Legalized Theft Happens… Identifying Fees

A PSA To All Merchants

In the payments business, things are ever-changing. Loopholes, evergreen clauses, and today ends in Y fees do exist. Honestly, I’m as fed up with it as you are, so I decided once and for all to expose it!

We can all argue that honestly and transparency should be part of any business’s DNA but we know the all mighty dollar and corporate greed run rampant in the payments industry.

Ignorance Is Bliss 

Rarely do businesses fail because of a poor relationship with a processor but let’s also argue that accepting payments is likely one of the highest expenses of any business.  Simply changing your processor every year or three is not the way to go about controlling costs either. Here are some good tips to set you on a path to financial freedom.

Check Your Statements

If you know nothing except this one golden formula on how to get a qualified effective rate (total fees/ total sales= %) use it! Every Single Month!

You may not know if you’re paying a flat rate, interchange plus or surcharging, but you will quickly see if increases are happening and make you aware of any sudden changes. While you’re at it lookout for some of these…

Today Ends In Y Fee

Also known as:

  • Analytics Fee
  • Customer Intelligence Fee (This one’s new folks!)
  • Early Termination Fee
  • PCI Fee
  • Non-PCI Fee
  • Data Breach or Associated Fees
  • Annual Fees
  • Batch Fees

Dirty Little Secret

Rate Increases, evergreen contracts or auto-renewals are anything but rare in the payments space. Pay attention– These are contracts that renew every 3-5 years and unless you’re intimately familiar with the 30-day advance notice window you could be locked into the same processor for a lifetime or two!  The dirty little secret is that it doesn’t actually matter if you’re still in business or not. If you choose to terminate outside this tiny window you could be facing thousands of dollars in penalties for “loss of income” to your processor. How does that grab you?!

Allergic To Leases

If you have ever leased equipment from your processors’ third party vendor, this is for you. Leases make my skin crawl! True story: I have a pizza shop that was charged $200/month for 6 years for a terminal that was worth no more than $200. When he canceled and shipped the terminal back- the vendor charged him $1300 because they claimed they didn’t receive it. Based on my experience I advised him to collect a signature upon receipt and with little effort, we got the $1300 back quickly. This example is excessive certainly but the simple cure is this; If your processor is offering you the option to lease, no matter how good they pitch it, WALK!

“I’m Here To Help”

Most decision-makers cringe when it comes to dealing with merchant processing. You’ve been burned and your angry. I get it.

My extensive experience can help you navigate the all-too-common pitfalls of this industry, helping you steer clear of what to avoid. 

Finally you can work with me, a person that cares deeply about my customers and a provider that cares deeply about commitment.

Sign up for my newsletter to stay up to date on industry news and professional tips to help you navigate merchant processing. Contact me when you’re ready to discuss how I can support your next steps