10 Rates & Fees Excellent Rates / Competitive Tiered & Interchange-Plus Pricing
9.0 BBB Rating & Complaints Excellent Rating / Complaints - Fair to Good
10 Terms & Contract Excellent - Month-to-Month / No Cancel Fee
10 Competitive Advantages Genius Customer Engagement Platform / Charity Giving / Multiple Awards

Cayan, formerly Merchant Warehouse, Wins Prestigious Retail Award for the Genius™ Customer Engagement Platform™ ….By David J. Carter

This award honors Cayan’s Genius™ Customer Engagement Platform™ to One Step Retail Solutions’ retail customers. The Genius platform provides One Step Retail Solutions’ customers with acceptance of every payment type, from chip and PIN to mobile wallets and other mobile payment technologies, including NFC, EMV and QR/2D barcodes, as well as retailer loyalty and reward programs. Genius’ easy-to-use interface creates a positive experience for all parties involved at the point-of-sale, while the ability to meet PCI requirements lowers the risk of exposure for One Step Retail Solutions’ customers. One Step Retail Solutions initially offered Genius through POS software developer Retail Pro International, and now offers Genius through LightSpeed and Teamwork Retail POS applications as well.

And yet more….

This will be added to their collection of the ETA 2009 ISO of the Year, Business Solutions Best Channel Vendor for 2009 & 2010, their two Boston Business Journal Pacesetter Awards, and most recently, a Gold Stevie® Award in February 2014 in the Customer Service Management Team of the Year category as part of the eighth annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service are the worlds top sales awards, contact center awards, and customer service awards. The Stevie Awards organizes several of the worlds leading business awards shows including the prestigious American Business Awards and International Business Awards.

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Founded as Merchant Warehouse in 1998, the company was set up to help businesses process transactions economically, without the high expenses that predominated at the time. They sought to provide the ability to purchase a credit card machine, open a merchant account, and process credit card sales while providing superior customer support. This was unheard of at the time, and caused a cascade effect that has changed the industry.

Over the last few years many new methods of paying for goods and services have evolved. Whether its conventional credit cards, signature capture, EMV, debit cards, NFC smartphones, QR codes, PayPal, eWallets or Bitcoins makes no difference. If there is a way to pay, people are going to start using it, and a future-proof system needs to have a way to accommodate it. Value-added offers such as Loyalty and Reward programs have sprung up everywhere; everyone is climbing on the bandwagon with new ways to enhance the selling and purchasing experience.

As Cayan says:

Our vision is to revolutionize the payments solution industry by providing innovative technology solutions and transparent services to simplify and increase the flexibility and value associated with the merchant-customer payment process and experience.

Honors and Charity Giving

  • To a casual observer Cayan seems interested in giving back to the community. Their policy tells the story that “Each year our team raises tens of thousands of dollars for local and national charities they support and nominate. Best Buddies, Pine Street Inn, Cradles to Crayons, Greater Boston Food Bank, Jumpstart, Habitat for Humanity, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving are just a few of the hundreds of non-profits our team has supported to date.”

They continue by relating how they create charity teams on a quarterly basis which work in outreach and initiatives to raise cash for specific non-profit organizations. “Our current partner,” they say, “is the Wounded Warrior Project, whose mission is – “To honor and empower wounded warriors”. For example, all fundraising efforts in Q2 2013 assisted Wounded Warriors with their purpose of:

  • Raising awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members;
  • Helping injured service members aid and assist each other; and
  • Providing unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.

Products and Services

In 1998 Cayan made the ability to use credit cards accessible to many small businesses formerly kept out by the immense costs involved. They set the new standard by getting expenses down to a manageable level that knocked the credit industry on its ear. Theyre set to do it again with their current products and services.

Do you have a Brick & Mortar store?

The Genius Customer Engagement Platform is destined to change the industry in a wonderful way. This system can aggregate and integrate the whole crop of new payment techniques and is ready to adopt new ones as they arise. Its scalable for the future to support growth. You benefit from the moment you install it with lower transaction costs and reduced liability for accepting credit payments. Intelligent PIN-steering technology directs the process to the method with the least cost per transaction. Using Genius offers relief from costly 3rd party gateways, simplified PCI-compliant validation, digital receipt management with signature capture, integrated PIN-debit functionality, and state-of-the-art countertop machines with full color HD screen.

But it doesnt just accept paymentsit is a flexible solution that provides access to multiple payment types, makes record keeping a breeze, and minimizes security risks. It reduces costs for accepting credit payments, and can accept future payment types without antedating your equipment investment. Best of all it allows you to offer a Big Box Store experience to your customers with little to no extra costs.

Customers love to save money and spent $5.4 billion last year through mobile coupons. The number should hit $43 billion, eight times more, by next year. You could use SMS PUSH services to put a coupon on your customers phone while theyre in or near your store, when theyre most likely to purchase. When theyre paying the bill, Genius can present an offer of saving for their next visit. Loyalty programs get you more business.

Are you on the move?

MerchantWARE Mobile, a FREE virtual point-of-sale software application for Android, Blackberry, iPhone, and Windows is exactly what you need. It is a PA-DSS validated and fully web-based, offering a transaction processing solution over a secure internet connection. That means you can work in any environment where you can get a connection to the web.

More importantly, it gets PCI compliance out of your hands or out-of-scope. Using a Transport Platform means the customers data is safe and away from your point-of-sale (POS) system, providing enhanced security through SSL, tokenization and end-to-end encryption. Transport.web enables you to operate your online store within PCI DSS regulations without incurring any additional costs.

It accepts credit cards, signature-based or PIN-based debit cards, EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer), and Gift/Loyalty cards. It processes regular and recurring transactions such as voids, refunds, tip adjustment, and repeat sales securely using tokens, so if the data is illegally intercepted after it leaves you, it is completely useless. It also eliminates on-site storage headaches for the merchant.

It supports batch processing and multiple user login access for enhanced account and user management as well as real-time reporting, sorting and filtering options for advanced transaction reporting. The in-house technical support will see to any difficulties you may have and there is 24/7 emergency support for you.

  • No gateway or cellular access fees
  • No contract, termination or annual fees
  • Supports most mobiles devices


They have what you need to run your business from a fixed site or from on-the-road.  The equipment is priced reasonably, and you can even utilize your existing equipment if it is compatible, or buy fully functional refurbished equipment from them to get you up and running.  MW is unique in the industry for posting prices beside their equipment for sale.  Not only are they reasonable, but you know what you’re getting into before you start.

Card Readers:       These allow you to accept credit cards wherever you are, quickly and easily.

Check Readers:  Choose among top-of-the-line check readers like the VeriFone 600 and the VeriFone CR 1000i.  I haven’t seen these priced lower anywhere.

Contactless Payment terminals:  Soon these will dominate in the landscape of electronic payments.  It allows for consumers to “tap and pay,” eliminating the wait for credit card authorizations and signature collection.  It can read credit cards and even key fobs.

Credit Card Printers:  Cayan is the largest supplier of credit card printers on the Internet.  If your customer wants a hard copy (instead of optionally sending it to their phone or e-mail with Genius) then this is what you need.

Credit Card Terminals:  Cayan is the largest supplier of credit card terminals.  They stock thousands and ship most directly from their own distribution center.

IP Compatible Terminals:  If you have a high speed connection and use it to process credit cards this will cut processing time in half.

Pin Pads:  Cayan is the largest supplier of Pin Pads.  If you need one, they have it for a great price.

Wireless Credit Card Machines:  Cayan is the largest supplier of wireless credit card machines on the Internet.  Perfect for restaurants or where you have to go to your customer, and transactions don’t necessarily occur at a fixed location.  From pure manual imprinters to highly sophisticated CC Terminals—they have it all.


Aside from the free mobile solutions for Android, Blackberry, iPhone, and Windows based telephony, they also provide two Payment Gateways for free with an account.  These are the very popular Authorize.Net and LinkPoint Payment Gateway systems.


This provides an ecommerce payment gateway for transactions in a real-time, online environment which can be conducted from any computer with an Internet connection and a web browser. Authorize.Net also offers a virtual terminal for offline card processing.

LinkPoint Payment Gateway

The LinkPoint Shopping Cart Gateway speeds your e-commerce credit card transactions through your website with all the security and fraud protection you expect from LinkPoint.  It includes strong fraud prevention and a virtual terminal for manually processing telephone, e-mail, or even face-to-face orders.

It is simple to integrate – just add some HTML code to your webpage and it works.  Fraud prevention can include blocking specific credit card numbers, Internet protocol (IP) addresses, Class C addresses, customer names, or domain names.  It integrates seamlessly with popular shopping cart systems and includes Address Verification Service (AVS) to ascertain if the address a customer provides aligns with what the bank has on file for the credit card.  Plus you and the customer are both notified by e-mail of pending orders and transactions

PC Software:

There are numerous selections for terminals that can run on your PC POS system.  While MerchantWARE Mobile is free for your phone, if you want the MerchantWARE Terminal version, that will set you back $179.  They have Payflow Link CC Software at $159 going up to PC Charge Pro CC Software for $250.  My opinion?  If you’re going to use the MerchantWARE Mobile free software for mobile sales, use MerchantWARE Terminal in your store so you don’t need to know two different systems.  Just a thought!

Rates and Fees

  • Set up & Early Termination fees: None!
  • There is a lump sum $99 annual fee for PCI compliance
  • $8 for your statement
  • $25/month minimum (but that can be negotiated downwards if you’re a low volume seller. Try for “free” but settle for $5.00).
  • They offer Tiered Pricing, but also have great Interchange Plus Rates, where you pay the actual cost of a transaction rather than the estimated rate for each card (MC/Visa/Discover) plus a small percentage. This is the fairest system.

Security & EMV

EMV is the coming wave.  Yes, Google-wallet bailed on EMV to focus on cloud-based transaction handling, but there is an intrinsic problem with that – it doesn’t work without a connection to the web.  Odds are they will come back to EMV in some form or another in the future.

The US has about ½ of the annual credit card fraud in the entire world, in the area of Eleven Billion dollars annually.  We are so enamored of certainty that our wireless terminals have Wi-Fi and backup dialing access.

In other parts of the world, and rural parts of our country, you cannot get a connection sometimes, so you must utilize a Store & Forward system to make contact when you’re in range of a service – meanwhile you’re releasing goods that may not be paid for since the approval hasn’t been obtained.

That’s risky in two ways: You might not get paid and you’re in possession of customer data that might be lost or stolen until you download it to the service provider.  It substantially increases your PCI DSS regulations responsibility to have that data, which is why moving to EMV is better for you, safer for the customer, and less responsibility.

With Cayan’s EMV validation system, you don’t require a connection to the web to complete a transaction; EMV can run in offline mode, allowing a credit source (credit card, debit card, etc) to spend up to its limit and no more, so that you will get paid if it approves the transaction.  The PIN can be validated at the machine, giving you assurance that the person with the card is the owner, and granting a sense of security to the customer.  The chip on an EMV card has advantages in that it has information from the most recent time it was connected to the net (last transaction) about available credit limits, suspensions, and purchase data.  Unlike e-wallets, you don’t have to get out your phone, open a program, and then make a selection.  Just tap-and-pay and be on your way!

Contract Terms

  • Month-to-month contract
  • Annual lump sum billing for PCI compliance
  • No early cancellation fees

Customer Service and Technical Support

In house technical support, with 24/7/365 emergency phone support, all day, every day!  Most reviewers said the staff members were as helpful and pleasant as could be.  Live chat is available 9 a.m. (EST) to midnight on weekdays.  E-mail support is 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

My advice to avoid confusion about rates is to read your contract carefully before signing.  All terms are negotiable until you sign the paper.  If your batch (billing submission) is late, it goes to the next category, so submit on time, remembering bank holidays cost you one day extra.  If your batch is due Friday of a long-weekend, send it Thursday just to be safe.


The BBB Rating is A+, the highest rating they have.  Cayan.com. Inc. has received 3.82 out of 5 stars based on 48 Customer Reviews and a BBB Rating of A+.  Positive reviews were not hard to come by.  Cayan has plenty and they all seem genuine and sincere.

“Franco is the client service rep who has helped me get my account set up. I just forwarded his contact information to a fellow business owner because I have used Cayan to process my credit cards for three years, and I’ve never had a problem with any transaction.

— Pete Hoffmann, Hoffmann Family Winery

“Thank you for your help in understanding my bill. I appreciate the time and patience you had for me. It is definitely a plus on your side… Thanks again, and please forward this to your boss. You definitely handled the situation properly and deserve at least a pat on the back!”

— Brad Olufsen, PAL Automotive

“I recently contacted Cayan for solutions to taking credit cards for my small business. Jonathan Schiller was pleasant, easy to talk to and quite the professional. He and I worked up what has been easy to use and quite profitable payment processing solution. Other artisans at a recent event were very impressed with the ease of use and my glowing recommendation of your firm. I plan to continue to rave about your firm and what an excellent contact Jonathan is for the small businessman. Thank you.”

— Howard Walther, Lapidarygifts4u

“I am writing to compliment David Lewis who just initiated a new account for me this morning. I had contacted 3 or 4 merchant service organizations but decided to go with Cayan based on my phone experience with David Lewis. He was clear, articulate, organized, and presented your program to me, a newcomer to credit card processing, in a way which was easy to understand. He is definitely an asset to your organization. Thank you.”

— David S. Lerner, M.D.,

“Eric and all involved at Cayan have been extremely helpful in getting this issue resolved. I understood the problem was with an outside vendor, but it was dealt with as if it was their own. It’s apparent to me that if the problem was left with the vendor, I would still not have the equipment.

Keep up the great work. Whether it’s just a quick question I need answered, or a more involved problem, I couldn’t ask for better support.”

— Marc Adams,

“I’m a new Cayan customer and I am writing to you today because I am just thrilled with the fantastic customer service experience Matt O’Reilly has offered me.

Matt called me almost immediately after I filled out a form on your website. He was extremely thorough and made the whole sign-up process as quick and easy as it could be. In no time at all, I was approved and now I’m growing by business by accepting credit cards.

It is rare to receive such outstanding personal attention from someone these days, so I thought I would let you know about it. And if you see him around, please give him a nice pat on the back for me.”

— Dani, ButterCup Cakes, LLC


Complaints were not deemed excessive by the Boston Better Business Bureau for a company of this size.

If you have a complaint with Cayan, a  Relationship Manager seems happy to admit fault, explain things, write checks, and in other ways be aboveboard and transparent.

There have been some complaints, and after looking at the BBB report it shows that a good faith effort has been made in all instances on behalf of Cayan and continues to enjoy the highest A+ rating from this trusted source.


Critics may be loud, but there aren’t very many of them, especially in light of the number of customers Cayan has.  They offer Low-Cost equipment, innovative services, feel-good community participation, great customer service, a willingness to admit when they’re wrong, and they take steps to correct problems.

And their Genius system is going to be the next big thing.  Soon everyone will have it…  I’ve already encountered some in my travels.  It works like a charm.

Their goal of transparency is unmet in my opinion.  I know it is hard to compete with other companies performing a similar job, but wouldn’t it distinguish them a bit more to publish prices, rates, fees, and percentages, so we can make estimates of costs/expenses? The good news is you can get quotes by calling Cayan or use our instant quote generator.

Hop on board!  This train is headed to the future…