price points evaluating processing costs

If your business processes a high volume of card payments on a regular basis, chances are you’re familiar with your payment processing rates. Finding the best processor with the best rates for your business is vital to your bottom line, but it can be tempting to take a bit of a narrow view here and focus on just a single processor cost rather than the full picture.

At Merchant Card Advisors, our merchant processing solutions include full transparency on all fees, processing charges and other costs you may incur during any of our credit card processing programs. There are several potential price points you should consider when looking at processing fees – here are some of the most important to think about.

Per-Transaction Fees

While percentage costs are generally the ones that get the most attention, businesses that run lots of small-ticket transactions on a daily basis have to think about their per-transaction fees as well. These aren’t as much of a concern for businesses that tend to sell in larger purchase amounts on each transaction, as they don’t add up as quickly, but they can become a major sum to think about when smaller items run up your number of transactions without raising your overall income received by quite as much.

PCI Annual Fee

It’s extremely common to pay what’s known as a PCI fee, a once-annual fee that pays for the service of reviewing your business to make sure you are fully PCI compliant. PCI is short for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, one that’s mandated by major card brands and administered by the PCI Security Standards Council. The goal is to ensure all businesses are handling cardholder information safely and securely.

Service or Gateway Fees

With every statement, you’ll see the same basic service or gateway fee. This is what your processor charges you for using the service and regularly processing cards through the payment gateway.

It’s important to know that service fees vary greatly between companies, often based on other factors like the size of your business or the number of transactions you’re processing monthly.

Non-Compliance Fees

The only truly avoidable fee on this list is a non-compliance fee, which can generally be easily sidestepped by paying your PCI annual fee and going through a robust, experienced reviewing service. If you are not following PCI guidelines, on the other hand, you’ll see a monthly fine on your statement that can add up over time. If you are paying your PCI annual fee but still being fined for non-compliance, contact your processor right away to sort out this problem.

Batch Fees

Also called a settlement fee, batch fees are applied every time you submit a list of transactions for processing. It’s a relatively small charge that shouldn’t change much, but is still worth noting.

For more on the various price points to consider when thinking about credit card processing, or to learn about any of our merchant services, speak to the staff at Merchant Card Advisors today.

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