Merchant account early termination fees | How they work
Most every merchant account contract will include an early termination fee. The early termination fee is charged to the business if the business closes the account before the end of the contracted term. It is important to understand what the early termination fee is before accepting the terms of service from your merchant service provider. The early termination fee will be spelled out in the service agreement so be sure to review the contract before signing.
Important things to know about early termination fees:
- It can be negotiated
- It can be calculated multiple ways
- Be careful with refusal to pay
Negotiating your early termination fee
Some merchant service providers will allow for the early termination fee to be negotiated. Typically if you select an Independent Service Organization (ISO) to set up your merchant account the early termination fee is at the discretion of the sales representative. For example, if the business goes “out of business” it is reasonable to expect that the early termination fee to be waived. Make sure to have this conversation up front and get the agreed terms in writing.
Early termination calculation
The early termination fee can be a set amount, a prorated amount based on the remaining contract term or a combination of both. As an example we will use the following to illustrate how the early termination fee is calculated.
- 3 year contract term with the early termination fee equal to the greater of $250, or $35 multiplied by the number of months remaining in the then-current term.
- Contract approved 01/01/2011
- Termination on 04/01/2011
Early termination fee = $1,155 (33 months remaining X $35)
Be careful if you decide not to pay
It can be frustrating if you are charged an early termination fee for terminating a contract with a merchant service provider for a justified reason. It can seem unfair and unjust especially if you feel the service you were provided was unacceptable and you terminated to end a bad experience. It is commonly thought that a simple solution is to close the account for which the termination fee will be deducted from. I caution this approach as it allows for your provider to add your business to the terminated merchant file (TMF). The TMF is a file that represents businesses that have been banned by the industry. Once a business has been added to the TMF it is very difficult to get it retracted. Additionally, it makes it next to impossible to get a new merchant account set up.
QuickBooks Merchant Account Plug-In
Does your business use QuickBooks and would you like an integrated payment processing platform that lets you accept credit cards and ACH payments? The Maxx QuickBooks Merchant Account Plug-In is extremely easy to use and makes it very simple for any business using QuickBooks to easily process electronic transactions without ever leaving your QuickBooks environment.
The Maxx QuickBooks Merchant Account Plug-In installs directly into QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise edition software applications and provides a direct interface within QuickBooks to apply electronic payments. Payments can be applied to specific invoices, against open invoices or against a new sales receipt. Additionally, multiple payments can be applied to a single open invoice at the touch of a button.
The plug-in is completely PCI-DSS compliant as all credit card and ACH account numbers are encrypted and masked within the application. The plug-in also has built-in functionality that allows for customer credit card and ACH account numbers to be recalled for subsequent transactions.
Both card present swiped transactions and card not present keyed transactions are supported within the plug-in. For swiped card present transactions, customer credit card information is loaded directly into the plug-in for processing. All customer data is loaded from the customer record from within QuickBooks.
The Maxx QuickBooks Merchant Account Plug-In adds integrated payment processing directly to your QuickBooks installation for easy payment application. Please give us a call at (800)917-8026 to learn more.
Top 7 benefits of accepting credit cards for your business
Credit cards are one of the most accepted payment systems for the purchase of goods and services that add ease and convenience for both buyers and sellers. You can view all the pros and cons of using credit cards by visiting Oak view law group. However, let look at how businesses can benefit by accepting credit cards as a mode of payment.
- According to the researchers on consumer’s habit, people using credit cards to make purchases are mostly impulsive by nature. The average credit card user buys 2.5 times more than people who use other forms of payment. The obvious conclusion, any business that offers the convenience of credit cards as a form of payment can increase their revenue.
- When you accept credit cards as a way of transacting payment, it creates a sense of security in the mind of your customers. If the product does not live up to the standards for which it was advertised, there is a dispute process in which the customer can get their money back.
- It has been proven that credit cards help to enlarge the sales of a business by embracing a wider customer base. The ease and convenience of using a credit card to pay, plays a significant role in generating greater sales.
- Companies that offer an online purchase option from their websites enable greater hours of operation. Credit card payment from the website allows for business automation that results in greater sales with less expense.
- International sales become easy with an international merchant account. An off shore international account allow for sales to be completed in native currency with deposits linked to a single account in any desired country.
- Credit card transactions are processed in real time. So settlement is quick and easy without the need for complicated account receivable management.
- Setting up a credit card merchant account takes less than 24 hours.
Credit card processing, a bad experience
Like many things in life, individual experience with credit card processing shapes an opinion of the industry. More often than not, that experience is greatly influenced by the sales representative that was hired to complete the account set up. If your business has had a bad experience with a credit card processing account, the rep was most likely the reason!
Why was the rep the reason for a bad experience?
Within the credit card processing industry the vast majority of companies setting up accounts are referred to as Independent Sales Organizations (ISO), with the actual underwriting and functions of the account being handled by a credit card processor. The relationship between the ISO and the credit card processor is outlined in a contract between the two entities. The contract spells out the agreement and terms for which the ISO is able to sell credit card processing.
Each ISO negotiates their contract with the credit card processor individually to determine the specifics of the service the ISO is able to sell. Things like the commission payout, price, quota, and restrictions are all specific to each ISO’s contract. What this means is that a sales representative for one ISO may be able to waive the monthly minimum fee and annual fee on a credit card processing account while another representative, working for the same processor, can not.
Another major aspect of a perceived bad experience with credit card processing has to do with the price. Again, it’s important to understand that the price is a function of the contract in place with the processor. The sales representative your business works with has clearly defined pricing established with their processor. In order for the sales representative to make money they must “mark-up” the resale rate offered to your business. Therefore, if you feel like you have been taken advantage of, it is likely that the sales representative you are/were using had poorly negotiated contract pricing, or they are/were greedy.
Therefore, it is exceedingly important to select am ISO and sales representative that is able to set their own pricing. A good organization will be able to work directly with your business to customize a pricing structure that meets your businesses specific needs.
Another important item for consideration when selecting an ISO and sales representative is how they conduct their business. Your sale representative shouldn’t disappear once the credit card processing account has been approved and set up. Your sales rep should be available to consult your business on best practices, issue resolution, account maintenance and general support. Your credit card processing account should be a health relationship built on trust and responsiveness for as long as the account is active.
The credit card processing account agent you select functions as your ambassador and advocate for the life of your account. Selecting the right one can completely alter your experience and ultimately change your perception of the industry.
As a wholesale ISO, Maxx Merchants has established themselves as a leader in the credit card processing industry with exceptional pricing and the industries best customer service. Allow me the opportunity to set up your account and I guarantee your expectations will be exceeded. Contact me directly at (800)917-8026.
WordPress shopping cart, ecommerce made easy
Do you have a WordPress website for your business and are you looking to add a shopping cart to facilitate online sales or ecommerce? Adding a WordPress shopping cart has never been easier thanks to the Shopp plugin for WordPress.
Shopp lets you add a full blown shopping experience to your website with the simple installation of their plugin. Shopp installs just like any other plugin and once installed the application walks you through your product catalog set up. Setup has been simplified and streamlined to get your products configured with ease.
Shopp has been developed with ease-of-use as the primary objective. It is ready to go out-of-the-box and enables you to get your online store up and running in very short time.
The Shopp WordPress shopping cart is available at their website http://shopplugin.net/store/. When you make the purchase you must also select a payment gateway to accompany the plugin. The payment gateway is the software that encrypts your customer’s credit card information and sends it to your merchant account. The merchant account then performs the authorization of the sale at the customer’s bank. The authorization is a reserve of funds to then be deposited into your bank account as payment for the products purchased.
If you are unsure which payment gateway to select I recommend Authorize.net. They have reasonable pricing and easy integration options to get your store connected with a merchant account.
Once you have made a gateway decision and completed the purchase of the plugins, simply install the plugin through your WordPress administration dashboard. Once installed follow the easy set up instructions to add your products to the shopping cart. You are able to test the layout and organization of the products as you go. Once you are satisfied with the operation you will need to configure your gateway and merchant account.
I would suggest contacting a merchant service provider to help you set up you gateway and merchant account. Once the gateway and merchant account have been integrated you are ready to sell you products on-line 24 hours a day, 7 day a week.
Here at Maxx Merchants we are WordPress specialists and can help with all aspects of getting your WordPress shopping cart up and running. For additional help and pricing please provide us with your Name and Email and an account specialist with get in-touch immediately.