Did you know that non-cash payments represent 66 percent of all payments for goods and services?

As non-cash purchases—including credit and debit cards—become more prevalent in today’s world, smart businesses are scrutinizing their payment-processing statements to see exactly what they are being charged.

If your business or organization accepts credit and debit cards, here’s what to look for when choosing a payment processor.

  1. Get the best price. Always look for a processor that charges cost-plus pricing, and is open and upfront with their fee. These processors should be able to show you what percentage they will be making over your fixed interchange, as well as what you will be charged as an authorization fee (per transaction).
  2. Ask about fees. Some processors charge ancillary fees, including Monthly Service Fees, Annual Service Fees, PCI Non-Compliance Fees, Gateway Fees, IRS Fees, and Batch Settlement Fees, to name a few. A processor’s quoted rates may seem low, but you may just be paying a higher percentage when you look at the ancillary fee you could be charged.
  3. Avoid long contracts. We caution merchants to look at the big picture when dealing with a new processor, and especially ones that try to have you sign a long-term contract.
  4. Research their customer service method. Use a processor that has local (U.S.-based), live, 24/7 customer service. There is nothing worse than something happening after hours or in the middle of a transaction, only to be run through a phone tree, or be redirected to an overseas call center.

The bottom line is this: Not all payment processors are alike. In fact, some are getting away with unreasonable fees and unfair practices. Do your research and select the best one for you.

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