Credit Card Processing Tips for Small Business Owners

Posted by on September 2, 2010 in Business Management [ 0 Comments ]

Helpful Tip post-itSmall business owners have enough going on in their busy schedules without having to worry about getting ripped off by a credit card processor. That’s why many ecommerce companies take the easier route with PayPal or brick and mortar shops sign up with the first salesperson to swing by their office. Unfortunately, most businesses can stand to have major savings just by reexamining their credit card processing terms. Here’s what to look for:

1) Never allow cancellation fees- Make sure to read the fine print on the credit card processing contract–it may sometimes hide a cancellation fee of at least $250 to several thousand dollars. This fee is a way of guaranteeing loyalty to the processor, regardless of customer satisfaction. The good news is that getting rid of this fee should not be a problem: most salespeople have the authority to waive it. To avoid this issue, talk to the salesperson and make sure the fee is waived in writing either in the contract or as an amendment. As a startup, making sure to have the no cancellation fee clause is a great hedge in case anything goes wrong.

2) Only interchange plus pricing– The bulk of credit card processing fees go to Visa and MasterCard—these are called “interchange” and are set in stone. “Interchange-plus pricing” is the fairest form of pricing, and is comprised of interchange plus a constant processor markup (the fees processors charge for their services). With interchange plus pricing, there is never a question of how much the processor will charge per transaction since those costs are fixed. Having this structure ensures there are no tricky fees or hidden costs, unlike tiered pricing structures.

3) Comparison shop– Research shows that the best deal can be found by comparison shopping credit card processors–at least five. However, make sure to compare on an apples-to-apples basis, and be sure each processor knows that you are actively shopping. You can easily make your bids more competitive by leveraging the power of comparison.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about processing, check out the FeeFighters blog or email me at
is a comparison shopping site for credit card processors. Similar to getting multiple plane tickets from airlines using Expedia, TransFS empowers business owners to compare top quality processors on an apples-to-apples basis and makes sure they get the best deal by not having any cancellation or hidden fees, and only interchange plus pricing.

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