Processing fees are probably the last thing on many small business owners’ minds. Yet for all businesses who process credit cards and other electronic payments, processing fees are just a cost of doing business. To make matters worse, so many small businesses around the country are being hurt by unnecessary fees, high fees, and even unjustified fees.
So when it comes to credit card processing fees, how exactly can business owners and operators save money? Here are five (5) simple tips which you can use to save on payment processing for your business.
1. Understanding and Choosing the Best Fee Structure for Your Business
There are a number of different ways that your Merchant Service provider can bill you for payment processing. It is important to understand that not only do you need to fight for a fair rate (more on this below) but you also need to secure the correct fee structure to minimize processing fees.
Different payment processing fee structures include interchange-plus, flat-rate, membership, and tiered pricing. Some of these models focus on transactional fees while others offer a broader, simpler approach. The pricing model which will work best for your business is highly dependent on your individual needs.
2. Work with a Reputable Merchant Service Provider
Second, and perhaps most importantly, is selecting your merchant service provider. All of the promises in the world cannot replace working with a reputable and well-established payment processing organization.
Exactly how you should select your payment processor is a complex issue. At the end of the day, your business depends on merchant services to operate. A lackluster merchant service provider may not only lead to higher fees, but also potential penalties being levied against your business.
3. Get an Up Front Pricing Model Before Signing a Payment Processing Agreement
Along those lines, it is a great idea to work with a payment processor who offers transparent pricing before you sign on the dotted line. Some organizations may even offer a complimentary rate review so that you will understand exactly what you will be paying in processing fees. Understanding fee structures and rates are both extremely important, but getting the big picture of exactly what you can expect is paramount.
Qualified merchant service professionals should also be able to help you identify the fee structures which will end up saving your business the most money possible. At the end of the day, the merchant/merchant service relationship is a mutually beneficial one. Make sure you are working with a provider who will have your best interests at heart.
4. Avoid Payment Processing Fraud, Chargebacks, and Other Incidental Fees
Chargebacks, penalties, and other incidental fees can absolutely kill small businesses. Not only will you pay financially, but other issues such as account suspensions or even account terminations may be close behind. Work closely with your merchant service provider to set up your credit card operation as cleanly as possible to avoid these costly penalties.
It is also important to understand that not all incidental fees are penal in nature. Some incidental fees are one-off fees such as set-up fees authorization fees, early termination fees, retrieval request fees, and so on. Hopefully you won’t have to pay these with regularity (or at all in some cases), but it is important to understand all of the applicable incidental fees you may face so you can avoid any unnecessary cost.
5. Institute Credit Card Minimums
For high volume, low dollar amount businesses (think coffee shops or delis), small purchases can be like giving away your goods and services for free. To make sure your business isn’t eating its own profits, you may want to consider setting a minimum dollar amount for credit card purchases.
This may be walking a fine line. You do not want to inconvenience or frustrate your customers, nor do you want to pay $0.30 in processing fees on a $2 cup of coffee. Again, this decision is highly dependent on the business and the individual situation therein. Whatever the case may be, all business owners should understand that payment processing fees can make a substantial difference in the profitability of your venture.
True Merchant Offers Complimentary Rate Reviews!
While it is impossible to avoid processing fees, at True Merchant, we believe in making payment processing as straightforward as possible. That starts with one of our complimentary rate reviews for small businesses. This can be done for businesses just getting started or those who are looking for a change. One of our qualified payment processing professionals will work with you to identify what pricing options best fit your needs and to walk you through the processing fees, fee structure, and how we can best serve you!
Our experienced team offers a wide range of services including credit card payments, debit card payments, NFC payments, payment processing hardware, and much more. To learn more, give us a call or email today so we can discuss how exactly True Merchant can help your business!