates with a great deal of integrity. They offer live chat, email, and phone support 24/7.

As a reviewer, it’s difficult for me to ascertain the quality of customer service when it comes to complex, account-specific issues. But that’s where you come in! Have you worked with CDGcommerce? Please leave us your comments! Don’t forget to read the user review and comment policy.

Negative Reviews and Complaints:

While CDG has virtually no complaints on the web after 15 years in business, you can find a few if you try. Of these, however, I’ve actually seen the company CEO personally respond on occasion and offer to help the complainant directly. That’s pretty awesome in my book. Try getting the CEO of First Data to respond to your complaint…

At the BBB, you’ll find five complaints over the past three years, with two of those occurring in the past twelve months, along with an A+ rating. For a business dealing with so many merchants over such a long period of time, this kind of web reputation is almost unheard of in the processing industry.

While a few complaints have come up, none have with any real regularity. Any processor might have isolated problems. As long as no patterns of poor service emerge and the processor addresses complaints, I can’t hold it against them. Here are some things you should know, though:

  • You need to be a US-based merchant doing business mostly in the US. While CDG puts this info all over their site and applications, it still catches a few merchants by surprise. CDG has taken these complaints to heart, though, and now even direct such merchants elsewhere.

Our services require a U.S. business, U.S. bank account and a U.S. signer with a valid SSN #. If your business does not meet these criteria, please consider our international & high risk affiliate option.

  • Account freezes and cancellations: Since a processor is essentially extending you a line of credit with your merchant account, they have to cover their own butts. This sometimes means holding funds or freezing your account if suspicious activity comes up. From what I’ve seen, CDG does a good job of avoiding these practices as much as possible. They do happen, though, and can occur with literally any account provider. Check out our article to learn how you can prevent freezes and holds.

Positive Reviews and Testimonials:

On their site, you’ll find a long list of customer testimonials. We have personally contacted a number of them, and found these merchants were extremely happy with their accounts. They also assured us that they weren’t paid or incentivized in any way by CDGcommerce to write their testimonials.

You’ll find a number of positive reviews in our comments section, as well as on other independent review sites. It’s fairly uncommon for satisfied customers to go through the trouble of writing a review. In my experience, customers are exactly 1,000,000 times more likely to complain than to praise, especially in this industry. Given this, even a few positive customer experience can mean a lot!

Final Verdict:

In the end, we still love CDGcommerce. They are about as close to an all-around perfect payment processor as you’re likely to find anywhere. They have fully-disclosed base fees as low as $10 per month, making CDG a great option for low-volume or sporadic processing. On the other hand, they also have all the resources a larger business would need, including optional breach insurance and security upgrades for an extra $15 per month. With no PCI compliance fees, no early termination fees, free gateway/virtual terminal, and no monthly minimums alongside fair rates and abundant features, I couldn’t ask for more.

If I had to come up with some complaints, my first one would be that they don’t advertise interchange-plus, which is by and large the most transparent and fair pricing model out there. That said, they do offer interchange-plus pricing with no monthly minimum for most businesses, but you’ll have to ask for it and your sales rep will probably have to get approval from a manager. You can also get it through this unadvertised offer.

Overall, I’m more than happy to recommend CDGcommerce to any and all businesses, friends and family included. Whether you’re looking for bare-bones service or an account with all the bells and whistles, CDG will set you up with an affordable plan and honest, high-quality service. They’ve earned every point in their 5-star rating!

Tom DeSimone

Tom DeSimone

Tom loves asking tough questions and getting straight answers, so he has a lot of fun calling payment processors for Merchant Maverick to cut through their smoke and mirrors and find the real deals. He has run a full-time editorial business from his home in New York’s Hudson Valley since 2010 and could not imagine a better job. When not busy writing and keeping credit processors honest, Tom enjoys backpacking in the mountains.
Tom DeSimone
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128 Comments

    Ruth

    Hi Tom,
    We are a small sized company who previously had a merchant account but never used the merchant account. Currently we have a client who would like to make payments via a credit card. I am guessing that they may be using a rewards card. We will probably be billing them twice a month. Each invoice will vary between $1,500 – $10,000. I am a Quickbooks user. Can you make a recommendation based on this? Thanks for your help.

    RatingNot Rated
    Amad Ebrahimi

    Ruth,

    We recently launched a tool to help our readers find the right merchant account for their business. Please give it a try and let us know what you think.

    Take care,
    Amad

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    Dave

    They advertise 1.70% on each transaction and 2.90% for keyed-in sales, international cards and Premium cards.

    However, we’ve just received our first statement and 7 of 8 transactions got to the rate of 2.90%. Immediately contacted CDG and their answer was that we took 7 reward cards. Now where in the contract or the application says that rewards cards are premium cards? I even asked the CDG rep to show me a list of “Premium cards” and he said that they don’t have one. This sounds like a rip off to me. Switched from Squareup.com with 2.75% and now we are at 2.90%. What happen to the 1.70% they advertised. Do I really need to get into my customer wallets and pick a non premium reward card in order to get the 1.70% each time they want to pay us. AMEX has always been 2.90% or even 3% I can live with that because is AMEX.

    Any feedback would be appreciated.

    Rating22222
    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Dave,

    This is part of why we recommend using interchange-plus instead of a tiered plan. With interchange-plus, you pay the actual cost charged by the credit card companies plus a small mark up from the processor. It’s a much more transparent way of pricing. We actually have a special arrangement with CDGcommerce to ensure anyone signing up with them via this review will get a standardized interchange-plus quote.

    But with that said, we’ve always known CDG to be a fair and honest service provider. The fact is that rewards cards actually do cost more to process, about 1% more in many cases. But there are dozens of different rates depending on the card and your business type. CDG offers a tiered pricing system to simplify this and turn all of those dozens of card categories into just two simple price points. This can make bookkeeping and prediction of cost easier. But in many cases it does end up being a bit more expensive. (Except for AMEX. They have their own pricing independent from the other card brands, and it will always be more expensive no matter what pricing plan you have.)

    If you’d like to lower your rates with CDG, you can ask about switching to an interchange-plus plan. Worst case scenario, if you are not satisfied with their service they do not charge an early termination fee, so you are free to leave. But I’d bet they’ll be willing to work with you.

    Good luck,
    Tom

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    Joe Willie

    actually what i would find more useful is an attempt to get a bit more realistic and hands-on in terms of what it means to work with a provider such as cdg. as a user, the following questions seem obvious, but are not addressed here (from what i have read so far in the comments):

    1) how can you tie your ach transactions to your daily transaction batch settlements? this is almost impossible to do, and is not automated.
    2) why are batch settlement reports keyed in manually by cdg? i have found several (large) discrepancies, and the answer is alway: mistakes can happen
    3) why is it the fee structure that you are told by customer support different from the fee structure that is listed on your own “home page” account at cdg (your actual “rates” are much higher than what you think you are getting)
    4) it is almost impossible to tell what is being charged, given how ACH processing deposit occur asynchronously in your commercial checking account, sometimes with the fees front loaded, other times with ach debits that come without warning (apart from the regular $15 per month charge by cdg)
    5) there is a significant lag time (particularly over a weekend) between when a charge event occurs at your store, and when you see it hit in your actual bank account, and also when you see it actually appear in the cdg report — again making all this very hard to reconcile from an accounting perspective
    6) why do some of the chart reports on cdg simply not work?
    7) watch out for Amex — significant transaction costs, well well outside the norm — again very difficult to track, so better to just decline amex

    the more general and obvious question is, why is is determining the true cost of credit card processing so complex? the obvious answer, which i hope is not the case, is that the obfuscation is to cloud the ability of ability of the average non technical, busy store owner (who cannot afford to have high accounting-related expenses) to assess what he or she is really paying.

    say it ain’t so, joe.

    Rating22222
    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Joe,

    These are good questions, some of which I can give you insight on, while others you will have to ask CDG about directly. I have always found their representatives to be responsive.

    ACH transactions are processed by a separate entity, on a separate network, and take way longer to go through than card transactions no matter who you process with. If I recall, CDG charges 1% on ACH transactions. So knowing how much you are being charged should be fairly simple – way simpler than on card payments, anyway.

    Funding time is tracked in terms of business days, so batches occurring on or directly before non-business days will take longer to process. This is true of all payment processors.

    The fee structure you are told by customer support should be in-line with your actual fees. If you have an interchange-plus plan, then you will be charged a flat markup plus an authorization fee on top of the actual interchange cost of the transactions. If you are on a tiered plan, you should be charged flat rates depending on the type of transaction. I have not heard of other complaints about such discrepancies. If you believe you are being overcharged, I would absolutely encourage you to have CDG review your account.

    If you are having trouble with CDG’s reporting software, you will need to ask them about this. Certainly there should not be broken report features.

    CDG has no control over AMEX costs. (Although AMEX recently launched a new pricing system that changes this to some extent.) No matter who you process with, American Express will be more expensive to accept. There is no reason why this should be difficult to track. All of this information is in your processing statement.

    In general fees and cost should not be difficult to track. If you are having trouble understanding the information on your statement, customer service will be glad to assist you and explain any charges. To make accounting easier, you might consider linking a Quickbooks account.

    We have been directing merchants to CDGcommerce for years, and have seen countless satisfied merchants with very few complaints. In my experience CDG’s pricing is very straightforward and fair. I would encourage you to reach out to CDG regarding your questions. If in the end you are not satisfied with the service, there is no penalty for closing your account and switching to a new provider.

    Best,
    Tom

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    Joe Willie

    well… one thing that would be helpful would be a cdg manual that specifies exactly how to reconcile your reports. none exist. learning how to reconcile various reports via chat or phone or email is not the greatest approach, when you consider that:

    1) your ach report will often not match your settlement report (they will differ by date, and the aggregate sums, including some transactions that appear in your ach report will be completely absent in your settlement report, due to manual rekeying by cdg )
    2) your ach report (which actually original from your terminal processor) will be also be different from your online bank statement reports, again by date and aggregate amounts (or batches)

    this is completely non-trivial to reconcile, depending on your sales volume, and to handwave and say an accounting package (which comes with its own set of problems, incluing vendor lock-in, lack of bacward compatibility, and many other issues, which any user of these solutions is all too familiar with) and magically solves this problem is false — in my experience. you actually have to figure it out for yourself; accounting packages will not do this for you: import to quickbooks or spreadsheets is just the begining of the reconciliation process; there is no add-on or plug-in that does this for you.

    not to mention that you also then have to double check what you are actually being charged in terms of fees, by verifying the amounts deducted (the whole qualified vs non qualified charges, for example, which can occur both pre and post posting to your merchant account, and is in and of itself another fairly substantial headache and all rather opaque). I am not saying it cannot be done. But it is not child’s play.

    many startups cannot afford sophisticated backend / front end integrated POS systems synched up to barcoded inventory and OFX/Direct Connect integration that automatically producing accurate reports that match all your store’s credit card transactions to what you see in your merchant checking account, so all this can get to be very time-consuming (unless you can afford a good accountant, who will charge you by the hour) to manually verify and reconcile — particularly since the average small business retailer will probably not really understand the math behind the so-called tiered pricing systems most vendors like cdg use to market their services, and the relationship of these pricing models to the actual, multilayered cc processing charges from visa mc etc on the backend, which are incredibly complex and murky, and require much homework to understand.

    at least that is how I see it, as someone who is actually doing this stuff. Any other opinions, thoughts, or solution/ideas re these issues would be most welcome in my book, as i can always use tips and tricks to try to make my job easier.

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    Rob

    Tom,

    We’re a bit larger of a business than most of the replies pertain to, but I still need help if you can point me in the right direction? We’re an HVAC company with 12 Technicians in the field, installing AC units here in Florida. We really want them to have mobile card readers to avoid the practice of writing card numbers on invoices and authorizing them later. With a company that does more than $50k a month in card transactions now, would you recommend CDGcommerce still? Our current merchant account has great rates, but lacks the technology for mobile card readers and iphone/Android apps. Your thoughts?

    Respectfully,

    Rob

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Rob,

    You definitely stand to save a substantial amount by converting those keyed-in payments to swiped payment via a mobile app. Whether or not a processor will be able to set you up with a mobile app that works with a swiper depends largely on which payment gateways they use. CDGcommerce will have no trouble setting you up with rates that match or potentially undercut your current rates at that volume. They’ll also be able to help you figure out the best solution for your particular mobile processing needs. They have some flexibility in terms of which gateway and processing app they set you up with, so there’s a good chance that they can find a workable setup for you.

    So I think CDG is a good starting place as you look to switch. Get in touch with them and see how it goes. If it doesn’t seem like they can offer what you’re looking for, come back and we’ll figure out the next best option.

    Good luck,
    Tom

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    Rob

    Hi Tom,

    Thank you for the timely reply. You mention CDG as a good starting place. Should I be comparing them to another viable option in your opinion?

    Rating55555
    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Rob,

    Unless there is a feature that you need that CDG can’t provide, there’s no reason not to use them. They will be able to set you up with rates as low as you’re likely to find anywhere else, especially considering that you already have an established processing history with a substantial payment volume. Your processing rates and fees are going to make up the vast majority of your bill. Even if you need to pay an extra fee for a different mobile POS app or a different payment gateway, this will only be a small percentage of your total cost. If you want to make sure that you’re getting the lowest rates and fees possible, you can always get a few different quotes. Most processors (include CDG) will be willing to match any quote you get, so you will have your pick. But CDG is tried and true in my experience.

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    Pat McCrummen

    Tom — I have a question. I’m looking for merchant processing that has the option to download transactions into Quicken. Have been using PayPal and need to switch but must have the download option. Would appreciate any help you can provide.
    Thanks,
    Pat

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Pat,

    Most merchant services providers don’t have a simple way to import data to Quicken because Quicken is usually used for personal finance rather than business bookkeeping. Have you considered switching software? Quickbooks (also offered through Intuit, like Quicken) might serve you better. Many of our favorite processors integrate well with Quickbooks. Check out CDGcommerce for a good compatible payment processor.

    Good luck,
    Tom

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    steven jones

    I am running my own business of online computer support and website services started business on 13th of feb.2015.Am i able to get your merchant and gateway?
    Expected monthly sale will be $15000
    And average ticket will be $200
    and highest ticket will be $500
    Do CDG commerce provide merchant and gateway for these type of business?
    Rply As Soon As possible.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Steven,

    Your business might be considered high-risk. I would suggest talking to Payline Data or Durango Merchant Services about setting up an account. CDG may or may not be able to set this up.

    Good luck!

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    Tea Lady

    Tom, Because of your excellent review and the comments people have left, I decided to go with CDG, but noticed the discrepancy about the 0.00 transaction fee on the initial fill-in-your-info page. I emailed them about that and this was their immediate response:

    “It looks like you found us through Merchant Maverick, so you would qualify for our special pricing plan that is as follows:

    Interchange Cost + 0.30% + $0.15 per transaction.

    The first page of the application says 0.30% + $0.00 because we are not adding an extra per item fee to your transaction cost. There will be a $0.15 authorization fee if you are using Quantum Gateway or ProcessNow Mobile. There will be a $0.20 authorization fee if you are using Authorize.net gateway.

    You will see one of these fees on the last step before you are prompted to eSign the application online.

    As for batching, the system is set up to automatically run at the end of each day. There will be a $0.25 batch fee and you do not need to manually batch out.”

    Rating55555
    Tom DeSimone

    Thank you for passing this along! That makes sense to me. They’re trying to differentiate between a markup on per-transaction fee (which they do not charge) and an authorization fee (which is charged depending on the gateway). They don’t want people to think that they will be charged for both, but also want to make it clear that the $0.15 authorization fee exists (add $0.05 for Authorize.Net). This is why they advertise it on the opening page instead of just putting into the fee schedule without another disclosure.

    Thank you again for sharing this. Keep us posted on your experience with CDG.

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    clint

    when i clicked on the referral link, i saw the advertised rate of 0.30% plus .15 Per Transaction. but when I proceeded to register, it changed to “Congratulations! You are eligible for the low qualified rate of 0.30% and a $0.00 per item fee”

    Not sure why the difference.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Clint,

    I’m not sure about that either. This is the first such report I’m hearing. I’m unable to recreate this. Does this come up after you enter your contact details? Please let us know if you get more info, especially if it was an error.

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    clint

    hi, i clicked on the referral link, then selected quantum gateway (the big blue box). the i filled out the Online Merchant Application info, that message appeared. Maybe there are differences depending on which box a person chooses?

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    Tom DeSimone

    Thank you for the additional info. It could be that some mix between the processing option you chose and the application info you provided qualified you for a lower fee. As long as it’s lower than the advertised price, I’m okay with that. But please let us know if there is any problem whatsoever.

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    clint

    I’ve filled out the info and the final page more or less reflects the referral link quote, but since this is mostly greek to me, I’m not exactly sure.

    discount rate 0.30%
    Auth. Fee $0.15
    Monthly Service Fee: $10.00
    Batch Close Fee: $0.25
    Voice/ARU Auth Fee: $0.75 (no idea what this means)
    Chargeback Fee: $25.00
    Retrieval Fee: $15.00 (no idea what this means)
    ACH Return: $25.00

    (no other fees that I can see)

    also down the list is this category:
    Transaction Central/Transaction Express Processing Services
    TC, TC Plus, TXP, ACH
    (not sure what any of that means but txp is the only one checked)

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    Tom DeSimone

    Auth. Fee – This is charged on every transaction to authorize the card. It is ostensibly the same thing as a transaction fee.
    Batch Close Fee – Charged on every batch of transactions, probably once per business day.
    Voice/ARU Auth Fee – This is charged in the rare instance that a voice authorization is needed to complete a transaction.
    Retrieval Fee – This is charged during the initiation of a chargeback (hopefully never occurs). It covers the retrieval of paperwork for the bank.

    The TXP etc. section outlines the type of virtual terminal you will be issued based on the info provided in the application. They are really very similar from what I remember. The TXP means that you will have the Transaction Express virtual terminal.

    So it looks like the transaction fee is there after all. Not sure why it came up as $0 on the other page for you.

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    Shelby

    CDG is an absolute joke. I recently purchased a well established (3+ years old), US based ecommerce brand selling laptop bags to working professionals, with over $100k in annual sales. After almost 2 weeks of back & forth with my account contact who requested an insulting amount of documentation between my business & suppliers (upon request from their underwriting bank) I finally decided decided they weren’t worth the effort. I’ll gladly pay more to work with a better, and more credible institution.

    Rating11111

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Shelby

    Update…I went to Helcim & am up and running in 48 hours. CDG must have a dysfunctional relationship with their bank or something. Anyway, helcim has been great so far!

    RatingNot Rated

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Chris West

    Shelby,

    CDG is actually one of the -fastest- merchant processors in the country to approve the vast majority of merchants who apply with us. Naturally – in certain cases, additional documentation is necessary.

    In the case of a business (like yours) which sells branded laptop bags – it is important for us to be able to verify that there is a reseller/license agreement in place to allow those brands to be sold. There are legal and compliance reasons why this is important and severe penalties that can be assessed to a merchant processor and/or business if a logo is used without a legal license to do so.

    As such, it is far better to verify this in advance and allow for smooth, uninterrupted processing than for a merchant to get quickly approved for such an account only to have their account (and funds) placed on hold later at usually the worst possible moment in time for their business.

    We see this all of the time in the industry and don’t want our merchants to experience the same so we take the time to verify that they do have agreements in place for their own protection when they market these various name brand logos etc. Especially since you acquired this business, this is definitely something that you want to verify anyways.

    From speaking with our team I believe we were actually very close to completing your account approval so if you ever run into issues with that other processor please feel free to let us know and we’ll be happy to assist you. In either case, best of luck with your processing and your future endeavors!

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    Ken

    Hi Tom,

    I’ve been trying to seek the best mobile payment processor for my organization to accept credit cards via mobile swipe. I have extensively reviewed your analysis and customer testimonials for 3 companies so far: Square, Flint, CDGcommerce. I clicked on your CDGcommerce review link which you included as a response to one of the customers’ questions about Flint, and a scenario in which sales are very seasonal and certain transactions may be more than $1,000 each. I did not see comparable monthly maximums in this review for CDGcommerce for mobile swipes before funds are held for 30-90 days, or is there something I’m not understanding in regards to CDGcommerce not being comparable apples-to-apples with companies such as Square and Flint? Thank you very much for your time.

    Ken

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Ken,

    CDGcommerce is very flexible. Based on your needs and your business type, they will provide you with limits specifically decided for your unique business.

    Square and Flint will not charge any monthly fees, which is good for a seasonal or sporadic business. But the good news with CDG is that they will be able to provide you with seasonal downtime, meaning that during your off season they can suspend your account and won’t charge you any monthly fees during that time. They will also provide you with a virtual terminal and other useful tools.

    CDG us what we call a traditional merchant account provider, while companies like Flint and Square are called payment service providers. Check out this article for some more information about the differences between these classes. While holds and freezes can happen with any providers, traditional accounts are generally more stable.

    Good luck!
    -Tom

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    Ken

    Thank you very much Tom for your very helpful response. Just a couple follow-up questions:

    (1) In your article link that you provided for me in your response, you have Flint listed as an example of a “Standard Mobile Processing Providers” when it seemed like they fell under the “Mobile Processing Aggregators” category as described in your Flint review here: http://www.merchantmaverick.com/reviews/flint-mobile-review/
    Would you say then that Flint offers the best of both worlds?
    (2) My final question is, would you currently recommend Elavon under any situation given that there are so many competiors out there with attractive offerings?

    Happy Friday!
    Ken

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Ken,

    That is an excellent question, and one that I didn’t address more comprehensively because the answer is somewhat complicated and to some extent not public information. The short answer is that Flint does, as you suggested, provide the best of both worlds. Flint accounts have the stability associated with a traditional merchant account coupled with the low baseline costs associated with aggregating providers. The service has some limitations, but is a good option for low-volume businesses especially.

    Elavon is not a bad company. In fact Helcim, one of our favorite providers, uses Elavon as their backend processor. Meaning that when you sign up for Helcim, you are processing with Elavon. You just have to be careful to negotiate your rates and contract terms sufficiently to get the best deal. Or you can sign up with a company like Helcim that has already done the negotiating for you.

    Hope this helps.
    -Tom

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    Dany le-crois

    Thank you guys for all your reviews here.
    I am just starting out and in the process of learning the ropes.

    You mentioned here that CDG is not suited for eCommerce that are not US based. well I’m trying to start an on-line shop in France (Adress, Bank account, the works – all in France).

    Can you please recommend some merchant account/gateways that would will be great for european based shops?
    No need to go for the whole “Top 10″… one or two good one should do the trick.

    Appreciate it
    Dany

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Dany,

    Take a look at Braintree. They’d be my first choice for you. If not them, then consider Stripe. Both offer similar services, but I prefer Braintree.

    Good luck!
    Tom

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    Trish Holder

    What a nightmare!! I cannot recommend CDGcommerce at all. They complete messed up my setup and my first 9 transactions were caught in limbo. After numerous three way calls with CDGcommerce (Actually its TransFirst LLC NOT CDGcommerce that you actually have an account with) they finally got the batched settled. But even when the batch settles they put all my money on hold. The do risk analysis AFTER the approval which is a very backwards approach. I have been with them for 12 days and I still have no money! They have also informed me that if any of my sales go over a certain amount they will hold those funds as well until they receive some type of documentation from me. What a mistake I have made with choosing this company.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Trish,

    That’s certainly frustrating. CDG is generally very reliable, and we rarely hear negative experiences.

    Since CDGcommerce is not a direct processor, they may set up accounts with a number of different processors (including TransFirst) depending on the needs of the merchant.

    Regardless, it’s disappointing to hear that your setup was a hassle, and now you are faced with a hold on your very first deposit with them. There are many reasons why something like this can happen, especially early on. Without knowing all of the specifics of the situation it’s hard to say what could have been done to avoid it. But based on all of our experience with CDG over a number of years I can fairly confidently say that they are doing everything they can to get this resolved as quickly as possible for your business. I’ll be hoping that this is fixed soon.

    Please keep us posted to let us know how this goes.

    Best,
    Tom

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    Clint

    This company looks interesting, but I am confused by how the advertised rates on their website differ vs. the merchantmaverick ‘exclusive offer’. For example the CDG website advertises (one example) swipe/mobile: 1.70% +0.25c

    the mm offer advertises: .30% + 15c

    but I am not sure what the .30% is added to. would it come out to be 1.70% +.30% +15c?

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Clint,

    The public standardized rate quote that CDG provides is for a tiered pricing structure. We like to encourage our readers to use interchange-plus for the best value, so we have personally arranged a deal with CDG to provide a standardized interchange-plus plan for our readers.

    The 0.30% + $0.15 is added to the actual rates that the credit card companies charge all processors to run the transactions. This charge will vary based on the type of transaction (card-present is lower, card-not-present is higher) and the type of card (debit is lower, business rewards cards are higher). The interchange rates are published publicly by the credit card networks. (Here are Visa’s.)

    We find that processors tend to overcharge merchants when using a flat rate, tiered system. By using interchange-plus, you are able to see the processor’s markup in clear terms, so you can know you are not being overcharged. You don’t have to worry about any non-qualified surcharges.

    The actual rates card networks charge for swiped transactions range from 0.05% (for most debit) to 2.3% (for specialty rewards cards). (Keyed-in will be higher.) This means that with 0.3% interchange-plus, you’ll pay between 0.35% and 2.6% plus transaction fees, which almost always works out to a savings for the merchant when compared to a tiered system.

    If for whatever reason you prefer the simplicity of a tiered system and are willing to perhaps be paying a little more than necessary in some instance, then the 0.30% + $0.15 will not apply.

    Hope this helps. Feel free to send another email my way if there is anything else I can help you with!

    Best,
    Tom

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    clint

    Hi, a few additional questions if you don’t mind.
    according to that link, there are 2 categories. exempt, and regulated. But I’m not sure what that means.

    Also, can you give an example of how the fee would be calculated based on that link for visa interchange? Would this be accurate?
    Original fee: 1.60% + 15c
    mm offer w/ cdg .30% +15c

    so total would be 1.60% +.30% + 15c + 15c = 1.90% +30c?

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    Tom DeSimone

    No problem! It definitely can be confusing.

    Regulated debit transactions are those that come through big banks, like Bank of America or Chase. Non-regulated is debit that comes through a bank that has less than $10 billion in assets. Most debit transactions are regulated debit, because statistically speaking the big banks have a much larger share of debit accounts overall.

    And your math is correct. The total cost of the transaction is the interchange, plus the markup. There is actually one more number to include in Visa/Mastercard transactions called the “assessment” fee. This is another fee charged directly by the card network and which the processor does not profit from. This will add about another 0.11% + $0.02 to the transaction. For an interchange cost of 1.60% + $0.15 plus 0.11% + $0.02 in assessments plus a markup of 0.30% + $0.15, the overall cost would be about 2.01% + $0.32.

    This might sound higher than a tiered plan for some transactions, but for most businesses when you look at their regulated debit volume and the percentage of potentially non-qualified transactions, the result is a savings.

    -TD

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    Clint

    could you tell me what is the difference between a company like CDG and a credit card aggregator? I don’t know for sure, but I think one requires a merchant account? I know this is a silly question but how can I tell if I have a merchant account already set up? We are currently with TSYS, would I need to ask them about it? If a person already has a merchant account open do they need to open a new, different one if they switch companies (like to cdg?)

    Also, do you happen to know what acquirer(s) cdg uses?

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Clint,

    You can read this article for a detailed explanation of the differences between aggregated accounts (via a Payment Service Provider) and traditional merchant accounts. If you are currently with TSYS, you almost certainly have a traditional merchant account open. The exception to this would be if you signed up for TSYS for a mobile processing account, in which case they might have gone a different route.

    If you have an aggregated account, you will generally have relatively high flat rates (2.75%+ for swiped) alongside no (or low) monthly fees. Some providers may start you out on an aggregated account, but then switch you to a standard account if your volume increases (they can’t do this without you knowing). The contract terms and boarding process also differ, but you generally won’t need to look that far into it to tell.

    When you switch providers, you must open a new merchant account. The process of opening the new account is taken care of by your new provider.

    Since CDG is not a direct processor, they are free to use a number of different processors depending on the needs of the applicant. I’m not sure who they use primarily these days, but they are very good at setting up the best account for the individual needs of the applicant. Since your customer service will be provided by CDG, you will likely never even have contact with the processor.

    Best,
    Tom

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    Michael

    They seem well reviewed but their website doesn’t function. I try to click the menu nav items and only displays the page requesting all my info, no matter where I want to navigate to. For example when you click on ‘Pricing’ and submenu ‘Online’, nothing happens. Same for all the others… Doesn’t sound like a company I would entrust with millions of dollars in transactions.

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    Chris West

    Michael,
    
    No one else has reported any errors with the Web site and applications have been coming through consistently at their normal pace. You may want to clear your cache and/or restart your browser and try again as there does not appear to be any issue at all on the CDG side.

    In addition, all payment systems from CDG and our affiliate solutions are always monitored 24x7x365 and have an uptime ratio well in excess of 99.99%+. All of our primary payment systems have automatic fail-over technologies and multiple, geographically independent data centers to ensure that our merchants are always able to process reliably, safely and securely.

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    Conrado Vina

    @Chris West, I am experiencing the same issue Michael mentioned.

    So now you have two reports of this issue.

    I first visited through the link for the “special offer” posted on this article. I suspect that the behavior must be related to that.

    With such a great review I would love to browse your website.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Conrado,

    I’m looking into this and am not able to recreate the problem on my end. When I click the offer link I am still able to use the nav bar links. Do you have a different result when using this link versus this link? Does restarting the browser and/or clearing the cache correct the issue?

    Thank you for your help,
    Tom

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    Monish

    Was able to charge cust through quatntum hypercloud and since friday we are not able to contact quantum
    Martin(not answering phone)

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    Kate

    They are in Chesapeak, Virginia, not in San Pedro, CA.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Kate,

    Thank you for writing in. CDGcommerce has an east coast office and a west coast office, in Chesapeake VA and San Pedro CA respectively. But since their primary office does appear to be the east coast building, I’m updating our info now.

    Best,
    Tom

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    brian kuo

    We’ve been with CDG since 2009 and recent issue resulted we decided to leave CDG.
    1. When there was an issue, the customer service was terrible. When I asked to talk to supervisor who handle our case, she send us directly to voice mail (repeatedly and intentionally).
    2. They told us we were flag by customer’s bank for fraud charge. Our customer called with their bank rep on 3 way call. They told us they have never file anything against us. It is CDG holding the fund and refuse to told us who they talk to said that we made the fraud charge.
    3. After start looking at other commerce, we found out CDG charge us big rate 4.1% on corp-card. and add other fees that other companies no longer charge.
    4. Where there is issue, CDG will treat you like a criminal instead of helping to resolve the issue. After more than 2 weeks of talking to them. I decided to file complaint again this company through BBB and other web review site.

    Brian

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    James

    Our furnished corporate apartment business, http://www.TheHomeCollectionCLT.com, has used CDG commerce for more than 3 years, and we’ve been exceedingly happy with everything about the company–responsiveness, transparency, rates/fees, etc. As our transaction volume has grown, they’ve been proactive in ensuring our increasingly larger transactions have gone through without issues, reaching out to us prior to any issues arising. Their customer service is great, and they respond promptly to any questions. Their rates are not the absolute rock-bottom, though they are extremely competitive, without a bunch of junk fees, and the fact that things have gone so smoothly for 3+ years by far makes up for the fact that we could save a very small amount of money elsewhere. We do 99% of our business online through Quantum Gateway portal, and have never had any issues.

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    Chris West

    Hi James,

    Thank you for the kind words about our business. I am very happy to hear that our service has been working out well for your business over the years and we look forward to working with you and your business for many more years to come!

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    Jeremy Jacobs

    The rates and virtually no set-up fees are great…but that is where it ends.

    The service is terrible. As an organization that simply resells and bills another companies service you would expect them to be great at the customer service portion since that is essentially their biggest job. Nearly 100% of the time that I have needed to interact with them I was unable to get anyone on the chat or by phone and was sent a voicemail box and email panel. When I did get a chance to interface with live individuals they were typically rude and not very knowledgeable.

    Right before I made the decision to convert our company from CDG we experienced an ethical issue that arose form them not allowing a transaction to go through and yet still charging the transaction fees as if it did. We have worked with many processors through the years as I own a multitude of companies and have never had any thing like this before. They will not be missed.

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    Chris West

    Hello Jeremy,

    I’m not sure to begin with addressing this post but I would be more than happy to assist you directly and speak with you on any of this. This is definitely not what a typical merchant experiences with our company. I am not sure what “ethical issue” on a transaction you are referring to but I am sure that there was a reason behind the circumstances if a transaction was not allowed.

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    Dan K

    If you are a retail business with zero risk of charge backs than this company might be ok for you. But if you are an online business or any type of company that has even the slightest chance of charge backs, do NOT use this company. Even if you are below the Visa/MC min. of 1%, they will freeze your funds, hold your money and basically hold your business hostage. This processor seems to have a zero tolerance for any risk at all. So if your selling slices of pizza go for it, but if your a e-business run and dont look back. Their customer service is very dry and there is no room for negotiations with them after they freeze and hold your money. Even if you do not get more charge backs and stay below the 1% threshold, they will hold your money for at LEAST 180 days after they terminate your account. All in all, i dont recommend this processor at all. I quickly found a different company and have been running my exact same business with the new company with no issues at all. I would recommend CDGcommerce to anyone.

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    Tim

    Please tell me who you changed over to, CDG has been holding our funds hostage for 30+ days and it is destroying my business.

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    Chris West

    Hi Dan,

    Our company does -not- have a policy of suspending accounts just because they have a month over 1% on their chargeback ratios. Over the past 17 years in business with many, many thousands of merchants it is quite common for an account to briefly go over that ratio if they have a larger ticket chargeback, for example.

    Our risk team is quite honestly one of the most lenient and business friendly in the industry. We don’t hold onto any funds any longer than is absolutely necessary and our average risk issue is resolved in 24-72 hours.

    Without knowing the details and looking up the detailed notes that are retained for any risk issues it is hard for me to assess anything further but I am happy to speak with you if you would like.

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    Ankit

    Hi Chris, Can I apply for a merchant account at CDG? I am a very small USA domestic merchant:

    Monthly transaction amount: $2200-2500
    Average transaction amount:’ $19.95 (Fixed amount)
    Total number of transactions: 100-120
    Total charge-back amount per month: $50, but have never exceeded $100 in any given month.
    Charge-back ratio: 2%. Generally 2% most of the months in an year, and sometimes peak to 3% in non-consecutive 2-3 months in an year.
    Refund ratio: 5-8%. Generally 5% but sometimes peak to 8% for non-consecutive 2-3 months in a year.
    I already have an account with Stripe and Braintree, but now I am looking for a real merchant account.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Ankit,

    You should head over to the CDG website and fill out a preliminary application. Your approval will depend on other specific information about your business, but I can tell you that CDG has a high approval rate, as long as you are a US-based business and do not fall into any of their restricted, high-risk business types. The only way to find out for sure is to initiate the application process. Good luck, and check back to let us know how it’s going!

    -Tom

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    Sheri

    As a follow-up to my last post, I received an email 6 hours later. Here is what they said:
    Thank you for your inquiry! Per your request, we have submitted a quote below for Interchange Plus pricing. We would be able to offer you V/MC/D Interchange pricing + 0.30% + $0.15 per transaction.
    Here is a fee schedule that would apply to your account:

    ++Setup/Application fee: $0.00

    ++V/MC/D Credit: Wholesale cost + 0.30% + $0.15

    NOTE: This applies to all credit transactions including keyed, B2B, Rewards, etc.

    ++PCI compliance/non-compliance fees: $0.00

    ++Statement fees: $0.00

    ++Monthly Service fee: $10.00

    NOTE: This fee includes an online back office area called the MerchantPortal where you can manage your account, view live reports, update banking information, live chat support and much more.

    ++AVS fees: $0.00

    ++Chargeback fee: $20.00

    ++Batch fee: $0.25

    ++IRS Reporting fee: $0.00

    ++Termination/Cancellation fee: $0.00

    ++Mandatory contract length: N/A

    ++Monthly minimum: N/A

    Also, you could be saving an entire layer of gateway fees by utilizing a FREE Payment gateway called Quantum Gateway.

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    Sheri

    I’m in the process of seeing if CDG is for us. I clicked on their “click to call” button to talk to a service rep. Their system immediately called me, and I was talking to a service rep in seconds. I asked about their Interchange-Plus Pricing, the service rep asked what my average monthly revenues are, and then she told me she needed to have “upper management” contact me. So, I’m waiting for their phone call, and I will return and report when they get back to me, and what they said.

    As a side note, their website states very clearly that the business must be U.S. based owned by U.S. citizens with valid SSN. Just saying…

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    Chris West

    Hi Sheri,
    
    Thanks for the review. :) We do try to respond quickly to all phone calls.

    And yes you are correct in that we are restricted by Visa/MasterCard to only be able to approve U.S.-based businesses with U.S. owners with a valid SSN.

    We would certainly like to be able to approve and work with businesses in other countries but as a USA-based ISO/MSP we simply aren’t allowed to. Not a choice for us but a mandate from the banks.

    The only way for an ISO/MSP to register and work with merchants in other countries would be to have a sponsoring bank relationship in those various foreign country and in many cases, those banks do not want to part with any marketshare and often there are far fewer banks in the first place unlike the United States that has thousands upon thousands of competing banks.

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    Roman

    Is it possible for quantum to integrate with shopify?

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    Amad Ebrahimi

    Not at the moment Roman, but I believe they’re working on it. Stay tuned. If you need to you can get CDGcommerce to set you up with Authorize.Net and that gateway definitely integrates.

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    Verona Huizenga

    I am thinking of become an agent for jst Merchant Services. They are located at 5727 N 7th St STE 401, Phoenix, AZ 85014. Any information would be appreciated.

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    Amad E.

    Verona,

    Unfortunately I don’t have any info on them. Any of my high rated processors would probably be a good place to work.

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    Rrita Hughes

    Can you compare CDG with Evolution? Evolution seems to have a good rate structure. Thanks

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    kcc

    Read the notice in their application about non-acceptable merchant types. You can’t miss it, it’s all in red. It’s apparent by the first items listed that this company is anti-second amendment.

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    max

    Thank you so much for your reviews and awsome job. I have read all the reviews, and it helped me a lot. I have decided to work with CDG after I read all the comments and reviews on this website.
    Thank you very much.

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    Chris West

    Max,

    Thanks for the nice words and glad you signed up with us. Please let us know if we can ever do anything to assist you and we’ll be happy to do so. :)

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    FNE

    I started through the process of filling out the application online and noticed towards the end that CDG has and additional $25 fee for statement fees and other things. Is this typical? After reading the reviews I was lead to believe, right or wrong, that CDG was very low on their fee structure….this caught me off guard.

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    Amad E.

    FNE,

    I believe the $25 fee that you’re referring to is a combination of the $10/month merchant fee and the $15/month cdg360 service. You can find more information about cdg360 on their homepage. The monthly merchant fee is pretty standard, but the cdg360 fee is completely optional, as you can see on this page. If you tell your rep that you don’t want cdg360, then you won’t be charged the $15/month. If you want, I can chat with them for you. Just email me.

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    Chris West

    Hi FNE,

    There aren’t any additional $25 fees. There is only the $10 statement fee and the (optional) $15 cdg360 value-added service fee. The total of both would be $25.

    You are not required to use cdg360 so if you just wanted the basic account and nothing more your monthly cost from us would just be the $10. Sorry for any confusion on that – we just wanted to be clear to our merchants that both services together cost $25/month but it is only $10/month for the basic account.

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    kelly walker

    I have used cdg commerce for the past 5 years and have never had a problem. The customer service team is great. I have only had to call 4 times in 5 years and it was for minor issues. No waiting on the phone. I use thier wireless terminal and it never fails. If you want a great merchant service with low fees, this is the way to go.

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    Chris West

    Hello Kelly,

    Thanks for the review of our service. I’m glad it is all working out well for you and we appreciate your business. :)

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    Stephanie

    After a few minutes of researching I found a negative review regarding CDG Commerce’s Quantum Gateway.
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?567702-UnitedBankService-(authorize-net)-vs-CDG-Commerce-(Quantum-gateway)

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    Chris West

    I’m not sure if that was really a “negative review” as a lot of supporters of CDG did comment positively on that thread. It is also a very dated one from around 2008. :) I think that the OP on that thread also confused CDG with another business in part as well.

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    Melhem

    Hello, i am starting a ecomerce with magento and i dont see neither CDGCommerce or Quantum Gateway in the payment method. can you help me out with this issue?

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    Amad E.

    Melhem,

    Quantum actually does have gateway modules for Magento. They are a bit tough to find, but you can find them here and here.

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    John Lockwood

    I’m pasting below the contents of my Yelp review. This is the first business I’ve been mad enough to write a Yelp review about:

    These people would not cancel my account when asked to, until they had written cancellation. Meantime they were still billing me for the account, and then when I did send them written cancellation via two separate fax systems and via email, they claimed they didn’t receive it. I replied to that email and attached it again, after which they wrote me that they couldn’t give me a refund until they received the form, and they only received it yesterday, so they wouldn’t give me a refund. In other words, they planned to screw me from the beginning no matter what I did.

    DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THESE PEOPLE. Find someone else. Anyone else — you can’t possibly do worse.

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    John Lockwood

    UPDATE: the company has since done the right thing and refunded my money. Doesn’t look I can delete this, but I am satisfied now with the outcome.

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    Chris West

    John,

    Thanks for updating the thread here with that. We always work hard to do the right thing for our merchants. Every one of our merchants is important to us and that has been the case since 1998 and it is equally true today. :)

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    Boris

    It looks like CDG commerce doesn’t have a lot of complaints. In plus, those complaints are not the worst ones. That’s a good sign.

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    carolyn

    I am looking for some advise I have worked in the merchant business before and really enjoyed that type of sales can anyone direct me to a good company to work for in the merchant industry everyone that’s offering me a position has a bad review and I really want to provide a customers a honest and fair deal.

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    chris2pher

    i am trying to find the best merchant services out there. so far, by reading all threads here, i think i’m going to check CDGcommerce. i was looking at flagship, merchant warehouse, central paymnet (almost got me in, until i saw the bbb reviews) and payjunction of their trinity. my concern is the best for the merchant who just starting, cash only, etc, especially always looking for cheapest and best customer services. #1, on top, cheapest, wow…

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    Jared Edgel

    These guys are incredibly unprofessional. We started talking with them on Feb 3, 2012 and in my first communications I told them that the majority of my customers would be Canadians, even though we’re a US company. Then after negotiating over the rates, getting the application, and waiting 11 days on their underwriting department (they said it’d take 24-48 business hours) they denied us on March 9, 2012. They denied us because “they cannot accept merchants who will have a majority of foreign sales” and that it was against their banks policy. They wasted 37 days, knowing that my business practices were against their policies, for the slight chance that they could land another customer. Like I said, incredibly unprofessional.

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    frazier

    Thanks

    The information MM gave me was very helpful

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    Paul

    Will CDG accept collection/billing companies? I am looking for the best option and this site is great. If you have any suggestions for a merchant that is reliable and will cater to a collections agency please let me know. Thanks in Advance!

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    Chris Hagg

    You should take another look at CDG Commerce. They offer a “free” wireless terminal but require a $79.00 PER YEAR replacement fee + $20.00 monthly fee in addition to other regular fees. Not sure your rating of them is accurate.

    But still, thanks for the great website!

    Thanks.
    Chris

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    Merchant Maverick Admin

    Thanks for the comment Chris, I appreciate your insight. I agree with you that “free” is not the best word to be using in this situation, but I think that detail is minor considering the upside to this company.

    Btw, can you tell me where you found the $20/month? I only see a $10/month merchant fee. I hope I’m not missing it somewhere.

    In regards to the other regular fees that they charge, I have to say that they are much lower than other companies that I’ve reviewed.

    No annual fee.
    No setup fee.
    No monthly minimum.
    No contract.
    No cancellation fee.
    No payment gateway fee.
    No AVS fee.

    That’s hard to beat!

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    Chris Hagg

    Hi,
    The $20. monthly fee was for a wireless terminal and that’s what I need as a DJ. If it is $20. , really not too bad for wireless. Maybe I’m mistaken? please see link.

    http://www.cdgcommerce.com/wireless-services.php

    Thanks
    Chris

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    Merchant Maverick Admin

    Chris,

    I apologize for the delay. You’re right, the $20 is for wireless.

    Thanks!

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    Chris West

    One quick note to add to this. The $20 fee is only if it is a wireless terminal that requires cellular service. That is actually a pass-through cost without any markup from us.

    The less expensive option these days is to use our Mobile app and swiper which works on all major devices including iOS and Android, etc. There is NO additional monthly cost for that solution at all. :)

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    andras

    I had a terrible experience with this company. These guys are discriminative, xenophobic and not man enough to come out and say it.

    I’m a US citizen with a US bank account living and operating a business in the US for a US audience. After I fulfilled all their requirements with flying colors they denied my application because I was born in a foreign country. They kept claiming that my domain name is registered under a non-US address, which is simply not true.

    The truth is they are suspicious of me because my name sounds foreign to them and they’re not open minded enough to admit that they think of immigrants as second class citizens.

    CDG Commerce prides itself on being American but their prejudice, xenophobia and dishonesty is distinctively anti-American. Boycott them: say no to hatred and discrimination.

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    InventingJoy

    Could U be more specific abt what they did or didn’t do to warrant such a bad review from U.

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    Chris West

    I am really at a bit of a loss on this posting and have no idea as to the basis for the statements made the poster on this one. Our company works with an incredible diverse clientele including many, many immigrants. We are not in the business of denying applications unless there is a real reason to do so – we only succeed when our clients succeed.

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    Fauve

    I too do not recommend CDG Commerce. After the extensive application (see my first entry). I was denied because my business has foreign customers. Like the entry above, I too have perfect credit. It really is not so much their company that’s bad, but their bank. As stated in a recent email from them, it was because their bank is VERY CONSERVATIVE. They really should have let their applicants know that ahead of time, instead of wasting our time filing for an application that may have a potential in being denied. I am so disappointed in CDG Commerce and if you have foreign customers, I DO NOT recommend using them!

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    Dr Mary Gresham

    I must say that I am very disappointed in CDG commerce. I filled out an extensive application and the processing took a lot longer than they originally said it would. I also was DENIED because they decided I was a life coach and financial advisor and they do not approve those categories. I am a licensed psychologist with an excellent reputation, perfect credit, an office with staff and have been in business for 25 years!!!! If you are a psychologist, forget applying with them as they apparently have no understanding of the business !!!!

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    Chris West

    Dr. Gresham,

    I can understand your frustrations on this. The issue on your application was not related to you being a licensed psychologist as CDG works with a large number of doctors in all categories.

    The problem was the -financial coach- portion. That is an issue for many banks and back in 2011 when you applied it was an issue for our primary sponsoring bank. It is listed as an unacceptable merchant type on our Web site and a link on the application page to let merchants know before applying but I can honestly see how that could have been overlooked.

    It is certainly never our intention to have someone apply with us if they aren’t a merchant type that we can approve and work with. And again – we work with many psychologists and doctors of all medical professions so that is a non-issue for us… the financial coaching part is where it can be a no-go or a grey area depending on the circumstances.

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    Fauve

    I really appreciate your website. It has helped so much with my search for the perfect merchant service providers.

    I went ahead and am currently signing up with CDG Commerce, however I would just like to point out that although their prices are spot on, their customer service and response to emails have been less than stellar. It took them around 2 days to respond to some emails and no one ever seems to be available when I call. They also do not have support on the weekends, so if anyone ever plans on asking questions, it’s best to do so during M-F.

    Like with any other provider, before you sign with them, make sure you read and fully understand their contract before submitting anything. I haven’t spotted any fees out of the ordinary and their prices really are very competitive especially with Quantum Gateway. I’ll be doing the AIM Emulator, because my hosting provider requires it, so I may provide an update on the ease of set-up.

    Also they advertise they can set you up in 5 minutes. That is so not the case! Given that you need to fill out the application online then wait for them to reply and they then send you list of instructions to do and you must fill out and fax/scan and email the official application/contract…..this whole process will definitely take you more than 5 minutes. Also make sure to do it on a weekday because if you have any questions, they cannot be reached during the weekend (even through email). Its definitely not an “Instant Activation,” but with their great prices I’m more than willing to overlook their mediocre customer service and application process.

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    Chris West

    Hi Fauve,

    Thanks for the review on our service!

    Back when you signed up, the Instant Activation / 5 minute Setup was for a free Quantum Gateway account to be provisioned and provided to our merchants while waiting for their merchant accounts to go through the approval process. This way – they could get a head start with integration so that once they had their live MID – they could plug it in and start processing.

    Since then it has actually become even faster and we now offer actual end-to-end merchant activations from Application to Live Processing in just 1 Hour for a high % of those who apply. So – while in 2011 you would get a gateway account right away… a high % of merchants applying today with CDG in 2014 actually are able to start processing live credit cards in about an hours time. :)

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    Trina

    Thanks to your website, I had merchant services companies for my retail location narrowed down to CDG and a local bank. I spoke with somebody from CDG through the live support and email, and he was very helpful and quick to reply.

    – CDG only uses qualified and non qualified rates – transactions that would normally be processed at the mid qualifying level are processed at the non qualifying rate.
    -CDG’s non qualifying rate is a SURCHARGE, that is, you would be paying the qualifying rate in addition to the non qualifying rate for those transactions. This is pretty important, and being new to this, something I didn’t know to look out for until I did some more research.

    Although CDG may still be very cost effective for some companies out there, I’m expecting to process a good number of rewards cards that would rack up fees, and my local bank is giving me a better offer.

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    Chris West

    Hi Trina,

    Thank you for the fair and objective review of our business. You are correct that our standard rate structure is tiered, it is a lot easier for merchants to read the statements and as you mentioned in your review, we do explain this to them.

    For merchants who anticipate a higher % of rewards or other more expensive cards, we are happy to provide an Interchange Plus or a special blended rate designed for that kind of business. Our pricing is not set in stone and if a merchant has specific concerns or needs we’re always happy to discuss it with them. :)

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    Helen

    I am a new CDG Customer and so far I love the service. I’m an Artist and work shows in the fall and I have not had one problem. The easy access to the Quantum Gateway allows for ease of input as well as access to data and reports.

    Great so far. Thanks!

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    Meg

    Helen, I just want to ensure you’re still satisfied- I’m really trying to pick a provider to go with and CDG seems good. Any recent feedback would be great. I’m really concerned about hidden fees.

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    Helen

    I am very pleased with CDG. I was also worried about hidden fees but have not had a problem. I love the ease of technology! I take payments on my iPad. Love it. Helen

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    Larry

    Hi Helen,

    We are working on finding a POS App that will integrate with CDG Commerce on the iPad. Do you use a particular app or do you just go to the website to process your cards?

    Are you able to swipe or do you manually key in the cards?

    Thanks,
    Larry

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    Amad Ebrahimi

    Larry,

    CDGcommerce offers both their own Quantum Gateway and Authorize.NET. Most of the POS software vendors (e.g. Vend, Shopkeep, POSE, Zing Checkout) that we’ve reviewed on our site integrate with Authorize.NET, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one that integrates. If you need our help with your search, let us know.

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    Chris West

    Hi Helen,

    Thanks for the review and kind words about our business! :) Glad everything is working well and we look forward to continuing to work with you for many years ahead.

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    Andrew

    I would highly recommend CDG commerce. I have moved away from Elavon\Auth.net to CDG\Quantum and it should save us $750-1000 annually. They were very helpful throughout the signup process and I was approved and setup in 48 hours.

    Thanks also to this website for their helpful guidance.

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    Chris West

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for the nice words about our business. Glad we were able to help you out and look forward to working with you for many years ahead. :)

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    Steve Johnson

    Just wondering if CDGCommerce offered data portability, which seemed to be important to merchants writing comments for other providers.

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    Chris West

    Hello Steve,

    Yes – we do. And you bring up a very important point as not all providers offer data portability. It is important to know if your business ever needs to change, you will own your data and be able to take it with you. :)

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    John

    Called them twice today during their business hours. Was on hold for more than 5 minutes. At the end, phone systems said, “All of our agents our busy helping customers, at the tone, please leave a message.”

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    InventingJoy

    That would turn me off reeeeeal fast!

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    Kyle

    Same thing happened to me. I really like their website and got a response from live chat pretty fast, but not being able to reach a person on the phone would be a real show-stopper for me. I didn’t try to leave a message to see if they would respond, but my experience with other CC processing companies is that they NEVER call back.

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    Chris West

    Hi John,

    I know that your post here is from 2010. Over the past 17 years we have had the occasional growing pains. I know we were ramping up staff in 2010 to cover increased volumes and so there some times when call times were higher than desired.

    Fortunately, today in 2014 none of these issues exist and our call times have never been better. :)

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    Jen

    I just called during normal business hours to set up a merchant account today. I, too, got the message that no one was available to take my call. I also tried to access live chat support and got a message saying no agents were available. It seems these issues have NOT been resolved!

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    joe l.

    Good site!
    Question: If CDG has 5 starts, why aren’t they in your Top 10?

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    Merchant Maverick Admin

    I’m not sure I understand you here Joe. Technically, I don’t have a top 10. I do have a comparison chart where the providers are ranked based on their rating (1 to 5), and CDGCommerce is right there on that page.

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    Ross

    Thanks for the website as well as well as your quick correspondence, this definitely made my searching easier.

    Been looking around and found that CDG seems like a good and overall cheap company, been kind of paranoid about hidden costs, but this company seems to only charge 10 dollars a month for everything (excluding charge costs). even the $79 fee for the “free” CC machine (amazon cost $398) was less than other total costs from some banks I was looking at. Though may buy my own alternative terminal so the 79 isn’t charged.

    One negative though is when I called them the first time, I was told that their terminal doesn’t accept multiple-users (phone sales), the second time that no CC machine accepts multiple-users (online sales chat), then the last time that it does accept multiple users (phone technical support).

    – The terminal actually does, it appears to be maybe the only 3 hypercom that has this ability per the hypercom webpage. A cheaper option for this is the T7 Plus, an older but still useful machine at $180 (main neg. is no IP connector) that supports up to 20 merchant accounts.

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    New Merchant

    Great site! We’re launching a new company and the thorough information that your site provides is very helpful.

    One thing – you gave kudos to CDG for Twitter and Facebook pages, yet neither is really that engaged. They’ve tweeted once with only 6 followers, and their Facebook page is a ‘friend’ page rather than a business page (and only has 11 friends).

    I may have missed something, but was a bit confused.

    It doesn’t matter much to their processing, but I agree with your attitude that having a social media presence allows their customers to be fully engaged and their service transparent.

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    The Merchant Maverick

    Thanks for the kind words. Glad to help.

    I agree with you, CDG should definitely step their game up in that department. :)

    Feel free to call or email if you have any questions.

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    Matt

    Thanks for the great website, this is the best comparison resource I have found! (I tried to click the main contact button but that page isn’t loading for some reason.)

    One suggestion as to a tip you might add…I have been researching the best payment solution for a non-profit theatre company, and it took me a while to find out that none of the “special deals” you see for non-profits offer a custom payment solution — all of them involve leaving the main website to go to a “donation page” on the provider’s website. I kept hoping that there might be a custom payment solution with a discounted rate for non-profits, but no such luck. (Since it is a professional theatre company with a good percentage of older patrons, we really want people to stay on the site).

    So, my advice to non-profits in a similar situation would be to go with a provider that uses QuantumGateway, since they seem to offer slightly better rates than Authorize.net, although I think some of the 5-star companies on this site that use Authorize.net would probably be great also. I like how QuantumGateway keeps it simple (we have our own database, so we don’t really need a fancy API, though they offer one if you want it), e.g. http://www.quantumgateway.com/view_developer.php?Cat1=1 and http://www.quantumgateway.com/view_developer.php?Cat1=3.

    I think we will probably go with CDG Commerce. Thanks again!

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    The Merchant Maverick

    Matt,

    Thank you for the great post! As this site gains a following, it will be comments like yours that will help make our reviews even better. I definitely plan on adding industry specific criteria to my reviews in the near future, but as of now, I’m just trying to keep up with the number of MSPs that are out there. That’s a full time job in itself.

    Again, thanks for the great post. Please check back and let us know how it went with CDGCommerce. It would be great if we could hear your experience with them in the following sequence: Initial Setup, Mid-Term and Long-Term. I know that relationships can last for years, and problems can come up at any time during your relationship with your provider, but if we know that you’re still happy with their customer service 6-months or 1-year into your relationship with them, then that’s great info for all of us.

    Take Care. :)

    Btw, I fixed the contact page issue…oops!

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    Robert Lane

    I’ve been think of CDG Commerce as a reseller for my clients. I am really interested in the Quantum Gateway. Thanks for the review and I now leaning their way!

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    The Merchant Maverick

    Robert,

    Thanks for the comment. Glad to know that I was able to help. Let us know how it goes. :)

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    InventingJoy

    What is the Quantum Gateway?

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    Merchant Maverick Admin

    The Quantum Gateway would be CDGcommerce’ equivalent of Authorize.Net. It’s their own in-house payment gateway, which they offer for free.

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    ying

    Based on most internet review, CDG does seem to be really good. How is cdg compared to flagship merchant services which uses authorization.net? Flagship was rated as 10 out of 10 in Gold top10 review, the curious thing here, cdg is not mentioned here. Am i missing something here?

    Thank you

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