Simpler Smarter Savings

When purchasing credit card terminals and signing up for payment gateway services for the first time, new merchants would do well to think of the service provider as the bridge connecting them to their customers. In order for customers to use a credit card for purchases, the retailer must be willing to pay gateway fees to a payment processing company. If there are limited options to pay for their purchases, customers are not likely to return to the business, so accepting credit and debit card payments is vital to its ultimate success.

Before a new business owner buys credit card terminals and signs on with a processing company, he or she needs to devote time to research the best deals on the various processing fees. There are three main categories of fees that are paid by all types of companies utilizing credit card terminals to collect payments from customers.

The first is the set-up fee or the one-time fee which covers the cost of setting up a new gateway payment account. The payment processing company has the option of dividing this amount into an application fee and a gateway setup fee or charging it as one total fee. Next, the business owner needs to consider the recurring monthly fees, including the gateway fee and the statement fee.

The third category of payment processing fees is transaction fees. The per-transaction fee refers to a set amount charged for every sale, while the discount rate is a percentage of each sale charged on top of it. For example, if the per-transaction fee is 30 cents and the discount rate is two percent, the merchant would pay a 50-cent fee to collect a $10 credit card payment from a customer.

When the business owner is evaluating different payment processing companies, he or she needs to do side by side comparisons and choose the one with the lowest overall cost. Some other factors that may play into this decision include how long of a contract is required and if there is a penalty for early cancellation if the merchant is not satisfied. Additionally, the business owner should ask each potential payment processor about fraud protection policies and the available technical support.

One final step for business owners to take to insure the lowest possible gateway fees is to choose the right business category when initially setting up the account. Payment gateway accounts are designed to work with different types of business models, such as Internet sales or mail order catalog companies. There are also several options for credit card terminal types within each business model, and the credit card processing company should provide enough information about each to make a decision.