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What is the Best Merchant Account?

This question has puzzled many for a long time.  In view of the last few years and the struggling economy, I believe this question is more relevant than ever. This year has had record bank failures!  And this news is not good for our industry. There is increased pressure on merchant service organizations and their agents to perform well and take care of their merchant's like never before.  So when selecting a merchant account provider, what should you look for?

You will likely agree that honesty and forthrightness is at the top.  Is the company you are considering willing to disclose all fees including PCI compliance fees, cancellation fees, downgrade fees, and the more recent NABU and APF fees and so forth?  Does the company you choose keep informed as well as keep merchants well informed of rate increases or entirely new fee structures?  This is important since most businesses owners only think of their discount rate.  With each passing year, I have seen more fees added to the merchant statement that must leave many dumbfounded.  After all, you were told you would get the lowest rates, best service, etc.  The next thing you know, Visa and MasterCard have added new fees that must be passed on to you.  And this keeps happening!  This again emphazises my point: the company you choose must keep up-to-date and inform you of these fee increases well ahead of time.

Unfortunately, many sales agents are not aware of these increases right away themselves.  Are you shocked by this? You shouldn't be.   They haven't been pressured to do so since most business owners only care about the discount rate.   If I as an agent starts talking to you about PCI, NABU, what your Non-qualified surcharge is, would you give me the time of day?  Perhaps not.  After all, you are very busy.  Many will just stick to finding out what their discount rate is.  Therefore, merchant account providers continue to advertise a very low rate to catch the business owner’s attention. 

Are you aware that if you sign up for the company with the lowest rate, that you may actually pay higher fees than the competition?  This is due to the fact that the account providers can set the majority of your transactions to downgrade and they will not qualify for your lowest rate.  So be careful.  Get the facts first.  Have someone do a statement analysis for you and show you where your money is really going.  Next,  find a company and an agent that is honest and forthright and knows what they are talking about.  Furthermore,  they will keep up to date with the latest trends and fee increases before you get charged.  If you do this, you can be sure that you have the best merchant account.


  1. Hey great post! I was doing some research on processing systems from merchant credit services , and read about “interchange plus” is that a thing that is easily negotiated with processing company?

  2. It sure is. All you have to do is tell your processor you want that pricing. If they refuse, then seek out a company who will do it. I try to keep all business owners on IC plus. Some retailers may actually get a better deal with tiered pricing though. Good question!

  3. More information on various risky merchant account providers can be found by surfing authentic local bureau websites.

    Merchant account


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