eProcessing Network Review
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- Date Established
- Houston, Texas
Based out of Houston, Texas, eProcessing Network (ePN) has been providing business software and services to merchants since 2000. The company’s primary product is the ePNSecure Payment Gateway, a payment gateway similar to Authorize.Net that allows merchants to process credit, debit, and eCheck (ACH) payments through a website, virtual terminal, or mobile processing system.
It’s important to understand at the outset that ePN is not a merchant account provider. Their payment gateway and associated services are designed to work in conjunction with your existing merchant account, but you cannot use ePN’s products by themselves to process transactions. Fortunately, ePN’s products are certified to work with a large number of merchant account providers, including First Data, Chase Paymentech, TSYS, and many others.
You can add ePN’s products and services to your business arsenal in one of two ways. First, you can sign up with ePN directly through one of their in-house sales representatives. This is only going to work if you already have a merchant account through a compatible provider, but it’s a good way to customize your account and get access to the services that are most relevant to your business. You can also get ePN’s payment gateway and whichever optional add-ons you need through your merchant account provider. If your current provider has a partnership with ePN, this is probably the better way to go, as partnering account providers can often negotiate special, lower rates for their customers than you would pay if you signed up directly through ePN. Obviously, if you don’t already have a merchant account, you’ll want to sign up for one through a compatible provider before adding ePN’s services to your account.
Overall, ePN scores a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars. Their gateway and associated services perform well and cover most, if not all, of the needs of eCommerce and retail merchants alike. While they don’t disclose pricing information for any of their services on their website, the feedback we’ve received indicates that their prices are quite reasonable and compare favorably to other gateway providers. While I’d prefer to see some more transparency on the pricing issue, you won’t have to worry about paying more for their products than they’re worth.
Table of Contents
Products and Services:
eProcessing Network offers a host of software products for merchants, including the following:
- Secure Payment gateway. This is the heart of ePN’s product line, and you’ll need to have it set up to work with your merchant account in order to take advantage of any of ePN’s other ancillary products or features. ePN’s gateway is fully PCI-compliant to protect both you and your customer’s data.
- ePN Java Point-of-Sale (ePNJPOS). Designed to be used in conjunction with ePN’s payment gateway, ePNJPOS is a virtual terminal for accepting both card-not-present and card-present transactions. It’s compatible with several third-party card and check readers. Unlike many virtual terminals, ePNJPOS is not browser-based. Rather, it’s a standalone software package that installs on your computer.
- ePNMobile. For mobile payments, ePN offers their ePNMobile apps for smartphones and tablets. Used in conjunction with a third-party card reader (either a plug-in or Bluetooth model), the app turns your device into a wireless terminal similar to Square. It’s available for Android and iOS devices. The iOS version comes in separate iPhone and iPad versions. Android users should carefully check compatibility before signing up, as not all phones and software versions are supported.
- Web Order Form Generator (ePNWOFG). For eCommerce merchants, the Web Order Form Generator (ePNWOFG) allows you to generate custom HTML code to create online order forms for your website. A simpler product, ePNCart creates customized ‘Buy Now’ buttons and is handy for eCommerce sellers who only sell one or two products.
- ePNBillPay. This paperless billing option allows merchants to generate invoices and distribute them via email. Customers can pay their invoices online, saving mailing costs.
- ePNInventory. ePN’s integrated inventory management solution is cloud-based and doesn’t require installing additional software. It also integrates with other ePN products, including the Secure Payment Gateway, ePNJPOS, and the ePNMobile apps.
- ePNCDM. ePN’s Customer Data Manager acts as a secure, cloud-based database of customer information such as billing addresses and payment methods. With the ability to export customer data, you’ll be able to take your accumulated customer data with you if you ever decide to switch to a different payment gateway.
- ePNRecur. This optional recurring transaction processing service allows you to set up installment payments, subscriptions, and membership pricing options. Customization features include support for free trial periods and variable payment intervals.
- ePNSync and ePNPlugin. ePNSync synchronizes transaction data between your ePN Payment Gateway and QuickBooks. The ePNPlugin allows real-time transaction processing directly within QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Enterprise.
- Master accounts. For businesses with multiple locations, the Master accounts feature allows a central or corporate location to access transaction data from all locations via a single login.
- Fraud protection tools and processing controls. All ePN services include a number of fraud prevention tools, including Address Verification Services (AVS), CCV2 Card Verification Code, and others.
For developers, ePN also offers several tools for customized integration between your website and ePN’s products. Most of these integrations run off the Transparent Database Engine Integration (TDBE) API, which is the heart of ePN’s ecosystem. They also offer an Authorize.Net Emulator, designed for merchants who are already using pre-existing software.
Fees and Rates:
ePN does not disclose any pricing information on its website. While pricing through your merchant account provider is going to vary from one provider to the next, it’s disappointing that ePN doesn’t at least disclose the costs you’ll pay if you sign up with them directly. Most other payment gateway providers disclose this information, allowing you to determine whether you’re better off signing up with them directly or through your merchant account provider.
Despite the lack of listed fee information, you can expect to pay around $10.00 per month in gateway fees, plus $0.05 per transaction in addition to whatever your merchant account provider charges you for processing. You may or may not also have to pay a one-time account setup fee, especially if you sign up for ePN directly. This fee usually runs around $50.00. Note that these prices are for the basic gateway service. It’s not clear from ePN’s website which features are included for free with their gateway and which are options that you’ll have to pay extra for. You’ll also have to pay extra for any needed hardware, such as a card reader if you want to process mobile payments.
Overall, these fees are reasonable and well in line with the industry average. In fact, they’re significantly lower than what you’ll usually pay for Authorize.Net. I haven’t seen any merchant complaints against ePN that raised their prices as an issue.
Contract Length and Early Termination Fee:
ePN’s gateway services are billed on a month-to-month basis. While there will still be a contractual relationship between you and ePN, that contract does not include a fixed-length term or an early termination fee (ETF). However, it’s important to understand that your contract with your merchant account provider may have both a specified term and an ETF. Many merchants still get confused over this issue, complaining that ePN charged them an early termination fee when the charge actually came from their merchant account provider.
As always, it’s very important that you thoroughly review all contract documents related to your merchant account before signing up. Your contract with ePN will be included with your merchant account contract if you sign up for their services through your merchant account provider, while it will be a separate document if you sign up with the company directly.
Sales and Advertising Transparency:
ePN relies primarily on a network of ISOs and resellers to market its products and services, but also has an in-house sales team to handle direct sales. While the ePN website provides a wealth of detailed information about all of the company’s products, it’s not possible to sign up for an ePN gateway through the website without talking to a sales representative. ‘Sign Up’ buttons on the ePN website take you to a contact form, where you’ll have to provide some information about yourself and your business, and then wait for a sales agent to call you back. While sales calls can be tedious, this does give you an opening to negotiate the terms and costs of your service.
If you sign up for ePN through your merchant account provider, your sales experience is going to depend on whether your provider uses a well-trained in-house sales staff, or relies on independent agents to sell its accounts. If you encounter the latter, don’t expect them to know much about payment gateways or any of the technical details of ePN’s products. In fact, it might be a good idea to call the ePN sales staff directly and allow them to answer any questions you have about their products before signing up through your merchant account provider.
ePN has a fairly active social media presence, with accounts on both Facebook and LinkedIn. They also have a very impressive YouTube channel, which is frequently updated and includes a wealth of product overviews and tutorials. You’ll definitely want to check it out if you’re using any of ePN’s products.
Customer Service and Technical Support:
ePN provides customer service and support via telephone and email. Telephone support is available from Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM (Central time). Email support is available after hours, although it might take a while to receive a response.
All customer support is provided using in-house staff. The quality of ePN’s customer support appears to be quite good, although there are a few complaints alleging rude or unhelpful support representatives. While I’d rather see true 24/7 telephone support, the truth is that most companies that offer this rely on outsourced service representatives outside of normal business hours, and those representatives often don’t have the expertise or authority to provide genuinely useful help on technical issues.
ePN also maintains a fairly extensive FAQ on its website that can help merchants diagnose and fix common issues. Be sure to check here before calling them for help.
Negative Reviews and Complaints:
ePN has been accredited by the BBB since 2005, and currently has a B+ rating. The company has had seven complaints filed against it within the last three years, with two of those complaints being filed within the last twelve months.
ePN’s less-than-glowing overall rating appears to be the result of having a somewhat high complaint volume relative to the company’s size. Unfortunately, ePN appears to be the victim of a misunderstanding here. While complaint details are only available for a few of the filed complaints, in every case where those details are published it’s clear that the merchant confused ePN with their merchant account provider. Erroneously filing a complaint against ePN for freezing a merchant account, withholding funds, or charging an early termination fee – issues which they have no control over – requires them to waste time responding to invalid complaints and diverts them away from helping customers with legitimate issues. It also lets the real culprit (i.e., the merchant account provider) off the hook.
You’ll also find one complaint against ePN on Ripoff Report. Again, it raises issues that are the responsibility of the merchant account provider and actually has nothing to do with ePN or its payment gateway.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials:
While ePN has a large number of educational videos on its website and its YouTube channel, it doesn’t include any testimonials from customers. I also wasn’t able to find any positive praise for the company online. While this sounds disconcerting, satisfied customers rarely take the time to write positive reviews for gateway providers. Instead, the general lack of negative reviews (which are usually much more common) is itself a good indication that most merchants are satisfied with ePN and its products. Nonetheless, I’d still like to see the company offer some positive testimonials on its website in the future. If you’ve had a good experience with ePN, by all means feel free to leave your review in the Comments section below.
Final Verdict on eProcessing Network:
If you’re looking for a payment gateway for your eCommerce or retail business, eProcessing Network offers a great line of products. Their Secure Payment Gateway includes all the basic features you’ll need in a payment gateway, and additional features that can give you full functionality and the ability to customize your website any way you like. Their suite of features offers every option you’d find in the more popular Authorize.Net gateway, and for a lower price. My one concern is shopping cart integration, as ePN doesn’t say much about this on their website. It’s an issue you’ll want to clear up with your ePN sales representative if you have your heart set on a particular third-party shopping cart.
While ePN’s products are all solid, the company itself still suffers from merchant confusion over what they do and don’t provide. So, once again, let’s be clear that ePN is not a merchant account provider. They can’t freeze your merchant account or place a hold on your funds if you process a suspicious transaction. They can’t charge you for chargebacks, and they cannot and will not charge you an early termination fee if you close your account without providing proper notice. These are all areas that are controlled by your merchant account provider and are governed by your contract with them. So, before you go filing a complaint against them with the BBB (that you’ll later have to sheepishly withdraw), address these issues with your merchant account provider, not ePN.
With such a strong suite of products and apparently reasonable pricing, eProcessing Network rates an impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars. While I have no problem recommending their services, I would like to see some more concrete pricing information on their website. Most competing gateways will tell you up front what it will cost you to sign up with them directly, and I’d like to see ePN do the same. I’d also like to see more information about shopping cart compatibility, as many eCommerce merchants will already have a favored shopping cart that they’d like to use in conjunction with their gateway.
If you’ve had any experience with ePN’s products or services, please leave a review in the Comments section below.
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