First American Payment Systems

Choosing a payment processing solution is a major moment for small businesses, considering that many processors will rope you into a contract spanning up to a few years. Two payment solutions small business owners may consider as they weigh their options are Stax and First American Payment Systems, currently known as First American by Deluxe Payments.

Both these payment technologies are well known, serving many customers. To figure out which is right for your business, keep reading.

About First American Payment Systems

First American is a well-established player in the payment processing services scene, operating out of Fort Worth, Texas. They were founded in 1990 by CEO Neil Randel. As a result of their longevity, they operate under a number of business names including and Secur-Chex. It was recently acquired by Deluxe and so is most recently going by First American by Deluxe.

About Stax

Founded in 2014, Stax was originally known as Fattmerchant. Since the name change is relatively new, you may still see the company referred to by its original name.

Stax has a unique payment processing system because it’s offered as a subscription-based service. That means that, unlike other payment processors, Stax doesn’t markup the processing fees. Customers pay a single monthly fee to cover membership and then pay the cost of interchange.


Pricing is one of the most significant points of difference between Stax and First American. This is often the case given that Stax has such an innovative pricing plan.

First American

Like most payment processors, First American’s pricing is not available on their website. You’ll need to get in touch with their sales team in order to learn what you’d be paying. That said, here are the details available on the web thanks to customer reviews.

  • Standard contracts appear to cost $95 annually or $25/month with variable monthly statement fees of $20 or more. The term length is three years.
  • Other fees of unknown pricing include customer support fees, batch fees, and application fees.
  • Swiped and keyed-in transaction rates vary from 1%-4.99%.
  • There’s a $120/year PCI compliance fee.
  • The early termination fee varies from $300-$495.

Learn More


Stax pricing is very transparent and comes in three main plans.

  • Growth, at $99/month
  • Pro, at $159/month
  • Ultimate, $199/month

These fees are a flat fee—they cover PCI compliance and other fees that payment processors often have. These fees provide you access to direct-cost interchange fees and 24/7 support.

Should your company be processing more than $500,000 annually, you can work with Stax to build a custom plan.


Both First American and Stax have the features that most businesses will need, but each solution does have a few unique features as well.

First American

It can be a little difficult to ascertain First American’s features as they don’t have a clear list on their site. That said, it appears that they do have all the standard features one would expect in a payment processor:

  • 24/7 customer support and every account has a dedicated rep
  • Accept payments online and in-person, in any form from mobile to swiped
  • Reporting of some capacity
  • Security features like fraud detection
  • Equipment leasing
  • Next day funding


Stax offers a wide variety of features, though it should be noted that some features are only available on certain plans.

  • Stax accepts every type of payment and credit card processing: keyed, swiped, mobile, and contactless — both through point-of-sale and e-commerce software.
  • There are next day funding options
  • Your account receives 24/7 technical support support
  • Customer data is tokenized and encrypted
  • Free card terminal
  • Real-time dashboards and reporting that vary by plan size to help you optimize your strategies
  • Use digital invoicing (available on Pro and Ultimate)
  • Keep customers’ credit cards on file securely (available on Pro and Ultimate) and update the information automatically (available only on Ultimate)
  • Set up recurring invoicing and scheduled payments (available on Ultimate)
  • API key for custom integrations (available on Pro and Ultimate)
  • PCI compliance support


Both Stax and First American both offer API keys so you can build a custom integration. Stax, however, also has 200+ pre-built integrations with other software solutions including:

  • Quickbooks
  • Shopify
  • Salesforce
  • Mailchimp

Customer ratings and reviews

You can find many reviews for First American and Stax across the web. However, while you can easily find reviews for Stax both from professional review outlets and user reviews on third-party sites, it’s very difficult to find user reviews for First American anywhere other than their Google profile. While First American does have a profile on top user-review site Capterra, for instance, there are no reviews from merchants.

First American’s Notable Ratings with Standout Review Excerpts

Merchant Maverick: 3/5 stars

“FAPS is not an inherently terrible merchant services provider. It has a decent website and doesn’t employ too many overtly deceptive sales gimmicks publicly. The company’s complaints volume, while significant, is not extraordinary for an outfit of this size. But if I am going to rate the brand as a whole, I’d say it’s a gamble at best. It doesn’t offer enough added value to make up for the expense of its contracts, and customer support seems to be lacking.” – Jason Vissers

Card Payment Options: 2.5/5 stars

“First American Payment Systems … could improve its rating by eliminating its cancellation fee, PCI compliance fee, auto-renewing contract, non-cancellable lease terms, and future merchant complaints regarding its services. … First American’s affiliation with so many low-rated processors has earned its placement on our list of the worst merchant account providers.” – Philip Parker

Merchant Alternatives: 1.6/5 stars

“Look, read and then run away as fast as you can. I have had First American for 3 years now. Every 3 months they suspend your account then you have to give them invoices and account statements and they will still decline the transactions. They are not beneficial to a growing business.” – William Johnson

Stax’s Notable Ratings with Standout Review Excerpts

Capterra: 4.8/5 stars

“Their support is great. I’ve had dozens of questions and they always get back to me. And they send your payments super fast. Great experience overall. … Only paying interchange fees and a fixed monthly rate saves us $100’s each month.” – Matt M.

Trustpilot: 4.3/5 stars

“We are a small business that was looking to simply our processing solutions, and Stax was by far the best option, and thus far, they have proved that. Gone are the days of a distant, hard-to-reach person for questions and infinite wait times to speak to a real person. We love Stax, and can’t wait to launch our upcoming systems with them!” – Tyler

G2Crowd: 5/5 stars

“[Stax] offers simple, low, flat-rate monthly fee for our merchant processing, rather than hidden fees that are impossible to determine, but MUCH higher. Their system is easy to use, and they couldn’t be more helpful on the phone. But overall, the cost-savings are the best part!” – Katie S.

First American vs Stax: Pros and Cons

All that said and done, what are the final tally of pros and cons for each system.

First American pro

  • It’s a well-established payment processor that can handle at least all basic needs.

First American cons

  • Both pricing and features lack transparency, so it’s difficult to tell how much you’ll be paying for.
  • Overall, reviews are negative.

Stax Pros

  • You can say goodbye to unexpected fees, thanks to the flat monthly fee and lack of markup on interchange rates.
  • Every Stax plan is feature-rich and completely transparent – so you know what you’re paying for before you opt-in.
  • Both professional reviewers and users alike sing Stax’ praises.
  • Customer service is prompt and easy to get ahold of.
  • The interface is very user-friendly, even for first-time payment takers.

Stax Cons

  • The flat fee may not be worth the savings in transaction fees for businesses that don’t run many sales.

Which solution is right for you?

At the end of the day, only you know what’s right for your business. That said, if you’re considering Stax for your business; Get in touch to learn more about how we can support your payment processing needs.

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