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How to compare merchant service providers to ensure you are receiving the best rates

Many credit card processors offer a variety of different processing rates and fees. If you are looking to do business with a merchant services company, it’s crucial to understand that comparing quotes from one merchant service provider to the next can be difficult. Rates will vary depending on the pricing method, type of card, the manner in which the card is processed and your adherence to qualifying criteria associated with the sale.

With merchant service providers, the first thing to do is to look for a reputable company that offers interchange pass through pricing, interchange is the actual wholesale cost of the cards accepted and determines the overall cost a merchant pays for their credit card services. As a business owner you have enough to do without having to figure out how Credit Card Interchange works, just know that in order to pay the lowest fees when processing credit cards, a merchant’s goal is to pay as close to interchange as possible.

The second thing to do is to see if the company is selling you equipment or trying to provide you with a lease. You should try and avoid any lease and compare terminal costs online. You could end up overpaying for a terminal or committing to a 48 month non-cancellable lease.

After verifying their fees and equipment, the next thing to do is to look at any other fees they may not have quoted, but will appear in the merchant processing agreement. These fees include PCI Compliance, PCI Non-Compliance, Membership Fees, Setup or Activation Fees, Statement Fee and more. Be sure to carefully go through all of the other fees listed on the agreement with the account manager before signing anything.

Once you have chosen the right provider, it’s simple as completing a merchant processing agreement and having your existing terminal reprogrammed or new equipment deployed pre-programmed. Working with a company should not be a challenge at all, so just find the right one and you could have your account approved and get started in as little as one to two business days.