by amspcs

In tough economic times, small businesses seek out ways to cut expenses. One of the best places to start is to lower the cost of credit card processing.

Here are ten proven ideas that every merchant can and should implement. To learn more about each item, please refer to the resource links provided below.


1.) Minimize surcharges Circumventing terminal prompts such as bypassing Address Verification (AVS) or failing to settle batches properly cause transactions to downgrade to higher rates. Adhering to proper procedurees will reduce your rates.


2.) Avoid chargebacks A common avoidable chargeback reasons is unauthorized use of card. This is easily avoided when cashiers are trained to compare, check and verify signatures on each and every transaction.


3.) Consider adjusting your discounting method Does your processor have you on gross processing or net processing? Daily or monthly discounting? Does your particular business qualify for one plan over the other, and would you benefit from it? Learning these fine points can mean extra profit for your business.


4.) Discontinue the Merchant Club membership Many merchants pay $9.95 or more monthly for Merchant Club dues; not knowing this fee is optional. These programs offer benefits like free terminal repair and free supplies. In rare cases, it's worthwhile. But most merchants accomplish nothing more than spending over $100 per year for maybe $30 worth of free supplies; hardly a justifiable expense. Betters to buy supplies from a local office supply outlet, and opt out of the merchant club.


5.) Verify PCI Compliance In the wake of data breaches and identity thefts, Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards is a serious matter. This involves the manner in which merchants safeguard and store customer credit card data, among other things. The processing industry has established well defined procedures and regulations, failure to adhere to which can lead to nasty fines. Small businesses are not immune. Contact your processor and make sure you are compliant.


6.) Update your processing equipment Replacing obsolete processing equipment can net significant monetary savings very quickly. Examples: Replacing a dial-up credit card machine with a wireless machine and dropping a costly dedicated telephone line can pay for itself in no time. Newer terminals supporting the latest security programming can actually reduce some discount rates. Newer machines using thermal paper eliminate the need for costly ink cartridges and ribbons altogether.


7.) Invest in a Pin Pad A pin pad and a subscription to a true debit gateway enables merchants to process pin debit as opposed to signature debit at greatly reduced costs. For example, the cost of processing a $500 sale could conceivably be reduced from over $8 to under $1 by processing as pin debit instead of signature debit.


8.) Don't fall for the Cold Call scam Unethical processing reps make their living by cold calling merchants, performing an audit of their merchant statements, and promising huge savings if the merchant switches processors. The problem is that it's a big lie; comparing real world numbers with contrived assumption-based fantasy scenarios isn't a valid comparison. More often than not, duped merchants find themselves locked into long-term contracts with higher processing fees than before. Legitimate mainstream processors simply don't operate this way. Their growth is based on performance and legitimate referrals, not by dispatching droves of amateur salespeople to knock on doors. If you are approached in this manner, make sure you run their 'offer' past your current processor before you sign off. Chances are he'll enlighten you to what it really is nonsense. And worst case scenario, if it's legitimate, he'll probably meet or beat it.


9.) Get rid of the No Checks Accepted sign True, the world pays mostly with plastic these days. But there are still millions of checks written every day, Most of them are good. Problem is, when you turn away all checks in hopes of avoiding the bad ones, you're turning away tons of good ones too! The fact is: With modern check guarantee technology, accepting checks is as secure as credit card acceptance, and often cheaper. Furthermore, there are legitimate service providers offering 100% free collection services for NSF checks. There's really no reason to give your competitor the advantage by handing over your check revenue business on a silver platter


10.) Take advantage of free training offered by your processor Legitimate credit card processors offer training to teach you and your staff the right and wrong ways to accept electronic payments. Take advantage of it. Training teaches how to avoid mistakes, surcharges, and chargebacks. How to properly settle your batch, when to run a void instead of a refund (there IS a difference), what to do (and not to do) when you get a decline response to avoid wasting dollars, and much more. If your processor does not offer training, you are being severely short-changed and overcharged.





To learn about CREDIT CARD SURCHARGES visit


To learn about CHARGEBACKS visit


To learn about DISCOUNTING METHODS, visit


To learn about PCI COMPLIANCE, visit


To learn about DEBIT PROCESSING, visit


To learn about SALES SCAMS, visit


To learn about CHECK GUARANTEE services, visit


To learn about FREE CHECK COLLECTION, visit


Barry Godofsky operates Automated Merchant Solutions, Inc., a Florida based Independent Sales Office (ISO) representing several of the largest credit card processing Acquirer institutions in the nation. For more information regarding small business credit card processing issues including unbiased tips, FAQs, and resources, please visit

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