Compare Card Processors
Choosing a credit card processor that is right for your business can be time-consuming. Community Merchants USA offers you a free, one-stop shopping tool that will allow you to compare credit card processors and select the one that is right for you in a matter of minutes.
Card Acceptance Discount Programs
Many professional trade associations offer payment card processing discounts. The following is a partial list of associations with discount programs – browse the list to see if your trade association offers you discounts:
Forming a Buyers Group
Under the terms of the settlement, you now have the ability to form “buyers groups” to help negotiate card processing agreements. Learn more about how to form a buyer’s group.
Information About Checkout Fees
As a result of the payment card settlement, merchants are now able to pass their credit card acceptance fees onto consumers in the form of a fee. Here is what merchants should know about checkout fees:
- The no surcharge rule was lifted only for credit cards. Checkout fees cannot be imposed on debit or prepaid cards.
- The settlement specifies that the fee must not exceed what a retailer pays to accept the credit card – which is typically 1.5% – 3% in the U.S.
- The settlement also specifies that merchants are required to provide “clear disclosure” or signage at the entrance of the business, at the point of sale, on the website if it is an online purchase (at the first mention of accepting Visa and MasterCard) and on the sales receipt.
- Checkout fees are not legal in every state! The following states restrict the imposition of a surcharge:
- New York
- Merchants wishing to impose a surcharge must register with Visa and MasterCard 30 days in advance. Click – here – to register with Visa and – here – to register with MasterCard.
Learn more about how to charge checkout fees:
Encouraging Your Customers to Use Certain Payment Types
There are a number of tools that merchants have at their disposal to “steer” their customers toward different types of payments that may result in savings. Some of these include:
- Discounts: Merchants can offer their customers discounts to encourage use of a desired form of payment. Discounts for cash, checks, debit, or credit cards may be allowed by card networks – please check with the payment network for their specific rules.
- Minimums: As part of the Durbin amendment to Dodd-Frank, merchants are now allowed to require a minimum purchase amount of no more than $10 for a customer to pay with a credit card. This will help you to avoid paying fees on smaller ticket amounts by encouraging payment with cash, checks or debit cards. Minimum payment amounts are not allowed on debit or prepaid cards – only on credit cards.
- Checkout fees: In the 39 states where this practice is currently allowed, merchants can charge their customers a checkout fee for paying with a credit card – a way to help you offset the fees to pay for card acceptance. Click here for more information on how to do this.
Small Business Tools and Resources
- What is the Credit Card Settlement?– NFIB
- Top 5 Ways to Master Any Card Payments for Your Business – NFIB
- 5 Steps to PCI Compliance – NFIB
- Payment Processing 101 for Small Businesses – NFIB
- LIVE Webinar 4/11: Strategies to Lower Credit Card “Swipe Fees” – SCORE
- Wells Fargo – Small Business Resource Center
- Bank of America – Small Business Online Community
- CitiBank – Small Business Resource Center
- Chase Payment – Merchant Resources
Visa and MasterCard Resources:
- Visa Merchant Resources
- MasterCard Merchant Resources
- Resource Nation – Credit Card Processing
- U.S. Small Business Administration – Accepting Credit Cards
- U.S. Small Business Administration – Accepting Payments Online
- White House – Resources for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs
- SCORE – Why Accept Credit Cards?
- NFIB – Credit Cards and Merchant Processing
- Consumer Action – Credit Card Checkout Fees