How You Accept Cards
The methods that you use to take cards affect your merchant services pricing at both the interchange and processor levels.
Interchange is divided into multiple different categories, including debit, credit, and prepaid cards. Its further divided by card-present and card-not-present. So a credit card swiped in-store will have different interchange costs than a credit card a customer enters online into your ecommerce website to make a purchase.
At the processor level, card-not-present transactions are riskier and thus incur higher processor markups. Some processors may also charge for anti-fraud tools, like AVS.
The Pricing Model Your Processor Uses
The pricing model your processor uses affects your costs on the processor level. Some pricing models are easier to manipulate, leaving you overpaying without even realizing it. Some pricing models are a good deal for certain types of businesses but would be very expensive for other businesses.
The model you want depends in part on your average ticket and your monthly volume.
Read more in our guide to .
Credit Card Processors With The Lowest Fees & The Cheapest Ways To Accept Credit Card Payments
When it comes to finding the cheapest way to accept credit card payments, we recommend taking into consideration the rate, monthly fees, included features, ease of use, and how much time it saves you.
- Chris MotolaAn expert in personal and business loans and financial health, Chris Motola has been writing about small business finance and payments for over 5 years. He has been cited in various industry publications, including Forbes Advisor, GoBankingRates, and Medium. Chris is a graduate of the University of Central Florida.
Expert Analyst & Reviewer
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What Are Government Payment Processing Solutions
Enabling government maximizes your ability to capture lucrative sales from some of the countrys biggest spenders i.e., municipal, state, and federal agencies.
These organizations often use government-issued Level 3 credit cards for big-ticket purchases. With government payment processing, youre better positioned to win their business if your payment environment is set up to handle these more detailed payment transactions.
Any business that provides a product or service to an agency that pays with a government-issued credit card is a candidate for this service.
The right merchant services provider can help remove all the guesswork from government credit card processing and make payments between you and your governmental customers easy, fast, and secure.
By helping you qualify for lower interchange rates, government credit card processing services are also more affordable than most B2C and B2B payment solutions out there.
To learn more, schedule a free consultation with our merchant services team today.
Supports New And Mobile Payment Technologies
- Many customer support channels available.
- Outstanding hardware options.
- Can run in offline mode.
- Account freezes may occur with rapidly growing businesses due to the appearance of fraudulent activity.
- Lacks modules for reporting or inventory management.
- Larger organizations may have to pay high fees.
- Pricing and fees clearly outlined on the website.
- No outbound sales team.
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Its Time To File A Report
So youve exhausted all options and your provider is unwilling to resolve your grievance. Sometimes taking actions and filing reports with third party review websites and agencies can get the job done. How your report is filed and what you say in it will greatly affect the outcome of your complaint. Follow the tips below to give yours an effective punch.
What Are The Typical Credit Card Processing Fees
The assessment or service fee is another non-negotiable cost. Payment processors must pay it to the card networks, and they pass that fee on to the merchant.
The payment processor’s markup is the fee you can negotiate, depending on your vendor. This is the fee the payment processor charges to use its services.
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What Fees Come With Credit Card Processing
In addition to the processing fees you pay per transaction, there can be several additional fees you must pay, and where it gets especially confusing is that each processor may charge a fee or fees that another processor may not charge it’s hard to know which fees are standard and which ones are superfluous.
Processors that charge flat rates usually don’t charge account service fees, but there are still some incidental fees to be aware of. Here are some examples:
- Monthly fee. This fee, which is sometimes called a statement fee, covers customer service and statement preparation. It ranges from $5 to $15 per month, though it may be higher if it covers additional services like PCI compliance and gateway fees.
- Payment gateway fee. This is also a monthly fee. It covers the usage of the payment gateway, which allows you to accept payments online. The cost varies, depending on the payment gateway, but is often comparable to the monthly fee .
- Monthly minimum fee. Some processors require you to generate a certain dollar amount in processing fees each month. For some processors, the monthly minimum is $25, but some processors set it higher. If you meet this number, you’re charged the difference.
- Network fees. These fees are charged by the card networks and are passed on to you as either monthly or annual fees. Examples of these fees are Mastercard’s Merchant Location Fee and Visa’s Fixed Acquirer Network Fee.
Highest Level Of Cardholder Data Security
PCI Level 1 compliant including point-of-sale chip readers and Payment Application Data Security Standard supporting point-to-point encryption to maximize transaction security.
We tailor our processes to meet your needs, with the capabilities to accept all types of payments online, in person, by phone, and by text.
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Processing And As Soon As Next Business Day Funding
When a customer makes a payment, a number of technologies and institutions work together in just a few seconds to approve the transaction and schedule payment to your account. If you use Wells Fargo Merchant Services with a Wells Fargo business deposit account, youll get the funds from Visa®, Mastercard®, Discover® Network, and American Express® transactions as soon as the next business day.
Pay Attention To Your Bill And Look For Errors
If you think theres been an error on your credit card statement, send your credit card company a billing error notice that disputes the charge.
Your credit card company has 30 days to confirm receipt of your notice as well as two complete billing cycles but no more than 90 days to investigate and respond to you.
The credit card company can show good faith efforts to obtain the necessary information and make a determination as quickly as possible, and complies with all other requirements pending resolution of the error.
The credit card company cant do any of the following while the billing error is being investigated:
- Ask you to pay the amount in dispute
- Report the amount in dispute as unpaid to credit reporting agencies
- Close your account solely because you filed a billing error notice that was in good faith
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What Is A Credit Card Processing Service
While consumers are using more and different ways to pay for goods and services, especially via fast-growing mobile payments, stodgy old credit cards remain the most popular payment method in use today across any channel, whether in physical retail operations or in e-commerce settings. But taking a payment from a customer this way requires any business to route the transaction through a credit card processing service, typically a merchant bank. As competition in this sector has grown, these services have become much more complex and fraught with hidden fees and limitations. Small business owners in particular are often the targets of such practices, and the fact that some predatory salespeople take advantage of new business owners’ lack of knowledge makes things even harder.
Luckily for merchants, fair-minded processors are emerging that offer transparency, fair fees, and good customer service. This is true especially for online “e-tailers,” but also for small brick-and-mortar operations. There are Point-of-Sale systems, such as Square Point of Sale, and subscription services such as Helcim, and even retailers such as Sam’s Club that are getting involved.
Benefits Of Cores Online Payment Solutions
Collecting at the time of payment is often a challenge for many organizations. With CORE, simplify the payment experience for both staff and your consumers with electronic payment solutions with in-app scripting. Manage and facilitate consumer engagement with tailored, prompted messaging delivered on-screen at the device and application level for staff to communicate the total amount owed, boosting collections and providing a frictionless payment encounter. At CORE we meet enterprises where they are and take them where they want to be. Heres what we can deliver with our end-to-end payment solutions:
- 24/7 solution for processing and self-service payments
- Provides a central repository, reporting, research, configuration
- Secure and hosted gateway solutions with multiple processors and bank connection points
- Fully-integrated end-to-end revenue cycle management, from patient engagement through reconciliation
- View, research, report and audit all revenue collected by users and departments in a single repository
- 400+ Integrations to different systems
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Consider Ramifications Of Personal Guaranties
Some credit card processing sellers request that business owners sign a personal guaranty, which provides that if the business owes more to the credit card processor than can be paid by the business or the business closes, the owner will be personally liable to cover the debt. Some credit card processors do not require personal guaranties, so consider whether you want to sign one when signing up for credit card processing.
Va Gov’t Employee Names Now Left Off Credit Card Expenses
RICHMOND, Va. Virginia state agencies are being told to no longer identify for the public which employees are incurring expenses on government credit cards, officials said.
The recommendation, coming from the state Department of Accounts at the request of a bank, appears to contradict the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
State Comptroller David Von Moll said the Department of Accounts started giving that advice to all state agencies in early 2020. He said that was in response to Bank of America, the states credit card vendor, when it recommended in 2019 to the department that agencies not give out the name of a state credit card holder to anyone.
The first step to essentially committing identity fraud is to know the name of the card holder, Von Moll said in an interview. We have taken the position as a matter of internal control the names of the card holders should be withheld.
Megan Rhyne, executive director of the nonprofit Virginia Coalition for Open Government, said the departments advice is wrong. The state’s Freedom of Information Act says the public cannot be denied access to records of any government employees allowances or reimbursements for expenses.
Rhyne said shes unaware of a time that someone committed identity theft simply by having the name of a state employee who uses a credit card. Seeing how particular workers spend money is important, she said.
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Secure Data And Payments
Government agencies are a prime target for increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals. The volume of personally identifiable information and payments data, decentralized and legacy systems, and limited budgets to support robust internal security resources make the government sector especially vulnerable.
We are committed to protecting your organization and your constituents with secure solutions that have passed significant third-party audit scrutiny and meet full PCI compliance. We are a HITRUST certified, PCI Certified Level 1 Service Provider that maintains adherence to the most rigorous requirements. Learn more.
Your Right To Be Notified About Changes Related To Fees And Rates
Merchants must receive a minimum of 90 days notice of any new fees or fee increases related to credit or debit card transactions, or of a reduction in applicable interchange rates.
The 90-day period will begin when the merchant has been provided with sufficient information about the change in fees to allow the merchant to reasonably assess the cost implications of the change.
If a fee change is made in accordance with a predetermined fee schedule included in the merchants contract with an acquirer, the 90-day notification is not required.
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Startup Costs Fees And Equipment
In the payments industry, there is a sort of pyramid of providers. At the top are the credit card companies, which charge flat interchange fees to big processors such as First Data, Flagship, Global Payments, and Vantiv. These entities clear the credit card payments and, while some take individual customers, each works with intermediary services, including Independent Sales Organizations , which must register with a bank. Most of the services featured in this roundup are ISOs, including Cayan, National Bankcard, Sam’s Club Merchant Services, and others.
Square Point of Sale and Intuit Quickbooks Payments are merchant services aggregators. Rather than providing you with a merchant account, these merchant services set you up with a sub-account under its master merchant account.
At the bottom of the pyramid are the business owners, who have to contend with two or three sets of fees: interchange fees from the credit card company and transaction fees from the processor and intermediary. There are a few different pricing structures available, and which one you choose depends on the number of transactions you clear each month, the sum of the credit card payments you receive, and the average amount of each transaction. A merchant who sells 10 pianos per month for $20K a pop has different needs than a coffee shop that accepts hundreds of swipes worth $10 each.
What Equipment Do I Need To Accept Credit Cards
From a small Square phone device to a freestanding POS register, your processing equipment depends on your merchant service provider requirements, what systems you already have, and how you want to accept payments. As more stores add mobile options, you may have kiosks or mobile payment devices available in your store, along with a card terminal at your checkout counter.
Although you dont need special devices for e-commerce payments, many credit card processors may charge different online purchase rates or require you to purchase a separate plan for online services.
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What Costs Should You Expect For Credit Card Processing
There are usually three sets of costs involved when choosing a credit card processor. These include:
- Rates. These are the processing fees that you pay for each transaction. Rates are typically a percentage of the total sale amount. In addition to the rate, card processors charge you a few cents on top of the per-transaction rate.
- Fees. Processors charge account service fees. Most processors charge these fees monthly, which are reflected on your statement others, though, may be levied quarterly or annually.
- Equipment costs. This is usually a one-time expense for the hardware needed to accept credit cards. We recommend buying processing equipment upfront whenever possible. Many processors offer leasing , but it’s typically associated in this industry with exorbitant costs.
The Best Credit Card Processing Companies Of 2022
With transparent pricing and volume-based discounts, Helcim helps you scale your business.
CRM and inventory management tools included
Many options to get support
Online approval makes it easy to sign up
Only one plan to choose from
Only one type of hardware
Helcim has been in business since 2006, expanding from a payment processor to a financial technology company offering various business solutions. With no monthly fees and a fee schedule that rewards you for higher volumes, Helcim is a great choice with plenty of options for small business owners, which is why its our best overall winner.
The company is a Level 1 PCI-DSS compliant service provider that uses top-notch security practices typical with financial technology companies.
Business owners use Helcim to accept payments like:
- Pin debit cards
It takes about five minutes to sign up for a Helcim account, and you dont need any hardware to get started. Simply download the payments app to start accepting payments. For in-store transactions, order the Helcim Card Reader for $109, which connects with smartphones, desktops, or tablets.
While Helcim integrates with QuickBooks and WooCommerce, the real benefits come from its extra services. You can turn any device into a workhorse using cloud programs from Helcim, including:
- Point of sale system
- Customer management
- Inventory management
- Payments app
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Why Is Support For Offline Transactions Beneficial To Merchants
The Internet is usually reliable, but outages do occur. If you are a merchant that relies on the internet to process payments, you’re out of luck if your provider doesnt support offline transactions. Thankfully, most do.
With this type of transaction, the customer checks out like normal, with the card data encrypted and stored on the terminal until an internet connection is established. Once the merchant is back online, the information is sent to the merchants bank account and card network. That means your business won’t lose sales during an internet outage. If you want to accept card payments outside your establishment, this feature also proves handy.
Payment Processing Designed For Your Business
NAB partners with merchants of all types and sizes to help them grow their businesses.We offer quick approvals, simple setup, and Next Day Funding with cut times as late as 12 a.m. ET. Plus, low rates with no hidden fees. Forget our competitors and their cookie-cutter solutions. Call for your free consultation so we can tailor a customized merchant services program built around your specific business.
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