The ability to accept credit or debit cards is so important for many small businesses. However, with so much energy needed to run a small business, the importance of taking the time to find the right Merchant Account Provider for your small business can sometimes be overlooked.
If you are a small business looking for Merchant Account Services, we recommend you start by interviewing your prospective Merchant Account Provider. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as most honest Merchant Account Providers are happy to work with you in answering your questions. Make sure that your Merchant Account Provider understands the needs of your small business.
How Much Will a Merchant Account Cost?
Merchant Account Providers and their pricing structures can differ quite a bit from Merchant Account Provider to Merchant Account Provider. It is extremely important that you have your representative walk you through every possible fee that may accrue when having a merchant account.
Here are a few of the credit and debit card processing fees and terms to be aware of when shopping for a merchant account:
Discount Rate: The Discount Rate is a term used for the percentage rate you are paying to process a specific credit card transaction. This fee can vary depending on a number of factors. These factors can include the kind of pricing you have, how you are accepting the credit card (swiped or keyed) and what card type it is (i.e Mastercard, Visa, AMEX, Discover Card and JCB). Another factor may include whether or not you used the Address Verification System (AVS) and whether or not you submit your daily credit card transaction batch for processing within 24 hours of the transaction. To learn more about how your Merchant Account Discount Rate can change, please read about possible downgrade fees.
Transaction Fees: Transaction fees are costs associated with the actual acceptance of the credit card transaction. This is typically a separate fee from your percentage rate. Occasionally, this fee can be combined with your percentage rate. SecureGlobalPay can bundle the pricing when your average sale or transaction size is very small and you are doing large amounts of transactions per day and month. Please contact a representative today to see if that will work for you.
Transaction fees can sometimes be called Authorization Fees, Batch Header Fees, Batch Closure Fees, or Address Verification Fees (AVS). Additionally, if you are using a Payment Gateway for your online sales you will most likely see an additional transaction fee to run sales through the Payment Gateway. In some cases, Merchant Service Providers & Processors will build this additional transaction fee into your standard transactions fees so you can view all of your costs on one statement.
Interchange Fees: Interchange fees can be a little bit complicated. To try and keep it simple, an Interchange Fee or Interchange Cost is the actual cost associated with a specific type of credit card. There are hundreds of card types and each specific card type or card type category has a particular Interchange Fee of Cost associated with it. These fees are public knowledge and can be adjusted twice a year. These costs are charged to every single bank and Merchant Processor across the board. Even though they are the same for every bank and processor, the mark-ups can be dramatically different from one provider to the next.
Monthly Statement Fees: Most Merchant Account Providers will charge a small monthly fee to manage or board the Merchant Account. This fee can range from $10 – $20 a month.
Application and Setup Fees: When setting up a small business Merchant Account you may be charged a processing fee to set up the account. There may also be a fee charged to set up the equipment or payment gateway to process the credit card. SecureGlobalPay does NOT charge any application or set up fees.
Monthly Minimum Fee: Each small business Merchant Account has a minimum amount in fees that must be collected each month. If you don’t meet or exceed this minimum amount, the processing company will charge you a small fee to meet the minimum billing requirements. If your monthly minimum fee is $20 and your transaction fees is only total $15, you will pay an extra $5 to make up the difference.
Early Termination Fee: Some processors may charge your small business an early termination fee if you decide to cancel your contract. The fee can be quite costly and is different for each Merchant Account Provider. SecureGlobalPay does not make you sign a contract that locks you into our services for a number of years. We are confident that you will be pleased with our services and feel no need to charge for cancellation fees.
What Kind of Customer Support Does Your Merchant Account Service Provide?
It is important to know if your Merchant Account Provider will be available when you need them. Your small business can quickly lose money when credit or debit cards aren’t being effectively processed. SecureGlobalPay has a staff of certified professionals who are available to support your small business needs 365 days/year. You will always be able to reach us via the phone. We are happy to walk you through terminal problems, questions you may have about your Interchange Rates or questions about your billing statements. We are also happy to help you find unique solutions that will work with your growing business needs.
Does Your Merchant Account Service Provide Retail Processing as well as Online Processing?
Processing credit cards in a retail environment is not quite as risky as processing online. You may be surprised to learn that your business might need to sign up for both services. Be prepared to see different percentage rates and transaction fees charged for each type of service performed.
Are You Compatible With Our Online Shopping Cart?
Sometimes a Merchant Account Provider will use a proprietary payment gateway that does not work with a particular online shopping cart. SecureGlobalPay offers Merchant Services that are compatible with Authorize.net as well as the majority of the payment gateways in the industry. To see a list of compatible shopping carts that work with our branded, in house Payment Gateway please click here. Additionally you can log in and demo the SecureGlobalPay Payment Gateway by scrolling to bottom and logging into our demo.
What Kind of Fraud Protection Services Are Available?
Fraudulent charges can be an expensive problem for a small business. Make sure you find out what kind of fraud protection services are available so that you don’t get stuck paying massive chargeback fees.
At SecureGlobalPay we provide an entire Fraud Detection package that works to quickly identify, manage and prevent suspicious or fraudulent transactions. Our suite includes:
Address Verification Service (AVS)
Card Code Verification (CVV2)
Support for Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode™
What Kind of Credit Cards Can I Process?
There are a surprising number of processing options that you will need to provide for your small business customers. If a Merchant Account Provider doesn’t allow you to process for some of the major credit cards, you might want to consider looking for better options.
SecureGlobalPay can process all major credit/debit payment options that your retail business will need. Our rates are highly competitive, settlement is fast and reporting is comprehensive.
Visa®, MasterCard®, American Express®, Discover®, Diner’s Club, JCB
Signature Debit Cards
Authorize.Net eCheck.Net® (bank account)
We also accept international transactions from customers worldwide
What Kind of Processing Equipment is Available?
A Merchant Account Provider should have a variety of equipment available in order to meet your specific small business needs. SecureGlobalPay can support all major stand-alone terminals. If you are a multi-location retail store, our platform options include stand-alone or network terminals as well as PCs or integrated systems for multi-terminal configurations requiring central reconciliation. Our software options include some of the older, more well known brands like ICVerify, PC Charge, POSiTouch as well as many new front ends options that can meet today’s fast paced mobile environments. SecureGlobalPay also supports a wide variety of connectivity methods including VSAT, frame relay, Internet transport and various wireless technologies. Our enhanced terminal features can accommodate any business model.
Comprehensive Reporting Tools
Having tools that allow you to see exactly how your small business Merchant Account is doing daily is important in order to manage your account, keep an eye out for fraudulent charges, or making sure that you are getting the best Interchange Rate possible for each transaction. SecureGlobalPay will provide you with detailed corporate report. Options can include daily, weekly or monthly formats through a secure Web access. You can also download data directly into your own accounting systems.
Cloud-Based POS Processing Solutions
Cloud Base POS Processing enables you to use software for Windows®-based PCs and laptops to interact with a cloud-based gateway. SecureGlobalPay provides this service to enable merchants to securely process credit, PIN debit, signature capture, check, gift card and loyalty transactions.
There are many options available for small businesses who are looking for a Merchant Account Provider. If you have any questions, please contact us today!