Your Credit Card Payment System Determines The Best Rate

5 Ways Your Credit Card Payment System Is More Important Than Your Rate

Each year, millions of business owner’s sign up for merchant services or change merchant service providers and obtain a new credit card payment system.  Quite often, business owner’s decide that the easiest route is just going with their local financial institutions like their issuing bank or acquiring bank and hope that they’ll treat them right.

Others may decide to go with the best pricing they can find online, hoping that the quoted price is really the true price they’ll see in their first statement. 

The real secret that the credit card processing companies are hiding is that every processor’s cost to Visa, Master card, American Express and Discover are almost the exact same.

Every payment processor has a cost that simply comes down to how much they want to make off each individual merchant.

Many credit card processors and credit card issuers insist on making the most possible, skyrocketing your processing fees.

Most business owners seek out merchant services providers that have the lowest published credit card transaction fees, and rightfully so.

What if I told you that the percentage you’re paying isn’t the most important factor when it comes to your merchant account provider? 

The most important question that most business owners don’t think to ask is,

“What card payment process system is the right system for my business type to run credit cards?”

The way you run and process credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards and gift cards at your business can have an even larger impact on your overall cost than the quoted price from your merchant service provider.

There are many types of systems that can be used to accept a payment card. All types of credit card processors specialize in card acceptance first, with some having additional features.

There are Credit Card Terminals, Point of Sale Systems, Virtual Systems, Mobile Phone Solutions and E-Commerce. The payment processing solution that is the best for your business might be different than you initially think.

Credit Card Payment System:

A Stand Alone terminal can be a great option for many businesses and can be used in many different ways.

They can run through phone lines, internet lines or even be used wirelessly. Terminals with credit card readers can be used at multiple registers or used at a single check out station.

Most often they are used by restaurants or retail storefronts and the occasional medical office. The new terminals are capable of doing EMV/Chip transactions as well as Apple Pay transactions. Average cost of a new terminal is around $200 to $250.

Point-of-Sale System:

A point of sale system is used primarily by restaurants or retail storefronts but can offer many more options than a standalone credit card terminal.

Point of sale payment solutions are usually internet based or can even be wireless and have added options like inventory management, and social marketing. 

Many systems may include other benefits. These systems can range anywhere from $1200 to $5000 for a single check out station.

Some of these POS software and POS systems may charge cards an extra monthly interchange fee per station depending on the functionality you desire to be built in.

Some companies might also incorporate interchangeplus pricing, which includes a markup used as compensation for the sales rep of the company.

Point of sale systems are beginning to become very popular among businesses.

They offer terminals capable of accepting card payments, secured credit card purchases and accept payments from alternate methods like electronic payments made online, or contactless payment like Apple Pay in their mobile wallet. 

 Virtual Terminal:

Virtual Terminals use an online credit card payment gateway that allows you to easily and securely accept credit cards and debit card transactions on your computer.

These transactions can be done anywhere, or at any time as long as the computer is online.

If you’re looking for a recurring billing solution, most virtual terminals can offer that at an additional cost.

Virtual Terminals usually cater to business owners looking for an add-on or alternative to point-of-sale hardware. Virtual terminals are commonly found in most service organizations.

Mobile phone solutions:

Mobile credit card processing usually comes in two different forms.  Pay as you go accounts like Square or PayPal are one type, and Monthly Mobile Merchant Accounts are the other.

The pay as you go solutions cater to micro merchants, otherwise known as businesses that do less then $3,000 per month in processing.

The monthly mobile payments merchant solutions accounts are geared towards larger merchants that process more than $3000 per month.

These accounts usually have many advantages over a pay as you go account, and often have the ability to add a virtual terminal free of charge.

Mobile phone solutions tend to be more common among small businesses.

They are good at allowing you to grow your business because many of them are pay as you go processors, which may save money initially.

However, while accepting credit card payments this way might be easier, that cost will quickly add up for bigger businesses.

Each terminal must be connected to some sort of internet or WiFi to allow the card to go through on the credit card network.


If your business primarily sells products online on an online store, you are probably using an e-commerce account. 

The rule of thumb for national processing volume is as follows… If you process less than $3,000 per month, PayPal can be a good solution.

If you process any more than $3,000 a month, you should contact a merchant service provider that can lower your processing costs and give you greater options.

As you look for that perfect credit card processing company, price and rates are important, but always remember that the way you process your transactions will determine if you win or lose in the end.

Credit card companies and processors want to make the most money off of you. Your transaction processor must maintain PCI compliance standards, designed to keep customers safe from credit card fraud.

PCI enforces credit card security and is necessary for the safety of the customer.

Higher risk industries, like real estate and credit unions that give business loans, may find it harder to find a credit card processor than other industries.

This is due to processors being unsure about if they will be able to get enough revenue from these industries, as well as when they’ll actually be able to get the money. Even business credit cards can be risky because of personal liability.

Many credit card processors will have hidden fees that they will try to hide from merchants. On top of that, many try to reel you into a long term contract with a termination fee for early cancellation. Find a processor that puts you first.

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