Does Credit Card Processing have you Confused? A few questions to ask your current processor below:
One of the first questions you should ask your processor is if you are under a contract. We have encountered countless businesses who want to switch to us because significant savings are present, but they are under contract. Common contract time periods can be anywhere from months to years. There is also a fee that is associated with breaking your contract. The fee varies depending on your processor. A common problem we also run into is contracts in conjunction with POS systems. POS companies have the ability to set restaurants up with bundling their POS and merchant services. This makes it difficult for the restaurant to switch to a different processor because of their contract or compatibility issues with their POS system. MAX does not have a contract nor a termination fee.
Another question that is extremely vital to ask would be about your pricing. You need to know up front about hidden fees like per item fees, monthly fees, and/or annual fees. These are fees that often get overlooked in the sales pitch. There are also different pricing programs as well. I would ask my processor, “What pricing structure are you using?”. Asking this question shows that you know about the credit card processing field and in a way, you are forcing them to explain their pricing structure to you, in depth. It is important to do a little bit of research on their pricing program after and the rates they tell you each card will fall under. We price our merchants with Interchange Pass Through Pricing. We find this way of pricing to be the most transparent, up-front and easy to understand.
The last question I would be sure to ask is about the method of processing. I previously wrote a blog post on reasons why to avoid leasing terminals. The main problems with leasing terminals are that you are locked-in to whenever your lease is up and you probably paid 3x what your terminal is worth. Ask your processor if they are giving you a terminal for free and what happens if you decide to leave them. At MAX, we give a free VX520 terminal to every merchant. We ask that if you decide to leave us, that you return the terminal to us. Pretty simple, huh?
It is also vital to check your merchant processing statement every month. If you have any questions about a charge on your statement, call your sales representative and ask he or she about it. Remember, it is your business and every cent counts!