These days, accepting credit cards is a virtual necessity for any business, however small or large it may be. Dealing with a merchant services company comes with the territory. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t regularly review your monthly processing statements to be sure you are keeping as much of your money in your pocket as possible.
Here are a few helpful tips to consider.
Go Comparison Shopping
When you first signed up with your payment processing company, you probably did your homework. You looked around for the vendor that best met your needs at the most competitive price. However, the best option a few years ago may no longer be what’s best for you today. That’s why it’s a good idea to periodically find out what has changed in the payment processing industry. That way, you can be in a great negotiating position when it comes to speaking with other merchant services companies.
Here are some helpful questions to ask any prospective payment processor:
- Including ALL fees, what is the overall effective rate that I will be paying?
- What are your recurring monthly flat fees?
- Can any of these fees be waived?
- Do I need to sign a contract? If yes, how long is the contract for?
- What is your contract termination fee?
- What kind of Customer and Technical Support do you offer? Is it free?
- Are the rates and fees you have quoted me locked in for as long as I am with your service?
With this information in hand, take another look at your current payment processing provider. If they continue to be truly competitive, no changes are necessary. However, you should seriously consider jumping ship and finding a new provider if your current company isn’t keeping up with the times or their promises.
Pay Attention to Your Monthly Statements
Every month you should be receiving a statement from your merchant account provider. It details what you paid in fees for the previous month, as well as details every credit card transaction and batch that took during the month.
Taking the time to review your monthly statements may seem like extra work, but it’s necessary in helping to ensure that your rates and fees have not increased, as well as making sure there are no mistakes or errors that could be costing your business money. In addition, it can give you a snapshot of what you are selling as well as the payments you are making to your processing company.
Here are some costly surcharges to keep an eye out for on your monthly statements:
- Qualified or Qual
- Mid-Qualified or MQual
- Non-Qualified or NQual
- Standard or STND
- Electronic or ELEC
- Level 1
- Data Rate 1
- Bill-Back – example: DEC BB195 Transaction Cleared…
Adopt New Technologies
There are three innovations in recent years that could change the entire complexion of your bottom line, putting more money in your pocket every day. First, if you don’t already accept mobile transactions, you should seriously consider enhancing your business by adding this payment option. Point-of-sale equipment that is provided through your payment processing company probably already has the capability to work with customers’ smartphones. All you need to do is obtain the necessary contactless readers from your merchant company. If you don’t have the technology to make these transactions possible, you could be losing out on a significant amount of business.
The second payment trend you cannot afford to ignore is upgrading your point-of-sale system to accept EMV or “chip” cards. Over two years have passed since U.S. financial institutions rolled out this more secure form of payment. Even so, many small businesses have failed to upgrade their systems. Owners often fear that the cost of updating their equipment would be too high. Combined with the hassle of training themselves and their staff, the idea of accepting chip cards just seems unfeasible. The reality, however, is quite different. The new EMV equipment is not expensive. What’s more, merchants who fail to adopt it are now held financially liable if a fraudulent credit card transaction occurs at their retail location.
As e-commerce gains in popularity every year, you simply can no longer ignore it. Thanks to its convenience and the ability it gives customers to easily find the best deals, online shopping is rapidly overtaking brick-and-mortar retail establishments. If your merchant account provider does not have the capability to enhance your business with a payment gateway, think about finding a more forward-looking vendor.
Customers want their payment experience to be as fast, easy and secure as possible. These innovations make that happen and help ensure your customers keep coming back.
When you run a business, every dollar counts. Taking the time to review your current merchant account could lead to thousands of dollars in savings each year. Money that could be put to work helping your company grow and prosper for the long-term.
Would to like to receive a no-obligation Free Rate Quote for your credit card processing?
We will provide you with a transparent and detailed rate comparison that will show exactly how much money your business can be saving in fees each month by using our service.
Visit us online at www.TailoredTransactions.com or call us direct at (888) 669.1686