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  1. #1

    Costco/Nova; strange goings on

    There's been some discussion on this board lately about the problems with the Costco/Nova merchant accounts. Briefly, to my knowledge, most of those accounts, including mine, used the Iongate gateway. Apparently Iongate went defunct a couple of years ago, and since that time the gateway has been supported by a company called uSight. If this is of any interest to you, Google uSight. I doubt you'll be impressed.
    All the same, I've been using that gateway for a couple of years, with no problems. A couple of months back, I got an e-mail from uSight (the first I'd heard of them) informing me my gateway was going the way of the dodo bird, and it would be in my best interest to change hasta pronto over to uSight. After the aforementioned Google of uSight, I was unconvinced of the urgency of that matter, & wrote it off as a scam.
    Until I got a letter from Costco confirming that I needed to line up another gateway. Please bear with, I hope this doesn't turn into a novella. It's a long, strange story. There was a phone number in the letter, allegedly for Nova customer support. However, it turned out to be for Costco, and the person I spoke with had no clue. That's when I started to get a bad feeling about this whole thing....
    So I looked up the website for Nova, and after a few transfers actually spoke to a human. Asked for the list of recommended gateway providers referenced in the letter. The upshot of that conversation was that I was left with a few hundred possibilities to investigate on my own. That did not make me happy....
    A week or three later I got another letter from Costco, with a different number for Nova, which was still actually for Costco! What the hell!!! Is this Dilbert in real life or what!? So I aired my dissatisfaction with the state of affairs on the Costco Executive Member support web page, and got a response basically saying that they felt my pain, but I was indeed up feces creek with no paddle (OK, I'm paraphrasing...). Actually they recommended I call Nova, and gave me a functioning number, whereupon Nova, with some urging, gave me an abbreviated list of gateways.
    One was Verisign. Been there, done that, ain't going back. Another was iTransact. I've never been able to make contact with anybody there. IBM Payment Gateway is apparently geared toward enterprise class ventures, and near as I can tell has never really evolved to the point of functionality. 3Delta, to my surprise, after about a week delay produced a helpful contact. She worked for Nova until recently, and informed me that in spite of TWO recommendations from Nova to the contrary, that 3Delta's gateway wasn't compatible with Nova. ??!! She recommended Not one of their myriad resellers, but the actual sales team. And that was my strategy, until this morning.
    Throughout this process, I've been conferring with a client I built a website for, and referred to Costco/Nova for credit card processing. The office manager had never received these letters from Costco about the incipient demise of the Iongate gateway, and had no idea what I was so disturbed about. She had just got back from vacation, though, and I figured maybe the boss had pitched 'em. As you may know, the Iongate gateway was scheduled to vanish into the void as of 6/1. This morning she e-mailed to say she'd just ran a card transaction, no problem. I then tried to access the Iongate gateway, which was a no-go.
    It turns out that she's been using Nova's PC Transact It software, that came with their merchant account package. She'd never heard of the Iongate gateway. Perhaps I should add that they're just using a virtual terminal, which is also all I need.
    When I signed up for the Costco/Nova merchant account, once the application was complete, all my correspondence was from Iongate (except for the monthly statements, which come from Nova). To the best of my recollection, there was no option to choose the PC Transact It software from Nova. And now that Iongate has gone south, I can get that software from Nova for $180, which I grant you is inconsequential in the greater scheme of things, but still.... That is if it ever shows up. The rep I spoke to sounded quite unenthusiastic about sending it to me.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but is this weird or what?? I've investigated this matter with some diligence, and it's only through blind luck that I find the logical solution? A fine howdy-doo....
    I'd switch to Echo in a heartbeat, except for the hassle of opening another checking account, and having to write checks into my main business account in order to transfer funds.
    What I am wondering.... Is if Nova is only doing this to their lower volume accounts? And if pending lawsuits between uSight, Nova, and Costco (if in fact they exist, which seems probable) are a reason why it's so hard to get straight answers from anyone about this.
    Well, thanks for reading this little diatribe. Believe it or not, I've left a lot out! I don't know if anybody has any insight they can share, but I'm all ears....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Chesapeake, VA
    You may want to consider switching merchant accounts to a company that can directly support both the merchant account processing & payment gateway side under one roof to avoid exactly the kind of "finger pointing - call them instead" situation that seems to be happening.

    Alternately, you could setup an Authorize.Net account or another gateway to use the Nova/Costco account but if you do need support on it or someone to coordinate between the two, it seems somewhat doubtful that it would actually take place given what you've said. - Trusted Merchant Account Solutions since 1998
    Many thousands of successful, growing businesses benefit from our expertise every day. You can, too!
    We help merchants to eliminate gateway costs, reduce & mitigate fraud and achieve streamlined PCI compliance.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Castle Pines, CO
    Your predicament sounds basically like a few of the stories we have heard in the past. I have kept my ear to the grapevine as I am sure Chris has with this. We can only speculate right now as to what might be happening with the gateways & Costco.

  4. #4
    I'm pretty upset with this. I am stuck without a processor now. I have transaction I need to put thru and NOVA rep told me to buy the PC software for $180.

    He told me. This is the cheapest way to get going without having to setup another merchant account. everyone is going to charge you 200-300 for setup +2-3 days of processing.

    No discount was offered for the software. So Nova/Costco had put me up against the wall.

    I Called costco and the lady actually said they don't have affiliation with NOVA... WHAT!!!!! bill says Costco Wholesome, C/O Nova information system. So Costco is not offering any remedy.. I think I best look for a new processor.

  5. #5
    I sent an e-mail to Costco Executive Member support suggesting that they step up and bring some pressure to bear on Nova to offer the PC Transact It software (for free, preferably) to clients who've been left in the lurch due to Iongate's demise.
    Not that I have much faith anything will come of it....
    What I find odd is that some (the majority, I suspect) of Costco/Nova clients were steered toward the Iongate gateway, while others got the PC Transact It software. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask, now that Iongate is defunct, that an alternative be provided.
    I just wish I could get some straight answers about this. Those aren't forthcoming, though, and I kind of doubt they will be. My guesses are that;
    1. Nova has decided these Costco accounts aren't profitable enough, and is making this difficult in hopes the clients will just go elsewhere.
    2. Problems arose with uSight, lawsuits are looming, and nobody's going to stick their neck out.
    3. This is just an example of corporate incompetence. Dilbert in real life....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Chesapeake, VA
    I can only imagine your frustration and how you indeed feel "left out" in the cold. It is really strange that a smoother transition plan wasn't put into place by Nova. I'm sure that there was at least some preparation time available for them to put such a plan together but ... ?

    On a positive note, just keep in mind that there are some gateways that readily support the Nova platform. (not just Authorize.Net, but others.)

    I'm not at liberty to discuss all of the specifics due to the forum TOS but if you search around, you will find there are a number of good third party gateway options that can readily support your existing Nova account, even some that are directly certified on the Nova platform.

    Or of course, you can always get a new merchant account setup with any number of good providers out on the marketplace today within a couple days of time and on a new gateway that is duly supported by the processor. - Trusted Merchant Account Solutions since 1998
    Many thousands of successful, growing businesses benefit from our expertise every day. You can, too!
    We help merchants to eliminate gateway costs, reduce & mitigate fraud and achieve streamlined PCI compliance.
    Learn more today at - we look forward to helping your business grow!

  7. #7
    Originally posted by cdgcommerce
    On a positive note, just keep in mind that there are some gateways that readily support the Nova platform. (not just Authorize.Net, but others.)
    Chris can't say it, so I will (heck, I could even be wrong) but I believe that their own proprietary gateway CDGGateway supports the Nova platform. Your best bet would be to get in touch with them and check.

    Good luck., a Digitally Justified Company
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  8. #8
    After spoken to NOVA at 5 different telephone complaint. They really have no preparation for this except for the customer to buy a $180 software. PC transact ?? or something like that.

    They didn't have any offering to there own Portal. With Today's internet technology. Really how hard is it to have there own web interface for CC transaction.. It really is not acceptable

    I was really UPSET and told them I had no choice but to leave Nova. then they finally transfer me to a lady that was kind enough to tell me to call Usight who owned IONGATE are offering switch over from Iongate to Usight gateway with no setup fee.

    She still gave me a number to call I-transact instead of Usight. I-transact need a $300 setup fee $15 a month.

    So I called Usight directly and got the gateway setup the same day. No setup fee but $15 a month cost tho...

    So I'm up and going again. Actually to think of it... The $180 software isn't actually a bad idea in the long run.. It pays for itself in a year. but I just didn't like it being shove down my throat by NOVA.

    I'll work with it for now with Usight and Nova. Prob will look into other service provider.

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