5 ways to save on a Merchant Account

Shannon Andrade |

May 31, 2012

Although accepting credit card payments may seem like a costly business expense, it certainly doesn’t have to be. Following are five ways you can save money on your merchant account, and avoid frustrating traps.

1) Never Focus Exclusively on Percentage “Discount” Rates. Companies who quote extremely low rates are usually trying to distract you from additional fees they charge that can have you paying much more in the long run.

· Thoroughly assess each quote and consider the many other cost factors, because getting the lowest rates doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re getting the best deal.

2) Look to Save on Processing Equipment. Most equipment can function with any processor, so there are plenty of product and pricing options to choose from.

· Shop around to find the most suitable solution for your budget and processing needs.

· Never lease. Leasing is extremely costly, and involves long-term agreements.

3) Don’t Sign a Contract. Signing a contract commits you to staying with a processor regardless of your level of satisfaction with them.

· Contracts allow processors to increase your rates at any time.

· With contracts, some processors feel that they can neglect to provide the service you demand.

· Cancelling in the midst of your term means paying a steep termination fee.

4) Avoid Termination Fees… Some companies may not focus on developing a long-term relationship with you and instead, rely on a Termination Fee to keep you from leaving.

· To some processors, a Termination Fee may be more profitable than providing the service necessary to keep merchants satisfied for years. They may actually prefer that you cancel so they can collect the huge fee.

…and Reprogramming Fees. Many processors use scare tactics, to convince you to purchase or lease their equipment. They threaten that if you buy equipment elsewhere, they “need” to charge a reprogramming fee.

· Truth is, most reprogramming procedures are simple and inexpensive, regardless of where equipment is purchased.

5) Ensure You Have the Right Type of Merchant Account for Your Business. There are different types of merchant accounts based on the way credit card transactions are accepted. It is always cheaper to have the right merchant account type for your business.

· Always work with a firm that can explain the differences between the different merchant account types and that teaches you to process credit card payments the best way for your business.

Merchants should always look for the best overall pricing, while not neglecting the service they deserve. By referring to these 5 guidelines when shopping for a merchant account, you can find a merchant service provider who will give you everything your business is looking for.

Learn more about merchant accounts.