Merchact blog page
Get your daily dose of merchant account advices, solutions and other business tips straight from Merchant experts.
HOW DO I AVOID HIDDEN FEES WHEN CHOOSING A SERVICE PROCESSOR?
HIDDEN FEES. EVERYBODY HATES IT. CUSTOMERS HATE IT. YOU HATE IT.
It’s been what? 23 decades since E-commerce was made possible, allowing generations of people shop at their own leisure, anytime, in the comfort of their pajamas – and are you still arguing with yourself if you should take your business online? What’s keeping you? Ahh, perhaps you’re terrified of hidden charges, right?
Here are three surefire ways for you to avoid hidden fees:
1. Learn How to Analyze your payment fees. Once you fully understand the prices that you’re dealing with, you will be more knowledgeable about the negotiation phase.
2. Look out for varying fees. Keep away from contracts that has variable cancellation fees and instead go with a fixed fee instead.
3. Negotiate a pass-through fee arrangement with your processor. Work with a dedicated processor to report on all the different parts of the fee separately. This helps to maintain transparency around exactly how much you are paying your processor.
Now how do you know the tricks that some merchant account processor uses just to get into your wallet? Here’s all of them:
#1 TEASER RATES. Some processors advertise their rates as low as 1.59% and this is pretty common these days. What’s bad about this is that the processing industry has no definitive advertising standard; this means that they may choose not to disclose “evaluation fees”, “mark-ups”, “card-brand fees” as well as non-qualified charges tacked on top.
Have you seen flights advertised for only “$99” each way? Well, have you ever really only pay “$99” for the flight when you reach checkout? Unlike airlines, however, some processors today bury the hidden fees in fine print so it goes unnoticed until it’s too late.
#2 PCI COMPLIANCE FEES. Many processors today recently started to charge quarterly fees or monthly PCI fees. You should look for assessment services that is already included as part of the monthly fee.
#3 INTERCHANGE DIFFERENTIAL PRICING. This new tactic is now being used to “double-dip” merchants such as yourself. Your service processor will promise you a small percentage for “premium credit cards,? but if you assess the fine print, you will see that this percentage is charged on top of their already marked-up “interchange differential fee”. In simpler words, they may unjustly charge you twice for processing premium credit transactions. This results in a double charge for the transaction, giving you higher fees than with your current pricing.
#4 MONTHLY MINIMUMS. Have you ever heard about “low achiever fees”? This is what some processors unwittingly call merchants who didn’t quite reach monthly minimums that they set.
Most merchants, although their low monthly fee is actually quite high still suffers with penalties just because their processors set unjust monthly minimums on the transactions they make with Visa/Mastercard.
#5 CONTRACT CANCELLATION FEES. Majority of processors offers cancellation fees and early termination fees. Sadly, many of these processors implements long-term contracts to try to prevent merchants from acquiring more affordable service.
Now that you know the pitfalls of hidden fees, don?t you think it?s time you reconsider going online? If you?re already selling in the internet, these pointers can serve as your guiding point, and if you think your processor is cheating you then it?s time for some serious action ? jump the fence if you must.