When your business is searching for a new payment processor, learning what questions to ask credit card processing companies is an integral part of the shopping process.
However, many credit card processors are not always honest about their pricing because it is easy to disguise fees. Many companies appear low priced to win your business, only to surprise you with additional charges after you’re locked into a contract. There is good news, and you can prevent being overcharged for payment services by asking the right questions during the sales process.
Asking these types of questions when you’re interviewing a company will help you understand how each processing company makes its profits and help you avoid overpaying. The better the processor is, the more transparent they will be with their pricing because they aren’t making the bulk of their profit hidden in fees.
Questions to ask credit card processing companies
#1 What transaction fees do you charge?
Fees are a significant component of a credit card company’s profit. In some cases, there may be hidden fees so confusing; they’re near impossible to catch. The idea is that you don’t think to question them, and that’s what they are hoping. Some fees are notated as annual or monthly fees, while others have names like “regulatory fees,” “compliance fees,” and “statement fees.” Be sure to ask about each type of fee and their average cost.
#2 Are there setup fees?
It is common for processors to charge a separate setup fee when advertising low rates. Knowing the complete pricing early on and how it compares to the competition helps you better evaluate your initial cost and avoid an unwelcome surprise in the last stage of a lengthy buying process.
#3 Are there services and solutions above simple payment processing?
The more services you get, the more value you get. Usually, processing companies that offer more than just payment processing can make money by providing more value-added services. By doing so, it makes it easier for them to stay in business without hiding additional fees in your processing. Here at BNG, we supply a wide range of benefits such as order tracking, mobile processing, gift card/reward card capability, and back-end management solutions to ensure your business runs smoothly.
#4 How do you determine my pricing options?
Most processors offer a range of purchase options such as tiered pricing, flat-rate pricing, and interchange-plus pricing. We typically recommend the simple interchange-plus option because the fees are transparent. On Interchange-plus pricing, you can see what the actual cost will be on every transaction.
Interchange costs are and what your processor is adding above that. Every business is different, however, and there is no single pricing structure that is the best for every business. We prefer to look at the company as a whole and determine which pricing structure is the best fit for your business.
#5 Is there a different rate for each type of transaction?
Many companies charge different rates for different types of transactions related to their risk of fraud. If a credit card payment is inputted manually while taking orders over the phone, the rate will be higher than a chip reader on site. Having different rates is common, but knowing the charge per payment method helps you significantly toward your profits.
Rates can also vary depending on the card brand (VISA, MasterCard, American Express), the card level, and the type of business taking the payment. . Knowing how your pricing structure is affected by these variables helps you avoid unwelcome surprises.
#6 Are there charges for refunds?
If the processing company provides a refund, will it refund you the transaction fee too? Many companies charge the fee for supplying the original service, and some even charge the refund transaction.
#7 Is there a monthly minimum fee?
If transactions are low on a particular month, a processing company may charge a minimum service price. This can be an unwelcome surprise for small businesses and startups where every penny counts. Knowing where the dividing line is aids toward your profit. This fee can also be affected by your pricing structure, so understanding your pricing structure is very important.
#8 Is the company EMV compliant?
EMV compliance means machines offered by the processing company support EMV technology. These credit card readers accept credit card payments via chip card and smart payment and allow PIN input. EMV technology is safer than swipe technology by eliminating your card’s risk from other card reading devices copied.
EMV payment systems are the go-to method of fraud prevention and will remain so for the foreseeable future. They ensure your customers are safe, and you maintain a lower rate per transaction due to decreased fraud.
#9 How will you assist me in remaining PCI Compliant?
PCI is another way to ensure safe transactions. PCI is a set of guidelines that credit card companies require to protect customer information and prevent theft by employees or online hackers. You must adhere to these guidelines as a business, such as data storage requirements and network security. Requiring that your processing company adheres to the same standards ensures your customers’ best protection.
#10 Will you ever raise my rates?
We all love a good deal, but what good is it if it only lasts a few months? Knowing if and when payments are raised and the typical increase rate helps you compare it with the competition to catch excessive rates. Sometimes the card issuer raise their interchange rates, so to say your rates will never increase isn’t accurate. Just be sure to ask how frequently costs will be raised, and under what circumstances.
#11 Are there any contracts (or terms)?
It is essential to understand when the contract expires and what changes to expect when it does. Any cancellation or early termination fees are also crucial to know. Some processors charge higher rates than others. At BNG, we prefer not to have a contract whenever possible. We believe it is our job to earn your business every day.
#12 Will I get next-day funding?
In most cases, processors will provide next-day funding or 2nd-day funding. For many processors, the default is 2nd business day funding, and next day funding is an option available for a small fee. There are processors available that have next day funding as default and some that even offer same-day funding. Knowing how quickly you will get paid can be an essential part of keeping your business running smoothly.
#13 Can I purchase my terminals instead of renting them?
Some processors allow for terminal renting, which can be an advantage if you have a tight budget. Sometimes purchasing a terminal works best, ensuring the most profit for you longterm in exchange for higher initial investment. Here at BNG, we offer the capability to rent or buy, and in some situations, we can do a free terminal placement, making it easy for you to select the option that’s right for you.
#14 Can I contact customer support at any time?
To ensure you get the help you need when you need it, look for processors with a dedicated support team that offers 24-hour support, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Here at BNG, we provide customer service on processing accounts at no charge to help you maintain a fully functional payment environment and provide a service level to help set you apart from your competition.
Final thoughts on interviewing a credit card processing company
Credit card processing companies can be a powerful way of securing reliable payments and keeping your business organized on the back-end. By asking the above questions as you shop for processors, you can filter out companies that work hard to disguise costs, ensuring you have a reliable vendor and profit in the ways that are best for you.
Here at BNG, we offer clearly outlined rates, fees, and plans that help you achieve the greatest profit for your business.
We do more than accept credit card payments; we offer additional services, such as mobile processing, virtual terminals, payment gateways, accounting support, inventory management, and more. On top of that, we also provide exceptional customer service so that you can run your business more efficiently and reliably. Contact us to find out more about how we can help you determine if you’re overpaying for credit card processing services.