Get More From Your Payment Processor

Choosing a payment processor can be an overwhelming task as everyone has a unique set of fees and contracts. Take your time when choosing the right processor because it can make a big difference in your bottom line.

Are there different prices or fees for different types of cards?

  • Some services charge a different fee for processing various types of card transactions (personal, professional, and reward cards) as well as different transaction amounts and the industry in which you are located. Make sure you know exactly what you will pay for each type of transaction.

Are you billing invoices, or are all fees charged in connection with a transaction in the same month?

  • It’s not uncommon for a payment processor to seduce you with low prices. However, many of their lower rates only apply to certain transactions. For example, in January you believe that you receive a 1.7% rate on your credit card transactions, but you have processed multiple reward cards. Even if you processed the transactions in January and in February, your processor will charge you a higher rate in February. Now you have two separate bank statements with two different rates for the same transaction, making it much harder to determine the actual price you pay.

What are the fees or fees you charge for protecting against fraud for accepting payment online?

  • To compensate for the risk of fraud, agents charge different fees depending on how you make a payment. This is usually a lower rate for physical card payments, as the risk of fraudulent transactions is lower (be sure to check your network cardholder’s verification requirements). If someone calls you to buy something and gives you their number on the phone, the risk of misconduct increases a bit (as well as the cost of treatment). If someone buys your home online, the fraud rate is usually highest. Therefore, processors often cover their risks by charging you a higher price. Make sure you know what these rates are, and then determine the percentage of each type of treatment you will do to get an approximate overall rate.

Do you charge a separate fee for your gateway?

  • It is quite common for processors to charge separately for their payment gateway, usually per transaction. In addition to the standard transaction fees – about 2.9% + $ 0.30 – you can also pay gateway fees for each transaction.

If I make a transaction, will I receive any of the upfront fees that will be refunded to me?

  • When you process a return, many credit card providers will retain all transaction fees and possibly additional fees for the refund. This means that you can lose money each time a customer returns something.

What’s the contract term and are there early termination fees?

  • Many credit card processors set a contract period for a specific term, for example, one or two years. Often, early cancellation fees or cancellation fees are part of the agreement. This makes it difficult for you if you are not satisfied with the management of your account.

What fees do you charge each month?

  • This question is simply wrong because some processors can provide you with seemingly low monthly fees. But be sure to dig deeper: some additional fees may be hidden in the fine print. These include batch processing fees, the transfer of funds from a merchant account to your bank account, and bank statement fees. Processors may “give up” some of these fees to get their business, but they could add them after a promotional period.

Is there a minimum requirement or a monthly processing fee?

  • Some processors charge a minimum monthly fee that you pay when your monthly transaction volume is below a certain amount. This can be a big financial pain for companies that start to work.

Is there a limit to how much I can handle you?

  • Many processors limit the amount you can process, depending on your initial approval. Obviously, this can be frustrating if your business is growing fast or has a strong season – not to mention the impact that it might have on your customers’ perception of your business.

What kind of support do you offer?

  • If your payments go down, will the processor help you until you’re back up and running? And an automatic phone system is not the same as talking to a living person, so make sure you ask them if they have live customer service. Low fee handling charges do not mean much if you cannot reach someone to help you when you need it most. Sorting with credit card processor options is indeed not a small task, but it’s well worth it and asking the right questions is half the battle. Make sure you study your options carefully before making a decision.