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The Dirty Little Secret of Merchant Services

Businesses no longer need to be convinced on the merits of credit card acceptance. There is now a general consensus among business owners that accepting credit cards increases the dollar amount of consumer purchases as well as their frequency.

With that said, as small businesses now see credit card acceptance as a "must have", they often do not pay much attention to the tiers of pricing, terms, and termination clauses in their processing agreements.

The merchant services industry knows that their business customers most often look solely at the "qualified rate" in their agreements, or the rate they will be charged when they swipe their customers' cards at the time of purchase. Merchant beware, how often does the following happen during a sale?

1. Card numbers are keyed into a terminal because the card cannot be swiped.
2. A sale is made over the phone.
3. An authorization is made over the phone with the merchant processor because of a card swipe error message to "please call".

What rates are being charged for those authorizations?

Sales personnel in the merchant services industry are often incented on selling you one thing: credit card acceptance on a terminal. These days, there are as many solutions for accepting electronic payments as there models of cell phones.

Wouldn't a solution that integrates with online accounting software be more efficient for some businesses?

Wouldn't a solution that deposits checks into a business account just by scanning them save a business time and improve their cash flow?

Would some training for the merchant help them make sure they qualify their transactions at the best possible rates?

There is no doubt that electronic payment acceptance has added much value and growth for many business segments over the last two decades. Small and mid-size businesses deserve, as much as the largest national retailers, competitive and transparent merchant services, pricing with fair terms and supportive customer relationships.

For more information, or to receive the full article, The Dirty Little Secret of Merchant Services, call or email:

Randy Siebold
Sr. Vice President
Capital Payments, LLC
800-675-6573, option 3
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