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What to Do About a Credit Card Processing Rate Increase
If you’ve accepted credit cards at your business for a while, you’ve likely experienced a rate increase or two (or more). Usually you’ll first learn of the increase while idly glancing through the fine print on your monthly statement. There, buried a few lines deep in a hard-to-read font size, you’ll find that in a few months you’re going to be paying even more than you already are. No business owner ever likes to see a credit card processing rate increase. After all, you work hard for your money – why should you part with any more of it than you have to? If you do see a rate increase on your next bill, don’t panic. Here’s how to respond.
Before a credit card processing rate increase ever shows up on your statement, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re prepared. The first step is fully understanding what you pay for credit card processing services and what each line item on your bill is for. Many processors will pad their pockets with obscurely named fees that sound important and indispensable but are really anything but. These junk fees add up over time and result in you paying much more that you need to. You can also keep your options open by paying attention to the paperwork you’re signing. Most payment processors will want you to sign a contract, sometimes for several years, Needless to say, once you sign on the dotted line you won’t have too much leverage should your processor decide to increase your rates down the line. Even worse, however, is signing a lease agreement for your terminal. There’s just no situation where leasing a terminal is ever a good idea. By the time your lease is up you’ll have paid far more than the terminal is worth, plus you’ll have given away all your flexibility to threaten to switch processors over a rate increase. (By the way, we can help if you’re stuck in a lease.)
If a credit card processing rate increase does pop up on your bill, it’s time to reach out to your processor. Most processors are counting on their customers not noticing the rate increase because they don’t look at their statements carefully. Stay informed about what your statement looks like each month and actually read the fine print so you’ll be alerted right away if something changes. The credit card processing industry is a very competitive one, and your merchant services provider does not want to lose you as a customer. Call your rep and object to the rate increase proactively, before it takes effect (you’ll usually get a few months’ heads up). If your rep values your business, they’ll do everything they can to alleviate the sting of the rate increase or waive it altogether.
In some cases, speaking up won’t do the trick. You may be dealing with a greedy processor or a sales rep who just doesn’t care about their customers. If that’s the case, it’s time to start shopping around. As always, education is your best friend here. Knowing how much you’re paying now and why is the first step toward making sure that the new processor that’s courting you isn’t going to be an even worse deal. Unless you’re paying rock bottom prices with your current processor, any competitor will be able to lower your rates. Be careful, however. There are several cut-rate processors out there who can afford to charge bargain basement rates because their customer service is nonexistent.
Tired of Rate Increases? Try 360 Payments
If you’re fed up with having to study your monthly statement with a magnifying glass to make sure you’re not being overcharged or learning a whole new language just to read the industry jargon, it’s time you gave 360 Payments a call. All of our customers are on month-to-month pricing without a contract or equipment lease in sight, and we’ve never raised our rates – ever. We never plan to, either. Stop wasting time and money on a credit card processor who thinks rate increases are acceptable. Give us a call or drop us a line on our website. We’d love to show you what’s different about 360 Payments.
PS – Did you know you’re no longer required to ask for a signature for credit card purchases, no matter the amount. Learn more here.
PPS – Tired of credit card processing reps bothering you at your business? Here’s how to send them packing.