Read the Fine Print

Read the fine print of the merchant agreement carefully before you sign the merchant application

Unfortunately, we have seen so many instances where a sales person says one thing but the contract says another. Contributing factors for the misinformation prevalent from most reps you meet is a result of high turnover due to the competitive nature of the industry, lack of proper extensive training and the complexities of the payment business. We also have seen where the proposal says one thing but the contract says a whole lot more. This is especially true when it comes to hiding fees. Pay close attention and look for the following fees:

  • Annual Fees- A hard-to-spot fee, you will only see it once a year so if you don't look closely at your merchant statements every month, this one slides by.
  • Monthly Statement Fees
  • Monthly Service Fee
  • Mid and Non-qualified Discount Fees
  • Batch Closing Fee- If you close your sales batch daily as you should, this fee adds to your overall monthly cost. This fee is most commonly used to hide a monthly statement or service fee (30 days x 20 cents = $6 month).
  • Void Transaction Fee
  • Credit Transaction Fees and will credit voucher Interchange be refunded to you?
  • Retrieval Fee- Watch carefully for this one and run the other way when you see it. Even if you follow all the rules to prevent chargebacks, you have no way of preventing a retrieval. Not only can the customer or issuing bank request a copy of the sales draft, but so can your processor. Needing to bump up the profit margin on your account they could simply issue a few extra retrievals this quarter.
  • Customer Service Fees and Research Fees
  • Cancellation Fees- From hundreds to thousands of dollars, cancellation fees show you the confidence your provider has in providing service that will make you a loyal customer. In fact, the higher the cancellation fee, the greater the chance that your account will be sold off. How's that for service?
  • Change of Checking Account Fees
  • And More...

In addition to fees, you must watch for contract language that may have an even bigger negative impact on your bottom line. The one, two punch is the three-year contract with an early termination fee. In this style contract, it will make little difference what rates and fees are quoted upfront. This business model breeds a "say anything" sales approach to win your business.

It is your contract that will have the last word. We encourage you to read our processing agreement. We will be happy to answer any questions. Compare the fine print and see the difference.