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PaymentCloud Review: High-Risk Processing in 2024

Andrés Gánem Andrés Gánem Finance Specialist

PaymentCloud has earned a reputation for high approval rates, helpful customer support, and features for both e-commerce and physical transactions. Your contract comes with free equipment, and reprogramming of existing hardware is also an option. Although it can be difficult to figure out exactly how much you’ll pay before contacting sales, rest assured its plans are affordable and highly personalized to meet your needs. 

Overview

POS equipment Free Payanywhere credit card reader, plus a range of POS hardware available to purchase
Payments methods accepted Credit and debit cards, digital wallets, ACH, bank transfers, cryptocurrency
Payout times 48 hours
Contract length 2-year contract ($495 early cancellation fee)
Customer support Email and phone support available Monday to Friday
Security Level 1 PCI-compliant, tokenization, end-to-end encryption, advanced fraud detection and prevention

A Great Processor for Mid To High-Risk Merchants

PaymentCloud Homepage
PaymentCloud offers services for all kinds of merchants

Finding the right credit card processor can be a hassle, and that goes double for high-risk businesses. High-risk merchants typically face longer approval times, steeper fees, and even downright rejection. PaymentCloud aims to be the go-to solution for mid to high-risk businesses that might struggle elsewhere. Does it deliver?

After extensive research on PaymentCloud and its competitors – including a deep dive into hundreds of customer reviews – I can confidently say that PaymentCloud offers a reliable service for high-risk merchants.

Besides its impressive 98% approval rate, PaymentCloud offers free, hands-on assistance to help customers apply, achieve PCI compliance, and resolve any issues as efficiently as possible. Once set up, merchants get access to a range of e-commerce and in-store payment features, the option to apply for business funding, and more.

Though most PaymentCloud merchants seem happy with their deals, PaymentCloud doesn’t publicly disclose its pricing information, making it harder to determine if it’s the best value option for your business. This is often the case with mid- to high-risk merchants, as they offer highly tailored contracts, but PaymentCloud seems to offer solid deals overall.

Read on to find out if PaymentCloud is the right choice for you.

4.4

Features

PaymentCloud Offers Comprehensive Services for Your Business

PaymentCloud offers a full suite of features for all kinds of merchants. It doesn’t matter if you take payments in person, through an online store, or both. Chances are that PaymentCloud gives you the tools you need to unlock the full potential of your business.

Free Equipment for Card-Present Transactions

PaymentCloud offers a variety of hardware for card-present transactions. Whether you need a full POS kiosk for your brick-and-mortar store, a wireless terminal, or even a mobile credit card reader, PaymentCloud has got you covered. All terminals are compatible with EMV and NFC technology, and all mobile readers are compatible with both iOS and Android.

PaymentCloud Hardware
PaymentCloud offers a huge variety of hardware for taking payments

The equipment is free for the duration of your contract, but you will need to return it if you terminate your PaymentCloud account. You can also negotiate full purchase of any hardware from the onset. What’s more, if you already own a reader or terminal, PaymentCloud will reprogram it for you free of charge.

Easy and Secure E-Commerce Functionalities

If you deal with card-not-present transactions, PaymentCloud offers free, same-day setup of e-commerce functionalities like virtual terminals and payment gateways.

Using PaymentCloud’s API, you can integrate it with a large variety of e-store builders such as Shopify and BigCommerce. But integration isn’t as smooth if you’ve built your store with Wix or Squarespace.

PaymentCloud offers a secure payment gateway along with fraud and chargeback prevention services, all of which are especially valuable for high-risk e-commerce merchants. PaymentCloud’s APIs also make it easy for you to create customized connections to any other software you already use.

PaymentCloud Supports a Large Variety of Payment Methods

PaymentCloud enables you to accept a huge variety of payment methods. The options include debit and credit cards, e-checks, ACH and MOTO payments, Apple Pay, and even crypto. The only notable omission is PayPal, though you can still accept PayPal payments through Paysley.

The variety of accepted cryptocurrencies is particularly impressive. PaymentCloud lets you take payments with some of the most popular coins in the market, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, and more.

Regardless of payment method, you can expect payouts within 48 hours after a transaction is completed.

Get a Leg-up for Your Business With Various Funding Options

PaymentCloud provides its merchants with the convenience of accessing financial assistance should the need arise. When you choose PaymentCloud for your payment processing needs, you also gain the option to explore various funding opportunities designed to support your business. This service, though secondary to their core offerings, is streamlined and efficient, allowing qualifying merchants to apply for and receive funds within an average of just 24 hours.

PaymentCloud’s range of funding options includes solutions for nearly every type of business need. Whether you’re seeking to pledge assets for an asset-based loan, require immediate funds through a bridge loan, or need a more flexible financial tool like a business line of credit, PaymentCloud has you covered.

It’s important to understand that these funding services are meant to complement PaymentCloud’s primary focus, which is payment processing. They ensure that businesses not only have the tools needed to manage transactions smoothly but also the financial support to thrive and grow when additional resources are required.

4.4

Ease of use

PaymentCloud Helps You Every Step of the Way

PaymentCloud tries to make the onboarding process as easy as possible. Still, its vetting process can take anywhere from a week to a month, depending on your risk level and available documentation. If you need to start accepting payments quickly, other processors that serve higher-risk firms approve applications more quickly – in as little as 2-24 hours.

If you run into any difficulties, PaymentCloud has a dedicated support team who can guide you through the entire process. Once approved, merchants report fast and easy onboarding with PaymentCloud.

Getting Started With PaymentCloud

To open a PaymentCloud account, go to PaymentCloud’s website and click on the “APPLY” button in the upper-right corner. You’ll be redirected to an application page where you’ll have to enter your full name, email, phone number, and how long you’ve been in business.

PaymentCloud Apply page
PaymentCloud’s application process is quick and straightforward

When you submit an application, you’ll be redirected to a “thank you” page. A customer support representative will then contact you within 1 business day (usually sooner if you apply within business hours) and walk you through the steps of opening a merchant account.

The “thank you” page will show a list of the documents you’ll need. If you don’t have access to one or more of these documents, it’s worth checking out PaymentCloud’s FAQ. There, you’ll find various alternatives as well as general information about the application process. Alternatively, you can call PaymentCloud’s customer support hotline to get specialized support with signing up.

Dedicated Account Manager To Guide You Through the Process

One of PaymentCloud’s most pleasant surprises is the degree of dedicated guidance it offers. When you first contact customer support, you’ll be assigned a personal customer support representative. Your representative will stick with you through the entire sign-up process, helping you address any issues you might have.

Thanks to this hands-on approach, most merchants report positive experiences with PaymentCloud’s sales representatives. Setting up your card processor becomes easier when you have the help of someone whose job it is to guide you every step of the way.

Hundreds of Integrations With Popular Business Software Solutions

As a merchant, you probably use various types of software to manage projects, client relationships, website building, and more. PaymentCloud offers integrations with hundreds of popular platforms like Hubspot, Slack, Shopify, WordPress, and others.

These integrations can be extremely useful. For example, the Stack integration lets you automatically send invoices through your Slack channel, while the WordPress integration can help you connect your virtual terminal to your existing website.

Be advised! Although PaymentCloud caters to high-risk industries, you need to make sure that your business falls within the terms of service of any third-party software you want to integrate with. Examples of businesses that might need to take extra caution include adult entertainment providers, gun sellers, and CBD merchants.
3.9

Pricing

Reasonable Rates for High-Risk Merchants, but Beware of Added Fees

Like many high-risk processors, PaymentCloud doesn’t publicly disclose its fees, as these will vary from merchant to merchant. If you set up your credit card processing with PaymentCloud, expect to pay a monthly fee plus a percentage markup and flat fee on each transaction.

When asked for comment, a PaymentCloud representative claimed that merchants’ monthly fee is around $15 regardless of risk level, with increased per-transaction markups for higher-risk merchants. Roughly speaking, expect to pay around Around 2.1% + 15¢ per transaction if low risk, Around 2.7% + 15¢ if medium risk, and Around 3.95% + 15¢ if high risk. Bear in mind transaction fees are higher for card-not-present payments.

These figures seem consistent with most customer reviews, although at least one merchant reported paying $80 per month. Ultimately, the exact fees you pay will depend on your business, particular risk level, and other factors.

While PaymentCloud’s plan and transaction pricing is competitive for mid and high-risk businesses, it charges several “hidden fees.” Depending on your plan, it may levy small fees for electronic fund transfers, address verification services, voice verification, and batch processing, something not all processors do. I also learned you’ll be charged $19.95 for the Authorize.Net or NMI payment gateways, substantially more than its competitors.

In any case, be sure to discuss rates and ask about additional fees during the sign-up process. PaymentCloud makes it clear that merchants can – and should – negotiate on fees to get the best deal for their business.

4.5

Compliance & Security

Peace of Mind for You and Your Clients

PaymentCloud Security Features
PaymentCloud goes the extra mile to keep your information safe

High-risk merchants need to be extra careful when it comes to information security. Luckily, PaymentCloud offers a [suite of features to keep information secure and specialized support to help you become PCI compliant.

PCI Compliance & More

Every service that PaymentCloud offers, from virtual gateways to EMV readers, is level 1 PCI certified. In other words, PaymentCloud meets the highest security standards set by the PCI SSC (Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council).

Merchants who sign up with PaymentCloud can get help obtaining PCI certification at no extra cost. Besides saving you money on PCI non-compliance fees, PaymentCloud’s PCI assistance means you can be sure that your and your customer’s information is always secure.

Additional Security Features

Every transaction processed by PaymentCloud goes through the processes of tokenization and point-to-point encryption. This means that payment information is secure from hackers at every stage of processing.

PaymentCloud also offers fraud prevention and protection services like IP tracking, automatic fraud alerts, temporary payment halts, and more. You even get tools to automatically detect chargebacks and pinpoint their causes. What’s more, if you ever need to dispute a chargeback, PaymentCloud claims it can help you win up to 70% of the time.

3.9

Customer Support

Support Is Timely and Helpful, but It’s Not Available 24/7

PaymentCloud offers relatively few support channels. A notable absence is live chat. Merchants who already have an account can submit a ticket for email support through the “contact” section of its website. Otherwise, both current and potential customers can call PaymentCloud’s toll-free number. Either way, customer support is only available Monday to Friday from 7:00 to 18:00 PST.

Despite the limited availability of channels and 24/7 service PaymentCloud compensates for this with its helpful support. Since much of the information required for this review isn’t present on PaymentCloud’s website, I resorted to calling their support line multiple times.

As soon as I made my first call, I was assigned a personal sales representative. Every time I called PaymentCloud, I got an answer in less than 3 minutes. My representative was more than happy to answer my questions, and their responses were always polite, informative, and clear.

PaymentCloud’s FAQ is also a great resource if you have questions about the application process. In the end, the high standards of PaymentCloud’s support more than makes up for the lack of 24/7 availability.

Comparison

How does PaymentCloud match up to the competition?

Leaders Merchant ServicesCompareOur Score4.8Compare
PAYARCCompareOur Score4.7Compare
PaymentCloudCompareOur Score4.2Compare
QuickBooks PaymentsCompareOur Score3.5Compare

PaymentCloud REVIEW: BOTTOM LINE

With a huge catalog of features and state-of-the-art security, PaymentCloud is one of the better credit card processors out there for high-risk merchants. Its excellent, hands-on support will be especially useful if you’re just getting started and need a little help with the finer points of credit card processing.

That said, the lack of easily accessible information and a poorly designed website can be a little frustrating at times. But if you don’t mind picking up the phone every so often, PaymentCloud could be a good choice for your business.

Here’s what you need to know about PaymentCloud:
Pros Cons
  • Accepts high-risk businesses
  • 98% approval rate
  • Free, same-day e-commerce setup
  • Lack of transparency
  • You may need to sign a contract to secure the best rates – early termination fees apply

FAQ

How much does PaymentCloud cost?

Like most credit card processors that are friendly to high-risk businesses, PaymentCloud’s exact fees will vary from merchant to merchant. Usually, mid-risk merchants can expect a monthly fee of about $15 + a small markup per transaction, while high-risk merchants can expect the same monthly fee + a slightly higher markup.

These prices are not set in stone, though. PaymentCloud encourages you to negotiate the best deal with your sales representative during the sign-up process.

Is PaymentCloud trustworthy?

The short answer is yes. PaymentCloud is fully PCI compliant, offers PCI compliance assistance to merchants, and even comes with features like fraud and chargeback protection.

Anecdotally, merchants who’ve signed up with PaymentCloud report outstanding support for preventing and solving disputes, as well as a general feeling of security with the company.

What is a high-risk business?

A high-risk business is any business that a financial institution judges to be at high risk of financial failure. There can be many reasons for this. The two main ones are a merchant’s financial history and whether their business belongs to a high-risk industry like CDB, adult entertainment, and travel and hospitality, among others.

High-risk businesses often face more difficulties signing up with a credit card processor. Fortunately, certain processors like PaymentCloud are far more willing to approve high-risk businesses.

What kind of business should use PaymentCloud?

Mid to high-risk merchants looking for a quality credit card processor with top-notch security features may benefit from PaymentCloud’s services. That said, merchants who might have difficulty securing processing services may also want to consider Leaders Merchant Services. These processors have equally high approval rates and month-to-month contracts with no cancellation fees.

Before you commit, I recommend you check out our list of the top 10 credit card processors in 2024.
Andrés Gánem Andrés Gánem
Andrés writes about a variety of topics aimed at helping business owners and merchants grow and manage their ventures. These topics include (but are not limited to) website building, web hosting, project management software, and credit card processing. Andrés has 3+ years of experience as a writer and content creator. He’s also worked as a project manager, website designer, and social media manager for a variety of science communication groups.
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