As a merchant, you likely know that you have to pay certain fees in order to use your chosen payment methods. Sometimes, these fees might be confusing and you can be unsure about whether or not they are completely necessary. In many cases, you can be right—credit card companies might charge you for services that you didn’t ask for. When you are trying to stay on budget, then it can be necessary to look into extraneous costs that you might need to get rid of.
Here’s how you can know whether or not you should be paying credit card processing fees.
Read the fine print
Most likely, the fees you are being charged won’t appear on a month-to-month basis. Most the time, they will be sent in a yearly bill that can often be overlooked. You might just think that this is normal and that the fees are associated with this bill are required to be paid, but that isn’t always true. The best merchant account will walk you through the process and help you determine whether or not you need to pay additional fees for compliance reasons, but as a business, you can’t always guarantee that will be an option.
When you do get your bill, make sure to look out for certain items that may not make sense. This might be a payment processing fee, payment gateway fee, or a charge for not having an up-to-date credit card terminal. If you have met all the requirements for compliance, then you shouldn’t have to pay someone these fees or you should at least make sure that they are reduced.
Fees are not always consistent
How much you might be charged on a monthly basis might not always be the same, either. Depending whether or not you have integrated your systems, updated any technology, or conducted any returns or refunds, you might have a different bill than you did the month before. Again, this is why it is important to check every single month to see if there is a new charge. You’ll sometimes find fees from credit card companies charging you for processing a refund or payment, which can also add up over the long run and end up costing you more than you would like.
Using a credit card
You might be surprised to learn that what type of credit card you client uses can actually end up costing you if you’re not equipped to handle them. Many credit cards have made the switch over to EMV chip cards, which provide better security and make it more difficult for hackers to track. If you are still swiping cards or inserting the numbers in manually, you might be charged by the credit card company by putting their security measures at risk. While you can dispute it if the client orders online or if there is a malfunction with the chip, it’s good to keep a lookout just in case.
Merchant fees can appear suddenly and seem overwhelming—especially when you aren’t sure what you are being charged for. With a little research and knowing what to look for in your bill, you can save your business a lot of money.