How to Get the Lowest Credit Card Processing Fees

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Credit card processing fees may not seem like a lot at first, but after a few months you start to notice the few dollars here and there start adding up. And what about all that markup that most processors take? What exactly are you paying for altogether every single month? Monthly minimum fee, markup, transaction fees, gateway fees, PCI compliance fees, annual fees, interchange, and way too much more. 

While those credit card processing expenses may seem unavoidable, there are numerous ways you can take control and save money on your bill every month. Here are some ways you can get the lowest credit card processing fees without sacrificing the services your business needs.

1. Shop around for better rates.

When you do the research and look for a better credit card processing rate, you’re doing the best possible thing for your business. Chances are, your current processor isn’t giving you the lowest rate, and they’re tacking on ancillary fees to your monthly bill. Make sure that your business is getting the best deals for services it needs. And never pay for a fee that you don’t know what it is or what it does for your business.

2. Negotiate with your processor.

Sometimes you need to make your processor see that your business adds value to their business. You have to make them want to keep you, so convincing them your business is valuable is important. Leverage your transaction volume if it’s high enough and that’ll say enough about your value to them.

If you shopped around for better rates first, then you have even more leverage to negotiate your rate with your current processor. Say, “Hey! This company doesn’t charge a statement fee or a batch fee! I’m going to switch to them.” If your processor doesn’t try to keep your business and make you happy, it’s time to switch. You deserve better anyway.

3. Reduce risk of credit card fraud.

If you’re considered a high risk merchant account, your fees are going to be higher. High risk industries mean that there’s a higher chance that your company will experience credit card fraud. There’s two ways you can reduce this risk.

  • Swipe as many cards as possible. The rates set by card brands (Visa, MasterCard) are higher when the cards are keyed in based on fraud risk, so swiping the majority of your card transactions is one way to reduce that risk.

  • The other way to reduce risk of fraud is by providing security information that protects the cardholder and validates their purchase. You can do this by entering the billing zip code and security zip code.

4. Eliminate the third party.

Most credit card processors (but not all) don’t actually process transactions themselves. Instead they save on processing fees by signing up with a bank or institution that does the processing. This means that on top of paying your processor’s fees, you’re also paying middleman markups. Ask your current processor if they use a middleman. When searching for a new one, ask the same thing. You’ll notice a difference in fees and markup between the ones that do and the ones that don’t use that third-party processor.

5. Set up your account and terminal properly.

One simple mistake could lead to higher processing fees, so setting up your account the right way from the start can make all the difference. Provide the correct business information, such as type of transactions, type of business, and frequency of transactions because this matters to many processors (but not all).

It’s the same idea with the way your terminal is set up and used. Get into the habit of batching transactions within 24 hours to lower the number of transactions for that period and to reduce processing fees. This method is more cost-effective than batching every few days or a couple times per week. The longer you wait to settle the batch, the higher the fees and rates from the credit card companies.

6. Accept the cards that work well for your business.

Not all credit cards are treated equally. Certain cards cost more to process than others. You need to choose to accept the cards that work best for your business. To onset costs of more expensive card types, make sure you’re meeting as many qualifying requirements as possible.

7. Get rid of the fees.

Too many processors bundle and hide fees within other charges. Some fees shouldn’t even be added at all, let alone hidden. What the heck is this PCI compliance fee for? Am I even getting any services in return? Ask yourself these questions next time you look at your merchant bill. We don’t charge those fees, so your current payment processor shouldn’t either. Ask them to take it off or explain to you what it is and why it’s there. If their answer isn’t good enough for you, take your business elsewhere.

The merchant account services industry is too notorious for its markups and hidden fees. We’re here to change all that. We offer you subscription-based credit card processing at direct cost. This means zero markups, zero hidden fees, and no contract. Click here to get your personal Business Savings Assessment and find out just how much you can save by switching to Fattmerchant. Together we can make your wallet FATT with savings!


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