Is your current credit card processing provider being totally transparent with you regarding the services you are paying them for? In the past, I’ve written about the frustrations that I have experienced in just how little merchants seem to know about their credit card processing services. When in the field, knocking on doors, introducing myself and services, I was often just ignored or the merchants just simply didn’t want to talk with me. I totally understood why since, unfortunately, there are many in our industry that have given us a bad reputation due to deceptive or vague sales “pitches” just to get the deal. Many merchants have been burned in the past and as a result, have turned a deaf ear and often formed a very callous opinion of merchant services reps.
There are, however, some of us that truly do want to make a difference for the hard working merchant and be totally transparent with them. The hardest part is, of course, getting their willingness to just spend some time with us. Typically, I would start out by simply asking somewhat probing questions. The recent Durbin Amendment legislation has provided for a good “ice breaker”, if you will. Here’s some examples of the types of questions that I ask. Are the people coming thru your door approaching you in this manner or are they simply saying they can “save you money“?
Example 1 “Has your current provider informed you about the recent passing of the Durbin Amendment and the huge savings available to you on your debit transactions? Are they passing those savings on to you or keeping them for themselves?
Example 2 “Do you know exactly what rates you’re paying for all the different card or transaction types that you process in your business“?
Example 3 “Since a good majority of cards being used today are some form of rewards card, do you know exactly what you’re paying on Visa Rewards 1 and Visa Rewards 2 type cards“?
Example 4 “Have you noticed any miscellaneous fees on your bank statement called something like PCI fees that aren’t showing up on your processing statement“?
Example 5 “Is your current provider charging you monthly, annual, or both PCI fees and do you know what you are getting for that“?
Example 6 “Beyond your credit card processing, has your current provider mentioned other marketing ideas or new technology that may be of benefit to the growth or efficiencies of your business“?
The bottom line in all this questioning is to just indicate to the merchant that these are things that they absolutely should know. If they aren’t fully aware of all they are being charged for, there is the possibility that they are not getting the best deal possible for their business. Quite frankly, there are lots of reps and ISO’s out there that I know of that count on merchants never really looking at their statements in any great detail. In fact, many statements are very difficult to decipher for the untrained eye….by design. One thing that you, as a merchant, should always do, is have your rep come in once you’ve received your first statement to go over it in detail and make certain that it is all you signed up for and nothing more. In fact, when your new rep suggests this up front to you when signing the paperwork, it’s a good indication that they really care about the relationship.
So, to stress once more in this article, merchants should demand total transparency in their credit card processing services, as well as any service they are paying for. Ask lots of questions and don’t sign on the dotted line until you are confident that you thoroughly understand all the fees and costs of doing business.
Well, as always, I hope this information has been informative and enlightening for you. Please pass it on to others that you feel will benefit as well.