Contents tagged with Merchant Rates

  • Healthcare Merchant Account Scam Alert

    Medical professionals should be aware of a scam currently being perpetrated by unethical merchant account providers. Outbound calls are being placed to medical practices accepting credit cards claiming that they must reprogram their credit card terminal to be HIPAA compliant.

    Vantage has received numerous calls over the last few days from our healthcare clients inquiring about these calls and asking, “Are credit card transactions covered under HIPAA?”

    According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, transactions conducted between subscribers or patients and health plans or health care providers are not transactions for which the Secretary of Health and Human Services has adopted standards.

    If an individual (i.e., a subscriber or a patient) uses his or … more

  • Interchange Bill Reintroduced in Congress

    H.R. 2695, The Credit Card Fair Fee Act, was reintroduced with slight differences from its 2008 version.  The bill would grant limited antitrust immunity to Interchange rates negotiated between merchants and Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. with a representative of the U.S. Department of Justice attending the negotiations.


    U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr., the Democrat who chairs the House Judiciary Committee introduced the bill saying “It is not an attempt at regulating the industry and does not mandate any particular outcome; this legislation simply enhances competition by allowing merchants to negotiate with the dominant banks for the terms and rates of the fees.”


    Right now small and mid sized businesses pay the same Interchange fees as larger chains.  … more

  • The growing power of peer comparisons in finance

    Two-thirds of the world’s Internet population visit social networking or blogging sites, according to a new Nielsen report. Social Media is changing how we interact with each other and is shifting the power to the community.

    One of the most powerful social network tools are peer comparisons. New financial web portals like Mint, Geezeo and ING’s CompareMe allow consumers to see how similar people are managing their finances and investments. These online anonymous peer comparisons are demonstrating that there is strength in numbers.

    Now business owners can use to anonymously compare payment card processing expenses with what others are paying for merchant services within their industry. myRealRate is a rich internet application delivering peer-to-peer knowledge … more

  • Google Knol - The Bottom Line on Merchant Rates

    Vantage has contributed a new Google Knol titled "The Bottom Line on Merchant Rates". 

    Today it is a near necessity for most small and medium-sized businesses to accept credit card payments.  Until recently, merchants had no resource for comparing rates with each other.   myRealRate creates a nationwide database for comparing and sharing card processing expenses.  Business owners can calculate their Real Rate to accept card payments and then benchmark their rate against others of the same size within their industry to identify savings.   Sharing with the merchant community is the next step in achieving lower merchant rates.

    We invite you to write a review for the knol at … more

  • Interchange & Access Fee changes

    While minor adjustments have been made to the Interchange fees that issuing banks earn; the real story this spring are changes to fees earned by MasterCard and Visa. Beginning in April 2009, MasterCard will increase its Acquirer Access Fee for processing by 270% by raising this per transaction fee from $0.005 to $0.0185. In July 2009, Visa will follow suit by increasing its Acquiring Processing Fee 290% from $0.005 to $0.0195.

    The MasterCard Acquirer Access Fee and the Visa Acquiring Processing Fee are set and paid to these publicly traded card companies. Merchants should be aware of these changes.  Merchants with small tickets will experience a greater impact from these changes.

    Since 2005, Vantage has monitored, recorded and reported on Interchange changes impacting merchants.& … more

  • Before Merchant Rates, Negotiate Definitions First

    Time and again we see a complex payments industry being made more confusing for merchants accepting credit and debit cards.  Examine the following examples.

    As a consumer it is better not to get trapped in a long-term contracts and cancellation penalties.  A sales rep may tell you they don't have an "early termination fee" and may be technically right because the company they work for has changed the definition and called it a "de-conversion fee".   The contract states that price changes can be made with 30 days prior written notice, yet if you terminate the agreement within the first 3 years following the date of your execution of the agreement, "you agree to pay de-conversion fees of an amount equal to" the transaction fees incurred by you during the calendar month … more

  • Don’t Overlook Merchant Rate Savings from Cardholder Returns

    Does your business provide a generous return policy?  If you do, one way to lower your bottom line costs of accepting credit and debit card payments is to look at your costs to process cardholder credits.

    When your customer pays by card, merchants pay a discount rate to process the sale transaction.  For example, if during the month, you make $1,000 in sales that ultimately result in the cardholder making a return and you issue offsetting credits for $1,000, what has it cost you?  Assuming a 2% discount rate in our example, that’s $20 in fees. 

    From our daily analysis of merchant statements, the most common thing we see is that merchants pay for processing the sales and on cardholder credits no discount rate is applied.  This is the case above; the … more

  • Do you display credit card signage?

    Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express – some of the most recognized brands in the world - spend hundreds of millions on advertising every year to get cardholders to use their card to buy from you.  Reviewing POS signage trends, we find the practice at low levels and declining. 

    Is displaying POS signage an effective way incent card use to increase sales?  more

  • Google Knol - Shopping Merchant Account Rate Quotes

    Check our post Shopping Merchant Account Rate Quotes on Google Knol for help on how to lower processing costs when accepting credit & debit cards.

    ALL merchants large and small can get an Interchange rate price structure to lower their costs. And many industries have incentive Interchange rates available. Merchants can eliminate monthly minimum fees, batch fees, AVS fees, annual fees, compliance fees, non-qualified surcharge fees, and other hidden fees. Read the fine print to find these charges and avoid 3 year contracts with cancellation penalties. Month-to-Month merchant accounts at Interchange pricing are available.

    Read More more

  • Merchant Survey Reveals Purchase Behavior

    Survey results show merchants least concerned about contract terms

    Merchants have sales people contact them almost every day offering "lower rates" and often switch only to find out they unknowingly signed a long-term contract with an early termination fee. Merchants have shared their experiences and report in the Vantage Card Survey that many do not properly consider the impact of contract terms and cancellation fees in the face of promised savings. Many merchants don't stop to think about cancellation fees before they sign, only after they try to get out of a contract because what was promised was not delivered.

    With over 11,000 merchants polled, contract terms ranked at the bottom with only 16.7% of merchants considering it an important factor when shopping for merchant services. … more