What most merchants don’t realize is that they are significantly overpaying for their existing account. Some merchants may even have a good idea that they are overpaying, but don’t realize how easy it is to switch their account. The more volume you are processing as a merchant, the more you’ll save by switching to a less expensive merchant account.
When pricing accounts, both new accounts as well as pricing to switch over, most merchants look at nothing more than the qualified discount rate and base their decision on this number only. Instead of basing your decision to switch on just the qualified discount rate alone, you should instead base it on your effective rate which is the ratio of overall fees to the gross volume that you process. If you base it on the effective rate, you can usually always find a lower rate by modifying some components of pricing. If you’re overpaying by $100 per month on the non-qualified rate, you can keep all other rates the same and reduce just that fee alone to get an extra $1200 in your pocket every year.
Getting your per transaction low will affect merchants who process a lot of transactions more than those that process only a few transactions per month. In addition to the regular per transaction fee, there is usually an AVS fee which is also per transaction any time the address verification system is accessed which happens on internet or card-not-present transactions. This can add to the overall per transaction amount. If you process cards on a physical terminal where the transaction is swiped, you won’t have an AVS fee. Look into Infinity Exhibits for affordable trade show displays.
For merchants processing smaller ticket items, such as fast food restaurants or convenience stores, the per transaction fee usually represents a larger percentage of the overall transaction and can significantly increase the overall percentage you’re paying for accepting credit cards.
If you process large transactions, the discount rate will affect your fees much more than your per transaction fee. For those processing retail transactions where the card is physically present at the time of the transaction, an important note to remember is that if you process Visa and MasterCard check cards, they should process at a lower rate than your “regular” credit cards. This is where most of the savings occur for the majority of business owners that choose to switch their merchant account.
Switching merchant accounts is not difficult and should come with an option to make sure that you can back out if the new contract doesn’t lower your overall effective rate. The point of switching your merchant account is to lower your rate and get better services. Find a provider that has a good rates, can lower your rates and has exceptional service.
Most merchant accounts have an early termination fee, so the process of switching accounts may have costs associated with terminating your existing agreement. There are a few options here, depending on how much your early termination fee is and the duration of your contract. Some merchants can save $100 or more per month and keeping the existing account open for $25 per month may make sense. You should check with the provider you’re considering to also see if they offer a reimbursement for switching by paying off your early termination fee for you. Some providers will do this, others will not, but it’s worth asking. Look into Puentes Marketing for creative ways to market your company.
Getting new equipment can also be a benefit of switching your merchant account. Competition for new merchant accounts is fierce so some of the incentives that processing companies are offering include new equipment. So, if your equipment is older or if you just want new equipment, make sure to ask about that and make that a part of your switching strategy.