Credit Card Processing

3 Things Savvy Business Owners Know About Merchant Accounts

by Ben Dwyer

There are many different ways to secure the right merchant account, but there are common threads that the savviest business owners all know.

It’s not about brand recognition, star ratings, or exhaustive spreadsheets comparing rates. It’s about knowing what to look for that meets the needs of your specific business.

Here’s what the savviest business owners know about credit card processing. Use their secrets to find the best account for your own business.

1: They Know that Right Account for One Business Isn’t Right for Another

Savvy business owners have done their homework, and they know that the best merchant account for one business isn’t necessarily the best for another. These business owners aren’t swayed by biased “best processor” lists or brand recognition. They might read reviews to get a rough overview of the companies they’re considering, but they don’t base their decision on processor reviews.

They know that the right merchant account for their business depends on specific factors, such as their industry, how they accept cards, their average transaction size, and their monthly credit card volume. A merchant account with great pricing for a coffee shop isn’t going to be the same good deal for an online clothing store. That’s also why they take recommendations (even from friends!) with a grain of salt. They understand that reviews and recommendations may be from people with entirely different business types and processing needs, and that even businesses within the same industry may have different transaction sizes, card acceptance methods, and monthly processing volume.

These business owners know that they don’t have to settle for a “one size fits all” solution, either. They expect to be treated like their business matters, and correctly believe that they can get great pricing even if they’re a small company. Speaking of pricing…

2: They Know that “Rates” Aren’t the Full Picture

The business owners that get burned are the ones that call up a processor and ask, “What are your rates?” They base their decision to switch processors on who can provide the lowest rates. But shopping based on rates leaves those owners struggling to understand why their costs are so high and constantly re-evaluating their merchant service provider.

Savvy business owners know that processors can easily manipulate “rates” and don’t fall for it. They know that there are fees beyond “rates” and look at the full cost picture when choosing their credit card processor.

They’ve read up on credit card processing fees, so they know which components are negotiable and which aren’t. They don’t waste their time on the parts they can’t change, and instead focus on securing a low markup.

3: They Know When to Stay Put

Once they’ve secured the right low-cost merchant account, savvy business owners stick with it. They don’t jump ship when a smooth-talking sales rep calls and promises them a bunch of savings.

Why? They know that the promised savings won’t materialize. They’ve done their homework and they know what they have. They don’t fall for carefully crafted savings analyses that artificially inflate possible savings.

With a truly competitive merchant account, the credit card processor doesn’t make a lot of money. The bulk of the cost actually goes to the banks and the credit card companies. Called “interchange” and “assessments,” those components are the same for every processor and they’re non-negotiable. Savvy business owners think of interchange and assessments as wholesale cost, and they know they want to pay as close to wholesale as possible.

With a competitive merchant account, the processor’s rates on top of wholesale are minimal. The savvy business owner knows that there’s no meat left on the bone, and that a new processor doesn’t have room to undercut their current solution. So, when a processor’s sales rep calls or stops by and claims that they can save the business hundreds, the savvy business owner knows it’s nothing more than sales talk. They’re not lured in, because when they’re confident about their merchant account, they’re not tempted by false promises of huge savings.

BONUS – 4: They Know They’ll Get the Lowest Pricing by Using CardFellow

Savvy business owners don’t just know what they need in a merchant account; they know how to find it.

That’s why they have CardFellow memberships for their business. Membership is free, and provides access to exclusive members-only pricing and a lifetime rate lock to avoid “rate creep” over time. Even better, members receive independent statement monitoring from CardFellow experts, who look for discrepancies in pricing or possible places for further savings.

Those business owners know that once they choose a processor through their CardFellow membership, they won’t have to worry about it anymore. Instead, they can focus on their business and let the independent experts at CardFellow keep an eye on their merchant account.

Here’s a quick explanation of how CardFellow works:

Ready to become a savvy business owner and get a competitive merchant account? It starts with a free CardFellow membership. (It’s completely free, really. Here’s how CardFellow makes money.)

No pushy sales calls. No false promises. Just great merchant accounts. Sign up today!

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