Find out how you can lower your credit card processing bill each month by taking these five simple steps. We’ll spell out how to do each one and why it’s important.
How would you feel knowing that the business next door to you might be paying less money each month to process credit card payments? Few business owners would accept that and knowingly just keep paying more. And yet, many don’t bother to take a look at what they’re paying. Why not?
Most business owners aren’t aware of one simple yet important truth: credit card processing fees are adjustable. The fact is, different processors charge different amounts.
So how can you get the best processing rate for your business? We’ll examine five steps that can have a major effect on your bottom line and why they’re important for you to take.
But before we do that, we need to first understand a key concept behind saving money on processing fees: Total Cost of Ownership.
Understand What Total Cost of Ownership Means for You
If you read our guide to what payment processing fees a business can avoid, you saw how much credit card processing fees can vary from one processor to another.
With that in mind, it’s always a good idea to take a moment and really look at your contract and everything you’re being charged: your per-transaction pricing, ongoing fees, per-occurrence fees, and any other fees you pay.
This will allow you to understand everything you’re paying each month in order to process credit cards. This final amount is known as your Total Cost of Ownership, or TCO. The TCO is what matters most when trying to bring your costs down, as all of these fees impact your bottom line.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can lower your TCO. The first step starts with looking at your contract.
Read Through Your Payment Processing Contract
To some, this might seem like an obvious one. And yet, just like any other contract, few people actually take the time to read the fine print, which is what some payment processing companies that charge too much are hoping for.
So go through your contract and fees, line by line. Stop and consider what they mean. Understand exactly what fees you’re being charged, how often, where they come from, and why you’re paying them.
Why is this tedious step important? Because it establishes a baseline. Going back to the business that’s paying more than their neighbor: it’s because they never stopped and analyzed what they’re paying in order to realize it’s too much compared to others.
So make sure to do this first step of analyzing your contract first, since you’ll need to have these details ready going forward for the next ones.
Audit all of your fees
Once you understand your TCO and after you’ve read through each part of your contract, you’ll need to look through your credit card processing statements.
What you’re looking to do now is ensure that your fees are being applied correctly. This means analyzing what fees should and shouldn’t be charged and seeing how that impacts your transactions.
This really shouldn’t even be a step, as all credit card processing companies should be scrupulous and apply the charges correctly, as set out in their contract with the client. Sadly, however, this is not always the case. They may have overcharged you for some services, or even included charges that shouldn’t be there to begin with.
This may reveal something about your processor that is a red flag, and that would indicate it’s time to look elsewhere.
Compare With Other Providers
The truth can hurt. This is true even when a business contract reveals that someone you trusted wasn’t being honest. However, you’re now armed with the facts, and you’re ready to move forward.
At this point, you can use your TCO and audit to compare them with what other processors are offering. Look at their fees, doing so in a like-for-like comparison so you can see how much your fees are going to increase or decrease with another provider.
Once you do so, you’ll already be on your way to saving money each month. However, the savings don’t have to stop there. Now it’s time to see what’s possible with your new processor.
Negotiate to reduce fees
You’re already in a better position than when you started, since you now know your TCO and have chosen the processor with the best rates based on your needs.
There’s just one more thing to do: negotiate. As mentioned at the beginning, many fees are flexible. They’re not set by a government entity, and they can vary a great deal from one processor to the other.
So see what the processor you chose is willing to do to sign you on as a customer. Consult with them on your needs. Focus your fee negotiations on the type, value, and quantity of payments you send through the processor.
Since many credit card processors will be happy to reduce some of their fees for the guarantee of having you as their customer, you may end up with a processor that charges you hundreds less each month.
Understanding and analyzing all of these areas can take a lot of time, resources, and effort. But it’s possible for every business owner to do this. And it will more than likely end up being worth it.
As the old saying goes, “a penny saved is a penny earned”. And when you take these five steps, you’ll be saving much more than just pennies.
Progressive Payment Solutions loves helping businesses to move forward, especially by empowering them with the knowledge they need to make decisions that lead to success.
One way we do this is by educating about how your business can save by choosing the right processor. That’s why we put together a complimentary guide on the five most important steps to choosing a payment processor to keep you moving forward.