“Fee-free” credit card processing saves money
Savvy business owners use the new year lull to take stock; finding solutions to last year’s problems is just one aspect of forward planning. You may ask yourself: Am I in the right location? Do I have the right advertising? How can I improve customer service?
And, the mother of all questions: How do I cut costs?
Credit/debit card processing fees add significantly to a merchant’s operating costs, 3% – 5%, plus $0.20 – $0.30 per transaction. Once hailed as a convenient choice for merchant and consumer alike (no A/R billing cycle, increased cash flow, convenience), accepting plastic means accepting burdensome regulations, increased fraud exposure, paying upwardly mobile card processing fees and installing new processing equipment and software.
Three ways to cut card processing costs:
- Surcharge – Pass some or all of the processing costs to the consumer with an add-on fee, in addition to the cost of goods or services, to credit card transactions. It works like this: your customer fills up their gas tank and pays by credit card. Instead of paying the $65 on the pump, they pay $65, plus the credit card processor’s transaction fee. Drawback: Not all states permit surcharges.
- Opt out – Just stop accepting credit cards. Some merchants, especially in small communities, accept only cash or check. Aside from eliminating the rigors of keeping up with processing regulations and costs; a no card policy keeps the money circulating in the local economy. Drawback: Potential lost sales/customers.
- “Fee-free” – Back to your gas station: you advertise a cash price that is a few cents lower than the credit card price. In reality, you’ve added a small service fee to every transaction. When your customer elects to pay with cash, their total purchase is automatically discounted by the amount of the service fee. The customer who elects to pay by card pays the processing fee his purchase incurs, not you. Advantage: the card processor debits the cardholder for you.
MerchantWIN® takes care of set-up and integration with your POS systems, automatically debits cardholders or credits cash customers with the service fee, provides signage and notifies card companies of the change. Your customer, not you, pays card processing fees, fraud protection program charges, mileage program costs, and other costs related to card-loyalty programs.
With “fee-free” credit card processing, you can expect to reduce processing costs significantly.