Merchant card services are important to most businesses, as merchant accounts allow a company to take credit and debit card payments online and in person. Finding affordable rates for credit card processing is easier than ever thanks to the variety of companies offering credit card processing tools, but businesses should carefully assess the fees and per-transaction rates associated with merchant card services to keep profits high.
Per-transaction rates are charged with each credit card payment, so for many businesses, they’re extremely important in the long term. A poor rate can easily lead to excessive losses. The most affordable rates go to businesses that process more transactions per month, especially when the size of an average transaction is fairly large. Merchant card services partially base their per-transaction charges on volume, but businesses should be careful to accurately assess the number of transactions that they handle per month when evaluating different processing services. An inaccurate estimate of monthly transactions could lead to penalties, which can quickly eclipse any savings garnered by a better rate. This works both ways – businesses that process too many or too few transactions according to the terms of their merchant card service contracts may see penalties. However, most credit card processing companies allow their clients leeway in their estimations, and as a business grows, it’s easy to find more affordable rates.
In addition to per-transaction rates, merchant card services typically carry a few other charges, including gateway fees, which are automatic standard charges that occur each month. Maintenance fees, gateway fees and other charges should be considered along with per-transaction rates when choosing merchant card services in order to insure the lowest possible prices overall. Many credit card processing companies will provide a detailed breakdown of their charges along with their standard contracts. Hidden fees are rare with reputable processing companies, as merchant accounts are long-term – processing services don’t make much money if they lose their clients within the first few months of an agreement. Businesses should get a few detailed quotes to try to keep prices as low as possible.
Most businesses will pay the most attention to per-transaction fees, but by assessing all of the services offered by a credit card processing company along with a detailed quote from that company, it’s easier to see the potential benefits of a merchant account and how these benefits compare to potential costs. Per-transaction fees are certainly important, especially for businesses that do a high volume of transactions each month, but researching the available options can lead to a better merchant account that combines affordable rates with tools that can help a business handle more customers efficiently and easily.