Dear M & M: Any ideas on getting better rates for credit card processing – Joel
Most customers do not realize every time you pull out a debit or credit card to pay your bill the merchant has to pay a third party to process to payment. Some of the fees you will encounter could be for software, monthly statements, per cent of the transaction, flat rate fees per transaction, chargeback fees, equipment, reward card fees, supplies and the list goes on.
Typically credit card fees can range from 1.50% to 5% of the total transaction once all these fees are added up. Studies done by several agencies do show that over 60% of the time a rate that was quoted was generally higher once the bill to the company was checked. This is an important part of your business.
More and more people pay by this method so you have to have it as an option for payment. It will be one of the largest expenditures of your business. Just remember everything is negotiable from equipment to a per swipe transactional fee. When was the last time you looked at your credit card processing fees as a per cent of sales?
Debit and credit transactions many times are charged at different rates. Having the card present and swiping the card vs. taking the number over the phone makes a difference. Does your business have a lot of large transactions or does it process several smaller transactions? Do not lock into anyone for a long term contract that has penalties to get out of the contract.
Think seriously before purchasing or leasing any equipment. Monthly billing statement fees, per transaction swipe fees as well as per cent of the transaction fees all are negotiable. Do some checking before you decide who is going to process the credit cards you take for payment. I would check annually to be certain you are getting the lowest costs with the quality or type of service you expect.
Does their online support actually help if you have a problem? Look at everything watch out for those incidental fees that appear on your bill. Find out what they are. There are over 300 various types of fees a merchant can be charged for accepting credit cards, Beware and move cautiously before you decide on who will process your companies plastic transactions.