Ecommerce businesses often misguidedly sign for what they believe is a cheap merchant account with ultra-low transaction fees. Only when they receive net payments and statements of account do they find they’ve been hit with hidden charges they knew nothing about.
Here are a few fees that you need to ask about before you set up a payment gateway and merchant account:
Card transaction fees
Make sure you know what you’ll be charged for each card transaction you accept. Different cards will charge different amounts, with international and rewards cards among the most expensive.
Your ‘cheap’ merchant account may make a chargeback fee for every time that a customer disputes a payment. In higher risk businesses such as travel bookings these fees can mount up quickly.
Recurring charges and annual fees
Many cheap merchant accounts require a minimum monthly spend through the merchant account, and will make a minimum charge accordingly. There may also be annual charges for services provided, which may be charged monthly or otherwise.
Always make sure that you ask for a full list of all charges your merchant account will levy upon you. The above are just a few. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification and confirmation of fees and charges, and also consider other factors that will be important to you:
Look for merchant account experience
Your payment gateway and merchant account provider should have a strong background in the field, with staff to match. Remember that as an online business your needs are different to traditional bricks and mortar businesses.
Look for Payment gateway customer service capabilities
Even though providers such as North Payments do all they can to ensure the payment gateway and merchant account is integrated into your systems, there may be occasions when you need help. Customers are fickle creatures: a sudden outage of service can be expensive. Always look for an online payment provider that offers a 24-hour customer support service.
- do your homework
- take advice, and
- be specific about costs.
Do these three things and you will find the best payment gateway and merchant account for your business.