There are thousand of companies to choose from when selecting a merchant account to handle your credit card transactions. Rates between these companies can vary greatly from the percentages of each transaction to the associated fees for batching, statements, billing, and more. There are several factors to consider when shopping around for the best credit card processing rates.
Many merchant accounts are unable to give a specific quote without first putting you through an application process. The main reason for this is because fees often vary based on the associated risks of your company. For example, if you operate a fast food restaurant which does high volume sales at low ticket prices, you are not as great of a risk to a credit processing company as a jeweler who may only make a few transactions of high dollar amounts. Therefore, the discount rate, or the percentage of each sale that is paid to the credit card company can greatly vary. They start at around 1.29% and can go up to as much as 5%, depending on the type of business, volume of sales, average ticket price, and merchant account service provider.
In addition to a discount fee rate that is charged for each processed sale, credit card processing will usually involve a transaction rate, or a set amount that is charged each time a card is processed. These also vary greatly, but usually run somewhere between $0.15 to $0.45 cents per transaction.
Although, the discount rate fees and transaction fees are usually the main considerations when shopping for the best credit card processing rates, there are a number of other things to consider. Credit card processing rates may include high fees for applications, equipment, set up, early termination, batch reports, monthly statements, paper billing, chargebacks, cards that are manually entered, and more. Also, some credit card processing companies even charge for customer service calls and technical support. It is important to read the fine print before signing any agreements and really do your research to get the best credit card processing rates for your business.