Adyen Review: Is Adyen The Future Of Commerce?
Adyen Payments is a platform that helps businesses connect payment methods from across the globe and is ideal for international merchants.
- Ideal for international merchants
- No setup or application fees
- No monthly fee
- Required monthly minimum
- Not for high-risk merchants
- Mixed customer reviews
Adyen Payments Overview
Adyen is an international merchant account provider known for its big-name users. Their primary objective is to build new technology and systems from the ground up, bypassing middlemen and old-fashioned payment infrastructure. It accomplishes its goal of “frictionless” payments by providing merchants with a source for local acquiring and managing multiple acquirers through Adyen’s payment processing and gateway. It’s built for established, successful companies to expand into new markets. (Need to know more about merchant accounts before diving in? Read our article What Is A Merchant Account? A guide to processing, fees, and setup.)
Adyen works well for big-name, mid-to-enterprise level clients operating on a global scale.
But what about the proverbial little guy with big dreams? Or how about the forward-thinking merchant with an eye on expanding into new foreign markets? In this review, we’ll explore how Adyen handles the complexity of international processing and help you decide if this processor could be a good fit for your business. Overall, Adyen isn’t actively seeking out smaller merchants, and small business owners would need to go in with substantial technical know-how and patience.
Keep on reading to learn more!
Table of Contents
Adyen’s primary market is Europe, but the company has been rapidly expanding to other parts of the world. Adyen also fully supported in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Singapore, and the United States. Additionally, Adyen offers limited payment services, often through partners, to a number of countries in Africa, including Nigeria, South Africa, Morocco, and Egypt.
Adyen Pricing & Fees
Adyen’s pricing models are organized by global region, country, and payment type. (Learn more about pricing models in The Complete Guide to Merchant Accounts & Credit Card Transaction Fees.)
On Adyen’s pricing page, US customers are offered a mix of interchange-plus pricing (for Visa and Mastercard) and flat rates (for American Express and Discover), which Adyen calls “blend.” This can make it difficult to make apples-to-apples pricing comparisons to processors that use only one of those payment schemes.
Here’s how Adyen’s pricing breaks down.
|Payment Method||Adyen Transaction Fee||Payment Method Fee||Supported Shopper Location||Transaction Type|
|American Express||$0.12||3.95%||Global||eCommerce, POS|
|JCB||$0.12||3.75% (interchange++ in specific situations)||Global||eCommerce, POS|
|Union Pay||$0.12||3%||Global||eCommerce, POS|
|Diners Club||$0.12||3.95% (interchange++ in specific situations)||Global||eCommerce, POS (except in Australia)|
|ACH/Direct Debt||$0.12||$0.25||US||eCommerce, POS|
|PayPal||$0.12||Requires direct contract with PayPal||Global||eCommerce|
You might notice Adyen has an extra “+” next to its interchange-plus pricing rates. This is because, in addition to the interchange fees that go to the issuing bank and the credit card company, Adyen charges a percentage acquirer fee. This fee starts at 0.6% per transaction but may be lower for high-volume businesses.
Additionally, Adyen’s flat rates are the same for both eCommerce and POS transactions.
Alternative payment methods are supported as follows:
|Payment Method||Adyen Transaction Fee||Payment Method Fee||Supported Shopper Location||Transaction Type|
|Google Pay||$0.12||By card used||Global||eCommerce|
|Apple Pay||$0.12||By card used||Global||eCommerce, POS|
|Samsung Pay||$0.12||By card used||Global||eCommerce, POS|
|Klarna||$0.12||4.29% + $0.30||US||eCommerce, POS (through Apple Pay)|
|Affirm||$0.12||By direct contract with Affirm||US||eCommerce, POS|
|AfterPay||$0.12||4.99% + $0.30||US, CA||eCommerce|
Other Notable Rates & Fees:
Adyen no longer lists its additional fees. Adyen does charge a chargeback fee, which we’ve been told varies by payment method.
We do know, however, that Adyen requires merchants have a minimum invoice of $120/month or 1,000 transactions/month to keep their accounts in good standing.
Fees Not Charged:
- Early termination
- Annual fees
- Monthly fee
- PCI compliance
- Gateway Fee
- No currency conversion charges
Overall, Adyen’s pricing is reasonable for a cutting-edge, international payment processor accustomed to serving high-end, complex clients. The all-inclusive pricing style is appealing, and I also like that you automatically receive interchange-plus pricing for Visa and Mastercard, no matter your business type or size. On the other hand, the flat-rate pricing on American Express and Discover is a bit higher than what you’d get with third-party processors like Square and Stripe.
Adyen Payments Products & Services
Adyen is the actual acquirer and processor for your account, not a reseller or ISO. The company describes itself as a “full-stack” payment service provider (PSP), meaning that it provides the payment gateway and processing capability while also undertaking risk management and merchant acquiring responsibilities. Basically, it’s a true end-to-end solution, handling the entire payment flow.
Let’s take a look at Adyen’s main features.
Adyen likes to keep everything in-house. However, Adyen reps have told me that their business is payments, so they’ve decided to let the experts take care of POS software. You have three options — (1) standalone Verifone terminals that are pre-programmed with Adyen’s payments software, requiring no third-party POS software integration or cash register, (2) the Terminal API for custom integrations, or (3) ready-to-go plugins. If you choose option 3, Adyen has partnerships with many major POS software systems, including Microsoft Dynamics, Retail Pro, Oracle X Store, and Aptos, along with the supporting integration documentation.
Adyen lists five POS hardware options on its site, ranging from countertop options to portable, handheld options. Three of the five options are from the Verifone brand (P400 Plus, V400c PLUS, and V400m). The remaining two use an Android operating system and just carry Adyen branding. Both the hardware and Adyen’s software are fully certified for EMV and NFC transactions, and all relevant payment methods are certified out-of-the-box. You must buy this hardware directly through Adyen.
Adyen Online Payments
All merchants have the option of integrating Adyen with their website, mobile site, or app. Integrating Adyen with your online store enables a few cool features, including one-click checkout and recurring payments.
Adyen facilitates payments within online marketplaces. eBay would be a prime example of a marketplace — a platform that connects buyers and sellers. Among other features, MarketPay includes the ability to split payments across multiple sub-merchants, transfer funds, and schedule payouts.
Adyen Unified Commerce
Adyen Unified Commerce is Adyen’s omnichannel payments solution. Omnichannel refers to the three main ways businesses make sales: in-store, online, and in-app. What Adyen Unified Commerce does is share shopper info between all three channels to create a complete transaction history. This is handy if you want to get more complete reports and insights into shopper behavior, especially if you’re interested in offering loyalty rewards to your best customers.
Adyen is an international processor. In addition to standard credit and debit cards, the company aims to facilitate payments in as many locally accepted methods as possible. This is accomplished through Adyen’s ability to adopt an international or local acquiring approach depending on the country. Adyen’s flexibility in this regard can help merchants reduce fees and increase authorization rates for country-specific payment methods. Merchants can also enable Dynamic Currency Conversion for their customers at the point of sale.
Likewise, Adyen supports the routing of different currencies to different banks accounts, if you want to avoid currency conversion entirely.
Additional Adyen Features
Adyen’s a big platform with many specialized features that may be very important for some merchants, but less so for others.
- RevenueProtect & RevenueAccelerate: There are a lot of fancy-pants terms thrown around in the explanations of RevenueProtect (Adyen’s risk management feature). AI learning, device fingerprinting, risk engine, behavioral analytics, transaction linking — it all just means Adyen uses multiple data analysis tools to prevent as many chargebacks caused by card fraud as possible. RevenueAccelerate seems to include an account updater tool. I wasn’t able to find out if RevenueProtect and RevenueAccelerate were standard features or only available at extra cost. Be sure to ask when you sign up!
- Dynamic Reporting: Beyond basic monthly statements, Adyen’s Customer Area is an in-depth portal into the reasons behind approvals and declines for each payment method accepted at your business. Take a look at the reporting overview for samples of the types of tables and graphs Adyen creates for tracking payments in real-time.
- Integrations & Developer Tools: In addition to POS systems, Adyen offers several plugins for eCommerce, clienteling, and billing software. It also provides extensive developer documentation for adding extra features to the baseline system. If you’re not skilled at coding, you’ll need to hire outside help to implement this.
- Issuing: Adyen supports the creation and issuing of both virtual and physical gift cards. These use interchange++ pricing for transactions.
Ease Of Use
Adyen tends to draw comparisons to Stripe due to both services taking a developer-first approach to service. Amusingly, Adyen even makes prospective customers set up a basic integration prior to application approval. This mostly just involves generating an API key and plugging it into some command line code provided in the Adyen documentation, but you could get fancier if you want.
While it’s not that complex, the basic application process seems almost designed to intimidate people without any technical background. The developer experience and documentation look pretty good overall, but it still falls a little short of what’s offered by Stripe. Adyen supports Ruby, Java, PHP, Python, C#, NodeJs, and Go.
As for the dashboard experiences, it’s fairly straightforward if not entirely welcoming. Most of what you’re looking for will be found under the sidebar heading you’d guess it would be under. The initial “tour” offered for new users is bare-bones, however, so be prepared to do some clicking and exploring.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
Adyen publicly discloses most of the information you’d want to see before applying. This includes a detailed list of transaction fees, supported payment types, and hardware offerings.
However, Adyen’s additional fees still aren’t listed on the site, and some of the company’s more advanced features could be explained with more clarity. If you’re using the site’s search function, be prepared to occasionally be served up articles in Dutch.
Contract Length & Early Termination Fees
Adyen contracts are indefinite, and there is no early termination fee for its merchant account. Either party can terminate the merchant agreement by giving at least 60 days’ notice in writing. When it comes time to cancel, many merchants are surprised that a simple phone call won’t guarantee that your account will be closed properly. And if you don’t follow the proper “paper trail,” there isn’t much you can do about it. So be sure to put your request in writing to avoid frustration. We do like that there won’t be any need to worry about or buy out the rest of a terminal lease.
In some circumstances, either the merchant or Adyen may terminate the contract immediately. For example, if the service availability is below 90% in a given month, the merchant may terminate the agreement. By the same token, Adyen may terminate the contract if the merchant changes the products or services they’re offering without written permission. These are pretty standard conditions, but see section 10.2 of Adyen’s Merchant Service Agreement for the full explanation.
Adyen is generally not into high-risk clients and will readily suspend an account if there are too many chargebacks. The chargeback threshold is 0.5% of the total transaction volume for most payment methods, and the merchant could also be subject to fines. This is explained in section 7.1 of the Adyen Merchant Service Agreement. Note that the 0.5% figure is more strict than the general industry standard of 1%. Additionally, accounts may be subject to a rolling reserve, which Adyen calls “Deposit Reservation” in section 3.5. That’s a bit more in line with industry practices.
Customer Service & Technical Support
Adyen employs tech support staff around the world. Support for your account may be accessed via email, web, and phone during business hours. Emergency support is provided 24 hours a day. A list of worldwide offices and phone numbers may be found on Adyen’s Contact page, along with a web form for filing technical support tickets. This is all nice to see.
Even nicer to see, the website itself is a wealth of information, easily searchable for developer documents, product descriptions, and case studies. Detailed, country-specific guides may be downloaded for some countries, but you can also find a quick overview of each country’s common payment methods and “inside tips” on how to best enter each market.
The Support tab is split into several helpful FAQ and troubleshooting sections, while the Developer tab contains its own set of resources. You can also bet that Adyen maintains active Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube accounts that highlight new product developments and industry news. The e-newsletter and blog round out Adyen’s online resources. The blog is the only resource I’ve seen that is out of date; the last post was in 2018.
On the surface of things, all signs point toward solid customer service and sales support with Adyen. However, some of the user reviews from small business owners in the section below do give cause for concern.
Adyen Payments Reviews, Complaints, & Problems
Negative Reviews & Complaints
Adyen is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, but the company currently has an A rating with the watchdog group. There have been two customers complaints closed in the last two years. Trustpilot is by far the place that holds the lion’s share of negative reviews for Adyen, rating the payment processor 1.8 out of 4 stars.
Because there just aren’t very many overall reviews for this company, but these complaints overwhelm review sites, we do need to take them seriously.
Customer complaints include:
- Poor Customer Service: Customers seem to have a hard time getting their complaints resolved in a timely manner. There are also reports of high-pressure sales tactics for hardware and software.
- Slow Deposit Times: Some customers reported that their payments were held for longer than expected.
- Hidden Fees: Several customers claim to have been bushwhacked by hidden fees.
- Not Friendly For New Businesses: Adyen’s minimum invoicing and steep technical curve can make it a poor payment processing choice for new businesses.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
You will find several client testimonials and case studies on Adyen’s YouTube channel. Reviews tend to emphasize Adyen’s global compatibility, ease of use, and its forward-thinking, high-tech focus. You’ll see spokespeople from many recognizable brand names.
The Adyen blog is also a good source for case studies, where you can get a flavor for the types of businesses Adyen caters to and the customized solutions it provides. While these posts are all marketing materials, to be sure, it’s nice to see some hard data and company-specific details here.
G2 and Capterra consumer review sites paint a different picture, and we were curious to see what customers did like about this solution.
- No Monthly/Early Termination Fees: Adyen does not hide any monthly fees or early termination fees. You can cancel your account with 60 days’ notice.
- International: Mid-market and enterprise merchants can sell goods internationally and process payments in many currencies.
- Customer Service: Users report that Adyen’s customer service is helpful and quick. We do like to see some merchants have a good experience with their customer service, and that does leave some hope.
Because Adyen just doesn’t have the reviews built up from small business owners, we have to wonder if its services are more friendly to big-ticket clients but may leave much to be desired for the small business.
Adyen really seems to do it all. Where most international payment processors have focused on eCommerce and in-app purchases, Adyen adds brick-and-mortar and point-of-sale setups to the mix. The platform-style approach will draw comparisons to Square, Stripe, and PayPal. Adyen’s major selling point compared to those competitors will be its interchange-plus(plus) pricing for Visa and Mastercard. This comes with the trade-off of spending more on American Express and Discover transactions, however.
Adyen’s high volume of complaints keeps me from recommending it too enthusiastically. My overall impression is that Adyen is still not actively pursuing small merchants at the individual level. If you’re going to give Adyen a try, I’d suggest going in with ample technical expertise and a lot of patience. For now, I give Adyen 4 stars.
Looking for alternatives? We have other preferred merchant account providers to compare to check out if Adyen is not for you. Braintree is one notable international processor with competitive rates, no monthly minimums, and an innovative approach worth exploring. Stripe is similarly global with a powerful suite of tools (including support for storefronts). If you’re in the US or Canada, Square might suit your needs with various integrations, developer tools, and a seamless multichannel experience. No matter which one you choose in the end, keep the comments coming. We’d especially love to hear from any smaller merchants who have had direct experience with Adyen.
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.