Insist on month-to-month terms and avoid early termination fees

Vantage provides a true Month-to-Month merchant services agreement with NO early termination fee. 

"This Card Services Agreement shall remain in full force and effect for an initial term of thirty (30) days. This Card Services Agreement shall be automatically extended for successive thirty (30) day periods on the same terms and conditions expressed herein, or as may be amended."

What risk do you take when you don't read the fine print?

Know the difference between the application and the terms of the contract, and avoid the pitfalls by taking time not just to ask questions about the agreement, but to read it yourself.  Few merchants in our survey considered terms an important factor when shopping for merchant services.  It is in the back drop of this environment that merchants should not be shocked to learn that the Terms and Conditions of the merchant agreement are rarely discussed or accurately disclosed.

With a focus on rates and not on service, the lawyers who write the Terms and Conditions of the merchant agreement seek to lock merchants into a relationship that might not otherwise last when introductory pricing expires and service is mediocre. Three-year contract terms are a norm and early termination fees can run from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

Some merchants have become convinced by a well crafted argument from a sales person that the three-year contract is a benefit as a guarantee of the price quote. Before you buy into this claim, carefully read all the fine print to find all the reasons your price will increase. Then remember the freedom to switch carriers is the biggest deterrent of price increases. Avoid the long-term agreement.


Sample Contract Language to Avoid

With contract language like this, you are quoted
"to good to be true" introductory rates.

Read the fine print yourself

For most merchants, taking simple steps goes a long way toward protecting their interest.

  1. Recognize that there is contact fine print governing the operation of your merchant account.
  2. Obtaining a copy of the legal T&C before signing the application.
  3. Read all the numbered headings and make sure you have a full copy not a summary.
  4. Pay close attention to the term and termination section.
  5. Discover who is 'party' to the agreement and who has authority to legally waive contract terms.

An easy way to stop the corruptive practices that arise from contracts with termination fees is for merchants to stop awarding their business without first reading the fine print. Merchants are becoming more aware of the impact that their purchasing decision have in driving the market to reward the companies that are doing the right thing. And Vantage is leading the way forward in the payment processing industry, offering a month-to-month merchant agreement and advocating for all providers to do the same.

A sign of confidence

Does trust start with a 3-year contract? When selecting a payment processing partner, consider that a month-to-month agreement is a sign that the provider you choose is confidence in their ability to deliver a high level of personal service, competitive pricing and overall do the right things to earn your business every month. Everyone is going to tell you their service is the best, but it is wise not to get locked in to a long- term contract before they prove it.