Merchants are paying too much on payment processing. That’s a fact. Most merchants have the opportunity to save significantly on accepting payments if they follow a few simple strategies. We know this first hand. Many merchants are paying 3% to 6%, which is very high, including transaction fees ranging from $0.10 to $0.50, in addition to monthly fees, monthly minimums, or other fees created by payment processors.
What’s more surprising is that some merchants think they are paying no fees because they were told that accepting credit cards is free. After we do a review of a payment processing statement with them, they understand the truth and are often surprised. It is all in black and white, but you have to be able to read through the complicated statements.
Getting the cheapest rates in credit card processing
If you are accepting credit cards, unfortunately the truth is that it is not free. There are interchange rates set by Visa and MasterCard which are the base costs that all merchants pay, even the largest retailers like Walmart. However, we are working hard on ways to reduce the cost to zero at Clearly Payments, but this will take time. While we do that, we are offering the lowest prices possible. We’re able to offer the lowest payment processing fees due to our unique cost structure along with the fact that we have a partnership model with the best global payment technology companies.
How to reduce your payment processing fees
The first thing a merchant can do is to use other forms of payments when possible. If you use debit/Interac, cheques, cash, or bank-to-bank transfers, the cost of accepting payments is low. There is no interchange on these types of transactions. However, many consumers love their credit cards. Travel points or other reward points are a big incentive for consumers. That’s one reason why there is a massive trend of a declining use of cash.
Most business managers just treat credit card fees as a cost of doing business. They sign up for credit card processing and carry on. However, there are ways to decrease your credit card processing fees. There are scenarios where we have saved merchants $3000 per month. That’s significant to any savvy business person, especially if it can be done with minimal effort.
Understand your payment processing statement
The fastest way to get the lowest payment processing rates is to first find out what you’re paying. You need to understand your current cost so you can determine where to save. It’s easiest to talk to a payment expert. Reach out to us and we’ll walk you through your statement for free. You’ll find out exactly what you’re paying and if there is room to save. We’ve seen hundreds of credit card processing statements so we know how to analyze them.
Get the right merchant account set up
The second thing you can do is ensure your merchant account is set up correctly. You want the optimal parameters entered for your business: your business’s merchant category code (MCC), processing method, and card types. This can easily reduce your rates.
If you don’t have a merchant account because you are using a shared merchant account on an aggregator like Square, PayPal, or Stripe, and you process more than $100,000 per year, it is likely time to change. You do not need to be paying $2.9% and $0.30 per transaction. Aggregators are great for very small businesses and can save you money in the early stage, but they are not optimal for larger ones.
Choose the right transaction type
Lastly, the way you accept payments has an impact on your fees. Many businesses don’t have a choice here. For example, if you are an online business, you pretty much have one choice, online transactions. However, if you can switch your online payments to recurring payments, there is room to save big. These are some of the small moves you can make to reduce fees. Overall, if you ever have a choice in a way to accept a payment, use one the cheaper credit card processing types outlined below.
Cheaper Payment Processing
- Contactless or tap-to-pay
- Recurring billing
- Card present transactions
Higher Cost Payment Processing
- Online payments
- Telephone sales
- Manual or keyed entry
- Card not present transactions
Use this information to adapt your business and save thousands of dollars. Every dollar you save means an extra dollar you can use to make your customer experience better so you can grow.