Straight to Your Bottom Line: How to Save Money on Credit Card Processing

Written by Formstack on April 6, 2011

Posted in Form Hacks

Today we have a guest post from Stella Fayman, Marketing Ninja at FeeFighters on saving money when it comes to credit card processing.

If you accept credit cards at your business, then you are the proud owner of a merchant account. However, how sure are you that the terms on your merchant account are to your advantage? Credit card processors (aka merchant account providers) are notorious for slipping in hidden fees and confusing terms into contracts.

Here are some ways to make sure you’re not getting hoodwinked into paying higher fees:

1) Do the Dirty Work – Do as much research as you can about your specific credit card processing needs, including whether you plan to purchase a terminal or POS system. Use industry specific language when talking to salespeople, that way they will be much less likely to try and pull a fast one. Here’s a great eBook to get started.

2) Cancel the Cancellation Fee – Check out the fine print and make sure you either don’t already have a cancellation fee or you’re signing up for a contract with one in place. A little known fact is that processors have the ability to waive these without a problem. When a cancellation fee is in place, processors can likely raise rates for no reason and give terrible customer service.

3) Ask for Interchange Plus – Until recently, only huge companies could qualify for the most transparent form of pricing for credit card processors, called interchange plus. With this form of pricing, the processor adds a constant markup over interchange (the rates set by Visa/MC). In other forms of pricing, processors can vary their markup depending on what kind of transaction occurs which means business owners have very little control over how much they are charged. With a fixed markup, processors can’t arbitrarily mark up transactions such as rewards or business card transactions.

4) Comparison Shop – Interchange plus pricing makes it easy to compare processors’ offers on an apples-to-apples basis. Let processors know you are shopping around and they will be more competitive. Compare at least three to five different offers before selecting one.

5) Brick and Mortar – Never Lease/Rent Equipment- Leasing out a terminal or offering a “free” terminal is one way processors make a lot of money. Buying a terminal on Amazon can cost as little as $100 so there is no reason to lease one. Owning your own equipment will make it harder for processors to pad contracts with hidden fees, and will also give you the ability to switch processors more easily (most terminals can be reprogrammed to work with a number of processors).

For more information, check out the FeeFighters How to Be a Credit Card Processing Ninja eBook as well as our payments blog.

Using FeeFighters to compare offers on credit card processing, business owners save an average of 40% on their credit card processing in just a few minutes. Stella gets excited about helping businesses save money. If you have specific questions, feel free to email her at