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8 Signs You’re Not Getting the Lowest Credit Card Processing Fees

There are currently more than 30 million small businesses operating in the United States. Those businesses operate in hundreds of different industries.

No matter what their industry is, they all have one thing in common: they need to be able to process card payments.

For most business owners, offering credit and debit card transactions is a no-brainer. Finding a company that offers the lowest credit card processing fees can be tough though.

Don’t panic. Here are a few signs you’re paying too much in fees and if it’s time to start thinking about finding a new provider.

 

1. The Processor Locked You into a Long-Term Contract

Speaking of contracts…most processors out to charge you an arm and a leg often lock you into a long-term contract, but can start you out with low rates to get your business. The contract lets them secure your business even if you find a company that’s cheaper as your current provider increases their rates.

These contracts can last as long as three to five years, and if you make any changes during that period, you might end up paying additional fees. Worse, they can add extra fees if you try to cancel before the end of your contract.

Some claim to have no contract cancellation fees, but lock you in with a “free terminal agreement”. With the agreement, they can charge you estimated earnings for the rest of the agreement term, again usually 3 years.

The best way to protect yourself is to research the providers before you sign on the dotted line. Compare the costs, the fees, and the contract terms and make the decision that best fits your business and your budget. Get it in writing that there is no cancellation fee of any kind.

 

2. You’re Using Your Local Bank

A lot of small businesses rely on their local bank to process credit card transactions.  Many business owners make the mistake of thinking the big banks must offer the lowest fees based on their size; this is never the case.  Most banks use 3rd party providers that mark up the cost for the bank. Also big banks have big overhead.  They pay this overhead by charging higher fees…to you.  When you’re first starting out, it’s convenient. With more than 183 million Americans having at least one credit card, you need a way to process those payments fast.

But it’s also costly.

By working with a dedicated processing company, you’re eliminating the extra fees, and will most likely find superior customer service from a dedicated support team in the same office, versus calling your bank’s toll free number.

 

3. There Are Tons of Extra Fees Attached to the Bill

Every processing company is different and charges different fees for their services. However, some take things to a new level.

Understand each fee that you’re paying. A good, honest processor will be able to explain each fee on your statement, and can back it up with written detail from Visa and MasterCard online.  You just have to know where to look.  (hint hint…we can show you where to find this!)  It’s normal for a processor to charge Interchange fees and to add a mark-up for their services, but they should be able to break down any fee in question.

The best processing companies charge minimal fees and explain their prices clearly. If your processor can’t justify their own fees in a way that makes sense, it’s time to find a new provider. With Veritrans, you have your monthly account fee, usually $12.00 or less, a flat rate over Interchange, transaction fees for the cards you ran, and your PCI Compliancy if you opt to use Veritrans for your PCI Compliancy. That’s all the recurring monthly fees you have with WPP.

 

4. You have outdated credit card processing equipment

If you’re like most business owners, you try to save on the cost of equipment.  That cost adds up over the course of the year.

If your equipment is outdated, you’re definitely paying too much for your processing fees.  Businesses with outdated credit card equipment will have outdated pricing programs!  Much has changed in the credit card processing industry over the past several years.  If you still have credit card machines that don’t accept chip cards…this is probably you.

Take a look at your equipment and reevaluate your needs. If you have too many machines or machines that need replacing, you’re probably paying too much to the processing company.

 

5. You Haven’t Reviewed Merchant Account Statements in Years

Processing companies often raise their rates once or twice a year.  But that doesn’t mean you have to continue working with them.

Take a look at your statements and check for any fee increases that have happened over the course of the year.  A good method to determine this is to track your effective rate.  To do this, divide the total monthly fees by the total monthly sales volume.  Compare this over time and you will probably find an upward trend.

All they need to do is give you 30 days’ notice and that notice is usually printed on your statements. If you don’t know the fees are increasing, you can’t compare providers and know when it’s best to switch.

It’s a great time to mention, Veritrans will never increase your rates, for the life of the account. No other provider we know of will offer that guarantee.

 

6. You Chose a “Free” or “Flat Rate” Processing Provider

There are tons of seemingly low-cost providers out there ready to help your business accept credit cards. However, those low costs are usually misleading.

Let’s start with “flat rate for each transaction.”  They often include the equipment at no charge, but you really are paying for that equipment over time.  All processors (banks included) pay the same Interchange rates and fees for their cost.  Some cards cost less than others.  So a flat rate per transaction is going to have you paying for the highest possible cards, and missing out on the discounts for the cheaper cards.  You are leaving money on the table!

It might have been fine when you first opened your doors. But when you’re growing, you need a processing platform that can grow with you.  This brings us to the “free” processing.  This is a complex situation to explain, but here’s what you need to know.  Nothing is free.  Either the business pays for the processing, or the customer through surcharging. Everyone pays the same Interchange.  Everyone pays the same card brand fees.  Everyone must make a profit.  If the numbers are moved around, it does not mean it’s free.

 

7. Your Payment Processor Considers Your Business “High-Risk”

When setting processing fees, companies consider the overall risk level of each business they accept. They base this risk level on the business’s stability, perceived risk of refunds and chargebacks, and the type of industry you operate in.

If a processor determines your business is a “high-risk” operation, your fees will be higher than you might expect.

But your risk isn’t the same with all processors. What one provider deems high-risk, another considers medium-risk.

It might be worth looking for a new provider. Making the switch to a different processor could save you hundreds in fees each year.

Ask others in your industry for recommendations. This way, you’ll find a processor that is familiar with your industry and understands how your company operates.

 

8. Other Business Owners Seem Surprised

The best way to know if you’re paying too much is to ask other business owners in your area and your industry, or a trusted business professional. Tell them what you’re paying and if they seem shocked, you’re definitely paying too much.

If this is the case, don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations or advice.  Keep in mind that if you cancel your contract with your current processor, you could end up paying a hefty cancellation fee that might negate any potential savings.  Do not be discouraged, however.  We often find that the savings you will see will earn back your cancellation fee within a very short period of time…even just a few weeks in some cases.

 

Looking for the Lowest Credit Card Processing Fees?

Finding the lowest credit card processing fees can be tough when you’re first starting out. But you don’t have to hunt for long.

Contact Veritrans team here,or just give us a call at 866-474-4144 Opt. #2 to see how we can save you hundreds if not thousands each year.

 

 

PC Hacker

Why is PCI DSS Compliance Important?

In today’s business world, customer data is an asset that’s treated with utmost importance. Through PCI Compliance, protecting consumer data and ensuring transparency on how customer information is collected, used, and stored helps build consumer trust and cements business reputation.

Some of the world’s renowned businesses and eCommerce giants have sophisticated data protection and management policies that prioritize high-end transparency and security. Several consumer touch-points such as customer sign-ups, subscriptions, and transaction history contain information that makes data security a priority.

 

One of the popular data security compliance entities in the eCommerce market is the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) that seeks to protect cardholder data. This independent body ensures that credit card transactions are safe from data breaches or any form of manipulation. We’ve rounded up some details about PCI compliance below.

What PCI DSS Compliance is and Why You Should Care

PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) are industry regulations governed by the PCI SSC. PCI compliance standards require merchants and online retail businesses to handle credit card information securely to avoid data theft and fraud.

There are 12 primary requirements by PCI DSS, 78 base requirements, and a total of 400 test procedures designed to keep consumer data safe from unauthorized third parties. Businesses that follow and meet all the above requirements are considered PCI compliant. 

And while the law doesn’t mandate PCI compliance, it’s considered mandatory via court precedent. In other words, the court has established some binding rules based on previous and related case rulings.

To fully understand what being compliant entails, let’s look at the requirements or security best practices mandated by credit card companies.

PCI Security Best Practices 

The 12 security requirements that are the defining structure of PCI compliance are grouped into six primary areas. These requirements seek to achieve each of the following:

  • Build and run a secure data infrastructure and systems – this involves using firewalls and anti-malware software and applications.
  • Protect cardholder data – mandates the use of passwords and even restricts physical access to cardholder data. Data encryption is the other feature that’s mandatory for online merchants.
  • Monitor and test the network regularly – software updates and patching are necessary to avoid security loopholes within the network infrastructure and online payment gateways.
  • Maintain a system vulnerability management program – this includes regular vulnerability assessments and even penetration tests.
  • Ensure robust access and control measures – besides strong passwords, merchants need to implement the principle of least privilege to avoid potential user access and permission abuse.
  • Maintain a robust information security policy – this includes running regular cybersecurity awareness and training employees on the best security practices.

As the world of cybersecurity continues to evolve, the PCI DSS compliance requirements are also getting sophisticated. PCI SSC released the most recent version of its compliance framework in May 2018. This guide requires businesses to assess their network infrastructure and business processes for any risks before working on their credit card handling procedures.

Benefits of PCI Compliance 

Becoming PCI compliant comes with several benefits, from reducing data breaches to avoiding hefty fines and expensive lawsuits. A typical online business that keeps all the PCI regulations is less likely to suffer from identity theft or loss of cardholder data. This further enhances the brand reputation and will help your business see an increase in customer retention rates and a spike in revenue and overall business growth.

By ensuring compliance, you also reduce the chances of attracting substantial fines for negligence and agreement violations. This puts your business in a bar with other international retailers who are committed to protecting consumers. That also means your business meets globally accepted standards, and you can do business across borders without having to worry about domestic security regulations.

Similarly, PCI DSS compliance is broad and acts as the baseline for other regulations. One of the main advantages of PCI compliance is the limit it puts on the amount of sensitive information stored. Other laws, such as EU GDPR, require businesses to store the least data possible. Hence PCI compliance acts as a common denominator that cuts across both the simple and sophisticated security and data laws globally.

Get Started Today 

Achieving PCI compliance gives you and your business some peace of mind. Implementing all the standard data security measures may feel overwhelming. However, you just need to move one step at a time, understanding and implementing each requirement every step of the way.

To fast-track your way to success with PCI compliance, you need to develop a strategy that will see your entire business working towards one goal. – i.e., achieving and maintaining compliance.

You’ll also need to work with a comprehensive PCI compliance checklist and choose the right PCI compliance management software to do all the compliance heavy lifting. That said, automating PCI compliance will see your business remain compliant year after year. This also means you won’t have to worry about the latest updates or whether your firewall will withstand the latest security threats.

 

For most businesses, compliancy is an easy process to complete. It’s a questionnaire, and a scan of your IP Address if you’re credit card terminal is connected by internet. There is always someone to help walk you through your PCI compliance questionnaire and scan if needed, regardless of who you use for your PCI Compliance. Complacency can be expensive. More on compliance can be found here as well.

This article is by Reciprocity and there is a wealth of information on PCI compliance as well as solutions on their site.

 

Veritrans can help you with your PCI compliance, give us a call; 866-474-4144, Opt #2