UnitedBankService (authorize.net) vs. CDG Commerce (Quantum gateway)

I am new to the merchant account/ gateway game- but as I plan on being big someday and want a seemless payment system- I am going to go with a merchant account and gateway and not a third party.

The two best rates I have found for me- (assumed averge ticket of $9 and 400 tickets a month) are:

United Bank Service using authorize.net (2.1% rate, .25 per transaction [.20 transaction + .05 gateway], $28/month [$10 statment, $10 recurrent billing fee, $8 gateway], .35 batch fee, $15 monthly minimum- waived for 19.50 per year)

 - and -

CDG Commerce using Quantum Gateway (2.25%, .30 per transaciton [.25 transaction + .05 AVS], $10/month, no gateway fees if using quantum gateway)

Does anyone have an opinoin about the fees, the merchant services companies or the gateways. Any help would be appreciated.

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Pay Simple does merchant accounts and has their own gateway, formally used ebill-USA (I think?). Other than the set-up fee of $199, they have the best rates- 2.24%, .24 per transaction, 24.95/month (statement + gateway). But I really no nothing about them…

Stick with Authorize.Net. You want to avoid proprietary gateways like CDG’s Quantum Gateway. That way if you leave them you’re not stuck rewriting your website to work with yet another gateway. Plus Authnet is tried and true and there’s is still relatively new. I wouldn’t risk it on my website just yet.

United bank card won’t even answer a SALES call. I have called about 4 times (diff times) now and a pre-recording always answers saying that the sales department is not available.

This is a very bad statement about their overall service. For this reason alone I am considering CDG over UBC.

I went with United Bank Services. They always answered sales questions. They are cheaper. They have lower barriers to get an account. Overall I am happy. The only thing I do not like is they do not have a real customer portal.

I have experience with Authorize and I’ve never had any problems. The website is easy to use, the customer service has been very good, and no surprise charges. We got better rates with Dharma Merchant Services. They are more flat fee instead of different rates for mid and non qualified tiers that other people offered. We found that most of the merchant services only showed the qualified rates, and didn’t even mention the mid or non unless we asked for them. So everybody looked cheaper, but in the end Dharma was the better bet. And I totally appreciate how up front they are with things. They have the entire rate card on their website. UBC brought a sales sheet to our store just a couple of weeks ago, and there is no mention of mid or non qualified rates.

In the store I use Dharma with, many of our customers use corporate cards or reward cards, so the flat price helped us. It turns out qualified purchases aren’t as common as we thought. Even if a person enters a zip code wrong on their online order, they could get dinged from qualified to mid qualified.

Follow up - I checked Dharma’s website, and they seem to beat the prices of UBS, if the prices you list are only for Visa/MC. Is that your Qualified card rate? Did they give you a mid and non qualified card rate? I also just noticed that Dharma changed their flat rate pricing that I mentioned in the post above. It’s now only flat for in the store, and e-commerce is tiered. They have a small office, and if you call them the person that answers the phone (without a pesky auto attendant) and she will explain things for you. I’m totally not affiliated with them, I’m just a happy customer!

I have been with CDG Commerce for about a year. I am not sure about other integration methods but their XML interface (Transparent QGWdatabase Engine) is full of issues, even address/zip check does not work reliably and results in declines for perfectly legit customers, I lost some customers because of that.
And their attitude when I complained is not very assuring, they mostly tried to blame me for the problems.
Shortly - you get what you pay for, I am in process of switching to another card processor.

There’s nothing wrong with CDG Commerce. They’re a great company to work with. Quantum Gateway is the problem. It’s not well built, it’s not well tested, and it’s not well supported.

I worked with it for a week and had a ton of problems. I kept reporting them; some would get fixed (indicating that somehow I was the first person to report these glaring errors in their payment flow), others would result in claims that I’m making things up. The whole gateway was down for a few hours along with the website, resulting in no way to contact anyone; this was just days after scheduled maintenance that was supposedly to enable a hot fallback for the whole system, proving that this didn’t in fact work.

The worst of it all was that supposed declined transactions would end up in settled batches, as if they were actually approved. And these declines would notify my website that the transaction was approved, leaving me delivering service to people that never actually paid or failed to pass the fraud checks.

Stick with a more established gateway. CDG Commerce provides Authorizenet accounts, just ask them to set it up for you. You don’t have to switch to another processor.

I am not sure what is so great about CDG if they offer such unreliable poorly supported gateway as quantum.
Besides I am switching because there are just better deals out there through Costco and Sam’s club for example.

I think what Dan is not saying is that the hot swap was being worked on. Not that it was being finished. People do not realize just what is entailed in having more than one live site. It takes a lot of work and a lot of testing. I also want to point out that the gateway was not down for everyone. The gateway is monitored 24x7 by a monitoring company and when they noticed it down for them it was back up and going within 15 minutes. The problem with the Approved transaction being Declined was not processing itself but rather with the DialVerification. What I found out was that the customer must have been hitting the refresh button more than once and the call was never completed. Quantum also has two processing methods. The first one goes - VbV -> Auth Card -> DialVerify. If the 2nd option was used then it would have been DialVerify -> VBV -> Auth Card. Another note to point out is that a fix was put into place right after it was reported for the customer clicking on the refresh button. If you want more facts than this please PM me.

There are hundreds of Authorize.net resellers out there… just because one has bad customer service or rates doesn’t mean they all do. I’m going through a very small ISO/MSP for Orion and get great rates and can pick up the phone and call a real human anytime I have a question.

Hello all,

I wanted to hop in to clarify a few key points on this thread pertaining to CDGcommerce.

To begin with, contrary to the way a few posters on this thread have presented it - as a CDGcommerce merchant you can absolutely utilize ANY Internet payment gateway you like… including Authorize.Net. CDGcommerce is a merchant services provider and Quantum is a payment gateway company, they are separate entities.

I also wanted to address some of the comments made about the Quantum Gateway. While it is true that over the course of the -years- since its initial release there has been an incident or two with the Quantum gateway where there was a brief period of downtime… this has been even more so the case with Authorize.net and a number of other gateways that we have dealt with over the years. (And we’ve worked with more than a half dozen different systems)

If you recall, Authorize.Net was down for a considerable time period last year when their backup data center was unable to be brought online - mainly due to its close geographic proximity to the primary data center. To me, it is mind boggling that the largest payment gateway in the world with more than 200,000+ merchants onboard would (a) have a backup data center in close proximity to their primary facility and (b) been unable to fail over to it during the one kind of scenario that calls for this. That was not a happy day for our merchants using Authorize.Net and many of them lost out on a considerable number of transactions as a result of that.

In addition, I can very honestly tell you first hand that the overwhelming feedback that we’ve received from our merchants using the Quantum Gateway has been incredibly positive… more positive than the feedback on other gateways over the years. That is part of the reason why we now primarily offer only two options for a new merchant - Quantum or Authorize.net.

It is important to keep in mind here that our business is only as good as the happiness of our clients. If we were getting repeated complaints about Quantum or any other gateway, we’d stop offering it. That has simply not been the case though.

Quantum offers some unique features not found in Authorize.Net and it is the only option that we have on our very popular free gateway program.

Authorize.Net, on the other hand, is certainly the biggest “brand” in the industry and we’re equally happy to setup a merchant on that gateway - but most of our merchants these days opt to try out Quantum first and very, very few of them ever switch away from it.

In addition, on a more general basis - since the OP here was trying to determine which merchant processor to use, I think that it is very important to dig into any merchant processor that you are considering and ask a lot of key questions when comparing programs including one of my biggest current pet peeves - PCI compliance costs. This is an important question that is often not brought up until it is too late.

While most merchant processors offer generally similiar rates & pricing at face value, there has been a huge move in the last year+ in the industry to assess all sorts of PCI compliance fees to merchants. Some are annual, some are “one time”, some are monthly and other on a per transaction basis. There is a veritable gold rush going on in the industry and this is a KEY question to ask any processor - and if they say they don’t have any PCI compliance fees, have them put it in writing. I’ve even heard some managers from some other companies in the industry actually joke amongst themselves and call it “money grab time.”

So along with the other questions and inquiries to make of any merchant processor, be sure to ask and get a solid answer regarding PCI compliance fees so that you aren’t taken by surprise as hundreds of thousands of other merchants have been in the past year. You’ll also want to be 100% sure that you sign an agreement that has NO early termination fee - so in case the expectations from your provider are not met (for whatever reason) you’re free to switch elsewhere. If a provider is not willing to offer this, it’s reason for concern.

There are indeed many good merchant processor companies in the market and its one of the most important decisions that you’ll make so it is well worth the time to really compare one program with another on an apples-to-apples basis.