4 Things Your Small Business Needs to Understand About Credit Card Processing Fees

November 3, 2015

"And now you can throw money directly into the garbage, for a small fee" Jim Gaffigan.

For all the money you save by owning a Payment Processor, there’s some charges you may not originally have factored into your budget when adding it as an expense.

We’re going to break down the most common fees you’ll see on your statement separate from your standard interchange fees.

The most common offenders are

Service Fees

PCI Annual fees

Batching/Settlement fees

Non Compliance fees

As stated in the interchange rate blog (link), these fees are universal throughout the processor industry and are unavoidable.

Now, with that being said, the actual price of these fees can range drastically by provider (Yay Capitalism?). This can be frustrating when searching for a provider and they either conceal their rates or just don’t tell you about them.

So to clear the board, I’ll go over the rough estimate of what the fees are usually between.

Service Fees

Service fees are your basic consistent fee that you every statement (like old friends really). This is basically a charge for using their service allowing you to process the credit cards through their gateway. It’s usually around $10 per month, but again, this can vary by company.

PCI Annual fee

This is a once a year fee that is a payment for essentially checking to see if your machines are PCI Compliant. It’s making sure your business is handling cardholder’s information safely. This fee is a bit more pricy usually costing $100 per year. It can sometimes be as low as $50 (although that’s as rare as the IRS saying you gave them too much money), and sometimes on the higher end it can be $250! $100 is pretty standard though.

Batching/Settlement fee

Ah yes, the odd fee out of the fee family. Batching fees are probably the most confusing because their amount is so small, most people notice them on their statements, but don’t really care enough to ask because they’re such a small dollar amount.

Well because we care about you, we’ll solve the strange small fees you see every month.

Are you ready?

Batching fees are applied for each time a merchant submits their list of transactions to process. Each time you as a business owner submit your list of transactions to be processed by your processor you’ll see a small charge around $0.25, sometimes it can be as low as $0.10, and other times it’s as high as $0.32, but $0.25 is also the standard. Mystery solved!

Non-Compliance Fees

Now this last fee is standard enough we wanted to cover it, but it’s also the only fee on this list that is completely avoidable! Non Compliance PCI fee are monthly “fines” that you’ll see on your statement if your machines and equipment are considered PCI Compliant. How much as these fines? Usually around $25, sometimes a bit more or less.

$25 is a lot of money to lose a month for an easily fixed problem. Here’s an entire list I found for items under $25 for to spend money on when you make your machine PCI Compliant. The easiest way is to call your processor and ask how you can make your machines compliant.

Congratulations! You’ve just finished the course in understanding your monthly statement! No more scratching your head every month wondering what it all means. Now you can go brag to all your other small business owner friends.

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