Top 8 Misconceptions About Merchant Services

by | May 6, 2021

If you already accept credit cards, are looking to switch merchant services providers, or want to begin taking credit cards at your new business, it’s important to know exactly what you are getting out of a merchant services provider. Here are the top 8 misconceptions about merchant services and how those misconceptions are not always true – depending on who you work with.

1. “What’s your rate?”

“What’s your rate?” is often the first question a business owner asks to a merchant services provider. While rates are important, it’s important to understand the fees and the breakdown of those fees. Most businesses are not fully educated on how they are priced, therefore may not know what they are being charged.

Also, you often get what you pay for. You can receive the lowest possible rate, but will you receive good equipment? Or great technical and customer support? What about educational tools, PCI compliance assistance, or fraud protection? Don’t be fooled by low rates. Make sure you completely understand what you are getting. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

2. “You guys are scammers”

Business owners often have the misconception that the merchant services company takes their money and gets a majority of their collected fees. However, that is far from the truth. Most of the funds go to the issuing banks, some go to the card brands (like Visa or MasterCard), some go to a gateway or other third parties (like gift card providers) when applicable, then a tiny portion goes to the merchant services provider.

Business owners tend to think that just because they have been treated poorly in the past by a merchant services company, that all merchant services companies are going to treat them the same.

3. “I’m stuck in my contract”

There is always a way out of your contract if you are not happy with your current service. Don’t let yourself stay stuck in a bad deal. Often, merchant services providers have the ability to buy out your contract and offer better pricing, better equipment, and better service.

4. “My statements are hard to understand”

Statements from merchant services providers can be really difficult to read and make you feel like you’re trying to interpret a different language. It can be especially difficult if you are not familiar with key phrases like interchange, batch, basis points, or processing fees.

Partner with a merchant services provider who will walk you through the statements and help you understand line by line. Once you educate yourself on your statements, they will be a breeze to understand!

5. “You guys are all the same”

Every merchant services provider has its own specialty, core values, products, and services. Some merchant services providers outsource pieces of their business like customer care or tech support. Others only offer POS solutions.

Check to see if your provider offers a full suite of services to help your bsuiness grow.

6. “Accepting credit cards is too expensive”

Accepting credit cards does come at a cost, but there are ways to make sure your business is accepting credit cards without breaking the bank:
Surcharging and cash discount programs allow businesses the opportunity to offset credit card processing fees, virtually eliminating the cost of accepting credit cards
Equipment leasing is also a great way to free up your funds. It’s easy and affordable to get the credit card processing equipment you want for your business.
A good merchant services provider will do everything they can to make sure you can accept credit cards affordably without sacrificing quality.

7. “All card transactions cost the same”

Depending on the transaction type, your costs will vary:

Was the transaction swiped? EMV? Keyed? eCommerce?
Was the transaction batched on time?
Is the payment card a credit or debit card?
Is the card a rewards-based card?

Working with a merchant services provider who will help you understand the difference between the costs and what you are being charged. They will also ensure that no surprises come up on your statements.

8. “Accepting credit cards isn’t safe”

With recent large scale data breaches and reports of fraud, it is understandable why a business owner would be cautious about accepting credit cards.

However, if you take the right precautions, you can protect yourself and your customers from data breaches, fraud, and the headache that goes along with it.

Your merchant services provider will be able to set you up with equipment and programs to securely accept credit cards:

Accepting EMV Chip Cards
PCI Compliance
Fraud Protection

Making sure your business accepts payments safely should be your merchant services provider’s number one goal.

International Bancard has a great team dedicated to helping businesses accept payments. We thrive on being transparent, open, and honest.