Merchant Services FAQ

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What should I look for in a merchant services provider?

Great customer service, transparent pricing, no term commitments or cancellation fees, and excellent reviews and reputation.  These are critical components to selecting a great merchant services provider.  Interchange plus pricing can be a little more difficult to understand, but it is the most transparent and affordable pricing scheme. Always choose a provider that answers the phone with no hold times or queues.  Lock-in or early termination fees are always a red flag that you should never agree to.  Most importantly, check reviews to see if real customer experiences match up to the marketing.

What is the going rate for merchant services?

This can vary depending on business type.  For in person transactions this generally ranges from 1.5% to 2.2%.  Business that have a higher percentage of payments made by debit card can be as low as 1%.  Online transactions range from 2.5% – 3.2% in effective rate for merchants with good pricing.  It is important to note that interchange rates for card not present transactions average about 40 basis points more than card present (swipe or EMV) in-person transactions.

How can I get out of a merchant services contract?

The easiest way is not to get locked in to begin with.  Don’t agree to a termination fee.  But if you’re in a contract, check your agreement and the website of your provider. Then:

  1. Call your provider and negotiate
  2. Send a formal cancellation letter
  3. Return all equipment
  4. Make sure to keep good records and confirmations
  5. Check your bank account regularly for unexpected fees
  6. Let your provider know you’ll write an unfavorable review online for unfair cancellation practices
  7. Get confirmation your account is closed and no further fees will be charged

How to choose a credit card processing system for your business.

  1. Find a provider with great reviews.
  2. Speak to a sales rep.  Find out about the company.
  3. Evaluate equipment or software that might be right for your business.
  4. Get a quote with clearly defined pricing.
  5. Review the agreement – don’t accept term commitments or cancellation fees
  6. Make sure pricing and terms agree with the proposal after you sign up.
  7. Review your first statement to make sure everything looks right.
  8. Check your statement and pricing monthly to make sure nothing changes.

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