It’s no secret that many businesses have been hit by the predatory practices of merchant service providers. We have all heard horror stories about the “bait and switch” tactics from “great rates to free equipment”, but now, merchants are fighting back. Here are a few tips to help you protect your business from being a victim:
- RENEGOTIATE your rates with your provider. Although in reality, this has very little effect on the true savings, typically 3-5 percent of fees can be saved with a minimal amount of effort. Do recognize that most savings occur with reworking the operational and programmatic efforts.
- DON’T ASSUME that just because you have negotiated rates up front during your last processor change that they will stay that way. What makes this industry seem so predatory is that the interchange companies change their fee structure twice a year and therefore your processor changes their rates to you. The fine print should disclose the terms, but who has the time to stay on top of that?
- Hire an INDEPENDENT WATCHDOG service or consultant to rework and watch every aspect of the card processing industry on your behalf. Pay them for their services based on what they save you, to insure that your financial goals are aligned. The beauty of this is that you are hiring experts in the field to watch your back, requiring no work or extra expense on your part. It’s just money right back in your pocket.
- Contact your industry’s TRADE ASSOCIATION to see what they have to offer, in terms of group purchasing power and agreements with merchant service providers. Many times, the cost to join the group can be recouped in buying power savings alone!If you think you are being charged unfairly, contact Bottom Line Plus, LLC to provide a no-charge, no obligation merchant business assessment and if determined necessary, help you in filing a complaint with the Consumer Protection Finance Bureau.