First American Payment Systems Review

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Date Established
Fort Worth, TX


Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, First American Payment Systems (FAPS) has been in business since 1990. They currently process about $10 billion in transactional volume annually, which puts them in the mid- to upper-tier as far as size is concerned. Although First American hasn’t always been our favorite provider, the company seems to be making gradual improvements to both its services and its reputation.

My main problem with FAPS is overall inconsistency. They employ a large sales force of independent agents but do not seem to provide adequate training or support to these contractors. You can find dozens of complaints from former sales agents alongside complaints from the merchants these agents sold to. It adds up to a lot of unhappy people. While this is true of many payment processing companies, and customers are far more likely to complain than to praise, it’s still not great to see.

My second problem is their confusing branding and subsidiary structure. I’ve heard many reports of First American using a tangle of business names, which can deceive merchants and reduces the overall transparency of their operations. In my experience, companies with many DBAs are usually trying to cover something up and confuse those trying to assess their reputation. First American Payments seems to fit this bill.

FAPS is not an inherently bad merchant services provider. They have a pretty nice website and don’t employ too many overtly deceptive sales gimmicks publicly. I’m also happy to report that the company’s complaints volume has continued to decrease since our last two review updates. But if I am going to rate the brand as a whole, I’d say at best it’s a gamble. They don’t offer enough added value to make up for the expense of their contracts, and their customer support seems to be lacking. But, with that said, as long as you are willing to advocate for yourself, negotiate, and generally make sure your contract is fair, First American is a very capable company that offers a diverse selection of payment-related services and it can be a good provider for some businesses.

Check out the full review below, or head over to our comparison chart to see your other options. If you have insights about First American Payment Systems, please leave a comment.

Subsidiary Brands:

First American Payment Systems is the parent company for a large number of subsidiary companies, many of which specialize in servicing particular categories of businesses, such as non-profits, churches, restaurants, etc. Here’s a partial list:

Products and Services:

First American offers a full range of products and services, including the following:

  • Mobile payments/POS system: FAPS offers a tablet-based POS system, 1stPayPOS. For mobile payments, they offer 1stPayMobile.
  • Terminal sales and leasing: FAPS offers the proprietary Xion countertop terminal, which is EMV-compliant and NFC-capable. Other terminals available include the Ingenico iWL 250/252 and the Verifone Verix Vx520. Leases are provided by Merimac Capital, a First American subsidiary. In my opinion, you should never lease. Merimac leases are non-cancellable and extend for 60 months, usually at about $45 per month (plus insurance). That means that even if you want to cancel the next day, you will be stuck paying $2,700 to buy out the contract for a machine that you could purchase outright for only a few hundred dollars. Check out this article for more information.
  • Online reporting: This comes via First American’s proprietary FirstView® reporting system. FirstView® allows you to view merchant statements online, generate customized reports, and analyze processing data. It’s also encrypted to ensure the security of your data.
  • Gateway: First American Payments supports eCommerce through their proprietary payment gateway, FirstPay.Net™.
  • Merchant cash advances: These are available through First American’s Merchant Cash Advance Program.
  • FirstAdvantage: This offering supports in-house gift and loyalty cards.
  • ACH payments and paper check processing are supported through FirstFund® ACH and Secur-Chex®, respectively.

Fees and Rates:

While First American Payments bombards you with an information about all of their wonderful products and features, their website doesn’t mention a word about how much any of this will actually cost you. I couldn’t find a single dollar sign or percentage mark anywhere on the FAPS site.

For processing rates, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Rates are highly negotiable, and it’s often not practical to try to list all of them on a website. Also, unlike many other processing companies, they’re not trying to lure you in by deceptively quoting a low qualified rate that is much lower than what most of your transactions will actually be charged.

Fees, unfortunately, are another matter entirely. From what I’ve seen in comments from merchants using FAPS, these accounts can be incredibly expensive, with most of the money going directly toward agent profits. First American currently offers merchants a choice between either a $95.00 annual fee or a $25.00 monthly minimum on their standard contracts. Monthly statement fees are variable but can run as high as $20.00 per month. There’s also an annual PCI compliance fee of around $120. Finally, First American will offer you a costly tiered-pricing plan if you don’t ask for interchange-plus pricing.

If you do choose to use First American for credit processing, I have three words for you: Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. And be careful! Demand interchange-plus pricing and insist on a month-to-month contract with no early termination fee. If they won’t do that for you, I’d recommend you take your business elsewhere.

Contract Length and Early Termination Fee:

A standard merchant agreement from First American Payment Systems runs for three years. It automatically renews for one-year periods thereafter, unless you provide adequate notice that you wish to end the contract. Early termination fees for breaking your contract are variable but generally run from $300 to $495, unless you negotiate a month-to-month contract with no ETF.

Since FAPS relies heavily on independent resellers and so many subsidiaries, there’s not a whole lot of standardization here. If you don’t see a signed waiver form attached to your contract, chances are there is an early termination fee.

Sales and Advertising Transparency:

The First American Payment Systems website is actually fairly attractive and up-to-date. When you dig into it, there’s not a whole lot of in-depth information, but it’s not bad as far as corporate web advertising goes. I was actually pleasantly surprised to see this. You can find a separate page for each FAPS service with a few bullet points, and an occasional PDF brochure as well. There are also infographics and videos available to help you get started.

While I didn’t find any outright lies in their marketing materials, there is a conspicuous absence of any mention of costs, and very little educational material about how merchant processing fees work. To quote Shakespeare, I’d like to see “more matter, less art” in their marketing. This is likely done to accommodate a large and diverse pool of resellers who all have the freedom to set up accounts with a wide variety of fees and rates. While I recognize that rates will differ from merchant to merchant, I’d really like to see some standardization and a more transparent disclosure of scheduled fees. This helps to ensure that sales reps are selling fairly priced contracts. Take a look at the great resources offered by companies like Helcim or Dharma Merchant Services and compare this to First American Payment Systems. It’s like night and day.

In terms of individual sales experiences, FAPS does not deliver enough consistency to earn my seal of approval. Their independent agents seem, in some cases, poorly trained and/or poorly regulated. So while you could get a great sales agent, you could also get a terrible one. This is not a gamble I advise merchants to take.

Customer Service and Technical Support:

You can read in our comments section a number of reviews that cite rude or otherwise unsatisfactory customer service. Corroborating complaints exist across the web. So while First American Processing does offer 24/7/365 in-house customer service, and they did win the ATSI Call Center of Distinction award in 2013, not everyone would agree that this adds up to excellent customer support.

Basically, here’s my takeaway: having a well-staffed call center is a Band-Aid on a bullet wound when sales reps are scamming merchants into signing expensive and unfair contracts. If you’ve had experience with FAPS customer service, please let me know how it went in a comment.

Negative Reviews and Complaints:

First American Payment Systems earned their BBB accreditation in January 2015 and they currently have an A+ rating with the BBB. They’re pretty proud of this, not only displaying it prominently on their website but also including a direct link to their BBB report. They are to be commended for their transparency for doing so, as they currently have 65 complaints filed over the past three years, with 22 new complaints filed in the past year.

While this may seem like a lot, and it is troubling, it’s actually a fairly average number of complaints for a processor of their size. First American had 71 complaints at our last review update, and 76 complaints before that. So, they’re definitely trending in the right direction. Hopefully, this downward trend in complaints is due to improved service and not a result of frustrated merchants canceling their contracts and going to another provider.

Over at Ripoff Reports, you’ll find an additional 74 complaints. Many of these complaints are very detailed and articulate, as well as damning. Some issues are agent-specific, while others seem more systemic. Most troubling, you’ll also find a bunch of complaints from several independent sales agents themselves criticizing the business practices at First American Payment Systems.

Unfortunately, the responses from First American to merchant complaints are generally impersonal and not very apologetic. They will absolutely not cancel terminal leases administered through Merimac Capital, but they will sometimes waive early termination fees. Apparently, a lot of merchants haven’t read their contract thoroughly enough to be aware of the early termination penalty, and far too many sales agents aren’t discussing it when trying to close a deal.

Here are some of the most common complaints against First American Payment Systems:

  • Unethical sales tactics: Overall, merchants are unsatisfied with the sales experience provided by many FAPS agents. Specifically, complaints include nondisclosure of contract terms and fees, as well as receiving misleading information about how credit card processing works and how rates are decided. The fact that FAPS does not provide any useful educational material or rate information on their website makes the sales experience even more confusing and misleading.
  • Bad leasing agreements: Any company that still pushes the old standard four-year non-cancellable terminal leases should, as a general rule, be avoided like the plague. These companies are desperately looking to make money at your expense and via your lack of industry knowledge. These leases end up costing thousands of dollars just for the pleasure of borrowing a machine that is only worth a few hundred dollars. Don’t do it. Read this article for more information.
  • Overall cost: Some merchants complain about rate hikes and high percentages of non-qualified transactions. Others bemoan their hefty early termination fees. Others hate finding so many undisclosed fees on their statements. But most complaints I read had in common a general feeling that FAPS is charging more than they are worth. Based on everything I’ve seen, I tend to agree.

Positive Reviews and Testimonials:

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any positive reviews or testimonials for First American Payment Systems – not even on their own website. To be honest, I have no real reason to encourage you to pursue using this company’s services. While I’m sure they have a substantial number of satisfied merchants on their side, FAPS delivers very inconsistent sales and service experiences. With so many other truly exceptional providers out there, why settle for mediocrity?

If you disagree, please let me know in a comment. I’m open to valid arguments in favor of or against any provider I’ve reviewed!

Final Verdict:

Overall, First American Payment Systems currently rates a rather average 3.5 out of 5 stars. While this isn’t a bad rating, it’s certainly not good, either. With a company like this, one could argue that a few bad apples ruin the whole bunch. With so many independent sales agents out there working for this company, there are going to be some good ones and some bad ones. It’s the overall level of inconsistency I’ve seen from FAPS sales agents that troubles me. But the issues don’t end there. I’m not satisfied with First American’s advertising. Their main website is noticeably vague and uninformative. Their business structure, with its numerous DBAs and multiple subsidiary websites, is convoluted and confusing. I want to see providers educating merchants to help them make a good decision. First American is definitely not doing this, at least not as a rule. (For comparison, see Helcim.)

Complaints against First American Payment Systems include insanely expensive and non-cancellable terminal leases and pricey contracts peddled by dishonest sales reps. Poor customer support and difficulty closing accounts are also frequently mentioned. And, of course, expensive early termination fees. With all of these issues riding against FAPS, it’s difficult to recommend partnering with them. There are now quite a few other providers out there who will offer you interchange-plus pricing with no early termination fees, not to mention outstanding customer service – all for significantly less than FAPS will charge you.

So, take a look at our comparison chart to see some other options!

Tom DeSimone
Tom loves asking tough questions and getting straight answers, so he has a lot of fun calling payment processing companies 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 about merchant services and keeping credit card processors honest, Tom enjoys backpacking in the mountains.
Tom DeSimone
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Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Louis Merrick

    Organization Name: Metal Gear Armroy

    Horrible experience and company. Their affiliate broke contract with me and are attacking my credit unlawfully. Do not do business with blue dog or first american payment systems. Absolutely disgusting business practices. Save yourself and do respectable business else where. DO NOT DO BUSINESS HERE!

    • Organization Name: Metal Gear Armroy
    brittney haywood

    i have done business with several merchant services and this company is by far thee WORST! save yourself adn find another company to process with. I was fraudulently set up by one of their representatives(i clearly provided docs and information showing that i key in more then 75% of my order because i have an internet business) and in order to get my signed up he put 100% swiped. I did not know this until i started processing and then this company help over $4000 for over a week making me provide them with numerous docs in order to release funds that have already cleared my customers banks. This didn’t end here and they continued to keep holding funds. I provided texts and emails showing that i d the rep 75% input and 25% swiped and they told me that that was too bad that i signed the contract so i am responsible. ok…so i found another provider for my inputs and was using this company for my walk -in customers…and then my pin pad stopped working and would not let me swipe cards anymore. so i called and they advised me that the pin pad has gone bad…after 3 months…and i had to pay $75 to replace it! even tho i have had it barley 90 days! i packed this stuff up and sent it back! SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS DO NOT GET INVOLVED WITH THIS NIGHTMARE OF A CREDIT CARD PROCESSOR! WORST COMPANY EVER!

      Michelle Griffith

      We only have one ecommerce site that we used their services. When you Call customer service and say you have cancelled but are still getting charged and they ask you to hold. Then come back on the line quoting the annual automatically renewing contract by section and paragraph? Not a company I would recommend or ever do business with again. The automatic monthly charge appears on our account with zero description. My bank has to research the charge to give me information soI could find out who was charging our account. Pretty slippery.

        Jaremy Larsen



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


          Horrible Service!!! The worst merchant service in the world. BEWARE THEY WILL RENEW YOUR CONTRACT WITHOUT YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND CHARGE YOU MORE THE LONGER YOU STAY WITH THEM. THIEVES AND THUGS. I asked to speak to a manager and the manager was rude and didn’t care that I had been with them for 3 years paying high fees and the machines go down every 2 weeks, making me lose business and sometimes not even charging their card and other times double charging my customers card. GET THEM IF YOU WANT TO LOSE BUSINESS!!!! If you need more information on them give me a call, np. 254-368-1055. STAY AWAY FRO AMERICAN MERCHANT FIRST VIEW OR WHATEVER THEY GO BY NOW…located in FOrth Worth Dallas.


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

            Kason Wang

            I fell into victim of this company, or should say fell into one of many it’s front companies, the one who walked into my door was called “Trinity Merchant Service”. As many previous reviewers have experienced: after 3 years of higher-than-average-fees contract expired, I tried to cancel and switch, then was told must pay $495 termination fee and there is a 90-day advance notice before contract ending date in January, and… must be IN WRITING to cancel, and only a 90-day window out of a year to do so, otherwise will be penalized $495 just to cancel this agreement now, otherwise it is automatically renewed for another year with $90 annual fee and $65 monthly fee continuously being charged to my account until I see anther 90-day window to cancel next year. In other words, even after the initial contract expires, not only I don’t have the freedom to cancel it any time, but also I have only a 90-day window out of a year to HAND WRITE a letter to them to cancel, or will be penalized. The small fine print of this obvious extra revenue on the original contract is very very deceptive and unfair. I am not even sure if this is legal since the sales person told me I can cancel anytime after 3 years without penalty and pretty much just flip through the contract ask me to sign. Very high pressure sale at the time. I feel victimized by this company. This is unfair business with deceptive small fine print on contract of large penalty. WORST OF ALL, when I repeatedly faxed cancellation letters to them, all three faxes went missing in their office. I made follow up calls twice after faxing, still no sign of my fax, even with a successful fax confirmation out of my machine . It made me to believe this is intentional to make cancellation extremely difficult and near impossible to avoid early cancellation fees.In March 2016, I couldn’t put up with their evil practice and reported FAPS’s sales company, which I have the contract with, to BBB. Soon after, a company VP replied to offer no-string-attach cancellation in exchange of positive feedback for them. I gladly complied. 10 month later, I realized not only the contract was not canceled, but also been sneakingly charged my account $65 a month for 10 months, also, in January 2017 FAPS charged me another $95 annual renew fee plus $75 monthly fee for next 12 months, so now I am trapped for another 12 months, a total of 22 months without using their service at $75 a month. In short, FAPS and it’s daughter companies definitely have unfair and possibly illegal contract preying small business owners, or wouldn’t have ALL THESE NEGATIVE REVIEWS stating the same thing. I am determined to stop this company and it’s many front companies to victimize other hard working business owners. I have filed complaint with TEXAS Attorney General’s Office, North Carolina Attorney General’s Office and Federal Attorney General’s Office today. I HIGHLY recommend so many victims here spend few minutes to do the same. This type of business practice should not exist in this beautiful country to hurt tens of thousands of hard working small business owners.


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

              Marc Johnson

              These guys are CROOKSThey took $1800 out of my bank account over two years after we left them.If you are currently with them or where make sure you have a good lawyer you will need them


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

                peter hogsholm


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

                  Chris Parachini

                  After getting scammed by Summit Merchant Solutions, I began searching Consumer Watch Websites on the internet, and found that I am one of numerous people cheated out of money by Summit Merchant Services–and its three other sister companies: First American Payment Systems, Certified Payment Processing, Trans Tech Merchant Group.They lied to us about giving us a no obligation 90 trial period with their Credit Card Processing Service and Equipment. We were told of we cancelled Summit’s service within 90 days, we would not have any charges.Their Team Leader via speakerphone also said after each credit card sale was processed, our funds would be placed in our account within 24 hours. When Summit refused to release large sales for more than seven days, we called our “local” Summit Representative, who called the folks in Carrolton, Texas, to try to resolve the problem.We found numerous hidden charges being debited from our account, so we asked our local representative to come get the equipment because we were not satisfied with the service. She contacted the person in charge of sales at Summit to let them know we opted to no longer use them.This is where our nightmare with Summit began. They have harassed us by phone and mail for 18 months. Through their sister company, Lease Finance Group, they have damaged my credit. They have threatened is and attempted to extorted ridiculous amounts of money from us, when we refused to pay, they hit my credit with a $2,880.15 charge off.All of these companies use the “churn and burn” method of scamming people into working for them, using locals to scam small businesses into contracts that will never be serviced because of hidden fees, broken verbal promises, and frozen deposits.They have no intention of providing servicing clients with credit card processing, but collecting on the early termination fees that they get when the merchant gets frustrated with all the hidden fees.They hire locals through online employment recruiting, train the employees over the internet, and as their “local” sales representatives receive complaints from newly contracted merchants about hidden charges, and poor service, Summit burns their local representatives by not paying them or embarrassing them with angry local clients.The Consumer Reporting websites have labeled this method “churn and burn.” Many of the Better Business Bureau complaints are by Summit employees who did not get paid for work or commissions promised by Summit.Embarrassed and frustrated, the burned employees quit and find another job, leaving the merchant clients stuck in a bad contract with Summit or one of their other companies, such as Lease Financial Group.Summit or one of the other three companies with the same address in Carrolton, Texas, just hire more people simply wanting to make an honest living. This is how they churn out massive numbers of contracts, with the “team leaders” in Carrolton calling the merchant while the local representative is in the store–promising a 90 trial period verbally, but in fact having the merchant sign contracts with fine print that do not allow any cancellation of the contracts.As part of the application process, the merchant signs a document allowing Summit complete access to their Credit History through Experian, whom Summit and its three other companies also pay for “leads.”They pick a town, hire sales reps, churn large numbers of contracts, then burn the new clients, and their new employees.They have everyone’s credit data, so they know details about the merchant’s life that few people have access to–because Summit pays Experian for credit histories.If a merchant closes their bank account and refuses to pay the “cancelation” fee in the fine print, Summit calls the merchant and threatens to ruin the merchant’s credit by using Experian.Extortion.In my case, it was David Nguyen, Vice President of Sales, who called me over and over again, threatening to ruin my business future–and my ability to purchase a home.He used personal information from my Experian credit report to harass and intimidate me–and personally insult me, again with information provided to him by Experian.He called me up to 20 times a day, and from numerous numbers, from different area codes listed in Chicago, New York, South Dakota, Kentucky, and Texas.Originally, when David Nguyen called me, I did know that their company was only out to scam and extort me, I explained to him that their local Summit sales representative had picked up the credit card processing equipment prior to the end of the 90 day trial.He became quite hostile insulting me saying I was an idiot and needed to pay the cancellation fee. I told him I had a 90 day trial period. Mr. Nguyen told me he was going to get his money on way or another.As Mr. Nguyen continued to harass me by different phone numbers, I would use the block option on my IPhone.Eventually the harassment has ceased, but we still receive threatening “legal” letters through the mail.The other merchants in downtown Bastrop who were scammed by Summit Merchant Solutions, paid the cancellation fees to get Summit to leave them alone. No one in downtown Bastrop has continued to use Summit Merchant Solutions.My guess is our local representative got burned by Summit, because she did not work for them very long.We were all scammed and then extorted by Summit Merchant Solutions. After researching numerous consumer awareness websites, I have found hundreds of complaints similar to mine for ALL of their credit card processing companies with the same address in Carrolton, Texas.Mr. Nguyen held true with his threats. I refused to pay a cancellation fee, so Summit’s sister company, Lease Finance Group billed me for $2,880.15 claiming we never returned their credit card processing equipment.When I tried to contact the person on their billing letter, Virginia Velazquez, Account Manager, Legal Collections Department PO Box 7861, New York, NY 10116, I was forwarded to a message.The phone number listed is (800) 863-5433 Ext. 8214.The address on the bill is for Lease Finance Group 6500 W. 65th Street Unit 204, Chicago, IL 60638.True to Mr. David Nguyen’s threats, Summit’s trade partner, Experian, has given me a low credit rating with the charge off of $2,880.15.Before I discovered how much business is conducted between Mr. Nguyen’s companies, and Experian, I filed a dispute with Lease Finance Group’s charge against my credit. I received a generic letter from Experian saying the charge stands.Now I am taking the following actions:1. Initiating a Congressional Inquiry with my local Congressman.2. Submitting my complaint with the Texas Attorney General.3. Submitting my complaint to the federal office of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which regulates credit, phone (855) 411-2372.4. Contact our local news media to initiate an investigative report to warn other consumers.5. Contact Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bank, and ask why they are assisting with this scam.6. Report my complaint to the local police, county sheriff department, state patrol, and FBI.7. Send a copy of my report to the local chamber of commerces in my area, so they can warn other merchants.8. Notify our city manager when these peddlers are going door to door in our town, because Bastrop requires a “Peddlers License.”10. Report this to every Consumer Watch Group online.11. Send complaint report to the Better Business Bureau in Fort Worth: complaints@fwbbb.com12. Email complaint about Summit Merchant Solutions / First American Payment Systems to OCC.The bully weapon these scammers use is Experian. Summit and their other scam companies use the threat of unleashing their trade partner, Experian, to extort unfair fees from their victims.Summit screens their potential marks by paying Experian for data to gain insight on leads.Without Experian, Summit Merchant Solutions would not be able to take advantage of small businesses all over the US. Experian is the tool Summit and their other scam companies have, once that is removed they will be toothless; contact your Congressman to initiate an official Congressional Inquiry.


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


                    A word to those who are caught in the grips of these scoundrels, make sure you put a hold on your account well BEFORE you send in your termination notice!!! You WILL get charged $595 IMMEDIATELY! I was told by their sales rep that the only way to get it rescinded would be to resume services, and after 30 days it would be ‘returned’. I have already lost thousands by having not cancelled my contract sooner, and they still robbed me! PLEASE search them for yourselves before signing with them, or any other provider for that matter! If any sales rep wants you to sign that day without prior investigation, tell them to leave and never come back! Merchant processing is not an emergency, but being trapped in a contract can destroy your business!


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


                      HORRIBLE. STAY AWAY. After 3 months of using this service I requested a cancellation. Of course there was a $495 cancellation fee. I faxed a cancellation request in March 2014. However I was recently advised by my office manager that we were billed all of last year anyway. Once I realized this I contacted the company seeking answers. I was told that they never received the fax even though my transaction report showed it was received. It was somehow my responsibility to prove they received it. So they continued to bill me for yearly fees, monthly fees, compliance fees, etc. In the first three months of using the service I was hit with every possible charge imaginable. One after another. I estimate that the fees were 71% of my small total volume. I’ve had no luck getting credit for the erroneous 2014 total charges (I want them applied to my cancellation fee, even though I used the equipment for just under 3 months before unplugging it). The sales person either lied or misled me in the process. As a busy physician, I don’t have time to read the entire 17 page small printed contract so you hope that you are dealing with a reputable salesperson/company. WRONG. This company goes by several different names including First American Payment Services, Trans one Merchant Services, Secur-chex,, etc. I could not state more emphatically… stay away. Google the other complaints and class action suits against many of these companies. I fell for it, don’t do the same. P.S. I sent the second request for cancellation in Feb 2015 along with a copy and fax transmission report of the first one. Today is 4/14/15 and I am still receiving processing fees of $25 as of yesterday. Also If you put a cancellation / hold with your bank, this company assesses another $30 rejection fee. Been there, done that.


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

                        Nate N

                        Thank you Tom & All Reviewers,
                        I wish I have read your comments sooner! We experienced many things you and other reviewers commented. Not sure how BBB of Forth Worth still rated First American Payment System an A+ even though many complaints filed to BBB are expressing the same Systematic issues!

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


                          Stay away from these guys. Just like everyone else here, we got screwed by FAPS with only 4 months remaining on the contract and got charged for early termination fee of $495.00. We had no intention to cancel but the account was closed by them saying our bank account was no good anymore. We moved to another State last year and notified them of the changes but the transition did not get coordinated well by their staff. We notified our new bank account and our new corporate information but it was probably not handled correctly by them and our account got cancelled. Ended up running about $160K through Paypal terminal. We were very happy with Paypal services so we decided to stick with them and dump FAPS by paying the divorce settlement. No contract with Paypal and their customer service is just great. Happy with their fees too!


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


                            I will never use First American Payment Systems every again. I had used them for 2 years and 11 months when I found another merchant processor for much less. The contract was set to expire on 9/16/14, so I called them on 8/27/14 to close my account. But, since I called 20 days before the expiration date instead of 30 days, my account automatically renewed for 12 months, and there would be a $400 early termination if I wanted to close the account. I told them to bill me the early termination fee and close the account.Now, it is 2/11/15, and I just noticed that they have been billing me $60 per month. So I called them again and told them that I cancelled on 8/27/14. They said since I did not send in a cancellation letter (which they never told me about), I still have to pay the $400 early termination fee + I would NOT receive a refund for the $360 in monthly fees ($60 per month x 6 months).


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

                              Terry Benner Sr.

                              Thank you for doing what you do so we can be aware of what these con-artist will do. I know of someone that just went to work for them and is all pumped up and I think they will fall. I’ve looked at both sides and I’m staying with Accept Credit Cards and will be very happy.

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


                                First American payment systems are crooks! I am pissed to say the least. I have been paying over $300 a month for there service and don’t even collect that much a month through credit card processing. I just took a close look at my acct and this has been going on for 2 1/2 years. With 6 months left of my contract (I was told there wasn’t one) it seems best to pay the $500 early termination fee. My terminal no longer works anyway and they want to charge me $200 for a new one

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


                                  I was also mislead by TransTech merchant group. We were told that we were only signing to get rate quotes only to be called to switch our processing the next day. I didn’t listen to that voice in my head that said “don’t sign that!” Can anyone tell me what it says in your account when they deposit/collect funds? I cancelled mine within the 15 day grace period and never switched my processing to them. I have been having a $50 fee the last 2 months hit my account and one today of $605.43 It says the processor is BANKCARD/175251****. Anyone have any insight on this?

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

                                    Tom DeSimone

                                    Hi Dawn,

                                    The name BANKCARD/########## is likely the processor/service provider. I have replaced the last four digits in your comment with asterisks because this is likely your account number. To verify this, check that number against your account number on your TransTech documentation. Unless you have set up a new merchant account, these charges are probably still coming from TransTech.

                                    Here’s what you can do. First, get in touch with your bank and explain that you would like to put a stop payment on future charges coming from that entity. You can also ask for more information about the entity that is making those charges. Next, get in touch with TransTech and explain that you are still being charged fees despite having closed your account, and that you would like a refund for the fees as well as for the $600 charge (you’ll also want to find out what this charge was for). If they won’t give you a refund, get in touch with the BBB and file a complaint. If that doesn’t lead to a refund, then get in touch with your state’s attorney general.

                                    Good luck, and keep us posted.

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

                                      E Sumone

                                      12 first American payments are con artist and thieves. They say I “quit” them wrong when I did everything they said I had to.Now on my collections on my credit report. I will wait for it to fall off before I will give them one more dime


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

                                        Lynda Gibbons

                                        We have just been hit with a $495.00 cancellation fee from First American Payment System since they did not live up to any of their promises. There was even an “X” through the “Early Termination” page of the contract. They are claiming that it “was from the previous page”. Two of us working the phone, we have been transferred about 6 times each and each time we get the same response..we’ll call you back..send us a, no, no. Rude and uncompassionate. This cancellation fee will put us over the top and probably put us out of business; we are very small company, just 6 months old. Can anyone give us any suggestions? We have contemplated going to court but is this going to get us anywhere?

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

                                          Roberto Palacio

                                          Horrible customer service,all a big scam never used there processor not once still owe $679 i could understand if i used the system what did I get charged for?They never handled my money because i didn’t put any in it.When i called to work out a payment plan i got denied.I also never got one monthly statement maybe because i never ran a transaction.It was online processing no swipe reader needed.Why $679 that seems like alot for nothing.


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

                                            AMY GRUBA

                                            I was with First American System for a couple years then when I went to cancel they were absolutely horrible!! They charges are outrageous! They make it extremely difficult to cancel then charged my account nearly $700. If you are currently with this company I feel sorry for you!! Have fun leaving! If you are undecided DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!! There are plenty of reputable companies out there just run fast away from this company.

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

                                              Jeff Harrel

                                              I was told there were ” special rates” for a medical facility. Once I went through the application process to see if I “qualify” they would let me know what my “special rates” would be.
                                              This is what they sent me as my special rate: “Int+Dfa+.50”
                                              I was led to believe that the application was only to see if I qualified for the medical facility rates- I got scammed they signed me up for the 3 years
                                              I did not let them program my terminal and I tring to get out of this “contract” CAN ANYONE HELP ME OUT OF THIS CONTRACT?

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

                                                Danielle Norwood

                                                Read your contract carefully. I spoke with someone on the phone and they gave me instructions to send a letter in canceling my contract at it’s end. They however, did not inform me this letter had to be sent 30 day prior to the end of the contract. Thus they charged my company a $595 cancellation fee even though I canceled before the contract was up. Asked for a refund but not granted.


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

                                                  Richard Sorensen

                                                  FAPS has been taking money from my wife and I since we canceled them in 10-10-11 monthly. They started at $17 dollars a month then over $50 now they are taking over $600 !!! All this with no service, statements or any contact. We dont even own the business that had the service anymore. Now we are getting very threatning letters and phone calls from FAPS directly not even a sister company


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

                                                    Richard Sorensen

                                                    It now appears that they opened a new account and contract. They are using 3 or 4 different company’s to get us. It’s been hard to know who or what number to call. The other company’s are Apex merchant group ( apex has so-called original contract) Digital financial group , Merimac Capitol, First American payment systems. We know there is another company, but have not figured out who they are yet. Scary stuff!


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

                                                      Jeff Harrell

                                                      Has anyone been able to get out of the scam contract

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

                                                        Marcus Beck

                                                        It appears we are just now starting to realize what a tremendous pile of garbage we have stepped in with First American Payment Systems. We were doing business with NPC through Retriever and were very satisfied with the charges and especially with our rep. After 4 years, he called saying that Retriever was grossly overcharging us and he was stepping out to start is own company Pilot Processing and if we would follow him, we would save plenty. We received a simple 2-page acknowledgement, signed for FAPS and instantly our fees skyrocketed. We were assured there was no contract as before. After changing back to NPC through Vantiv, we are still being billed 36.00 a month from FAPS. Our agent has elected to not be available in any form, so we called FAPS directly to find out about the charges. After an hour on the phone with some horribly rude people, we were bluntly told we should “watch what we sign”, and were sent this ridiculous 5-page ‘contract’ that we had never seen before. It is only now that I am reading others feedback about this company (FAPS), their deceptive practices, horrible customer service, and nightmarish contracts. Twice, our PCI compliance has be completed without my signature; I’m assuming that was forged, and I have processor paperwork on my desk where my signature is obviously forged. Will be calling the FTC (1-877-382-4357) for solutions ASAP.Apparently the game goes thusly:1) ‘independent agents’ spring up and gather new merchants for the parent company who claims no fault, blaming it all on the contract. 2) Independents don’t present the whole contract, if at all.3) The page your signature is on simply states you agree with the “terms” which are explained over the phone.4) Actual contract is a separate unsigned, undisclosed mystery document you supposedly have read.5) You are screwed. It appears the magnitude of your plight depends on which version of the contract you are later presented with (from what I’ve been reading). If I am able to reply to myself, I will be happy to relay what we learn.We are a small business and are not experts in the field of processing, but I know when I’m being taken for a ride and this feels reminiscent of the old car dealer straw scam that was used frequently in the 90’s or so.


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

                                                          Michelle Stolzman

                                                          Same thing happened to us. I wish we had read these reviews before we signed up. We had an “agent” tell us he could get us better rates and when we told him we wanted a month to month contract he said yes that was what we were getting. I actually asked him several times to confirm and asked him where it was in the contract and he said “yes” everytime and assured us it was in the contract. He didn’t actually show me, it is a 50 page contract. His company App Star processes thru First American and they were extremely difficult to deal with to try to close our other account. We were charged for a year on an account we didn’t use. They are rude and devious.

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

                                                            Michelle Stolzman

                                                            So we came to find out that our new contract is the same as the old. A 3 year contract with yearly automatic renewals. We don’t want to deal with First American anymore but we have to now til 2015 because of their deceit.

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

                                                              Clayton Westphal

                                                              I signed up in 2005 with Transone and was fine with the service, In 2011 [edited: name removed] shows up at my door to renew my contract. He says he is with FAPS and that Transone is owned by FAPS He can reduce my rates if I renew right now. I signed on and he came and replaced my old machine, and we were in business, except that he did not close the old contract. I discovered the duplicate charges several months later, along with the fact that the new contract was much more expensive. I called them to inform them of the error, and they said FAPS was a different company and that if I wanted to cancel my Transone account I would have to pay $495. They would not budge from that position.
                                                              Where do I cancel the account? With the same customer service as FAPS, they have the same employees, telephone, Fax, address, and owner but claim to be separate when it is convenient.
                                                              I pointed out that they even took my old machine. If they were different companies how could they do that? There response is I should read what I signed. I shouldn’t have allowed them to take the old machine. Everything is my fault for doing business with them is their position.

                                                              The fact is the contract in which I was trying to end was only 3 pages with the an equipment lease on page 4. There was nothing in the contract about automatic renewal or anything stating that I could only cancel on my anniversary date. The only reference to early termination was in the machine lease and it was 4 years.

                                                              If you are thinking about doing business with them Don’t. If you are thinking of doing business with any other company, make sure it has no ties with First American.

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

                                                                Bruce Russ

                                                                I learned a very valuable lesson from this company. I was cold-called to have a ‘field rep’ come to my office to inspect the credit card service I was currently using. The ‘rep’ discovered a number of ways his company could save me money, but that he needed me to sign a credit check authorization just to see if even “qualified” for their service. Two weeks later, I am told via paper bill that I was indeed qualified and, without my knowledge was signed up to a 3 year service contract and a 4 year equipment lease. When I immediately contacted the company and explained that I only signed to authorize a credit check, the customer service agent abruptly told me that “you need to watch what you sign for”. He also informed me that I would need to pay $495 for an early termination. Obviously, the lesson I learned was to NEVER sign anything until you read it thoroughly, but when you have a very sly sales rep ‘assuring’ you that the signature was only for the credit check, then it leads me to reason that this company uses decetive practices to pirate accounts away from more reputable companies.


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

                                                                  Thomas L Smith PSC

                                                                  This Company is a big ripoff. We tried to cancel the contract and was told we had a 3 year contract and when it expried we tried again only to be told we missed the dedline for notification and they kept billing us. As of April this year they charged us a cancellation fee of $536.42. This has better be the end of this crooked company’s tricks.

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

                                                                    MARIE KING


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

                                                                      Bob Williams

                                                                      These guys are trying to make us pay $425 fee even after our contract is up. What a bunch of con artists.

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

                                                                        zhuying Dai

                                                                        Last year I signed two contracts with two credit-card process companies(App-Star Financial and Summit Merchant), both promised to reimburse the cancellation fees from my former processors(Park Central and Wells Fargo)

                                                                        But Summit did not give me the reimbursement, so I closed my bank account(1) processing the money with Summit and canceled the contract with Summit. I refused to pay the cancellation fee to Summit because it did not give me the reimbursement as they promised me.

                                                                        Then some money was taken from my bank account (2) processing the money with App-Star to pay the fee for Summit. So I closed my bank account (2) and canceled the contract with App-Star. Again I refused to pay the cancellation fee to App-Star because it took money from my bank account (2) to pay the fee for Summit.

                                                                        Then the third company First American Payment System asked me to pay the cancellation fees $702.46 and 674.42.

                                                                        Now I know these three companies are one in different names (there are more other different names), they have really bad reputation for cheating small businesses, and they are the companies who owe our small businesses a lot of money. I decide to fight against them when we go to court.
                                                                        Yesterday I got letters from Commercial Services Group (www. asked me to pay First American Payment System $742.42 and $577.46.

                                                                        What should I do?

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


                                                                          Is there anyway to get out of these contracts with these people. I was so confused and believed what I was told now seem to have contracts with Summitt merchant Solutions, First Amer4ican Payment Systems and Lease Finance Group. Please help told me 30 day cancellation period and now I find out noncancellable lease.

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

                                                                            Mary Beth Thompson


                                                                            First American Payment Systems took 29.89 out of my account on 3/26 and then 31.99 on 4/18, sneaks didn’t list a phone number with debit and listed their name as Merimac…..then I received a collection letter from Transworld sayind First American Payment Systems is filing abad debt against me for $31.50. COME ON, I have had the same merchant services for years. I do not know how they got my information but they are most certainly SCAMMERS and Thieves!

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

                                                                              Crystal McClernon

                                                                              Let me add another “shell” name to this deception…Heritage Payment Solutions is another front for First American Payment Systems…they have the exact same physical address. Ditto on previous comments..they want $495 for us to exit their contract. They had to fax me the pages that included that when I told them I never saw that information in the 4 page contract I signed. Their response was that it is my responsibility to ASK them for the additional pages before I signed the contract. Reporting them to the Better Business Bureau today.


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

                                                                                Bill Bronner

                                                                                First American Payment Systems aka Apex is too be avoided. there are too

                                                                                many Credit Processor that offer lower fees and no contract, and termination


                                                                                You have to be smoking something with 479 negative BBB reviews.

                                                                                Obviously, you do not have first hand experience with this company.

                                                                                Start with the 25 page contract, crafted to be unintelligible gooby gook. Well

                                                                                hidden is the $495.00, 3 year contract, and $125.00 annual PCI fee.

                                                                                The first thing they did to me is charge a monthly fee when I was not yet

                                                                                hooked up their service to them. they would not credit me for that. They are a

                                                                                thieving bunch of crooks who charge $36,80 last month fee, when they

                                                                                cancelled my service on 4th of that billing month. Ho yes, they kept increasing

                                                                                their monthly fees, they allege the CC companies had increased their fees.

                                                                                Prove it. If they could reach into my back

                                                                                pocket, they would take my wallet. There loss prevention department put a

                                                                                hold on two charges of Corporate customer, I had to cancel the charge and

                                                                                have the customer pay me direct. Because, they wanted a complete description

                                                                                of work(was for a legal department and confidential), The charge was $450.00.

                                                                                As well three months bank statement. I have been at the same location for over

                                                                                20 years a credit merchant a notary public, licensed with Department of Justice

                                                                                as a fingerprinter. This idiot could of settled his suspicions with a simple phone


                                                                                The good news a Credit Processing Co. bought out the remaining contract, of

                                                                                $495,00 and saved me $600 over my remaining contract.

                                                                                Run for Apex First American Payment Systems.

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

                                                                                  Yasmeen Brauner

                                                                                  First american payment services is a scam… they charge you outlandish fees.
                                                                                  . they have conveniently forgot to tell me about my anniversary date of renew…. sony automatically renew you without your permission. Then try to charge you close to a 500 dollar fee to cancel your account… they charge me that much monthly…. I will personally set myself on fire before. i referwill that companyI to someone else for them to rob blind…. now why is it when I wanna cancel you can offer me a better fee… but there isn’t 1 when I want 1…. scam artist…

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

                                                                                    Michelle Stolzman

                                                                                    agreed! They are deceitful and rude uncaring and money hungry

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


                                                                                      Does anyone find it entriguing that First American Payment Systems is no longer BBB certified? I’m pretty sure I looked a few weeks ago and was able to find the profile that MerchantMaverick quoted and now its gone. I looked again to find it and it has no rating now. It still has the complaints but no rating.

                                                                                      Any comments on this?

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

                                                                                        Merchant Maverick Admin

                                                                                        Interesting observation on this Shannon. I’m not sure why they lost certification, but would be interested to know. I’ll try and look into this.


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


                                                                                          Actually, “MERCHANT MAVERICK” — Bryan is 100% right; FPA does own and operate each ISO… As an example; Certified Merchant Services and Transaction Merchant Services may have at one time been a sponsored ISO; but in 2003 FPA acquired them so that their owner Jon Frankel and brother Craig Frankel could pay the $24,000,000.00 settlement that the FTC sued and won from them. Stay away from ISO’s… The best bet to know exactly what you are getting (even though the rates may not be the same) is to go down to your bank… At least then you know what to expect from them… If you’re not willing to do that; then reach out to other merchants who have been in business and find out who they are doing business with…. Just like with so many other things; there is a difference between what you are told and what you are charged; stick with a company you know you can trust.

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

                                                                                            Merchant Maverick Admin

                                                                                            Good work “EncorePaymentInfo!”

                                                                                            I went ahead and dug into the Certified Merchant Services FTC issue. See here and here to learn more. It also looks like you’re right about FAPS acquiring Certified Merchant Services. See here. Things aren’t looking good for FAPS.

                                                                                            Thanks again!

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


                                                                                              no problem, thank you for the response; and don’t let the name “EncorePaymentInfo” throw you off; I am somewhat of an advocate for merchant’s being screwed out of their hard earned money… Encore Payment Systems, aka Prodigy Payment Systems, and Momentum Payment Systems are all one in the same company; and their executive and director level staff with the exception of 2 or three of the director level employees are the “SAME” as those from Certified Merchant Services… Guess what that means… I have also found 2 other ISO’s that have links back to the “PLAYERS” from CMS. People have to be careful about who they do business with; references are ok, but what company is going to hand out a list of customers who are going to complain… That’s why I constantly tell people to either deal with the bank or get personal references from people who they already know doing business with a card processor. There is way too much deception out there.

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

                                                                                                Mike Murphy

                                                                                                I was with First American for several years and paid a monthly lease fee along with a annual fee. I was then approached by a salesperson from APEX who said they could cut my monthly payments in half and eliminate the annual fee. I stressed concern about the agreement and termination fee and was assured that they would take care of everything. Granted I did not have any problems with First American up until this point – I paid a lot of money but the service was fine. But when you hear you could save money, why wouldn’t you change. Well it was horrible, First American kept taking out a lease fee every month, APEX kicked in starting with a $120 annual fee and when I tried to get ahold of the sales person from APEX, I never received a call back. I couldn’t keep up with all of the charges between the two companies and neither company would speak to me on the phone or even return my calls. I ended up closing my bank account linked to First American and now the account is in collections. Not only did they get two annual payments from me totaling over $200 but a number of monthly fees. I either pay a $495 termination fee through the collection agency or they will put a mark on my credit. This was a scam from day one and now I am paying for it dearly. This company should be closed and all of the names it goes under should also be closed. If you are looking for a credit company to help you with your sales, DO NOT USE FIRST AMERICAN, APEX or whatever other name they decide to go by!

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


                                                                                                  They have a bad BBB rating because they deserve it. We are with them under the Transtech Merchant Group name. They do have a $495 cancellation fee and another $100 if you do debit. They have a 3 year agreements with automatic 1 year renewals. We thought we were canceling after our 3 year agreement but were told we were renewed automatically for another year since we did not notify them in time, had to be 30 days, we did so in 24 days. They have been an absolute pain to deal with. There are much better companies out there with better rates and terms, many that do have a contract. If you are with them, read your contract terms and cancel early as they will not let you out. This company has been a nightmare!


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

                                                                                                    Glenn J. Schworak

                                                                                                    I must agree, This company is very deceptive in their practices. As with all companies they promise this and that to get your business. But these guys deliver nothing of value in return. Customer service is nonexistent. Speak to anyone on the phone and you get the run around. They do not offer true PCI compliance testing, they over charge by a large margin for all CC processing. They over charge by a large margin for cancellation. They make up fake charges such as a statement fee, not for sending you the bill but for simply keeping track of your charges. Sure, each fee is small but when put together they are say over priced. These guys are a joke and are exactly what is wrong with this country. They are little short of thieves.


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


                                                                                                      Actually, First American Payment Systems does own every one of the sub ISO companies listed in this article. They are all owned and run by First American. They are not independent ISO’s from First American. I like how Jazell say’s they are all rolled up together and that makes it hard for First American. First American owns all of these companies. Just More deception from First American!!

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

                                                                                                        Merchant Maverick Admin

                                                                                                        Hi Bryan,

                                                                                                        Would you be able to provide any proof that they are all owned by FAPS? When doing my research, I personally noticed that they are mostly under different ownership, but maybe I missed something. Some evidence would definitely help your cause.

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


                                                                                                          Thank you for reviewing our company! The things you say about the BBB are true, and it is challenging to overcome a bad rating when FAPS is rolled up with so many other companies. We do have a blog at We also have testimonials on our newer (more targeted) sites, and


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

                                                                                                            Merchant Maverick Admin


                                                                                                            Thank you for the comments, and clarity. You guys shouldn’t have any trouble pulling those other ISOs DBA’s off of your profile. I’ve reviewed several companies, and up until your review, the BBB has never rolled a processor and its ISOs all into one profile. They shouldn’t be doing that. Each entity should have their own profile. I’m willing to bet that if you brought this to their attention, they’d clean it up for you.

                                                                                                            Regardless, I’m definitely going to revisit your review with this new info. I’ll let you know once it have been updated. 🙂

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

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