Credits cards are much more than just rates and transaction fees. It`s all about the hidden fees. Most merchants have no idea why they pay what they pay, they only look at the percentage rates on their statements, and think they have a good deal. Most times, they don`t.
Nowdays, almost evey ISO has an "Interchange Plus" program that appears on the surface to be identical to all other ISO programs. They are not. Interchange is the base cost that processors must pay. Interchange Plus or Cost Plus means actual interchange plus a small profit - and it changes when interchange raises (as it does every April and October).
While processing percentages look good for these programs, the difference lies in transaction fees and hidden fees, like statement fees, monthly fees, yearly fees, account limit fees, minimum fees, etc. Some companies will tell you they will process at actual interchange or cost, yet when all is said and done, you`ve paid more than 5% in hidden costs !
A good ISO will provide you with Interchange Plus processing, a relatively low transaction fee, and will fully explain all other fees. A good ISO will also provide good customer service support, in addition to good tech support - to help you discover why your equipment is kicking swiped transactions into a higher rate processing category, like EIRF.
A good ISO will earn the profit you pay them, and service your needs to retain your business for the long haul. A poor ISO will undercut your existing rate just enough to get you to switch, then charge more in hidden charges.
The credit card mess is why many merchants are looking at payment alternatives like ARC, E-Payment Express, etc., to process payments electronically for less. If you can move even 15% of your customers away from credit cards and process at a cost of less than one-quarter of a percent, that`s a savings of several percentage points going directly to the bottom line.
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These days you have alot of options out there, Pay Pal being one of the most popular one just because it`s [so they say it`s free] but in reality they are charging you a whopping 2.9% +.30 per transaction. So for example if you make a 600.00 transaction, it would cost you $17.70 aprox. so instead of making a 600, you would make 582 in profit. The down fall is if you were to make a money transfer to your banking account it takes up to 7 days, they say 3-5 but I had to wait 8 almost 9 days for 100.00 bucks. The good thing is you can apply for a debit card, go to your nearest bank and make a cash widthdrawl or purchase items with your Debit Card.
Now with a regular payment processor such as Linkpoint and Authorize.net, they both have the same features, only authorize.net is harder to integrate into a web site especially if you are using the AIM or SIM payment gateway. Plus you have to have good knowledge of PHP, ASP, or coldfusion to get your payment gateway started. Linkpoint is easier to integrate but again you must have knowledge the languages I mentioned above or if you have a shopping cart with payment modules you just enter your store number and a simple 16 character transaction key and you are done.
The thing that may hurt you is the processing fee`s they charge. Linkpoint has a 19.99 a month fee plus if you are doing business via the internet/ mail orders they charge you 2.30 % + .25 cents transaction fees. click here to see their prices. http://www.charge.com/?emonr829 this is for linkpoint if you are looking for Authorize.net click here https://www.e-onlinedata.com/nuevolution
they are very similar but it`s in the transactions per month where they get you. Honestly I can go all day telling you about payment gateways. There is much to learn and so little time to explain. if you would like to know more call me and I can walk you through the process.
If you decide to have someone integrate either Authorize.net or Linkpoint into your web site I can do that for you too
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What about people that do business on the internet that are worried about security? Paypal is one of the most secure payment options you can have. This is why it was refusing payment because some piece of information within the card triggered a red flag. I would much rather be safe, lose out on an american express card, than be taken hostage by a cyber criminal. That is just my opinion since I deal with many business people around the world over the internet.
There is my two cents :)
Like many of the insights and suggestions mentioned above, I'd also like to say that when choosing a credit card processing company the main thing you should look out for besides any hidden fees, costs are the overall reputation of the company amongst businesses similar to yours. Try to seek out client reviews on the company and get a second or third person opinion before moving forward. You want to partner with a company that excels in the type of business your in. Whether that be small business, online, established corporation etc. When I initially started my small business I was referred to an excellent merchant account provider and I've been with them ever since. But regardless of which credit card processing company you decide to go with take a second opinion and do your research. Hope this helps!
Like many of the insights and suggestions mentioned above, I'd also like to say that when choosing a credit card processing company the main thing you should look out for besides any hidden fees, costs are the overall reputation of the company amongst businesses similar to yours. Try to seek out client reviews on the company and get a second or third person opinion before moving forward. You want to partner with a company that excels in the type of business your in. Whether that be small business, online, established corporation etc. When I initially started my small business I was referred to an excellentmerchant account provider and I've been with them ever since. But regardless of which credit card processing company you decide to go with take a second opinion and do your research. Hope this helps!
You didn`t state whether you were referring to on-line processing via a website or not. There are services that offer hand-held wireless devises for trades people (or any mobile type service provider) where you can process a credit card payment from litterally anywhere. I use a service that allows me to process CC paymnets via my website (for orders placed in that fashion) but where I can also process a payment on-line via a virtual terminal (which I use for both my consulting and security guard services).
There are a lot of options out there, so you want to first determine how often and under what circumstances you will be processing credit card transactions.
I know when I first set up, I was offered a discount by going with a company that was affiliated with my business banking account. I`ve shopped since, and still can`t beat the rate through this affiliation - so that may be an option for you to check out too.
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I worked in the credit card processing industry for a short time, it can be complex. Transaction fee`s vary, monthly minimums may apply, statement fee`s are typical as a monthly fee, Gateway fee`s are typical for internet businesses. In any case the cost can be anywhere from 2-5% of your monthly business. I chose Costco ( Nova) because as a Costco member you get various discounts, depending on Membership, there are many credit card processor out there and you also could choose a Gateway company for your internet business ( since you are not transacting on a credit card machine ( like a storefront).. those cost also. Authorize.net and Plug n Pay are two good ones for Internet Gateways, but they can cost $20.00 or more per month as well. As with everything, buyer beware... read the fine print, hidden charges can add up, and typically the statements can be difficult to read and understand. Its a necessity, but keep in mind, they are in the business to make a profit also. Many fee`s are negotiable, get multiple quotes and leverage for the best deal.
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I would reccomend Paypal, their monthly limit is about $10k that you can charge.
Also open up an IPN via Intuit or Quickbooks, they have a limit of about $5k.
Then also consider wiretransfers, checks, cash and trade, something like www.itex.com
all the best to you!
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If you need to run a credit card when you are on the move and not at a set location I would highly recommend talking to Nextel. They offer a cell phone with an adapter that plugs into your phone and then you can process the credit cards immediately on the spot. We currently have wireless credit card machine for our business, but the problem is getting signal! The cell phone with the adapter gets much better signal and is very small and portable.
---Vincent Wilcox (a.k.a. KRAKR)
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