DEFINITION of 'Payza'

Payza is an Internet-based payment processing service that allows individuals and businesses to send and receive funds using bank transfers as well as bitcoin.

BREAKING DOWN 'Payza'

Payza is a Montreal-based company founded in 2004. Since 2012, it has been a subsidiary of MH Pillars Ltd. of London, United Kingdom. While not as widely-used as other online payment services such as PayPal, it has become a relatively popular method of sending remittance payments. Similar to other digital payment companies, Payza provides a mobile application that allows individuals to access the service from their phones.

Payza enables individuals to deposit funds into their accounts, with the balance held in an e-wallet. Funds can be used to make payments through the system. Deposits can be made several different ways depending on the account holder’s location, and may include wire transfers, bank transfers, credit and prepaid cards, and bitcoin. Funds can be withdrawn through bank transfers, wire transfers, prepaid cards, and bitcoin.

Payza also supports payments to businesses, with a particular focus on e-commerce. It offers a snippet of code that can be added to a website to create a “Buy Now” button, can integrate with online shopping carts supported by third parties, and can be added to a list of in-page payment options. Customers who already have a Payza account can pay for goods and services using their e-wallet. They can also use a credit card or prepaid card, as well as other payment options available in their geographic areas.

Opening a personal or business account with Payza is free. Funding an account is free for bank transfers over a certain threshold - $200 in the United States – but fees are charged for funding via credit card or bank wires. Account holders can also fund using bitcoin, but Payza sets an exchange rate that is several percentage points lower than the bitcoin spot market price.

Payments sent through the system do not incur a fee. Fees are instead charged to the party receiving funds, with fees varying based on what payment method was used. Most fees include a percentage of the transaction value plus a per-transaction fee. Credit card payments tend to carry the highest percentage fee. Withdrawing funds from a Payza account is free if the eGift card option is chosen. Bank transfers incur a flat rate, while using bitcoin incurs either a mining fee or an exchange rate penalty.

As a service provider, Payza is not regarded as strong as more well-known companies. Customers have experienced significant service disruptions, which often involve funds being unexpectedly frozen without a thorough explanation.

In 2013, U.S. account holders were suddenly prevented from accessing funds, with the company blaming problems with a third-party provider. Some complaints accused the company of locking access to account funds so that it can collect interest. For business owners, this can make Payza an unreliable option when it comes to choosing a merchant account, since businesses need consistent and uninterrupted access to their funds. The U.S. Department of Justice opened a criminal investigation into Payza in 2016.

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