7 Ways to Save Money on Merchant Account Fees

Merchant account fees can seem overwhelming, but they don’t have to be.

With these 7 tips, your business can begin saving money on merchant account fees today.

1. Understand That Merchant Accounts and Gateways Are Different

Merchant account: an online bank account that allows a business to accept payments by debit or credit cards.

Payment Gateway: an application service provider that authorizes transactions and processes payments.

Some companies only provide merchant accounts or payment gateways. Doing business with a company that offers both a merchant account and a payment gateway will save you time, money, and headaches.

2. Make Sure You Are PCI Compliant

If your business accepts credit cards as a form of payment, you must be PCI compliant. PCI compliance is a set of security standards that protects credit card information.

How do I become PCI compliant?

1. Complete SAQ self-assessment questionnaire
2. Pass PCI Security scan
3. Submit to quarterly compliance reviews

Did you know? There is a fine imposed for PCI non-compliance. Can your business afford to pay up to $100,000 per month in fees?

If your merchant service provider has NOT tried to get you PCI certified, you need to find a new one as soon as possible.

3. Use a Merchant Services Specialist, Not a Bank

Banks don’t always provide their own merchant services. They often contract out to a third party, and they sometimes charge you for the additional cost of handing off your business to someone else.

Avoid the middleman. Choose a company that can provide the specialized merchant services you need, including payment processing, payment solutions, PCI compliance, in-house support, and chargeback management.

4. Require Personalized Service

Think of your merchant services provider as a business partner you are trusting to handle your money.

If their idea of customer service is an outsourced phone number or email address, or you have to endure long holds to speak to a representative, it’s time to find a company that cares about your business and gives you the respect you deserve as a valued client.

5. Choose the Right Solution for Your Needs

Find a provider that can do it all.

A great company will offer 24/7 in-house customer support and connect you to a reliable relationship manager, without trying to lock you into a contract. It will also provide chargeback management, integrated payment solutions, and a secure payment gateway.

Choosing the right solution simplifies business drastically. It also cuts out the runaround and the potential for different companies to accuse each other when processes break down.

6. Choose Fixed Rates, Not Tiered Pricing

Before you sign anything, make sure your provider is offering flat rate pricing. This ensures you will not pay any hidden fees.

Tiered pricing is a red flag. With tiered pricing, processors can choose which rates to charge you. Typically, they will choose the highest rates possible.

Stay away from rounding. Most companies will round in their favor, not yours.

Interchange plus pricing is also a good option, as it offers fixed rates. You’ll know exactly what you’re paying—no hidden fees!

7. Watch for Small Additional Merchant Account Fees

Ask about these merchant services: application/sign-up fees, long-term contracts, installation/upgrade/support fees,  monthly minimums, minimum transaction sizes, and monthly maintenance fees.

Doing so will demonstrate to the merchant services provider that you know what you’re looking for and aren’t interested in any funny business. You’ll also ensure that you won’t find any miscellaneous unanticipated charges on your statement at the end of the month.

Go forth and save money on merchant account fees!