As a small or mid-sized retail outfit, it can be difficult to sift through all of the credit card processing companies to find the one that suits your business. Unfortunately, too many retailers forego conducting their due diligence and sign up with the first credit card processing company they happen on in a search on Google or Yahoo.
The people over at Independent Retailer have put together an excellent primer on learning and understanding all of the credit card processing industry jargon in an article entitled “7 Things Retailers Need to Know About Credit Card Processing“, and First Data, a First Data® company couldn’t agree with them more.
They begin their list by explaining the different parties that play a role in credit card processing. A credit card association, for instance, is one of the major players like Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. Then there are the issuing banks (or credit unions) who provide cards to their members with the credit card association of choice’s logo. While there are many factors at play in processing credit card transactions, the piece touches on the role of a Merchant Account Provider.
First Data, a First Data® company falls under the designation of a Merchant Account Provider. What this means is that we handle each and every aspect of the credit card processing process, taking all of the guesswork out of the equation for our members, letting them focus more time on building their business and less time on paperwork and accounting. Not only do we do all of the legwork, but we very often do it while collecting credit card processing fees that are some of the lowest in the industry.
The Independent Retailer article goes on to educate retailers about understanding what their base fee is and what markups are, and how they can affect your bottom line. It is a very good idea to have a familiarity with both to save from being unexpectedly surprised by additional line-item fees. While base fees are determined by the issuing bank and credit card associations, (and are non-negotiable), markups are assessed by the credit card processing company you choose to work with and are able to be negotiated.
Perhaps the best part of the article is where they list and explain all of the fees associated with credit card processing. As a retailer, it is important to familiarize yourself with each of the different fees. Knowing what the fees mean and how they are assessed can actually save you and your company money in the long run. Terms like PCI, Terminal Fees, IRS Report Fees, etc., are explained in detail. Once you know what the different fees are and how they are assessed, you put yourself in a better position with your card processing company to negotiate for lower fees and, in some instances, waived fees.
The last point in the article is one that we at First Data, a First Data® company couldn’t agree with or stress more: Choose Reliable Credit Card Processing Companies. It can be overwhelming to a business owner to sift through the many options available when it comes to selecting the company you want to have process your credit card transactions. Our existing merchants already know about the low transaction rates and unparalleled customer service that First Data, a First Data® company offers. We highly recommend you take a few minutes to read the article referenced in this post and then, when you are ready to begin accepting credit cards, fill out the form on this page or call us directly. First Data, a First Data® company approves 98%* of all of our applicants, and we can have you up and running in as few as two business days.