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Affordable Credit Card Processing | We have you covered

Posted by Alex Neir on Wed, November 16, 2011 @ 01:23 PM
Affordable Credit Card Processing

Affordable Credit Card Processing | We have you covered

Are you looking for an affordable credit card processor? More often than not affordable and credit card processing don’t seem to fit well together. This is partially due to the fixed cost imposed on merchants to accept credit cards called the interchange rate. The second cost factor is the additional rates and fees imposed by your processor.

Now the term affordable is subjective. What is affordable for some may be expensive for others so let’s begin with a base line of affordability. When auditing a merchant account it is important to calculate the effective rate for your processing. The effective rate is calculated by dividing your monthly processing fees by the total volume processed. This number should be below 3.0% for low risk retail merchants.

So, that being said, anything above 3.0% becomes more expensive than it should be and therefor more unaffordable.

The beauty of the effective rate calculation is the fact that it is a retrospective look at all the rates and fees your business is charged. Lots of providers offer seemingly incredible deals on processing rates only to hit you with exaggerated ancillary fees to make up the difference.

So if you truly want an affordable credit card processing solution, stop negotiating the individual rates and get commitment from your processor that your effective rate be 3.0% or less. Then you know you are getting the most affordable merchant account possible.

Let Maxx Merchants review your processing and we’ll guarantee your effective rate is 3.0% or below* while also providing the best in class customer service and support.

Affordable Credit Card Processing

 

*Certain restrictions apply

Tags: Effective Rate, Affordable Credit Card Processing, Good Rate On a Merchant Account

How to save on credit card processing for small businesses

Posted by Alex Neir on Mon, April 11, 2011 @ 09:48 AM
Credit Card Processing For Small Businesses

How to save on credit card processing for small businesses

There are many ways to save on credit card processing for small businesses. First you want to make sure you select a company with a good reputation. Always check www.ripoffreport.com.

Next, I always suggest asking for the customer service number and testing the customer service experience before going any further. Let’s face it you are trusting a company to handle, what will amount to, a sizable portion of your businesses accounts receivable. If that function has a problem it’s nice to know that it will be handled appropriately before you spend the time and energy of setting up the account.

Once you select a company it’s important to understand what you can negotiate. Interchange fees and association due and assessments are fixed but the processor markup and fees are completely negotiable. An example of these fees include but are not limited to; monthly statement fee, monthly minimum fee, per transaction fee, batch fee, PIN debit fee, address verification fee, annual fee, account access fee,  PCI verification fee, termination fee, chargeback fee, set up fee, application fee, reprogram fee, etc.

Once you negotiate the very best rates and fees possible make sure, for retail businesses, the terminal equipment prompts customers to enter their PIN on debit/check card purchases (known as BIN Seeker technology). This has been proven to reduce costs up to 40%.

Lastly, make sure the business reviews their statement every month and compares each statement to the previous month. It is not uncommon to uncover junk fees that, when brought to the attention of the processor can’t be explained.

Want to know more? Check out: How to avoid big mistakes when opening a merchant account.

Tags: BIN Seeker, Affordable Credit Card Processing, Credit Card Processing for Small Businesses

Don’t wish to know anything about your merchant account

Posted by Alex Neir on Thu, October 28, 2010 @ 03:28 PM
Merchant Services

A merchant account is a vital part of any business as most customers expect to be able to pay with a credit or debit card. The merchant services industry is one of the most deceptive industries in operation today as providers prey on the fact that most business owners have little knowledge on a merchant account set up. The industry has been the same for the last 10 years and so have the attitudes of most owners.

It is very common for unsuspecting people to get seduced by teaser rates and free offers and subsequently get locked into contracts that are not beneficial for the business. Here is where a little research can go a long way.

Why haven’t things changed?

The main reason is because business owners don’t wish to know anything about their account. While this may seem like an overly generalized statement it’s true and unfortunately, understandable. Most business owners have much more critical items to attend to. Merchant services are boring with little excitement in its operation. Business owners want payment processing to operate transparently beneath the company. The only time it is thought about is when there is a problem or when processing seems over priced.

At this point you may be stuck with a processor that is unresponsive or unwilling to help lower your costs. Both are a major problem as the average merchant service contract term is 3 years.

What can be done with a minimal time investment?

Do a little research. I little time spent up front to understand the basics can go a long way in comparing providers. An hour or two of time spent up front can save countless hours and $100 if not $1,000 of dollars later. You want to know:

  • The types of accounts available to your business
  • The rates and fees associated with the account
  • The contract term and termination penalty

Compare your rates. Make sure you look at your contact and examine the rates that are displayed. It’s very easy to sneak in rates on the contract so make sure you read your contract and ask questions about anything you don’t understand or agree with.

Don’t rush into an account. You are substantially more likely to be taken advantage of if you have to get an account open quickly. Your account is a mission critical piece of your business but rushing to get an account open can end up costing a great deal over the life of the operation. Plan ahead and take your time with deciding on a provider. Trust me; you’ll be glad you did.

If it sounds to good to be true – IT IS! Merchant service providers have countless options in which to structure the pricing on your account. It is very easy to advertise a teaser rate – say 1.29% - while making up the difference with junk fees buried in your statement that no one can possibly understand. The unfortunate part is that these “bargain accounts” end up being far more expensive than a legitimately advertised accounts.

Begin your research with 7 items to consider when looking for affordable credit card processing.

Tags: Merchant Account Education, Affordable Credit Card Processing

Considering a wireless credit card processing machine?

Posted by Alex Neir on Fri, July 30, 2010 @ 01:22 PM

Considering a wireless credit card processing machine?

Why go wireless? There are numerous reasons to select a wireless processing solution. This is especially true if your business is mobile or transactions are frequently conducted at events, fairs, tradeshows or any location away from your main office or retail store.

The first question to ask when considering a wireless credit card processing machine: What are the benefits?

wireless credit card processing machine
(Credit: www.fotoaandekust.nl)
  • Lower processing rates. Your business is able to save a considerable amount on the processing fee if you are swiping the customer’s credit card through a terminal as opposed to keying the card in. This savings is passed on by the credit card issuer as there is less risk associated with the sale. Your business can typically save half to a full percentage point by swiping the card at the sale.
  • Added convenience. Depending on the volume of transactions, it can be very cumbersome to capture your customers card data only to have to key it all in at a later time. In addition, you no longer have to worry about loosing your customer’s card information and, therefore, the revenue from the sale.
  • Reduced exposure to fraud. Through processing the authorization at the sale you reduce your exposure to bad debit. If the customer has the funds necessary to complete the sale you are notified before your products and services are rendered.

Now that we have identified the benefits, what considerations need to be made when selecting a wireless credit card processing machine?

  • Equipment. As for equipment you have more than a few options. Almost every manufacture offers a wireless version of their wired terminal. However, the terminals tend to be a bit costly as most retail for around $600 to $900. Another option is to utilize a mobile phone as your wireless credit card processing machine. There are a lot of card swipers that have been engineered to work with mobile phones. Depending on the mobile device you have it may make sense to investigate the availably of a swipe device that is compatible. If you have an iPhone, Maxx Merchants has an iPhone charge card POS that could be a good fit.
wireless credit card processing machine
  • Coverage Plan. The next consideration is the data plan needed by your wireless credit card processing machine to access a wireless network to complete the transaction. If you elect a traditional wireless terminal you will be required to purchase a network access plan for the terminal to work. This is another good reason to utilize a mobile phone as you will likely already have a data plan in place.
  • Fees. Your wireless credit card processing machine will require a merchant account to process payments. The fees associated with the account are negotiable. For a detailed explanation of the fees and rates please see our blog on affordable credit card processing.

I hope this article is helps you and your business determine the best wireless credit card processing machine. If you would like additional guidance in avoiding mistakes when opening a merchant account please download our whitepaper.

Tags: wireless credit card processing machine, Affordable Credit Card Processing, Point of sale credit card processing

Automated Payment Processing

Posted by Alex Neir on Thu, July 29, 2010 @ 01:14 PM

Automated Payment Processing

Automated payment processing

Are you looking for and automated payment processing account for your business? The addition of an automated payment processing solution is an easy way to enable your customers to purchase products without direct assistance. Automation allows you to focus on other areas of your business rather than order placement.

Here are the areas of automated payment processing that we can help with:

With any business the first step is determining the area of the business that would benefit most from an automated payment processing solution. Once a need is determined the next step to consult with a payment processing provider to determine the very best solution available. Once a solution is identified the next step is to determine the costs. Please refer to affordable credit card processing for a detailed explanation of the cost associated with an automated payment processing system.

Once you understand the costs you are now in a position to make the best decision for your business.

As always please contact us if you would like assistance determining the best solution for your business. (800)917.8026

Tags: Ecommerce, Payment Processing, Affordable Credit Card Processing, Automated Payment Processing

7 items to consider with affordable credit card processing

Posted by Alex Neir on Tue, July 20, 2010 @ 04:23 PM

7 items to consider when looking for affordable credit card processing

The term affordable credit card processing is thrown around a lot and can mean different things to different businesses. For the purposes of this article we will discuss the affordability of credit card processing in terms of the rates and fees that are charged for the service.

affordable credit card processing
I have broken out the major rates and fees charged for credit card processing. Please keep in mind that there will always be other miscellaneous fees, so be sure to read your merchant contract carefully to understand all that apply and when.

 

Discount/Percentage Rate (interchange): This is the largest total expense for the account and is typically negotiable with your processor. There are typically three discount rates associated to the account (this example is for a retail location). The three discounts rates are referred to as the qualified, mid-qualified and non-qualified rates. The qualified rate is reserved for card present / person present transactions. The mid-qualified rate is reserved for keyed in transactions and certain rewards cards. The non-qualified rate is reserved for corporate and international cards. Some rewards cards will also downgrade to the non-qualified rate. When looking for affordable credit card processing you want to achieve the following for each discount rate:
  • Qualified Rate: Between 1.59% and 1.69%
  • Mid-Qualified Rate: Between 2.29% and 2.39%
  • Non-Qualified Rate: Between 2.99% and 3.09%

Per-Transaction Rate: In addition to the discount rate you will also be charged a per-transaction rate. The per-transaction rate is charged for each transaction that is run through the account. It is important to note that some processors will set up the account to authorize and capture as separate processes, effectively doubling the transaction costs per month. Make sure your processor is authorizing and capturing as one transaction. When looking for affordable credit card processing as a function of the per-transaction rate you want to be between $0.10 and $0.20 per-transaction.

Monthly Service Fee: This is the amount you are charged per month for customer service, account access, statement preparation etc. For an affordable credit card processing account you need to be between $9.95 and $14.95.

Batch Fee: The batch process is responsible for converting the credit card authorizations (promise to pay) into deposit of funds into your business account. The batch process is typically run on all days where authorizations are processed.  For an affordable credit card processing account you want establish a rate between $0.15 and $0.25 per batch process.

Monthly Minimum: The monthly minimum is the amount that is charged if the account is not used or used minimally. An affordable credit card processing account will typically have a monthly minimum of $0.00 to $9.99.

Annual Fee: The annual fee is a fee that your business is charged once a year for maintenance of your merchant account. You are best served to negotiate this rate to $0.00.

Termination Fee: This is the fee you are charged if you would like to end your contract early. This fee varies greatly form one processor to the next. Make sure you understand the contract term and termination fee.

If you are looking to set up an affordable credit card processing account we can certainly help. Please contact us directly for a no obligation quote. (800)917-8026. Mention prom code affordable for additional discounts.

Tags: Payment Processing, inexpensive merchant account, Affordable Credit Card Processing