Everyone wants to save money on their merchant account fees.  But if you’re like most business owners, the “how” can seem almost impossible.

Here are 10 easy steps you can take today to cut your cost of payment acceptance: 

  1. Check your PCI SAQ status: This is your annual security questionnaire and scan. When we get statements in for review, 2 out of 3 have a “PCI Non-Compliance” fee. These were often $19.95 / month, but recently have ballooned to $40-$125 / month.

    Savings: $480 to $1500 / year!

  2. Implement mobile processing: If you invoice and key in transactions, consider implementing a mobile payment app. Card present transactions are more secure, gets you paid faster, and comes at a lower rate.

    Savings: Minimum of 0.30% off rate

  3. Invoice? Add ACH option: if your business invoices or relies on recurring payments, add an ACH option. Where credit cards take a percentage of the sale, an ACH is typically a flat charge of $.50 or less. While most will still opt for CC if given the option, those that pay ACH are practically free.

    Savings: average of $2.25 per $1000 invoice processed

  4. Retail business? Have an ATM: Small ticket transactions drive up processing fees. Where a business with $100 average ticket pays 1 transaction fee on $100, a business with a $10 average ticket pays 10 transaction fees on the same $100. Offset this by having an ATM. Instead of paying fees to take small ticket sales, you can make the withdrawal surcharge.

    Savings: go from paying avg $.35 to making $2.25, or $2.60 per transaction

  5. Keyed transactions? AVS + CVV: if you key in transactions, be sure to always include the address verification and CVV code. While you can skip this and the transaction will process, you pay a higher fee than if you enter this info. It also improves security in the event of a disputed transaction

    Savings: 0.60% on most credit cards. 

  6. Chargeback Notifications: If your business rarely gets chargebacks, this is particularly important, as its easier to miss a dispute. When a customer issues a chargeback you typically have 15 days to respond, and non-response automatically goes in the cardholder favor. And if you get them via “snail mail” it takes usually a week to 10 days to arrive. Your processor should have options for email notification:

    Savings: hundreds or even thousands of dollars per occurrence.

  7. B2B? Interchange Optimization: If your business sells to other businesses, you know that corporate and purchasing cards are some of the highest rate cards you can take. But did you know they can be some of the lowest? The difference is the data that is fed into the transaction. Large corporates have always used interchange optimization tools, but they are now much more available to businesses of all size.
    Savings: 0.90%, and even more on transactions over $10,000
  8. Eliminate redundant fees: Toward the end of your statement you’ll see your monthly fixed costs. And often times you’ll see redundant fees there. IE a “statement fee” in addition to a “monthly service fee”, or multiple different security compliance fees. Typically if you contact your processor and question them, they’ll remove redundant fees.
    Savings: $20-100 / month.
  9. Call your processor and ask: Sometimes just calling your processor and asking for a review of your rates will trigger a rate reduction. If you have a good rate already it might not be much, but I’ve seen processors drop fees by hundreds of dollars per month when faced with competition. And of course “trust but verify” – always look at following months to confirm they came through with the savings.

    Savings: $0 to $1000’s of dollars per year.

  10. Get someone to do it for you: And now for a shameless plug. All these above tips, tactics and techniques are part of our basic analysis, onboarding, and review process at Merchant Solutions LLC. That’s because its our goal to show you what you can do to reduce your total cost of acceptance, as well as providing ongoing support. If you’re interested in learning more, just click below to schedule a time to discuss.

    Savings: ALL THE ABOVE.

Call to action:

At Merchant Solutions LLC, we don’t just look at “the rates” like most processors. 
We look at the entirety of your payment acceptance to see where you can reduce cost,
and make it faster and easier for your customers to pay you. 

And back it with local, personal service.


If this sounds like the kind of provider you need in your corner, please use the form below to get in touch.