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How To Negotiate Lower Pricing For Your Merchant Account

When priced correctly, the merchant account will have a minimum impact on your overall cost of doing business. If you don't understand the merchant account pricing, you may be overpaying each year by thousands of dollars for a product that doesn't vary much between providers. This article will help you understand the pricing components for merchant accounts.

If you run a business, there's a good chance that you already accept credit cards. If you're new to starting a business, there are some things you should know about credit card processing that will save you a significant amount of money in the long term.

The first part of pricing that everybody uses to compare one provider against another is the discount rate. Business owners always want to know the discount rate. This is the rate that typically results in the most fees paid by merchants so with good cause is the one that merchants should definitely try to keep low.

Your discount rate will depend on which type of merchant you are. If you're a supermarket, for instance, you'll pay significantly less than a website dedicated to travel reservations. You'll also have a lower discount rate if you process mostly check cards vs. corporate cards, for instance.

Another fee charged is the per transaction fee which is typically about $.20 per transaction. These can get as low as $.15 to $.16 per transaction but it wouldn't be worth negotiating that low unless you have an incredibly low average ticket item. If you have a $10 average transaction, a $.25 per transaction would be a 2.5% effective rate. If you add a 1.5% discount rate, you'd end up with an effective rate of 4%.

If you take the same $10 transaction and could lower that per transaction fee to $.17, even with a higher discount rate, say around 1.8%, your effective rate would be 3.5% which would lower your overall effective rate on the transactions.

Business owners will typically have a monthly fee, usually in the form of a statement fee, customer service fee, or monthly account maintenance fee. This fee is usually about $10 per month.

Many merchant accounts have a monthly minimum. This is typically priced around $25 per month. What this means is that the minimum amount of discount fees will equal $25. If, for instance, a merchant processes only $1,000 per month with a discount rate of 1.29%, the discount fees would be $12.90. With a monthly minimum of $25, the effective rate would be 2.5% ($25 of $1000). Of course if the merchant processes $10,000 per month at the same discount of 1.29%, the fees would be $129, far in excess of the $25 minimum.

These are the main fees associated with any merchant account. Of course, there are more fees that will apply to certain types of accounts, such as an internet-based account or a wireless account which may have additional fees. There are also some per instance fees such as insufficient funds fee, chargeback, retrieval fees, AVS fees, batch header fees, and other misc. fees. Your sales representative should know and be able to explain any and all of these fees.

Be sure to work with a merchant service provider and a sales representative that you can trust. The industry is a lucrative one and attracts both the honest and dishonest sales reps. Having said thatArticle Search, make sure you review the "fine print" and pricing pages for the application before you commit to work with a merchant services provider.

Article Tags: Merchant Account, Discount Rate, Effective Rate

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Brian has been helping merchants just like you save money on their ecommerce merchant accounts.  Brian's website is dedicated to providing business owners with the best possible credit card processing and doing so without the high prices. You can contact Brian through his website at or view these videos for more information:

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