There will always be fees associated with merchant accounts. The merchant account company provides you with a service and therefore you pay for it. However, there are merchant account fees that you can avoid. We will discuss what those fees may be and how you can possibly avoid them.
There are companies such as Charge.com that offer no set up fees, fast approvals and no excessive fees. If you can possibly use a company that offers these kinds of promises then it would be best. Be sure to watch out for the following:
Card Swipe Terminal Fee – Most merchants find that they need to have the ability to swipe credit and/or debit cards. This requires the card swiping terminal. Naturally you have to acquire one of these. The merchant account company would like you to lease the equipment or make monthly payments. Merchants may want to look into buying the equipment outright. This may end up costing a lump sum up front but in the end may save you quite a substantial amount of money.
Gateway Fees – Merchant accounts charge a fee for you to access the network to determine whether the customer really has credit enough for the item during each purpose. This can be charged on a per purchase charge or a flat rate monthly fee. If you ask the company you go through if you can avoid these fees by processing the payment without doing it in “real time” they may have solutions for you. Most people do not even know to ask about this feature. You do need to be careful as this means you will not really know if the purchase is approved or not until after the fact and you could lose some merchandise because of it.
Batch Fees – Each day you will submit the purchases made through your terminal or software. When you submit these, the day’s business is considered a “batch”. Most merchant account companies will charge fees for submitting the daily batch. It is always good to know to ask about these fees. It also can’t hurt to ask if they can wave these fees. Be sure to get it in writing if they do claim that they can wave them.
There are other fees such as annual fees, programming fees, reserve fund, and more that you need to watch for. Be sure to ask the person you deal with what they offer and what they don’t. It is a good rule of thumb to remember that it never hurts to ask what they can do for you. If you would like them to take fees off just ask. If you find two companies that have similar services for the same money you may ask what they can do to convince you that one is the right company for you by having them wave certain fees. Always remember to get things in writing. Companies like Charge.com are competitive and will try when they can to work with a customer.