Talus Pay Review (Formerly Talus Payments)
Talus Pay claims to offer merchants transparency and honesty, but the company definitely doesn’t live up to that promise and is expensive to boot.
- Professional-looking website
- Offers Clover POS systems and terminals
- Expensive tiered pricing rates
- Three-year contracts with automatic renewal clauses and early termination fees
- Extensive use of independent sales agents
- Overpriced four-year terminal leases
- Many complaints alleging poor sales practices and customer support
Talus Payments Overview
Talus Pay is one of several DBAs used by AMCP Payments Intermediate Company, LLC. AMCP primarily markets third-party products and services, including the popular Clover line of terminals and POS systems. It also has a proprietary POS software product called Talus Pay POS.
Talus Pay has had a bad reputation for years due to very aggressive sales tactics (including the use of telemarketers), expensive pricing, and highly overpriced processing equipment leases. The company appears to be well aware of its “image problem” and has brought in numerous industry veterans to fill leadership roles and replaced the majority of its sales staff over the last few years.
Unfortunately, these efforts have produced only mixed results. While the steady stream of complaints against the company has dropped significantly, there are other indications that some of the problems with Talus Pay’s service have not been resolved.
Ultimately, replacing employees and making minor adjustments to sales practices will not be sufficient to truly turn the company around as long as it continues to operate as an old-school merchant account provider. Long-term contracts, equipment leases, and even tiered pricing plans are getting phased out across the payments industry. Companies that insist on sticking with these features will have a hard time remaining competitive.
Overall, Talus Pay has improved somewhat since our last review update in 2020 and now scores 3 out of 5 stars. While this is merely an average rating, it’s an improvement over previous scores. Although we still don’t recommend Talus Pay for your business, we’re hopeful that the company continues improving its services and sales practices.
Table of Contents
Products & Services
Talus Pay’s services had been geared exclusively toward professional services, retail, restaurant, and automotive businesses, but it now also supports eCommerce ventures. Here’s a brief rundown of the company’s primary offerings:
- Merchant Accounts: Talus Pay is not a direct processor. You’ll be onboarded with either TSYS or Fiserv for your credit card processing services. Note that Clover products only work with the Fiserv processing network.
- Countertop Terminals: Talus Pay currently offers several popular credit card terminals, including the Clover Flex, Clover Mini, and PAX A920 models. All support EMV and NFC-based payment methods (such as Apple Pay and Google Pay). While these are all good products, be aware that Talus is notorious for offering terminals through expensive leasing contracts that take years to pay off and will cost you several times more than what the equipment is actually worth.
- Point Of Sale (POS) Systems: Thanks to a new partnership with Fiserv, Talus now offers the Clover Station Solo and Clover Station Duo point of sale (POS) systems. The company also features its proprietary Talus Pay Point Of Sale software, which can be installed on most iPads or Android tablets. Pricing is not disclosed, but both the Clover systems and the Talus Pay POS software usually require a monthly software subscription fee.
- Mobile Payments: Talus Pay offers a choice of either the Clover Go or SwipeSimple card readers for mobile payments. Both devices are available for iOS and Android and support EMV, NFC-based, and magstripe payment methods.
- eCommerce Support: We’re pretty certain that Talus Pay can set you up with a payment gateway or virtual terminal for your online business. However, the current version of the company’s website appears to have deleted all references to these products. You can expect to be offered a third-party product from either TSYS or Fiserv.
- Cash Discounting Program: Credit card surcharging and cash discounting programs are all the rage now as merchants seek to avoid the high cost of interchange fees. Talus offers Talus Pay Advantage, its cash discounting program. It’s not really a good deal for you or your customers. You’ll pay $59.99/month for the program, and your customers will pay a flat 3.99% — much higher than typical retail credit card processing costs. At the same time, the company is very transparent about pricing for this program and admits that it will only eliminate “up to 95%” of your processing costs, not all of them.
- Merchant Cash Advances: If you need to take out a loan to help launch your business, Talus Pay also offers merchant cash advances. Before committing to a cash advance from Talus or any other provider, check out our article, 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Get A Merchant Cash Advance. You might be better off with a small business loan instead.
- Gift Cards: Talus also offers gift card processing.
Talus makes no mention of the availability of echeck or ACH processing services. While it may be available for an additional fee, we did come across a user complaint that stated the company does not offer any ACH processing services.
Talus Pay Fees & Rates
Talus Pay does not disclose any fee or rate information on its website. This lack of disclosure isn’t unusual in the processing industry, as fees and rates are highly variable and usually subject to negotiation between the merchant and the sales agent.
However, given Talus’s stated commitment to transparency, it’s disappointing that the company is not more forthcoming. The bulk of feedback we’ve seen from merchants is that the company’s rates and fees are significantly higher than industry averages.
Credit Card Processing Rates
While merchants may be able to extract an interchange-plus pricing agreement from Talus, every indication is that all pricing plans offered, by default, appear to use the more expensive tiered pricing model. We’ve seen numerous complaints from merchants about paying 4% or even higher for processing under these plans.
Merchant Account Fees
Based on the information we’ve managed to cobble together between merchant feedback and a 2017 merchant agreement we found, merchants will be subject to a broad assortment of fees. While not uncommon in the industry, many of these fees are generally not imposed by our preferred merchant services providers.
Merchant feedback indicates that Talus charges both monthly and annual account fees, although the amount is not disclosed and is likely to vary from one merchant to another. You can also expect to pay a PCI compliance fee of around $9.95 per month. Contracts with Talus also include a monthly minimum, which doesn’t take effect until several months into your contract. While there’s no disclosure of the amount, it’s probably the industry standard of $25/month.
Other fees mentioned by merchants include a maintenance fee of $9.50 per month, a TSYS mobile app fee, a “corporate fee” of $98 per year per location, an application fee of $99, and early termination fees if you close your account early.
We should also warn you that your sales agent is — in most cases — going to be a very poor source of accurate, honest information about pricing. Despite the company’s attempts to hit the reset button regarding its public image, these complaints persist.
Insist on seeing a contract that fully discloses all rates and fees before you agree to sign anything. If you’re able to get a contract to examine, check out our article, The Complete Guide To Merchant Account & Credit Card Processing Fees, to assess the competitiveness of the deal offered.
If you make the mistake of leasing a credit card terminal, you can also expect to pay leasing fees of around $30 or more per month. Terminal leases usually run for four years and are noncancelable under almost any circumstances. Do the math — that’s $1,440 over the life of your lease for a terminal that you can buy outright for less than $300.
By the way, when your lease is up, you still won’t own your equipment! Terminal leases are a complete rip-off, and you should avoid them at all costs.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
Many complaints against Talus Pay center around the company’s marketing strategy. In the past, Talus used telemarketers to set up “appointments” for its sales agents to make in-person visits to prospective clients.
While telemarketers are not uncommon in the processing industry, it’s usually a strong indicator of a company that’s having trouble selling its products or services through more traditional means. Fortunately, complaints against Talus for this practice have tapered off recently, possibly indicating that the company has abandoned using telemarketers as part of its strategy to improve its services.
The company has also had some serious problems with the way it trained and employed its sales agents. Feedback from former employees indicates that agents were brought in with little or no prior sales experience or knowledge of the processing industry. Pressured to earn a commission or meet their quota, they would resort to high-pressure tactics to get merchants to sign up for an account. These tactics are often counterproductive, as they alienate prospective clients and lead to missed sales opportunities. This, in turn, leads to a very high turnover among agents.
Talus Pay has also sent its agents out into the field with iPads and other tablet devices, which are used to show a sales presentation (mostly an infomercial video) and then, hopefully, collect a digital signature from the merchant. Unfortunately, this practice has led to a high volume of complaints alleging that not only were merchants unduly pressured to sign a long-term contract, but they also weren’t even provided with a copy of it after the sale.
We’re pleased to see that the company has partially addressed this issue and now provides digital or paper copies of signed contract documents. Nonetheless, we strongly caution you to review your contract thoroughly before you sign it — not after the fact.
Despite the numerous problems with the company’s sales agents, its website is not too bad. The current site has a clean, professional, and modern appearance that distinguishes it from the outdated style of many of its competitors. Unfortunately, the information presented is mostly marketing fluff, with almost no disclosures about processing rates, account fees, or contract terms.
Contract Length & Early Termination Fee
Talus goes to great lengths to avoid revealing the terms of its contracts. The sales agents have a poor reputation for adequately disclosing relevant information during negotiations with merchants. Nonetheless, we’ve been able to gather that the standard Talus contract through TSYS is for an initial three-year term (four years for Fiserv), with an automatic renewal clause that extends it for one-year periods after that.
While this is in line with the industry average for contract length, we recommend against accepting this provision. Long-term contracts such as these are deeply unpopular with merchants. The industry has — sometimes begrudgingly — responded by reducing or even eliminating the length of its contracts.
Many providers will waive the length of your contract entirely if you negotiate for it, although we’ve seen no evidence that Talus will do so. Better yet, there are plenty of top-notch providers in the industry that will offer you true month-to-month billing without the need for any negotiation whatsoever.
Long-term contracts almost inevitably come with early termination fees if you close your account early, and Talus Pay is no exception. Reports from merchants indicate that you’ll have to pay a fee of $295 to as high as $495 to break your contract and close your account. While many merchants consider this money well spent to get away from an awful provider, you shouldn’t have to pay this kind of penalty in the first place. If your sales agent never disclosed this fee to you before you signed your contract, you might be able to get it waived.
Unfortunately, it’s tough to prove a lack of disclosure. You’ll almost certainly have to file a complaint in a public forum (such as the BBB) to get the company’s attention on this issue. While we have seen instances where Talus has waived the early termination fee for a disgruntled customer, you’ll have to put up a fight to get it waived.
Customer Service & Technical Support
|Talus Payments Support||Availability|
|Dedicated Support Representative|
|Knowledge Base or Help Center|
|Videos & Tutorials|
Talus Pay provides customer support primarily through merchant portals and its online Help Center, a Zendesk-based knowledgebase containing several articles with answers to common questions. If you need help setting up your credit card terminal, this resource might be able to help.
Unfortunately, you might be out of luck with more complex problems. The knowledgebase is also somewhat dated, offering no information about Talus Pay Point Of Sale or other recent additions to the company’s services.
The company also offers 24/7 telephone-based support. We’d caution you that, like most providers, you’ll have better luck reaching a properly trained Talus employee if you call during regular business hours. Off-hours support is probably outsourced and of significantly lesser quality.
Many complaints against Talus cite poor customer service as a common problem. There are many complaints from merchants alleging they received unhelpful and even rude customer service from the company’s employees. Providing high-quality customer service is a challenge for even the best companies.
Fortunately, complaints about poor customer support appear to be declining.
Talus Pay Reviews, Complaints, & Common Problems
Negative Talus Pay Reviews & Complaints
Talus Pay is accredited by the BBB and currently has an A+ rating. The company has 25 complaints, three of which have been filed within the last 12 months. Overall complaint volume has decreased significantly since our 2020 review update, which is a strong indicator that the company’s efforts to improve its services are starting to bear fruit.
Common issues with Talus Pay include the following:
- Aggressive Sales Practices: Many merchants complained of receiving repeated, unwanted calls from Talus and its network of independent sales agents. Sometimes, this went on for years. The word “harassment” comes up again and again in the reviews. Fortunately, this issue has not appeared in recent complaints against the company.
- Early Termination Fees: Merchants don’t like early termination fees, especially when their sales agent hasn’t disclosed them or even claimed that there wouldn’t be one. The company’s response to recent complaints involving this issue suggests that it’s more willing to waive the ETF under some circumstances than it was in the past.
- Poor Customer Service: Customer support is a problem throughout the processing industry, and Talus is no exception. Common complaints are long wait times on hold, being shuffled between different departments, and support representatives being unable to resolve the merchant’s issue.
- Difficulty Canceling Accounts: Merchants also complain of being charged recurring account fees for months after they thought they’d closed their accounts. While providers are required to keep your account open for up to six months after you close it in case of a late-filed chargeback, they’re not supposed to charge you fees on an account you can no longer use. While Talus is quick to offer refunds in this situation, it comes up too frequently to be happening by accident.
On the positive side, the company appears to respond to most of the complaints filed against it and often issues refunds where they’re warranted.
Positive Talus Pay Reviews & Testimonials
Talus Pay has seen an uptick in positive reviews over the past several years. The company’s BBB profile includes 295 reviews, with an average rating of 4.83 out of 5 stars. Reviewers often name a particular Talus representative who helped them set up an account. Unfortunately, we’ve found that these types of reviews are almost always directly solicited by the agent named in the review.
Merchants are generally happiest right after they’ve signed their contract and before they’ve started using their account. Soliciting positive reviews from customers during this “honeymoon period” is an easy way to generate a high volume of public praise and improve a company’s score, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Merchants who were happy at signup frequently change their tune once they start getting bombarded by high processing charges, unexpected fees, and technical problems. However, few of them go back and delete their old positive review.
Talus Pay’s Facebook page has also been flooded with positive reviews, bringing it up to a score of 4.5 out of 5 among people who posted a review. In previous review updates, almost all of the reviews on the company’s Facebook page were very negative. Again, nearly all of the positive reviews praise a specific Talus employee and appear to have been submitted right after the reviewer initially signed up with the company.
The company itself also provides several testimonials. Several are on the Talus Pay website, while others are on the company’s YouTube channel. These “Talus Tales” feature actual customers who’ve been sufficiently happy with the company’s services to put in a good word for it.
Final Verdict on Talus Pay
Like Talus Pay, most providers in the credit card processing industry are resellers for larger, direct processors. Given wide latitude to set prices and contract terms, resellers can be a better deal than signing up directly with a major processor, such as Fiserv or TSYS. At the same time, they can (and often are) just as bad, if not worse, than the direct processors.
Talus Pay has struggled with a variety of serious problems with the way it approaches marketing its accounts for many years. It’s also had a bad reputation for being more expensive overall than the industry average (which is bad enough in itself).
Unlike many other providers with similar problems, however, it appears to be taking positive steps to improve its services. These steps include moving away from telemarketing, providing merchants with digital and paper copies of their contracts, and improving the training of its sales representatives. It’s also expanded its product lineup with the new partnership with Fiserv, allowing it to offer Clover terminals and POS systems.
At the same time, the company still has a long way to go before we can recommend it to merchants. We’d like to see Talus Pay follow the growing trend in the industry and move away from long-term contracts altogether. Reputable resellers such as Dharma Merchant Services and Helcim have proven that it’s possible to be successful in this industry without resorting to unfair contracts that lock merchants in for years at a time and are expensive to get out of if things go wrong. Moving away from tiered pricing and equipment leases would also improve the company’s overall rating.
For now, Talus Pay earns 3 out of 5 stars. While this is still a pretty mediocre rating, it’s a significant improvement from previous review updates and reflects that the company is trying to do better.
If you’re looking for a merchant account (or a better one than the one you have now), we recommend that you check out our roundup of the best credit card processors for small business, all of whom offer affordable transparent pricing, a great selection of hardware, and excellent customer support. Good luck!
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.