How to Find the Right Credit Card Terminal for Your Business

Many merchants face the trouble of sifting through numerous credit card machine options, looking for a terminal that fits with their business. There are many different types of payment terminals to choose from, and you need one that’s going to help your business operate the most efficiently.

Selecting the right payment processing terminal will not only help reduce your processing costs, but it’ll also increase your profits. Let’s take a look at some payment terminal options and the types of businesses that best match their features.

TL;DR

  • A credit card terminal is a device commonly used by businesses to handle credit and debit card transactions. 
  • There are many different types, including some that can take payments on the road.
  • Choosing the right type of terminal for your small business requires understanding your business needs and doing your own third-party research on providers you’re considering.

The Best Payment Terminal Companies For Your Business

Level Up Your Terminal with Stax Card Readers

What is a Credit Card Terminal?

A credit card terminal is a device commonly used by businesses to handle credit and debit card transactions. They can also take contactless payments from mobile wallets. It’s the tool customers use to swipe, insert, or tap their cards, transmitting the transaction details to the payment processor for approval. 

They’re essential for ensuring smooth and secure electronic payments at retail outlets, restaurants, and various businesses that accept card payments. Most importantly, they enable your business to offer a wide range of payment options to your customers.

Types of Credit Card Terminals

Credit card terminals are available in a few different types, each of which provides its own benefits.

Countertop terminals 

Countertop payment devices are stationary devices typically found at cashier counters in-store. They connect via phone lines, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi and are ideal for businesses with a fixed checkout location.

Mobile card readers 

These are portable devices that connect to smartphones or tablets. They’re great for businesses on the move, such as food trucks or delivery services, allowing transactions to happen anywhere with a cellular or Wi-Fi connection.

Wireless terminals 

Wireless terminals are similar to mobile card readers in that these terminals offer mobility. However, they operate independently without the need for a separate mobile device. They connect wirelessly to cellular networks or through Bluetooth, enabling transactions in various locations within a specific range.

Virtual terminals 

Virtual terminals are software-based interfaces that allow merchants to process payments via a computer or tablet. They’re often used for phone or online orders where the card isn’t physically present.

Integrated payment systems 

These are terminals that integrate with the POS systems (point-of-sale), combining payment processing capabilities directly into the business’s existing software, acting as an all-in-one system.

Your business may use only one type or multiples depending on your needs and business model.

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The Traditional Retail Payment Terminal

Businesses such as retail stores or restaurants involve face-to-face interactions with your customers, therefore your credit card transactions with them are exclusively in-person. These are referred to as “card-present” transactions, which basically just means the cardholder and credit card is physically present at the time of sale. For this type of transaction, your best payment terminal option would be a countertop point-of-sale (POS) model.

Countertop credit card terminals allow you to swipe your customers’ credit cards through a credit card reader to process the transaction. If you want to add a PIN pad, you’re enabling greater security, and in that case, you can also process debit cards and EBT cards as well.

You also have the option to add a receipt printer to a countertop terminal. You can then print out a credit card receipt that the customer signs (that you retain for your records), and a copy is printed for the customer as well.

While card-present transactions are standard, it’s also possible to use a countertop payment terminal in a “card-not-present” (CNP) situation. Merchants who accept mail, telephone/fax, or online orders can send the credit card information to the terminal (via keyed in transactions) in order to process the sale.

RELATED: Will a Stax Wireless Card Reader Improve Your Business?

Recommended Credit Card Terminals 

If your business needs traditional credit card terminals, consider the following:

Dejavoo Z11 The Z11 countertop terminal has EMV and NFC capabilities built-in, and can accept all modern payment methods, including mobile and contactless credit card payments (e.g., Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Wallet, Visa payWave, MasterCard PayPass). It has a touchscreen display and PIN pad, making it easy for customers to enter their payment information at checkout.

Dejavoo Z8 The Z8 is similar to the Z11 in that it also supports EMV and NFC technology. Like the Z11, this credit card machine also lets you accept both mobile and contactless debit card and credit card payments. The key difference is that the Z8 isn’t a touchscreen device.

PAX A920 The A90 comes with a 5″ IPS touchscreen and 2″ thermal printer, making it a sleek and portable payment terminal that works both as a countertop card reader and mobile device. Powered by an Android operating system, the A90 lets you accept payments behind the counter or even on the sales floor.

Mobile and Wireless Payment Terminals

Outside of traditional retail are mobile and wireless terminals. These usually work best for merchants and service professionals who operate in the field and need payments collected at the customer’s home. Mobile and wireless credit card terminals work over an internet connection (either via WiFi or a cellular network), and are a great solution if you’re an on-the-spot merchant. These terminals also offer a better alternative if you’re tired of billing your customers and waiting for the payments to come through.

These devices are also gaining popularity in retail and hospitality. Thanks to their mobile functionality, retailers can ring up sales on the shop floor, while restaurant staff can bring the checkout experience to diners. Both instances help streamline payment processing and improve guests’ experiences.

Stax offers NPC mobile readers for small to mid-sized merchants looking to accept mobile payments anywhere they conduct business. With absolutely no additional equipment to purchase, all a merchant has to do is download the app on their mobile device, activate the application, and right then, they have a handheld terminal at their fingertips. This mobile payment processing solution is compatible with iPhone, Android, and RIM operating systems, and it’s supported by all major wireless providers.

Wireless terminals could also be the processing solution your business needs. These are compact and portable, and they allow you to keep up with sales in the field with more secure processing.

Mobile and wireless terminals enable merchants to go beyond traditional point-of-sale and cash-only operations. They both provide a new, updated, and innovative way to accept credit card payments from customers.

Recommended Payment Solutions

The following payment solutions are our top recommendations for businesses that need a mobile-friendly payment terminal.

Stax Pay

Stax Pay is a mobile app that’s available both on iOS and Android platforms. This powerful app enables you to accept payments using your mobile device. Just connect it with Stax’s Bluetooth mobile reader, and you can start swiping EMV chip cards effortlessly. Plus, with its PCI-compliant tokenization, you can rest assured knowing that your customers’ credit card information stays secure.

SwipeSimple: Mobile Chip Reader

The Mobile Chip Reader by SwipeSimple is a lightweight and compact device that has built in contactless technology, as well as a magstripe and EMV chip reader. The device connects to your phone via Bluetooth and is meant to be used with the SwipeSimple mobile app.

Virtual Credit Card Processing Terminals/eCommerce

Today’s customers rely heavily on the Internet to find services and shop for products. Merchants who accept “card-not-present” transactions, either online or over the phone, would benefit from a virtual terminal. Since there’s no need for a physical and traditional credit card terminal, a virtual terminal uses software to process online transactions.

At Stax, we use NPC Secure as a virtual terminal for our internet-based merchants who process and manage telephone, and even face-to-face transactions. As long as you have an internet connection, you can process payments directly through your website.

Restaurant Manager With Shipping Companies Processing Payment Via Payment Terminal Companies

Recommended Solution

At Stax, we have three different subscription-based pricing plans as well as access to direct cost processing with no contract, no markup, and no hidden fees. Learn more about how Stax can benefit your business and eliminate those higher processing fees.

You Might Also Like: Looking for an in-person Card Reader Terminal for Your Bar?

Selecting the Right Payment Terminals for Your Small Business

There are numerous credit card terminals, readers, and solutions in the market, so selecting the best one can feel overwhelming. You can simplify the process by following these tips:

1. Figure out your needs (and wants)

Take the time to figure out your payment terminals and processing needs. Do a bit of introspection for your business and ask yourself questions like:

  • What does your checkout process look like?
  • What payment types do you need to accept?
  • Will you need a mobile card reader?
  • Are you looking for a merchant account?

2. Understand fee structures

There are several ways that payment processors structure their fees. (You can learn more about them here.) At Stax, we offer a subscription-based pricing plan as well as access to direct cost processing with no contract, no markup, and no hidden fees. Rather than taking a cut out of your sales, we simply charge a flat membership fee and give you access to wholesale credit card processing costs. With Stax, businesses often save up to 40% in payment processing costs.

To choose the most cost-effective provider, you should start by looking at your credit card processing volumes. Most credit card and debit card processors charge a markup based on your transaction values, which means the more you process with your credit card processor, the more you pay.

3. Read customer reviews

Once you’ve got a shortlist of providers that fit your needs and are within your budget, you need to verify that the company is actually reliable and good to work with. These days, there are a lot of third-party sites that collect reviews on B2B software providers, like Capterra and G2. By reading through these reviews, you can verify the claims that the company makes during the sales process.

Get the Right Credit Card Terminals for Your Business

Looking to level up your payment processing?

Get in touch with Stax today to learn more about the credit card terminals we offer and the payment solutions that would benefit your business the most.

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FAQs about Credit Card Terminals

Q: What are some of the best payment terminal companies for my business?

Some of the best payment terminal companies include Dejavoo, PAX, and Stax. Each of these companies offers different models of payment terminals, such as the Dejavoo Z11 and Z8, and the PAX A920, that cater to various types of businesses.

Q: What are the benefits of choosing the right payment terminal for my business?

The right payment terminal can help reduce your processing costs and increase your profits. It can also streamline your checkout process, improve security, and offer an enhanced experience to your customers by accepting different types of payment methods, including mobile and contactless payments.

Q: What is the difference between a traditional retail payment terminal and a mobile or wireless payment terminal?

Traditional retail payment terminals are primarily used for in-person transactions at retail shops or restaurants. On the other hand, mobile and wireless payment terminals are ideal for businesses that operate on the go and need to collect payments at the customer’s location. These terminals work over an internet connection and provide a convenient alternative to billing customers and waiting for payments.

Q: What are some recommended payment solutions for businesses that need a mobile-friendly payment terminal?

Mobile-friendly payment solutions include the Stax Pay mobile app and the Mobile Chip Reader by SwipeSimple. Stax Pay allows you to accept payments using your mobile device, while the Mobile Chip Reader is a lightweight and compact device that can connect to your phone via Bluetooth.

Q: What is a virtual credit card processing terminal?

A virtual credit card processing terminal is a software that enables merchants to process “card-not-present” transactions online or over the phone. This type of terminal is beneficial for businesses that operate online and require an efficient way to process payments directly through their website.

Q: How do I select the right payment terminal for my small business?

To select the right payment terminal for your business, consider your payment processing needs, the types of payments you need to accept, and whether you need a mobile card reader. You should also evaluate your credit card processing volumes as most processors charge a markup based on your transaction values.

Q: How can Stax benefit my business in terms of payment processing?

Stax offers subscription-based pricing plans and access to direct cost processing with no contract, markup, or hidden fees. Instead of taking a cut from your sales, Stax charges a flat membership fee and gives you access to wholesale credit card processing costs. This could result in savings of up to 40% in payment processing costs for your business.


 

Credit Card Processing for Small Business: 9 Tips for Accepting Payments Securely and Cost-Effectively

Just starting out with your small business? Finding great credit card processing rates may seem impossible, but there’s hope. By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to secure credit card processing rates that make big businesses jealous.

TL;DR

  • Not all credit card processing companies are created equal. To ensure that you’re able to take payments in a cost-effective way, be sure to carefully compare their fee structures, contract terms, and available features. Look for transparency in pricing, no hidden fees, and options that suit your specific business needs.
  • Make it a point to choose the right pricing models. Prefer interchange-plus pricing over tiered models for transparency and control over costs; avoid leasing terminals by purchasing affordable ones outright.
  • It’s best to avoid long-term contracts. Opt for flexible, month-to-month contracts without hidden fees for credit card processing to avoid being locked into unfavorable terms.

Here are Stax’ Top Credit Card Processing Tips.

In today’s world, knowing how credit card transactions work is super important for any business owner, given that card transactions make up the bulk of all payment transactions. No matter if you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for a while, making your credit card system work better can really help your business grow—by saving you money, making your systems more efficient, or improving your customer experience.

Avoid Non-Mandatory Contracts

No one likes to be stuck in a contract, from cell phone contracts to credit card processing contracts. It’s common in the credit card processing industry to lock clients into multi-year contracts filled with hidden fees. Contracts are not mandatory, especially contracts with cancellation fees. Most processors will actually waive that fee if you tell them no, so don’t be afraid to speak up. If you can, find a company that doesn’t offer contracts—or offers rolling month-to-month contracts.

If you do opt for a contract, you should read the terms very carefully, looking for hidden fees, rate changes and other specifications that may end up costing you money. 

It’s also worth asking ahead of time what the renegotiation process would look like. It’s not unusual for companies of any type to raise rates quite a bit when starting a new contract, and it’s best to be prepared for what to expect. 

Be sure you know if there is a date you need to provide an opt-out by if you end up switching processors, as well. Some contracts will automatically renew (potentially at higher rates) if you pass a certain date without providing notice that you’re ending usage of the processor.

Learn More

Find Affordable Terminals and Avoid Leases

Credit cards and EMV terminals are cheaper than you think. A good terminal can cost around $250 these days, so don’t try and lease one if you have the money to buy one upfront. If your processing company offers to include one in a contract, always make sure to read the fine print to see how much they’re charging you for it. It’s usually better to buy one yourself and get a cheaper rate.

Avoid Tiered Pricing

If you’ve had a business before, then you’re probably used to tiered pricing. It’s expensive and unneeded with its lack of transparency, so stay away from it at all costs. 

Instead, go for interchange pricing. Interchange results in lower costs and doesn’t include any surcharges. Paying interchange rates instead of tiered rates is a common practice among big businesses and it’s the best option for you as it gives you the most control over costs of all the pricing types.

Always Know Where Your Money Goes

Before you start looking for a good credit card processing rate, you need to do your research. Learn where your money goes by looking up interchange and assessment fees. Interchange, as we mentioned earlier, is the best way to go when choosing a pricing option. They are a fixed credit card processing expense, and they’re the same for all processors. Here are the Mastercard and Visa interchange fees, for example.

Assessments are also a series of rates and fees charged by Visa and MasterCard, and they are the same across the board.

Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean processing companies can treat you like one. Credit card processing rates are the same for all businesses, big or small, so don’t let them make you feel insignificant as a small business starting out. The bigger you think, the smaller your rates.

Secure your transactions

Ensuring your customers’ transactions are secure isn’t just in the customers’ best interests. It’s in yours too.

Secure transactions ensure you can maintain a trustworthy reputation with past and future customers, as well as reducing the financial losses that come from the fines and legal fees associated with compromising customer data. 

One of the most famous data breaches happened to Target in 2013. They were required to pay an $18M settlement, but losses are estimated to top $200M. A large part of that was simply lost customer revenue. Their earnings dropped 46% afterwards because people were afraid to shop there. It was a potent example for everyone of just how important your company’s reputation for security is with your customers. 

Optimize your credit card processing speeds

Slow transactions are, at best, an annoyance to customers, and at worst, result in lost sales, especially online. In order to improve processing speeds, you should make sure your POS equipment is up-to-date and that your internet connection is both stable and fast. Part of this includes performing regular maintenance on your hardware- and software, and ensuring that your settings are configured for reduced friction. 

For instance, you should reduce the amount of prompts that an employee or customer might have to click through in order to actually proceed with payment. 

Use Address Verification Services (AVS)

AVS is a fraud prevention measure for online and card-not-present transactions. It’ll compare the billing address provided in the transaction to the billing address on file with the card issuer. The service can determine if the addresses are a perfect match, partial match, or not a match at all. 

AVS does not prevent all types of fraud, but it’s a good way to detect suspicious transactions. Generally, you’ll implement AVS directly through your credit card processor, and you’ll need to monitor its effectiveness over time to improve the system.

Train Your Staff To Handle Data Securely

For in-person transactions, it’s crucial your staff is able to take payments in an efficient and trustworthy manner. Customers need to feel that their data is secure and that transactions don’t take any longer than necessary. Furthermore, your staff is likely the weakest point in your security due to the factor of human error – among other things. Providing your staff with education on how to handle customer data can help prevent data breaches that even a well-intended employee might cause.

There are a few key areas to provide training on:

  • Recognizing what potential risks may look like (such as common phishing tactics).
  • The physical measures required to keep customer data protected, such as locking devices or safely stowing and securing any actual paperwork with customer data.
  • Require employees to create strong passwords for any systems they access (this includes implementing two-factor authentication wherever possible).

Leverage Your Data

Your credit card processing solution will ultimately gather a lot of unique data on customer behavior and preferences. Analyzing this data in the reports your processor provides can help tailor marketing efforts and improve overall business strategies. The data gathered by a credit card processor is particularly handy in identifying trends and patterns – and therefore forecasting what business will likely look like during a certain time period. 

At this point, most businesses do use systems other than the credit card processor as their central operating system (think an ERP or eCommerce site host). Because of that it’s crucial to ensure that any credit card processor you choose can integrate their data with your preferred central system. Otherwise, you’ll be unable to compare data in real time – and all data comparisons will result in a headache of manual effort.

Many of our tips apply to how Stax works, with no contracts, surcharges, and optimized terminals that pair perfectly with our subscription pricing plans.

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FAQs about Credit Card Processing For Small Business

Q: What is credit card processing for small business?

Credit card processing for small businesses involves enabling these businesses to accept payments through credit cards. This process requires a merchant account, which is a special type of bank account that allows businesses to receive payments in multiple forms, including credit and debit cards.

Q: What are credit card processing fees for small businesses?

Credit card processing fees for small businesses are various charges that businesses incur to accept credit card payments. These fees are typically a combination of percentage-based and flat fees and can vary based on the credit card processor, the type of card used (credit or debit), and whether the card is present during the transaction. 

The main types of fees include interchange fees (paid to the card-issuing bank), assessment fees (paid to the credit card network like Visa or MasterCard), and the payment processor’s markup.

Q: How do I accept a credit card payment for a small business?

To accept credit card payments for a small business, you first need to set up a merchant account with a bank or an independent payment processor. After this, you choose the appropriate hardware and software for processing transactions. This could be a traditional credit card terminal, a point-of-sale (POS) system, or a mobile card reader that works with smartphones or tablets. You also need to ensure you have a payment gateway if you’re accepting online payments.

Q: What’s the cheapest way to take card payments?

The cheapest way to take card payments often depends on the volume and nature of your transactions. That said, comparing different providers and negotiating for better rates can also help you in finding the most affordable solution.

It’s also important to choose a payment processor that offers a merchant-friendly pricing structure. As mentioned earlier, tiered pricing is NOT the best option because it often lacks transparency and can be more expensive in the long run. In tiered pricing, transactions are categorized into different tiers (qualified, mid-qualified, non-qualified) based on various criteria, and each tier has its own fee. This model can be confusing and unpredictable, making it hard for businesses to forecast expenses. 

Instead, opt for a transparent and cost-effective pricing method such as interchange-plus or subscription. 

Q: How can I start taking credit cards for my business?

First, choose a credit card processing service that aligns with your business needs. Once approved, you will need to acquire the necessary hardware (like credit card terminals or mobile card readers) and software for processing transactions. If you’re planning to accept online payments, setting up a payment gateway is essential. Finally, ensure your system is compliant with industry security standards (PCI DSS) to protect your customers’ card information.  

Demystifying Credit Card Interchange Fees: What You Need to Know [2024 Rates and Updates]

When you research payment solution providers, you’ll start hearing the term “interchange” used when talking about payments. Interchange is the fee that credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard charge businesses to accept their cards.

The interchange fee depends on a number of factors and isn’t always easy to understand. In this article, we will break down credit card interchange fees so you will know exactly how much you’re spending when running your business.

In this post:

  • What are interchange fees?
  • How much does interchange cost?
    • Visa interchange fees
    • Mastercard interchange fees
    • Discover interchange fees
    • American Express interchange (OptBlue)
  • What is the total cost of accepting credit cards?
    • Set rate processing
    • Subscription rate processing

TL;DR

  • Interchange fees are not collected by your payment processor or bank; they go directly to the card-issuing banks.
  • Interchange fees vary significantly depending on the card issuer, the issuing bank, type of transaction and/or merchant type. Memorizing all of the nuances is impossible, but understanding the interchange rate range most common for your business is a good best practice.
  • While interchange fees are unavoidable, there are strategies to help minimize their impact, including choosing a cost-effective payment processor, implementing surcharging, and more.

What Are Interchange Fees?

Interchange is the fee credit card companies charge businesses to accept their cards. Essentially, the merchant pays the card brand for the convenience of accepting this payment method since that is the way your customers want to pay.

Interchange fees help cover the risks associated with accepting electronic payments while ensuring your company has access to guaranteed payment when a customer makes a purchase. Interchange fees are simply a cost of doing business.

Understanding the concept of interchange fees is crucial for businesses looking to optimize their payment processing costs. These fees are set by the payment networks and are typically expressed as a percentage of the transaction value or as a fixed amount per transaction. The exact fee structure varies depending on factors like card type, transaction type, industry, and location.

It’s important to note that interchange fees are not collected by your payment processor or bank; they go directly to the card-issuing banks. Your payment processor, however, plays a role in facilitating the transaction and deducts its own processing fee from the overall charge.

Debit card transactions generally have lower interchange fees compared to credit card transactions. This is because debit cards are linked directly to the customer’s bank account, and the risk of non-payment or default is lower. By actively encouraging customers to use debit cards, businesses can effectively reduce the interchange fees associated with card payments.

While interchange fees may seem like an added expense, it’s crucial to recognize the value they bring to your business. Accepting credit and debit cards allows you to cater to a wider customer base, improve customer satisfaction, and enhance the overall shopping experience. By offering convenient payment options, you can attract more customers and increase sales.

To ensure the interchange fees you pay are reasonable and competitive, it’s essential to regularly review and negotiate your fee structure with your payment processor. Stay informed about any updates or changes in interchange fee schedules to ensure you’re paying the most optimal rates for your business.

Additionally, optimizing your payment processing infrastructure and implementing measures to minimize chargebacks can have a significant impact on reducing interchange fees. By investing in secure payment gateways, fraud detection systems, and robust transaction processing protocols, you can lower the risk of chargebacks and avoid unnecessary fees.

Remember, while interchange fees are an inherent part of accepting card payments, implementing smart strategies and staying proactive can help you minimize their impact on your business. One such strategy includes implementing credit card surcharging to offset the cost of interchange fees. By understanding the fee structure, promoting debit card usage, and optimizing your payment processing operations, you can effectively manage and reduce interchange fees, ultimately improving your bottom line.

Interchange fees are an essential consideration for businesses that accept card payments. These fees are a cost that businesses incur to facilitate the convenience and security of card transactions. While it’s true that businesses pay interchange fees, it’s important to understand that they are a necessary part of the payment ecosystem.

Interchange fees enable payment networks and card-issuing banks to cover the costs associated with maintaining the infrastructure, managing fraud risk, and providing the benefits and rewards programs associated with credit and debit cards.

As a business owner, it’s crucial to factor in these interchange fees when evaluating the overall costs of accepting card payments. By understanding the dynamics of interchange fees and implementing strategies to optimize their impact, businesses can effectively manage their expenses and find a balance that allows them to provide convenient payment options to customers while minimizing the amount they pay in interchange fees.

How Much Does Interchange Cost?

Interchange fees vary widely across card brands, credit card networks, card types, and how you process cards. Credit cards that offer points or rewards cards typically come with higher interchange fees, as do corporate cards.

Generally, debit card transactions are much less expensive than credit card payments for you to process and come with a lower interchange rate than credit cards. Card-present transactions also incur lower rates compared to card-not-present transactions. However, an exemption to this is debit cards issued by a bank with less than $10 billion in assets, also referred to as “exempt”, often a local bank or credit union—these have some of the highest interchange rates of all.

While you have control over whether a cardholder’s card is swiped or keyed in at the point of sale, you can’t control what kind of card they use. That’s why interchange varies so widely. For a $100 transaction, a swiped Mastercard debit card will cost you around 27¢. However, for the same transaction, using a Visa corporate commercial credit card will cost you around $2.60. It’s easy to see how over the course of the year, these fees can stack up.

Below, we’ll give a sampling of interchange rates for the most popular card brands. Please note there are many other categories not covered in this table, including variations by card type, business type, whether the bank is regulated or exempt, and more.

Learn More

Visa Interchange Fees

As mentioned earlier, interchange fees will depend on several variables. Before reading on, let’s also clarify the terminology you’ll see below. 

Beyond the card type (debit, or the various kinds of credit cards), you’ll also see “exempt” or “regulated” which indicate different fees for debit cards. The Durbin Amendment established these two ratings to differentiate the card-issuing banks based on their assets. 

For card issuing banks with assets in excess of $10 billion, these are regulated; card-issuing banks with less than $10 billion in assets are non-regulated and fall under the “exempt” category. The difference in these fees does vary significantly and is something the merchant has no control over or visibility into when the customer presents their card to pay.

Below is a list of common interchange for various scenarios, for the full list of interchange fees by Visa card type, refer to the guide linked below:

Transaction Type Card Type or Bank Classification/Interchange Fee
CPS/Retail, Debit – Card Present Exempt: 0.80% + $0.15

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.21

CPS/Card Not Present, Debit Exempt: 1.65% + $0.15

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.21

CPS-Restaurant, Debit – Card Present Exempt: 1.19% + $0.10

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.21

CPS/e-Commerce Basic, Debit Exempt: 1.65% + $0.15

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.21

CPS/Retail, Prepaid Exempt: 1.15% + $0.15

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.21

Retail, Credit, Performance Threshold III Visa Signature: 1.65% + $0.10

Visa Signature Preferred: 2.10% + $0.10

Traditional Rewards: 1.51% + $0.10

Small Merchant Product 2, Credit  Visa Signature: 1.43% + $0.10

Visa Signature Preferred: 1.88% + $0.10

Traditional Rewards: 1.43% + $0.10

See full Visa interchange rates.

Mastercard Interchange Fees

You’ll see below that MasterCard and Visa do not use the same criteria to delineate the type of transaction or card types, nor does their official guidance use the same verbiage. However, you’ll find the average interchange fee range of percentage plus the flat fee per transaction is similar to other popular card issuers.

Transaction type Program Name (Card Type)/Interchange Fee
Restaurant World (USD): 1.85% + $0.10

World High Value (USD) 2.00% + $0.10

Small Ticket (Transaction Amount <$5), Card Present Core (USD): 1.65% + $0.02

World (USD): 1.90% +$0.02

World High Value (USD): 2.30% + $0.02

Small Ticket (Transaction Amount <$5), Card Not Present Core (USD): 1.95% + $0.02

World (USD): 2.20% +$0.02

World High Value (USD): 2.60% + $0.02

Regulated POS Debit, purchases and purchases with cash back Debit Rate (USD): 0.05% + $0.21

Prepaid Rate (USD): 0.05% + $0.21

Payment Transactions, Debit and Prepaid Cards Exempt Debit (USD): 0.19% + $0.53

Exempt Prepaid (USD): 0.19% + $0.53

PIN Debit Payment Transaction Rate (USD): 0.19% + $0.53
PIN Regulated POS Debit Rate (USD): 0.05% + $0.21

See full Mastercard interchange rates.

Discover Interchange Fees

Discover does not publish its full interchange rates online, so below is an estimate provided by a third-party provider. Please note that for debit cards, the fees will vary depending on whether the bank is regulated or exempt and for credit cards it will vary depending on whether the card is swiped or hand-keyed.

Card Type Interchange Fee 
Discover Debit, card present Exempt: 1.10% + $0.16

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.22

Discover Debit, card not present Exempt: 1.75% + $0.20

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.22

Discover Consumer credit card Swiped: 1.56% + $0.10

Keyed: 1.87% + $0.10

Discover Rewards Swiped: 1.71% + $0.10

Keyed: 1.97% + $0.10

To access full Discover interchange rates, you need to use a verification code provided by your acquirer.

American Express Interchange Fees

American Express works differently from the other brands in that the card type does not impact the processing rate. Instead, your industry or merchant category code (MCC) will play a larger role in deciding how much you pay in credit card processing fees.

For smaller businesses, you’ll probably be accepting American Express through their program called OptBlue. Through OptBlue, your payment technology provider will determine how much you pay for AmEx and bundle it in with the ability to accept more popular card types. This way, you can accept AmEx customers (who historically have higher ticket prices) without breaking the bank.

You can read more about the OptBlue program at Merchant Maverick.

How Do Credit Card Interchange Fees Work?

As you can see, interchange fees vary from one credit card network to the next. These fees are set by Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express every April and October. As for how these fees are split, a percentage of the interchange rates goes to the card issuers aka card-issuing banks—e.g., Capital One, Chase, or Bank of America. The rest of the fees go to the credit card brand. This is important to point out because it shows that interchange fees are not charged by your payment processing company (and thus, they’re non-negotiable).

Payment processors typically charge a markup on top of the interchange, which is essentially how they make money. So while you technically can’t negotiate your way to lower interchange fees, you can still save on overall payment processing costs by working with the right provider.

How Much Do You Pay?

At the end of the day, how much you’re paying for credit card processing relies on your payment solutions provider. Many payment processors like Stripe, Square, PayPal, and bank merchant services offer flat-rate processing. Some others, including Stax, offer subscription-style processing that gives you access to the lowest rates of interchange.

Avoiding Higher Interchange Fees

In the modern digital age, electronic payments have become the norm, with credit and debit cards being widely used for transactions. However, along with the convenience of card payments, businesses face the challenge of interchange fees, which can significantly impact their bottom line.

Choose the Right Payment Processor

The choice of payment processor plays a crucial role in managing interchange fees. Different processors offer various pricing models, so it’s essential to compare options and negotiate competitive rates. Look for processors that provide transparent pricing structures and offer interchange plus pricing, where the interchange fee is passed through directly without any markup. This approach can help you avoid unnecessary additional charges and optimize your fee structure.

Optimize Card Acceptance

Understanding the types of cards you accept and their associated interchange fees is key to minimizing costs. Payment networks classify cards into different categories, and fees vary depending on factors like card type (credit or debit), payment method (chip and PIN, contactless), and industry-specific cards (corporate, rewards). By optimizing your card acceptance policies, you can encourage customers to use lower-cost payment methods and reduce interchange fees.

Encourage Debit Card Usage

Debit cards generally carry lower interchange fees compared to credit cards. Actively promoting debit card usage among your customers can help lower your overall interchange fee expenses. Consider offering incentives, such as discounts or rewards, for customers who choose to pay with their debit cards. This not only benefits your customers but also reduces your payment processing costs.

Streamline Processing and Reduce Chargebacks

Efficient transaction processing and minimizing chargebacks can have a positive impact on interchange fees. Implementing secure payment gateways and fraud detection systems can help reduce the risk of chargebacks, which can result in costly fees. Furthermore, optimizing your payment infrastructure to streamline processing and minimize errors can help prevent unnecessary charges and improve overall cost efficiency.

Regularly Review and Update Your Fee Structure

Interchange fees are subject to change, as payment networks periodically update their fee schedules. It is crucial to stay informed about these changes and periodically review your fee structure to ensure you’re paying the most competitive rates available. This review process may involve renegotiating with your payment processor or exploring alternative options in the market to find the best fit for your business.

Consider Surcharge Programs

Depending on your region and applicable regulations, you may have the option to implement surcharge programs, where you pass on the interchange fees to customers directly. While this strategy requires careful consideration and compliance with legal requirements, it can be an effective way to offset interchange fees (especially for a small business) and transfer the cost to the end-user.

Interchange fees are charges imposed by payment networks, such as Visa and Mastercard, for processing card transactions. While these fees are unavoidable, there are several smart strategies that businesses can employ to minimize their impact. In this article, we will explore practical tips to help businesses navigate and reduce interchange fees effectively.

Here’s how these different rates work:

Tiered Pricing

A common pricing model in the payment processing realm is called tiered pricing. This method bundles the interchange rate with the processor’s markup and then puts your transactions into three tiers: qualified, mid-qualified, and non-qualified.

Card payments that are in the “qualified” tier incur lower rates while “non-qualified” transactions cost more to process.

Here’s where things get dicey: how transactions are categorized is completely at the discretion of the processor. What some payment processing companies consider as “qualified” may not be the same for others. There’s no transparency with tiered pricing fees, making it difficult to figure out whether or not you’re overpaying.

Set Rate Processing aka Flat Fee Processing

With set rate processing, you have a non-negotiable flat fee per credit card transaction, regardless of card or industry type. For instance, Stripe charges 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction. So whether you’re accepting a debit card with a 0.05% + 22¢ interchange rate or a corporate card with a 2.50% + 10¢ interchange rate, you pay the same rate.

While this may seem simpler at first, the reality is that you could be overpaying for credit card processing with these systems. In the example above, Visa would receive the .05% + 22¢, while Stripe would be making a whopping 2.5% + 8¢ on your transaction. That’s why we introduced simple subscription-based pricing.

Interchange Fees And How To Understand Them | Payment Processing

Flat Subscription Rate Processing

Subscription-based processors have a similar concept to other subscription services you’re used to, such as warehouse stores like Costco. You pay a low fee to get access to warehouse pricing on goods, where you then can buy as much as you want with no cap on savings. Stax’ subscription pricing starts at just $99 per month. Regardless if your sale is $50 or $5,000, you pay the flat cost of processing without a percent markup.

Every business is different, which is why we don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. Based on the types of cards your customers are using and your average transactions, we’ll be able to show you exactly which type of plan makes sense for your business.

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FAQs about Interchange Fees

Q: What are interchange fees?

Interchange fees are charges imposed by payment networks, such as Visa and Mastercard, to businesses for processing credit and debit card transactions. These fees are set by the payment networks and go to the card-issuing banks to cover various costs, including infrastructure maintenance, fraud protection, and rewards programs.

Q: Do I pay interchange fees directly?

No, interchange fees are not paid directly by businesses to the payment networks. Instead, they are deducted by your payment processor or acquiring bank and passed on to the card-issuing banks.

Q: How can I reduce interchange fees?

While interchange fees are unavoidable, there are strategies to help minimize their impact. These include negotiating competitive rates with your payment processor, optimizing card acceptance policies to encourage lower-cost payment methods, promoting debit card usage, streamlining processing to minimize errors, and staying updated on fee structures to ensure you are paying the most competitive rates available.

Q: Are interchange fees the same for all types of cards?

No, interchange fees vary depending on factors such as card type (credit or debit), payment method (chip and PIN, contactless), and industry-specific cards (corporate, rewards). Debit card transactions generally have lower interchange fees compared to credit card transactions.

Q: Can I pass interchange fees on to my customers?

The ability to pass interchange fees on to customers depends on regional regulations and legal requirements. In most states, businesses may have the option to implement surcharge programs where interchange fees are directly passed on to customers. However, it’s important to research and comply with applicable laws before considering this option. CardX by Stax is the leader in automated surcharging compliance and can help your business implement passing on these fees properly.

Q: How often do interchange fees change?

Interchange fees are subject to periodic updates by payment networks. They can change annually or even more frequently. Staying informed about these changes and periodically reviewing your fee structure is essential to ensure you are paying the most competitive rates available.

Q: Is it possible to avoid an interchange fee?

It is not possible to completely avoid interchange fees when accepting card payments. Interchange fees are an inherent part of the payment ecosystem and are charged by the payment networks and card-issuing banks to cover various costs associated with processing transactions, maintaining infrastructure, managing fraud risk, and providing cardholder benefits. Your business cannot avoid paying interchange fees, but you can employ strategies to minimize the impact and optimize your payment processing costs.


 

A Primer on Simple Mobile Payments for Small Business: What Merchants Need to Know

When you’re serving customers, you need to be as fast and efficient as possible—no matter how big or small your business is. Your customers are busy and so are you. 

Thankfully, with mobile payments from Stax, you can quickly accept and process payments from your customers. You’ll get paid right away and they’ll be satisfied with the transaction.

Learn all about mobile payments and why you may want to consider joining the Stax family to streamline payments and boost your small business’ productivity.

TL;DR

  • Mobile payment processing means exchanging money through a mobile device such as a cell phone, smartwatch, or tablet. To stay competitive and make their customers’ lives as easy as possible, small business owners need to consider offering mobile payments as one of their payment options. 
  • There are five types of mobile payments small businesses can offer: NFC (near-field communications) payments, QR code payments, billing and invoicing apps, MST payments, and SMS payments. At the moment, contactless payments are more-or-less the safest mobile payment method—both for customers and businesses.
  • Mobile payments are much more secure than cash and checks. With mobile payments from Stax, you will only have to pay an affordable subscription price, so you won’t get charged any extra transaction fees on top of what credit card companies charge. 

What Is Mobile Payment Processing?

Mobile payment processing means exchanging money through a mobile device such as a cell phone, smartwatch, or tablet. For example, if a field services roofing technician visits a client to install shingles, when they’re done, they can send the customer a link in a text message to pay for the installation. A client could also go on their mobile phone and click a secure link in their messages and pay.

As the world goes cashless, more and more people and businesses are choosing to use mobile payments. According to Statista, in 2022, there were 2.8 billion mobile wallets in use by consumers worldwide. Another survey by Forbes conducted in August 2023, shows that 53% of Americans choose to use their digital wallets rather than make payments in other traditional ways. Moreover, almost half (47%) of those surveyed admitted that they spend more when using digital wallets compared to other forms of payment.  

To stay competitive and make their customers’ lives as easy as possible, small business owners need to consider offering mobile payments as one of their payment options. It isn’t just for young people or startups; anyone with a mobile device can utilize mobile payment processing because it’s so simple.

Learn More

What Types of Simple Mobile Payments are There?

Simple mobile payments give small businesses a great deal of flexibility. Taking payments on your mobile device allows you to sell your goods or services anywhere there’s an internet connection. As of 2023, there are five types of mobile payments small businesses can offer.

1. NFC (Near-field communication) payments 

This is the most common way that a business can accept mobile payments from customers. It simply means that the business can accept payments using a mobile device such as an iPhone or Android device. NFC payments are very secure as any data that is exchanged during a transaction is always encrypted. The technology also uses RFID (radio-frequency identification), which makes simple mobile payments safer. 

A business must have an NFC-enabled card reader so that contactless payments can take place between the mobile devices of customers and the card reader. In most cases, your payment software or point-of-sale (POS) will offer an app that allows you to take NFC payments from mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay. 

A mobile wallet is a virtual wallet that links to a customer’s credit or debit card, or stores their bank information on the mobile device. To make a payment, the customer opens the app on their mobile device and taps the device on a POS terminal or card reader, and voila—money is transferred from the customer’s account to the business. 

With an attached mobile card reader, you’ll also be able to accept standard plastic credit card payments from American Express, Discover, and more.

2. QR (Quick Response) code payments 

A QR code is a square, tetris-like box that appears in black and white. One way that QR codes are used to make mobile payments is when a customer scans a merchant’s QR code with their mobile device camera. Usually, the mobile device needs to have an app that can decode the QR code once it has been scanned. Once decoded, a link appears on the customer’s device that they can click on and open to complete the payment. 

What makes this method so convenient for a brick-and-mortar business is that they can print out the QR codes on paper and hang them up near their POS terminals. Customers can then scan the code and make payments quickly leading to shorter queues at checkout and with minimal interaction with the cashier. 

Another way to use QR codes is to have the QR code on the customer’s mobile device that the merchant can scan with their card reader. In this case, the customer needs to have a mobile payment app on their device that allows the customer’s card or bank account details to be embedded in a QR code. When the code is scanned by a merchant, the payment is completed.

3. Billing and invoicing apps 

Some payment providers allow you to invoice from a mobile app like Square and Paypal, so you can send invoices on the go or at the job site. This is especially handy for individual contractors such as handymen, repairmen, technicians, and maintenance workers. After completing a job, they can generate an invoice using an app on their mobile device and send it to a customer via email or a messaging app. The customer can then complete the payment using any one of the payment methods accepted by the merchant. 

4. MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) payments 

This is a new technology that is currently only available on Samsung (hence only Android) devices. This technology uses magnetic signals to connect a mobile device with a nearby POS terminal. These signals emulate the magnetic strip on physical credit cards to make a payment. As of now, MST payments do work on NFC-enabled terminals. 

5. SMS payments 

Text-to-pay is becoming more popular as well. This option allows you to send the customer a payment link via text message. They can then use the secure link and complete the payment on their mobile device.

How Does the Simple Mobile Payment Process Work?

The mobile payment process works a bit differently for each type of mobile payment.

At the moment, contactless payments are more-or-less the safest of the mobile payment methods for both the customer and the business at the moment. This is because a customer’s payment information isn’t passed along in plain numbers. Rather, it’s tokenized as a random string of characters. 

This token is transmitted via NFC to your payment gateway attached to your POS system. The business’ payment gateway then passes that token off to the payment processor in real time—never handling the customer’s card information at all. The payment processor then checks the token’s validity and authorizes the payment to go through.

Once the transaction is approved, authorization is sent back to the merchant and the transaction is completed. The payment processor will send the funds to your bank account within a few days.

Taking credit card payments on your mobile device at checkout is nearly identical to the method of running credit card transactions at your stationary point-of-sale system. In this case, you’ll have your payment service’s app running and run their card through a credit card reader that speaks to the app typically via Bluetooth. From there, everything runs as it would from the stationary system. 

Finally, for QR code payments and text-to-pay, your payment system will generate a link to online payment for the customer in the appropriate format. You will be able to generate the link from either your system’s mobile app or desktop software.

Paper-Based Payments vs. Mobile Payments

You’re using traditional payment methods such as cash, checks, and credit and debit cards. Perhaps you haven’t considered adding mobile payments into the mix. However, it can have a positive impact on your business if you do.

Why? You’re giving customers more options and providing them with an easy, convenient, and secure way to pay. They probably don’t like writing checks or carrying cash, which is risky. You’ll be able to expand your client base to people who prefer mobile payments just by downloading the Stax iOS or Android app in a matter of minutes. 

This will directly lead to an increase in sales volume and revenues. As mentioned earlier, a survey showed that customers spend more when using their digital wallets, so it can only be beneficial to your business if you can tap into this customer base. Plus, you’ll get paid on the spot, as opposed to waiting for a check to clear.

In this fast-paced world, paying by cash or writing a check at a point-of-sale (POS) can seem tedious to many. Simple mobile payments are quick, where a customer needs to tap their smartphone or any other mobile device on a card reader or a payment terminal, and the payment is completed in seconds. 

They don’t have to provide their signature, type in a PIN, dig through their purses or pockets for a pen to write a check, or unearth cash. This not only improves customer service but also frees up your staff to attend to more customers. If your staff is equipped with mobile card readers, then they will be able to accept simple mobile payments anywhere in your store.

Let’s say you only accept cash or checks. One of your employees then loses your customer’s check or cash before you can safely deposit it. What next? You don’t want to look unprofessional to your customer, but you also need to get paid. Stax can save you from that headache with less room for error.

Additionally, if you’re accepting debit and credit cards, those processing fees can eat into your profits. Why spend more money on payment processing than you have to?

Keep in mind that you do not need to eliminate cash, checks, and debit and credit cards altogether. Customers who aren’t well versed in mobile payments may not know how to use them or they could be skeptical of them and unwilling to change their mind. You could always give them the ability to pay with more traditional methods, too. If checks are the standard form of payment for your business or industry, here’s some good news: Stax has an electronic ACH processing feature for easy collection.

How Secure Are Mobile Payments?

Mobile payments are much more secure than cash and checks. Your employees can lose cash or checks, or a check can bounce. And though it may rarely happen, cash can be counterfeit as well.

Hackers can also steal customers’ information when they swipe their debit and credit cards on an in-person device. With mobile payments, customers’ financial information is encrypted so that hackers cannot see it. 

Essentially, when a payment is sent, the customer data is scrambled and hackers are unable to decipher what it means. Hence, there is much less of a chance of your customers’ information being stolen.

Using platforms that carry the highest level of security is critical. No matter how and where they collect payments, every single business using Stax is protected with the highest level of PCI security standards.

Of course, no system is perfect. You should still take the necessary precautions to protect your mobile devices, like placing a secure password on them that only certain employees know. Another good idea is to change your passwords periodically and to ensure that employees who are no longer with your company cannot access your mobile payments processing system anymore.

Company cell phones and other mobile devices should only be utilized for business and not personal use like browsing websites or going on social media. If employees browse the web while working, they could stumble upon a website that installs malware on the device. You should provide your employees with best practices for using your devices, such as never clicking on suspicious links or emails from unknown senders. Keeping your mobile devices updated and using anti-virus software can also provide advanced protection.

The Costs of Mobile Payments

When you take traditional payment methods like checks and cash, you have to spend time and money going to a bank and depositing them. If you accept credit cards, you will have to pay a processing fee of around 1.3% to 3.4%, along with the payment processor’s fees.

However, with mobile payments from Stax, you will only have to pay an affordable subscription price. When it comes to processing, you won’t get charged any extra transaction fees on top of what the credit card companies charge. You will save big, especially as you scale up and grow. The more you process, the greater the chance you’ll have of a higher return on investment even with the credit card processing fees. With Stax, you’ll have direct access to the true rates.

The easy-to-understand Stax model won’t hit you with any hidden fees.  You won’t have to worry about paying multiple vendors since you can process and manage all your mobile payments in one place. You will always know exactly what you are paying for and why. Accepting payments of all types from digital payments to in-store payments has never been easier.

What You’ll Need To Start Taking Mobile Payments

First and foremost, you’ll need one or more mobile devices with internet access. You’ll also need a payment service provider. If you’re planning on taking credit card payments, you’ll also need to get a mobile credit card reader. Once you’ve got all three of those items, you’ll set up your payment methods following your payment provider’s instructions.

You shouldn’t stop there, though. Once you’re able to take mobile payments, be sure to let your customers know this is an option. You can post a sign at your storefront or send your customers an email. You should also make sure your employees are mentioning it as an option at checkout. 

Tips for Choosing a Payment Provider

Choosing a payment provider can be intimidating for small business owners. Here are some tips to help you out:

  1. Take the time to understand your needs. Write out your must-haves and your wants. Keep these front and center while researching options.
  2. Make sure you understand the fee structure of each provider you’re vetting. Many have hidden fees and make it difficult to know what their price tag really is until you’ve already signed up.
  3. Find out if the providers you’re looking at integrate with your tech stack. If they don’t have a pre-existing integration, some providers may be able to build one for you.
  4. Do consider whether the provider is flexible enough to scale with you over time. You may be a small business now, but that may not always be the case. You don’t want to be stuck dealing with cumbersome workarounds once you outgrow your system.
  5. Read the provider’s reviews on third party websites and ask to speak to references. Doing your due diligence now will save on pain later.

Signing Up for Stax

You can easily sign up for Stax today. All you have to do is contact Stax to speak with a Payments Consultant. Stax not only provides secure, affordable, and contactless mobile payment processing; it also offers companies an all-in-one platform of scalable business tech to manage invoicing, financials, sales data, inventory, and customers.

Stax provides our customers with a real and clear view of their finances so they can make better decisions for their business. Once you sign up, you’ll be empowered to grow and ensure your business is a success, one mobile payment at a time.

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FAQs about Mobile Payments for Small Business

Q: What is mobile payment processing?

Mobile payment processing involves the transfer of funds facilitated via mobile devices like smartphones, smartwatches, or tablets. It provides quick, secure, and convenient options for customers to pay for goods or services. Examples of mobile payment processing methods include text-to-pay and secure link payment.

Q: Who can use mobile payment processing options?

Any individual or business with a mobile device can make use of mobile payment processing. As the world transitions towards cashless transactions, both consumers and companies, regardless of their size or nature, are opting for mobile payments. Offering mobile payments can keep businesses competitive, simplify payment processes, and improve customer satisfaction.

Q: What types of mobile payments can a small business offer?

Small businesses can offer various mobile payment options. These include near-field communication (NFC) payments through mobile wallets (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay), standard credit card payments, QR code payments, invoice payments from mobile apps, and text-to-pay options.

Q: How secure are mobile payments?

Mobile payments are considered more secure than traditional payment methods. Customers’ financial information is encrypted in mobile transactions, making it difficult for hackers to gain access. Reputable payment platforms like Stax ensure robust protection by adhering to the highest level of PCI security standards.

Q: What is the cost of mobile payments for small businesses?

Though there are costs associated with accepting mobile payments, they can be more cost-effective when factoring in the time-saving aspect and the cost of other payment methods. With a platform like Stax, businesses are charged an affordable subscription price, with no hidden fees.

Q: What does a small business need to start accepting mobile payments?

To start accepting mobile payments, a business needs one or more mobile devices with internet access, a reliable payment service provider, and possibly a mobile credit card reader. Once set up, the business should make sure to notify their customers about the new payment option.

Q: What should one consider when choosing a mobile payment provider?

When selecting a mobile payment provider, businesses should consider their needs, the provider’s fee structure, the ability to integrate with existing technologies, the provider’s adaptability to business growth, and reviews from other clients. Stax could be an excellent option as it provides secure, affordable, and user-friendly mobile payment processing, which integrates well with other business technologies.

Q: How does mobile payment processing benefit small businesses?

Mobile payment processing can have several benefits for small businesses. It can streamline the payment process, provide flexibility and convenience, increase customer satisfaction, secure customer data, save time, and potentially reduce costs. Additionally, it allows the business to accept payments from a broader range of customers, extending its market reach.

Q: Can a business still accept traditional payment methods while offering mobile payments?

Yes, businesses do not have to eliminate traditional payment methods like cash, check, or cards when they start accepting mobile payments. Offering multiple payment options caters to a wider range of customer preferences and increases the likelihood of sales.

Q: Does Stax have features beyond mobile payment processing?

Yes, in addition to offering mobile payment processing, Stax also provides an all-in-one platform for managing invoicing, financials, sales data, inventory, and customer data. Therefore, businesses can handle all their mobile payments and other related tasks in one place.


 

Surcharging Tools and Tech: What You Need to Implement a Surcharging Program In-Person and Online 

If you’re reading this guide, you’re likely interested in implementing a surcharging program to offset credit card costs. 

More and more merchants are choosing to set up credit card surcharges (aka zero percent processing) because it helps reduce operational expenses and allows businesses to stay competitive amidst issues like inflation and economic uncertainty. 

Even more good news? Implementing surcharging is easier than ever. At the time of writing this, surcharging is legal for businesses in all US states and territories except Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Puerto Rico. And if you’re using a solution like CardX by Stax, you can rest easy knowing that our software automatically keeps you compliant with all surcharging laws

Now, as far as the checkout process goes, your surcharging program—when implemented correctly—shouldn’t add friction to the customer experience. With the proper hardware and software, customers will experience a smooth and transparent transaction process.

In this article, we’ll go over the surcharging tools and technologies you can use to implement zero percent processing seamlessly. From in-person hardware to ecommerce solutions, we’ve got you covered with the latest and most efficient options.

TL;DR

  • Credit card surcharging helps businesses offset operational costs by passing on credit card processing fees to the consumer; CardX by Stax offers industry-leading tools and ensures surcharging compliance for businesses.
  • For online transactions, CardX’s Lightbox solution provides a seamless checkout experience without redirecting customers, and for in-person transactions, the Dejavoo QD series terminals are recommended.
  • If you take payments over the phone, you can use a surcharging-compliant virtual terminal to implement your surcharging program. 

Implementing an online surcharging program

Implementing An Online Surcharging Program

You can implement surcharging online by using surcharging software with your ecommerce platform.

To provide the most optimal experience, opt for a solution that keeps customers on your website throughout the entire checkout process. CardX by Stax’s Lightbox solution is an excellent example of an online surcharging tool that lets customers have a seamless ecommerce experience. 

Here’s how it works: When it’s time to pay, CardX displays a Lightbox right on your website without redirecting customers away from the page. This feature can also be integrated with Click to Pay to even further reduce friction from the online checkout experience further.

The beauty of the Lightbox is it’s fully customizable, which means you can tailor it to match your brand’s look and feel. It also looks sleek and professional, so customers feel confident and assured during the payment process.

Moreover, CardX’s Lightbox feature is Level 1 PCI compliant, so shoppers can pay for their purchases (including the cost of payment processing) quickly and securely. 

More importantly, CardX by Stax ensures that your online surcharging program complies with the necessary regulations—all while promoting a smooth and uninterrupted checkout experience. 

Learn More

Implementing an in-person or in-store surcharging program

If you’re looking to accept payments and implement surcharging for face-to-face transactions, you can do so with the right credit card equipment. The right hardware will depend on your payment processor and surcharging provider. 

Be sure to have a conversation with your providers to confirm that your business is equipped with credit card terminals that will allow you to implement surcharging. 

Dejavoo QD Series for surcharging

At CardX by Stax, our top picks for in-person surcharging are the Dejavoo QD2 mobile wireless terminal and the QD4 countertop.

Dejavoo QD2 Mobile Wireless Android

Qd2

QD2 Mobile Wireless Android is a robust and adaptable mobile terminal perfect for taking payments anywhere in your facility. Whether you’re a retailer that wants to ring up sales or the floor or a medical practitioner that needs to take the checkout experience to the patient, the Dejavoo QD2 has got you covered. 

Plus, the sleek and modern design makes it an attractive addition to any point-of-sale environment. It’s a great way to convey that your business is technologically advanced and customer-centric.

Some of the key features and specs of this terminal include:

  • 4G and WiFi capabilities
  • Silicone protector available
  • Internal PIN Pad and contactless 
  • Same AURA software as Z Line, so there’s no learning curve if you’re already familiar with the Dejavoo Z series
  • Large touch screen 

Check out the complete list of specifications here

Dejavoo QD4 Countertop Android

Qd4

The QD4 is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a countertop terminal. Ideal for locations with dedicated checkout areas, the QD4 offers fast and efficient transaction processing, paving the way for smooth customer experiences.

And just like the QD2, the QD4 has a smooth and modern look and feel, so your business will exude professionalism and contemporary charm.

Some of the key features and specs of this terminal include:

  • Ethernet & WiFi 
  • Internal PIN Pad and contactless 
  • Same AURA software as Z Line, so there’s no learning curve if you’re already familiar with the Dejavoo Z series
  • Supports external PIN Pad (QD5 or QD3 PIN Pad)

Check out the complete list of specifications here

Implementing a surcharging program in your business office

Virtualterminal

If you operate in a more corporate setting and take payments over the phone, using a surcharging-compliant virtual terminal is a must. 

Again, the specifics for how to set things up will depend on your payment and surcharging providers. At CardX by Stax, our virtual terminal lets you complete an order with just a few clicks—no additional equipment or software required.

And like all of our solutions, CardX’s virtual terminal automatically ensures that all your payment and legal ducks are in a row. That way, you can run your surcharging initiatives with confidence. 

Bringing it all together

Credit card surcharging doesn’t have to be complicated. When partnered with the right payment provider, you can enjoy the benefits of zero percent processing and maintain a healthier bottom line. 

So whether you’re taking payments in-person, online, or in your office, see to it that you have the right tools and technology to offer a transparent and efficient experience for your customers.

Need help doing just that? CardX by Stax provides the right equipment and ensures surcharging compliance every step of the way. 

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FAQs about Surcharging Program

Q: What is a surcharging program?

A surcharging program allows businesses to offset operational costs by passing on credit card processing fees to the consumer. This practice is becoming increasingly popular among merchants due to its potential to reduce expenses and enhance competitiveness.

Q: Is it legally permitted to implement a surcharging program?

As of the time of writing, surcharging is legal in all US states and territories apart from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Puerto Rico. However, each business should monitor legislative changes and ensure ongoing compliance.

Q: What tools and technologies are needed to implement a surcharging program?

Implementing a surcharging program requires the right hardware and software. For online transactions, solutions such as CardX by Stax’s Lightbox can be used. For in-person transactions, credit card terminals like the Dejavoo QD series are recommended. In corporate settings, a surcharging-compliant virtual terminal can be employed.

Q: What is CardX by Stax’s Lightbox solution, and how does it support online surcharging?

The Lightbox solution from CardX by Stax is a surcharging tool allowing customers to complete their checkout on your website without redirection. The solution displays a Lightbox on your webpage at payment time, provides a seamless ecommerce experience, and is Level 1 PCI compliant.

Q: Can I use surcharging for face-to-face transactions?

Yes, using the appropriate credit card equipment, like the Dejavoo QD2 Mobile Wireless Android and Dejavoo QD4 Countertop Android offered by CardX by Stax, it is possible to implement surcharging for in-person, face-to-face transactions.

Q: How can I implement a surcharging program for payments taken over the phone?

Implementing a surcharging program for payments taken over the phone requires using a surcharging-compliant virtual terminal. Such terminals help to complete an order with just a few clicks and ensure legal compliance.

Q: How does surcharging benefit the bottom line of a business?

Surcharging helps businesses reduce credit card processing costs—an operational expense—by passing these costs on to the consumers. It allows businesses to maintain a healthier bottom line and remain competitive in the face of economic challenges.

Q: Do customers view surcharging negatively?

If implemented correctly, a surcharging program should not add friction to the customer experience. Whether online, in-person, or over the phone, the checkout process should remain smooth and seamless for customers.

Q: What steps should be taken to ensure compliance in a surcharging program?

To ensure compliance, businesses should work with a reliable partner such as CardX by Stax. Their software ensures ongoing compliance with surcharging laws, ensuring businesses can adopt such initiatives with confidence.


 

The Ultimate Breakdown: Comparing Mobile Credit Card Readers

The evolution of mobile credit card processing technology means consumers have more choices when it comes to how they pay. Whether you’re using a mobile card reader with your phone or a terminal, using mobile readers for your business transactions can streamline your payment process.

Mobile credit card readers offer your business a convenient way to take credit card payments without investing in an expensive POS system. You can also add additional mobile payment devices such as a smartphone or tablet to further optimize the customer experience at checkout.

Today, many businesses are transitioning to mobile and contactless payment options with the use of mobile credit card readers and full-featured POS apps as a result of their many advantages. With thousands of mobile credit card processing companies to choose from, finding the right fit for your business may seem daunting.

We’ve compared five well-known and well-used credit card processing companies offering mobile credit card reader services. If you don’t know which solution works best for your needs, here you’ll find the ultimate breakdown when comparing mobile credit card readers.

Expanding Mobile Payment Options

The evolution of mobile credit card processing technology has revolutionized the way consumers make payments and how businesses process payments. Gone are the days of being limited to cash transactions or traditional point-of-sale systems. Today, businesses have a plethora of options to accept credit and debit cards securely and efficiently.

Mobile credit card readers stand at the forefront of this transformation, offering businesses a convenient and cost-effective way to accept credit card payments. These portable devices can be easily integrated with smartphones or tablets, allowing businesses to process transactions on-the-go. By utilizing a mobile card reader provider, businesses can obtain not only the hardware but also the necessary software and support to seamlessly accept card payments.

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Streamlining Payment Processes with Full-Featured POS Apps

Alongside mobile credit card readers, businesses are embracing full-featured POS apps to further streamline their payment processes. These comprehensive applications offer a range of functionalities, from inventory management to customer relationship management, providing a holistic solution for modern businesses. Integrating mobile card readers with these apps allows merchants to centralize their operations, leading to increased efficiency and reduced chances of errors during transactions.

Choosing the Right Mobile Credit Card Processor

With many mobile credit card processing companies in the market, finding the right fit for your business can be difficult for new business owners. To make an informed decision, you should consider factors such as:

Transaction Fees: Compare the transaction fees offered by different providers to ensure you’re getting the most competitive rates that align with your business volume.

Free Credit Card Reader: Some providers offer free credit card reader options, which can be a cost-effective way to get started. However, be sure to review any associated fees or transaction costs to ensure it truly suits your business needs. Oftentimes these options are best for small businesses that are just starting out.

Customer Support: Reliable customer support is essential, especially during critical moments. Choose a mobile credit card processor that provides prompt and efficient assistance to resolve any technical issues that may arise.

Compatibility: Ensure the chosen mobile card reader provider supports your existing hardware and mobile device operating system to avoid potential compatibility issues.

Security and Compliance: Prioritize providers that adhere to industry security standards and compliance regulations to safeguard sensitive customer data during credit card payments.

A Comparison of Mobile Credit Card Readers

To make the decision-making process simpler, it’s important to compare and contrast different mobile credit card readers. Look for reputable mobile credit card processor comparison guides that outline the pros and cons of each provider, including their pricing models, features, and customer reviews.

The landscape of payment processing has significantly evolved with the advent of mobile credit card readers and full-featured POS apps. These technologies have provided businesses with the flexibility, convenience, and security needed to adapt to modern payment preferences.

As the competition among mobile card reader providers continues to grow, businesses can take advantage of this thriving market to find the ideal solution that suits their needs and helps enhance the overall customer experience.

By making an informed decision and partnering with the right mobile credit card processor, businesses can stay at the forefront of the payment revolution and meet the demands of their customers.

The Advantages of Using Mobile Credit Card Readers for Businesses

The evolution of mobile credit card processing technology has brought about a myriad of benefits for businesses looking to optimize their payment processes. One of the most significant advantages of using mobile credit card readers is the increased flexibility and choice it offers to both merchants and customers.

Whether you prefer a standalone credit card reader device or a full-featured POS app, the options available cater to different business needs and budgets.

With mobile credit card readers, businesses can accept payments from virtually anywhere, breaking free from the constraints of traditional point-of-sale systems. This level of mobility allows for greater versatility, making it ideal for on-the-go businesses like food trucks, market vendors, or service providers who visit customers at their locations.

Moreover, integrating mobile card readers with a mobile device provides additional conveniences for both the business and its customers. For instance, businesses can use smartphones or tablets to manage inventory, generate digital receipts, and offer personalized customer service, enhancing the overall shopping experience.

Cost-Effectiveness and Flexibility of Mobile Credit Card Readers

One of the primary concerns for businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, is the cost associated with payment processing solutions. Mobile credit card readers offer an attractive cost-effective alternative to investing in expensive POS systems.

Rather than paying substantial upfront costs and ongoing maintenance fees, businesses can obtain affordable mobile card readers that charge minimal monthly fees or transaction-based pricing structures.

This cost-effectiveness, combined with the flexibility of mobile credit card readers, provides an appealing option for businesses seeking to accept credit card payments without breaking the bank.

Moreover, businesses can easily scale their payment capabilities by adding more mobile card reader devices or integrating them with their existing infrastructure, adapting to their evolving needs and growing customer base.

Embracing Mobile Payments

As more businesses recognize the advantages of using a mobile credit card reader and the growing trend of mobile and contactless payment options, the shift towards this payment revolution is becoming increasingly prevalent.

From small retailers to established enterprises, many businesses are now integrating a mobile card reader and mobile payment solutions into their operations.

The convenience, cost-effectiveness, and enhanced customer experience provided by mobile credit card readers are driving factors behind this transition.

As the technology continues to evolve, it’s likely that mobile credit card readers will become an even more integral part of the payment ecosystem, reshaping the way businesses and customers interact during transactions.

Embracing this mobile payment revolution is not just a business decision but also a strategic move to stay competitive and meet the evolving expectations of the modern consumer.

Contactless Payments

Contactless payments have revolutionized the way businesses accept credit cards and how customers make payments. This technology allows for fast, secure, and convenient transactions, making it an integral part of any mobile credit card reader.

How Contactless Payments Work with Mobile Credit Card Readers

Mobile credit card readers are small, portable devices that can be attached to a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. These readers are equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, enabling them to accept contactless payments from customers’ NFC-enabled cards or mobile wallets.

When a customer wants to make a purchase, they tap their NFC-enabled card or smartphone on the mobile card reader, and the transaction is completed within seconds. This seamless process eliminates the need for physical card swiping or manual entry, saving both the customer and the merchant valuable time.

Benefits of Accepting Contactless Payments with Mobile Card Readers

Speed and Efficiency: With contactless payments and mobile credit card readers, transactions become significantly faster. The quick tap-and-go process ensures shorter queues and reduces waiting times for customers, leading to improved overall customer satisfaction.

Enhanced Security: Mobile card readers that support contactless payments adhere to the same security standards as traditional chip-and-PIN transactions. Additionally, customers retain possession of their cards throughout the transaction, reducing the risk of card cloning or fraud.

Versatility and Mobility: Using a mobile credit card reader is ideal for businesses that operate on the go, such as food trucks, pop-up stores, or delivery services. The compact and wireless design of these readers allows merchants to accept payments anywhere with a cellular or Wi-Fi connection.

User-Friendly Interface: Integrating contactless payment capabilities into a mobile payment processing app can provide an intuitive and user-friendly interface for both customers and merchants. This helps streamline the payment process and minimizes the chances of user error.

Increasing Customer Adoption of Contactless Payments

As contactless payments become more widely accepted, customer demand for the convenience they offer is on the rise. Shoppers appreciate the ease of tapping their cards or phones to make purchases, without the hassle of carrying cash or searching for their wallets. Businesses that embrace mobile credit card readers and contactless payment technology position themselves favorably in the eyes of tech-savvy consumers.

Future Growth and Trends

The future of contactless payments and mobile credit card readers appears promising. As technology continues to evolve, these solutions will likely become even more secure, faster, and compatible with a broader range of devices.

With advancements in biometric authentication and increased integration with mobile wallets, the reliance on physical cards may decrease further, making contactless payments the preferred method of transaction for many consumers.

Contactless payments have transformed the payments landscape, and mobile credit card readers have played a significant role in enabling businesses to accept these convenient and secure payment methods.

Embracing this technology allows merchants to offer an enhanced customer experience, improve transaction speed, and stay ahead in the competitive marketplace. As consumer demand for fast and contactless transactions continues to grow, adopting mobile card readers and contactless payment capabilities will become a crucial aspect of modern business operations.

The Role of NFC (Near-Field Communication) Technology in Mobile Credit Card Readers

NFC (Near-Field Communication) technology plays a crucial role in enabling seamless and secure in-person payments through mobile credit card readers. This short-range wireless communication technology allows data transfer between an NFC-enabled mobile device and a compatible credit card reader within close proximity, typically a few centimeters.

Simplifying Contactless Payments

NFC technology is at the heart of popular mobile payment services like Apple Pay and Google Pay. These mobile wallets allow users to store their credit card information securely on their smartphones, and with the help of NFC, they can make purchases by simply holding their phone near an NFC-equipped credit card reader. The transaction is swift and secure, offering an effortless payment experience for both customers and merchants.

Enhancing Security and Privacy

The use of NFC technology in mobile credit card readers ensures a high level of security during transactions. When a customer initiates a payment, the NFC-enabled device creates a one-time token, a unique encrypted code, that is sent to the credit card reader. This tokenized approach adds an extra layer of security as the actual credit card information is never shared during the transaction. As a result, sensitive card data is safeguarded from potential hackers, significantly reducing the risk of fraud or data breaches.

Compatibility with Mobile Devices

The widespread adoption of NFC technology in modern mobile devices has driven the popularity of mobile credit card readers that support contactless payments. Both Android and iOS devices come equipped with NFC capabilities, making it accessible to a broad range of users. This compatibility ensures that businesses can cater to a larger customer base, regardless of the type of device they use.

Expanding Payment Acceptance

For businesses, incorporating NFC technology into their payment process enables them to accept various mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay, expanding their payment acceptance options. By offering customers the choice to pay with their preferred mobile wallet, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction and increase the likelihood of repeat business.

Cost-Effective and Free Mobile Reader Options

With the increasing popularity of NFC-enabled payments, many payment processors offer free mobile readers that support NFC technology. These free mobile reader options are often compact and easy to use, making them an affordable and accessible solution for businesses of all sizes.

NFC (Near-Field Communication) technology has transformed the landscape of in-person payments and is a key driver behind the success of contactless payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay. Its role in mobile credit card readers has made it possible for businesses to process payments securely and efficiently while enhancing the overall customer experience.

As NFC technology continues to evolve and gain traction, its integration with mobile devices and credit card readers is likely to become more prevalent, reshaping the way we interact with payments in the future. Businesses that embrace NFC technology and offer contactless payment options position themselves to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of mobile payments.

Stax Mobile Credit Card Readers

Stax offers EMV-compliant mobile credit card readers, ideal for merchants processing a higher volume (typically over $10,000 per month). You also have access to 0% markup processing compared to companies offering high flat rate percentages.

Stax contactless payment tools offer a robust series of features outside of accepting EMV transactions such as sending invoices, accessing business analytics, setting up recurring payments, and pulling up saved customer data anywhere in the world.

With the use of the Stax all-in-one payments platform, there are inventory capabilities for restaurants, bars, and retail locations to replace a traditional POS solution. Stax mobile card reader solution works for every business type needing to accept payments on the go.

How to Choose the Best Card Readers for Your Business

Stax Payment Pricing

Stax offers the industry’s first subscription-based pricing model with pricing plans starting at $99/month. How much you’re paying for credit card processing depends on your payment solutions provider. Many payment processors like Stripe, Square, PayPal, and bank merchant services offer flat-rate processing. Some others, including Stax, offer subscription-style processing that gives you access to the lowest rates of interchange.

Interchange Fees

Interchange fees are transaction fees charged by card-issuing banks to the merchant’s acquiring bank for processing credit and debit card payments. These fees are a crucial part of the payment ecosystem, as they facilitate the transfer of funds between financial institutions involved in a card transaction. In other words, interchange fees compensate the card-issuing banks for the risk and operational costs associated with providing credit or debit cards to consumers.

It’s important to note that interchange fees are not collected by your payment processor or bank; they go directly to the card-issuing banks. Your payment processor, however, plays a role in facilitating the transaction and deducts its own processing fee from the overall charge.

Why Interchange Fees Matter for Mobile Credit Card Readers

For businesses using mobile credit card readers to accept payments, interchange fees directly impact their bottom line. The fees are typically expressed as a percentage of the transaction amount, plus a flat fee per transaction. Since these fees are unavoidable when accepting card payments, understanding them is essential for merchants to manage their costs effectively and optimize their pricing strategies.

Factors Influencing Interchange Rates

Interchange rates are not fixed and can vary based on several factors. The exact structure and rates of interchange fees are set by card networks such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express and are subject to change periodically. Some key factors that influence interchange rates include:

Card Type: Different card types carry varying levels of risk and benefits, leading to different interchange rates. For instance, rewards cards or corporate cards generally have higher interchange fees compared to standard consumer credit cards.

Transaction Method: The way a transaction is processed can affect interchange fees. Transactions made via chip and PIN or contactless methods may have different rates than traditional magnetic stripe transactions.

Industry Type: Certain industries may be subject to specific interchange rates, depending on the perceived risk associated with their business. High-risk industries may experience higher interchange fees than low-risk ones.

Transaction Size: Interchange fees are often structured in tiers based on the transaction amount. Larger transactions might have different rates compared to smaller ones.

Merchant’s Processing History: The merchant’s track record and processing history can also influence interchange rates. Merchants with a history of chargebacks or fraudulent activity may face higher fees.

Understanding interchange fees is crucial for any business utilizing mobile credit card readers. By better understanding the factors influencing interchange rates and implementing smart strategies to manage these fees, merchants can optimize their payment processing costs and focus on providing a seamless and convenient payment experience for their customers.

Clover Payments

Clover provides point-of-sale hardware and software along with payment processing. As far as mobile payments, the company offers Clover Go, a compact mobile card reader that accepts all payment types as long as you have WiFi or data connectivity. The device also syncs with your Clover account and other devices, so all payments made through Clover Go can be tracked and accessed through your dashboard. Clover payment processing rates

In-person transactions: 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction Keyed-in transactions: 3.5% + $0.10 per transaction

Pro tip: If you’d still like to use Clover devices but want to access better processing rates, you can work with a third-party reseller like Stax. As their name suggests, resellers sell Clover’s POS solutions to merchants. However, instead of requiring you to process using Clover’s rates, resellers offer their own processing fees.

Square Mobile Credit Card Readers

Square is one of the most established companies in the mobile payments space. Its small mobile card reader connects to Android and iOS devices. Micro merchants and retailers who only use their mobile readers occasionally benefit the most from this product, due to the high flat fees charged per swipe. This payment processing method works with or without a connection, making it convenient for convention halls and other areas with poor connectivity.

Square Pricing

In-person and mobile card payments: 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction Online payments: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction Keyed-in and invoice payments: 3.5% plus $0.15 per transaction

Intuit GoPayment

Intuit’s GoPayment service lets you accept and track payments including PayPal, cash, and checks through their mobile app. It also syncs up with your QuickBooks account. To use GoPayment, you’ll need a QuickBooks account. GoPayment allows users to choose between two pricing plans. The first plan is called Pay-As-You-Go and is targeted at businesses with sporadic or low processing volume. The second plan is called Pay Monthly & Save and is targeted at higher-volume businesses.

Intuit GoPayment Pricing

Pay-As-You-Go
Intuit pricing for GoPayment’s Pay-As-You-Go option:

Swiped: 2.4% + $0.25 per transaction Keyed: 3.4% + $0.25 per transaction

Monthly
GoPayment’s Monthly account gives users the option to pay a $19.95 monthly fee in exchange for per-transaction lower rates.

Swiped: 1.6% + $0.25 per transaction Keyed: 3.2% + $0.25 per transaction

PayPal Here

PayPal expands its online payment service with two mobile credit card readers and a flat-rate processing fee. The first reader connects to your device’s headphone jack and accepts swiped credit cards. The other option is a Bluetooth reader that’s EMV compliant and also accepts Apple Pay. Its app supports Windows, Android, and iOS. You benefit the most from this service if you’re a low-volume merchant looking for a way to accept chip cards and be EMV compliant.

PayPal Here Pricing

Swiped: 2.7% per transaction. Keyed: 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction

PayPal Transactions: 2.9% + $0.30.

Shopify

Shopify’s service helps micro-businesses set up e-commerce stores, and they’ve branched out into mobile credit card readers as well. Its card reader works with Android and iOS mobile devices through the audio jack. It uses the same payment processor as your online Shopify store, so you get the same flat rate percentages through both channels. If you already use the Shopify platform, and you have an occasional need for a mobile payment process, you can get a lot out of this service.

Shopify Pricing Plans:

Shopify Basic costs $29 per month, with 2.9% + 30¢ per online transaction. Main Shopify Plan costs $79 per month, with 2.6% + 30¢ per transaction. Advanced Shopify costs $299 per month, with 2.4% + 30¢ per transaction.

Mobile credit card readers give your business a convenient, pay-anywhere option that customers enjoy. It’s important to keep in mind that the majority of mobile payment solutions cater to micro-merchants/low-volume merchants. Be sure to explore options such as Stax if you are a higher volume as the percentage markups most mobile payment solutions charge can seriously cut into your bottom line. You may take some time figuring out the best service for your unique business needs, but it’s worth the trouble to find a service capable of helping you grow your business.

At Stax, our modern payment services focus on going beyond ordinary merchant accounts. The all-in-one platform allows for mobile swipe capabilities through our Stax Mobile app. You can also key in payments or add the optional mobile reader to start swiping. Enjoy the ease and convenience of sending invoices and storing payment methods within the dashboard.

Contact us at Stax to request a custom quote and to learn how our solutions can help you keep up with mobile payments. We will be happy to help you find the right solution for your enterprise.

RELATED: The Best Mobile Card Readers for Small Business

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FAQs About Mobile Credit Card Readers

Q: What is a mobile credit card reader?

A mobile credit card reader is a small, portable device that attaches to a smartphone or tablet, allowing businesses and individuals to accept credit card payments on the go. It enables secure transactions through the mobile device, making it convenient for vendors, small businesses, and freelancers to accept card payments anywhere.

Q: How does a mobile credit card reader work?

Mobile credit card readers use technology like Bluetooth or a headphone jack to connect to a mobile device. When a customer swipes, inserts, or taps their credit card on the reader, it captures the card information securely. The reader then communicates with a mobile app, processing the payment and sending the transaction for authorization.

Q: Are mobile credit card readers secure?

Yes, reputable mobile credit card readers are designed with security in mind. They use encryption to protect card data during transmission, making it difficult for unauthorized individuals to intercept and misuse the information. However, it’s essential to choose a well-established and trusted provider to ensure the highest level of security.

Q: How much does a mobile credit card reader cost?

The cost of a mobile credit card reader can vary depending on the brand, features, and additional services offered. Some readers may be available for free or at a nominal cost, while others might have a higher upfront price. It’s essential to consider not only the initial cost but also any transaction fees or subscription charges associated with the reader.

Q: Are there any transaction fees associated with mobile credit card readers?

Yes, most mobile credit card reader providers charge transaction fees for each payment processed. These fees are typically a percentage of the transaction amount plus a small flat fee. Transaction fees can vary, so it’s crucial to compare rates when choosing a mobile credit card reader.

Q: What types of businesses can use mobile credit card readers?

Mobile credit card readers are well-suited for various businesses and industries, including retail stores, food trucks, pop-up shops, service providers, event vendors, and more. They offer flexibility and convenience for businesses that need to accept card payments on the move or at remote locations.

5 Reasons Field Service Professionals Need Mobile Payment Solutions (and How to Choose The Right Provider)

It is essential for field services businesses to improve their field service management (FSM) and keep their employees up to date with the latest technologies – like mobile payment solutions. The objective is to efficiently manage a team of service technicians and focus on increasing the value of your business.

From cloud connectivity to real-time ticket management, proper utilization of technology can add value to your field service management by saving time, minimizing hassles, and increasing efficiency. That is why the field services sector often makes use of the latest advancements in technology.

The field service management industry is massive. It’s expected to be worth nearly $30B by 2031, and technological optimization is driving that.

With this in mind, it is no surprise that mobile payment solutions and field service apps are also rising in use left, right, and center. This is not only for the sake of operational progress but also due to the advantages that these solutions offer in improving FSM processes. Updating your technology is more than just preventative maintenance – it’s how you’ll get your business to the next level.

To help you learn more about how mobile app payment solutions can benefit your business, here are five reasons why mobile payment systems are a critical part of your mobile field service toolkit.

1. It Improves Revenue Generation Processes

One of the biggest challenges that your field service employees may face comes with collecting timely payments from customers.

More often than not, you have to have more than one department to communicate with customers to complete the payment collection process. This aspect takes away from your employee’s time on multiple fronts and adds unnecessary steps to the process.

By setting up mobile payment solutions through your field service app, your operations employees can collect payments and customer signatures immediately and on-site. This way, you can cut down the processing times accordingly. Streamlining will also improve your customer experience.

2. A Field Service App Makes Your Payments Safer

Field service employees who do not have mobile app payment solutions or supported devices often need to accept payments in cash or check. This component creates a liability on your business until your accounts or finance departments receive the cash or check at their end.

By accepting payments from mobile solutions, you can make these payments safer. Since you are receiving payments directly from customers into your business account, it exposes your business to less risk.

3. You’re Able to Digitize Your Processes

For your employees, conventional payment processing comes with additional paperwork, which is crucial for your accounts department. If any piece of information is lost from your service history records, it can cause several compliance issues.

Using a field service app (especially one that offers mobile payment solutions) helps you digitize your processes. For instance, you can capture and save invoices through the solution, as well as related data for your records. When you combine this with technologies such as cloud storage and work order management, you can benefit from wireless connectivity to a large extent.

4. It Improves Efficiency

Mobile payment solutions improve efficiency by a large margin. Your employees do not have to go through redundant processes, manage paperwork, and wait for confirmation from backend systems when performing service work or writing up service reports.

As a result, your employees can complete more visits and complete more service requests in a single day. This aspect leads them to be able to manage a higher number of customers as well as exceed customer expectations.

5. A Field Service App Saves Costs

From faster payments to improved efficiency, these benefits come together to provide you with higher productivity at lower costs.

By making mobile app payment solutions a part of your field service app,  you will not only cut costs and increase your overall profitability but will also improve your FSM processes.

How to choose the right provider

Choosing the right payment provider for your field service application is a big decision – and there are some key considerations.

First and foremost, is to make sure that your payment provider is able to process payments when offline. Given that FSM pros are likely to get themselves into scenarios with no wifi or even mobile data, the provider’s offline capabilities are a key consideration.

After that, you’ll want to consider:

  • If the payment provider is able to integrate with your field service management software (or other tools you use regularly). Ideally, your service team should be able to work seamlessly on work orders from their mobile device, without having to switch between a variety of software like their field service mobile application, the CRM app, and the the payment provider’s app.
  • The provider’s reputation and customer service offerings. Payments are a critical aspect of field service businesses, and customers will not be happy if payments are held up and experience poor support.
  • The provider’s ease of use, not just for admins, but for field users as well. 
  • The payment options the provider accepts (ie beyond credit card transactions, does it take mobile payments like iOs’ Apple Pay?).
  • The automation features that the provider offers. For instance, do they have invoice templates? Will it speak with not just your field service solution, but also automatically update any inventory management system you may be working with?
  • The provider’s pricing.

Take the Next Step with Stax

The Stax Platform is a smart solution for businesses that take payments online or over the phone. With simple invoicing, recurring charges, and online bill pay, you’ll get paid faster with Stax.

At Stax, our mobile payment solutions are built with Apple and Android mobile app functionalities to help improve your on-the-go operations. With cloud connectivity, real-time updates, and faster processes, you can count on Stax and its mobile payment systems to accept payments anytime, anywhere.

Whether you are looking for a mobile payment system for your new business or need our suggestions on improving your current operations, don’t hesitate to reach out to Stax today to see how it works for your workflows and business needs.

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How To Get Paid On Time: 8 Tips For Field Service Professionals

Running an operation is not an easy task for field service professionals. Even when you do stellar work and perform the tasks as expected, you often have to chase your clients to get paid for a job well done.

But as tricky as the process might seem, it is still not without its workarounds. By following tips such as turning to merchant account providers and tweaking your invoicing practices, you can shorten the gap between completing your work and getting paid for it.

Here are 8 of the best ways in field service management (FSM) to get paid on time and to help you navigate this uncertain yet manageable world of payments.

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Turn to Mobile Payment Solutions

More often than not in FSM, clients delay making payments due to an absence of cash. Sometimes, they don’t have funds readily available. At other moments, it may be due to friction in the process such as lack of time or other issues that may prevent them from paying on time.

In these situations, you can turn to mobile merchant payment solutions to help you fix these issues. By making use of mobile transaction terminals, your field service team can provide your customers with a more convenient way to quickly process a credit card payment right at the job site. This improves your customer experience and thus increases your customer satisfaction.

In addition to that, you can also make use of modern mobile app payment solutions, which let you turn any mobile device into a payment terminal. By using dedicated apps from your merchant account providers, you can even use your Apple or Android device to accept payments with ease. If you use a payments solution that integrates with your field service management software, you’ll be able to seamlessly manage your work orders from beginning to end.

Perhaps the best part of having your field workers accept mobile credit card payments? You get paid in real-time!

Know Who to Contact For Field Service Professionals

Even when you know the company or individual you have rendered your services to, it doesn’t mean that you know the actual person who is providing payment for the bills.

To get paid on time, you must know this information. Whether you are using online payment methods or mobile payment solutions, knowing exactly who to send the invoice to helps you steer clear of gatekeepers and potential delays.

This simple practice helps you get your payments processed promptly and keeps your company account from depleting when it shouldn’t have to. Store this contact’s information in your CRM portion of your field service management solution to keep it on file.

Digitize Your Invoices

Paper invoices sent by snail mail are a thing of the past. Send invoices digitally via your payment solution instead. Customers find this much more convenient. Some payment service providers may even be able to create self-service customer portals for easy, safe payments. This sort of optimization empowers you to focus on your field operations and service workers.

Keep the Invoice Simple

While it is essential to know who to contact for your payments, it is also imperative to learn how to reach out to them.

Here, it is best to keep your invoice as concise as possible. Keep things clear in terms of billable hours and rendered services. But make sure that you do not overcomplicate by adding in any unnecessary details. This applies equally to any type of payment request, whether you are using traditional merchant services or mobile merchant payment solutions.

It’s because the more details you give to your clients, the more time they will take to understand them. The simpler your invoice is, the faster it will get processed.

Don’t Feel Ashamed in Asking for Quick Payments

Regardless of the kind of services you provide, you offer them in exchange for a set compensation. You know that if you do not receive your payment on time, it can affect your business operations. Keeping this in mind, don’t hesitate to ask for your funds when you deliver the services.

As long as you keep your tone professional and courteous when asking for payment, it shouldn’t affect your relationship with a client. Find out their preferred method to pay and honestly recommend the quickest way for them, and for you, to process their payment.

When you have delivered quality work, your client won’t hesitate to turn to your preferred mobile app payment solutions to transfer payments quickly.

Keep Communication Open

One simple yet effective tip after sending the invoice is to keep yourself available for any questions or clarifications. Mentioning your availability when invoicing, along with your hours of operation, is always a good practice.

This way, your clients know that they can quickly reach out to you to get any questions answered.

Automate Your Invoices

For clients that you service on a regular basis, you can set your invoices up to go to them automatically. Not only does this streamline your back-office workflows by removing a routine chore for you, but it ensures that the invoice gets to your client in time every time. If your invoicing solution is integrated with your field service software you may also be able to set it to send the invoice at the time that your field service technicians close out a work order.

Follow Up On Unpaid Invoices

Don’t be afraid to reach out to customers who haven’t paid yet. Depending on your payments solution, you may even be able to automate notifications to their email or SMS to remind them to pay an invoice. Consider leveraging late fees, as well, when a payment is delayed past a certain date.

When coupled with a capable mobile merchant payment solutions provider that integrates with your FSM software, these tactics can help your field service operations business get your invoices processed quickly and easily, while meeting customer expectations for a modern business (particularly one with a mobile workforce). At Stax, we specialize in integrating our conventional and mobile payment services to operations of any scale, greatly increasing operational efficiency with our software solutions. A digital transformation might be just the thing you need to reinvigorate your customer lifecycle. To learn more about how Stax can help you get paid on time, reach out for a custom pricing quote today.

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How Businesses Can Go Mobile and Increase Sales

The evolution of modern markets and customer expectations have changed the conventional business payments model entirely. In today’s environment, it is now the norm to see a credit card processing terminal at every other vendor. Further, as customers become more engaged with an ever-increasing number of online and mobile options, doorstep delivery for all kinds of products and services is becoming a commonplace preference. But while offering credit card merchant services only needs some simple changes at your end, offering doorstep delivery can be a bit more complicated.

Traditional methods make it challenging to gather and process payment information outside of your existing business and Point-of-Sale systems. However, thanks to modern integrated payment platform services, you can now expand your options to meet today’s customer expectations. By turning to cloud-connected mobile payments you can easily take payments right at their doorstep.

How Modern Credit Card Processing Can Help You Deliver Mobile Services

Today, modern credit card payment vendors have added new ways to help you process your payments efficiently. In addition to traditional on-site payment methods, these integrated payment platform services now offer ways for business owners to use modern devices such as Apple or Android smartphones to accept in-person or online payments.

This way, your employees or delivery services no longer have to depend upon traditional equipment for payment processing. All they need is their phone, with your payment processor app and business’ information. Any payments that they accept are instantly transferred to your merchant account, all without going into the hands of a third party.

As a result, you can deliver your services anywhere you want, anytime you want.

Do you deal with retail products or food delivery? Home improvement services or consultancy? Regardless of the type of business, this method of credit card processing can help you scale it right according to your expectations.

How Mobile Payment Processing Help You Increase Sales

The super-easy way of processing payments at the doorstep is a significant factor in attracting customers to your business. But there’s more to it than meets the eye.

It Offers Clients Peace of Mind

If you offer mobile merchant services as a prominent factor in your solution, you become more approachable and accessible. Customers will ultimately feel more comfortable contacting you for product or service delivery.

It’s because they know that they have the option to make the payment right at their doorstep, after the delivery of their services. This aspect is in contrast to having to pay upfront and risk failure of getting the product and service.

It Promises Additional Security

These integrated payment platform solutions are designed with new security measures. Even being mobile, these payment processing methods are payment card industry (PCI) data security standard (DSS) compliant.

And it protects businesses and their customers against the risks that come with taking their personal and financial information for the payment.

It Encourages Repeat Business

These credit card processing features come together to make your business the go-to choice for your target market. As a result, you can create repeat customers out of what would otherwise be one-time patrons.

This also goes a long way in helping you increase your long-term sales and enables you to scale your business efficiently.

At Stax, we specialize in offering highly secure, efficient, and reliable mobile payment services for businesses of all scales. No matter the size of your operation, Stax can help you accept mobile payments for your services through your preferred Apple or Android devices.

Learn more about Stax services and see how we can help you increase your sales.

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Explained Simply: What is a Merchant Services Provider?

Your Merchant Services Provider is a vital partner that can help you operate and grow your business. They facilitate credit card processing and provide other important services for your business. Essential services offered by a merchant services provider include:

Accepting payments from your customers via credit, debit, and electronic payments allowing for seamless transactions.

Securely managing PCI compliance when processing and storing payment information for your business, making your customer data safe.

Providing your business with technology to track payments, understand business data, and collect outstanding invoices.

Let’s get back to basics to understand the definition of a merchant.

In This Article

TL;DR

  • Merchant services companies provide businesses and individuals with the tools and requirements to accept credit cards, debit cards, and other forms of electronic payment for transactions to take place. 
  • The products that merchant service providers offer to businesses in order for them to actually be able to accept and process payments in a way that works for them and their customers.
  • A Merchant Services Provider grants you the technology and information your business needs to optimize operations. You can learn a lot about your business from the payment data provided to you by your Merchant Services Provider. 

What Is a Merchant?

“Merchant” is a term used by payment processors to refer to their customers. Customers, or merchants, are businesses that accept credit card payments from their clients in-person, online, or over the phone. A Merchant Services Provider offers products and systems to help those businesses run smoothly.

These products and services often integrate with the business tools you already have. For instance, your payment provider may connect to a POS system for your retail store or to your QuickBooks Online for reconciliation. Merchant Service Providers can also provide customer management, inventory systems, and payment reporting.

Who Is Considered a Merchant?

A merchant represents a person or company that sells goods or services. Merchants can sell items in-person or online (sometimes called an eCommerce merchant). Most merchants today operate both in-store and online.

Different Types of Merchants:

  • eCommerce Merchant: A merchant who sells items online.
  • Retail Merchant: A merchant who sells items that they purchase from manufacturers.
  • Wholesale Merchant: Merchants/manufacturers who sell items to retail merchants. 
  • Affiliate Merchant: Merchants who use affiliate networks to sell goods.
  • Direct-to-consumer (DTC) Merchant: Merchants who sell items to consumers that they themselves create.

DTC merchants have become quite common in recent years, as selling goods on the internet has a very low barrier to entry. Most DTC companies are still wholesale merchants, selling their items to retailers who then sell the item to the consumer. 

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What Is a Merchant Account?

A merchant account is a bank account specifically established for business purposes where companies can make and accept payments. Note that a merchant account isn’t the typical bank account. This is a basic assumption that poses a lack of clarity for most business owners. Merchant services accounts allow businesses to accept credit and debit card transactions or other forms of electronic payment from customers, with the aid of a payment gateway.

Merchant account services often come with added fees, but also an array of services. Most often the merchant has to cover the transaction fees from payment processors, the credit card association, and the issuing bank for the merchant account. To that effect, it’s perhaps savvier for the merchant to look out for an option that’ll help cut down the cost per transaction.

On the other hand, a low processing fee doesn’t guarantee reliable service and support in the long run.

Merchant Account Provider vs. Merchant Services Provider

While the two entities overlap quite a bit, there are some distinctions between merchant services and merchant account providers.

The former is a much broader term that’s used to describe an organization that has various offerings for merchants—including payments, technology integrations, businesses services, etc.

Merchant account providers typically stick to helping businesses set up their merchant account—i.e., the type of bank account that enables you to accept credit and debit card payments.

In many cases, these terms are used interchangeably.

How Does Merchant Services Work?

Merchant services companies provide businesses and individuals with the tools and requirements to accept credit cards, debit cards, and other forms of electronic payment for transactions to take place.

There are thousands of merchant service providers in the U.S alone. From ISOs and third-party merchant services providers like Square, Stripe, Paypal, and Stax to big bank-operated merchant services (Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase Bank) each company offers its own tools, services, and fees. Depending on the size of your business, one model will be more expensive than another.

How Easy Is It To Open a Merchant Services Account?

A merchant services account establishes a business relationship between a merchant services provider and a business. Doing so provides the business with the ability to accept debit and credit cards, contactless payments such as Apple Pay, eCommerce transactions, and more. Some payment processing companies like Square don’t require a merchant services account in order to do business with them.

Not having a merchant services account can be a risky choice. Payment processing providers such as Square often accept higher-risk business clients that wouldn’t normally qualify for a merchant account. That increases the risk for the payment processor. If your business falls into that category, you’re more likely to experience an account hold for certain transactions. If the payment processor decides to no longer assume that higher risk, they can simply cancel your account leaving you unable to accept payments from customers.

Merchant Services Products

The next essential part of what makes up “merchant services,” is the different tools available for payment processing. The products that merchant service providers offer to businesses in order for them to actually be able to accept and process payments in a way that works for them and their customers.

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What are the Contactless Payments

Contactless payments include credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Google Pay, Fitbit Pay, and other devices that use near field communication (NFC) or radio-frequency identification (RFID).

Pay on-the-go with Mobile Payments

Mobile payments are payments made for a product or service through a portable electronic device such as a tablet or cell phone. Mobile payment technology can also be used to send money to friends or family members with applications such as PayPal and Venmo.

Swipe, Dip, and Tap: Credit Card Terminals

A Credit Card Terminal also called an Electronic Data Capture Terminal or EDC Terminal is an electronic device that enables merchants to accept credit cards allowing customers to swipe, dip, or tap their credit or debit card to make a payment.

Online Shopping Made Easy: eCommerce Solutions

eCommerce is the activity of electronically buying or selling products on online services or over the Internet. From accepting credit cards and debit cards online to set up your customized web store, eCommerce solutions can bridge the gap when in-person payments are not an option.

Boost Sales with Virtual Terminals

A virtual terminal is a software application for merchants that allows them to accept payment with a payment card, specifically a credit card, without requiring the physical presence of the card.

Upgrade Your Business with POS Systems

A point of sale system, or POS, is the place where your customer makes a payment for products or services at your store. Simply put, every time a customer makes a purchase at your store, they’re completing a point of sale transaction.

Secure Payment Gateway

A payment gateway is a piece of software that works with your website or eCommerce store and allows you to take and process secure credit card payments online. The payment gateway serves in the place of a credit card terminal.

Secure Payment Processing with Merchant Services Provider

A Merchant Services Provider functions as the intermediary between banks, your business, and your customers. This allows you to confidently accept your customers’ preferred form of payment. With a Merchant Services Provider, you can depend on this payment arriving securely in your bank account.

When a customer swipes a card, the Merchant Services Provider moves the customer’s funds to your bank account. The funds will typically appear in your bank account within 48 hours. Many businesses do qualify for next-day funding and can get paid even faster.

Your Merchant Services Provider is where you will purchase or rent credit card terminals and mobile swipers. If you have an online business, they will seamlessly integrate with your eCommerce store. Virtual terminals let you accept payments online or key in payments over the phone. Your Merchant Services Provider will help you find the right payment processing services for your business.

Secure Payment Merchant Services Provider | Nfc Security

Secure Payments: Prioritize Payment Security

Payment Security is vital for businesses processing credit card transactions, online payments, and maintaining card number storage. There can potentially be a lot of risks involved when accepting payments today. According to one Nilson report, 2021 card fraud losses in the U.S. totaled $11.91 billion, an 18% increase over $10.09 billion in 2020. Through Payment Security, a Merchant Service Provider can help you and your clients conduct business transactions safely and securely.

Your Merchant Services Provider can help you ensure PCI compliance. This means that cardholder data stored by your business, including names and card numbers, is secure. Businesses can be proactive in protecting data by using strong passwords and updating their antivirus software regularly.

Meanwhile, your Merchant Services Provider will maintain PCI compliance on the payment end of your business. This includes tokenizing payment information and protecting your business by putting fraud prevention measures in place. Learn more about how Stax protects your payments.

Technology Provider

A Merchant Services Provider grants you the technology and information your business needs to optimize operations. You can learn a lot about your business from the payment data provided to you by your Merchant Services Provider.

  • Which customers are spending the most time and money with you?
  • What times of day, month, or year are you collecting the most payments?
  • Are there products or services on which you could increase your revenue?

Important Questions to Ask Your Merchant Services Provider:

  • How are your equipment costs structured?
  • What are your processing costs?
  • Are there any other costs or fees?
  • What kind of contract is required?
  • What kind of reporting and statements are offered?
  • Is all of your equipment PCI DSS compliant?

Which Merchant Service Is Best?

Every cent counts towards improving your business operations. This is why finding the best merchant service provider is so important. If you need to grow your business and serve your target market, then you need to have proper merchant services in place. There are over 1000 payment processing companies in the U.S. Here are a few things to consider while choosing payment processing platforms for your business.

With all the changes occurring in the economy, it’s imperative to provide a myriad of payment options to your customers. Payment processing solutions such as mobile payments, virtual terminals, and touch-free or contactless payment solutions expand revenue generation opportunities and give your customers a more seamless experience.

In some cases, it also makes sense to partner with a company that offers payment services beyond credit cards. Payments types like ACH and Text2Pay are quickly gaining steam, so it makes sense to use a provider that supports these modes of payment.

What Should You Look for in a Merchant Services Provider?

While looking for a merchant services provider, make sure to take note of their costs. Depending upon the kind of solutions you need, you will most likely have to keep the following charges in mind.

  • Setup Fee
  • Equipment Fee
  • Monthly Fee/Service Fee
  • Transaction Fee
  • Credit Card Processor Fee

Payment Processing Pricing

Flat Rate: Suitable for small retail businesses and startups with a low sales volume, the flat rate is a fixed percentage that’s based on a charge when processing payments. This pricing model is quick and easy to set up and has the best ease of use

Interchange-Plus Pricing: Each credit card issuer such as Mastercard and Visa has specific interchange rates for each card type whether it be CNP or Card present transactions. With the interchange-plus pricing structure, the processor adds a markup to the interchange and takes a cut out of each sale.

Direct Interchange: A direct interchange fee is one where the merchant charges a one-off monthly fee without any percentage rate. It’s not the best for small businesses that generate low volumes of sales.

Tiered Rates: Tiered rates are grouped in different structures that separate each card type(Visa, Mastercard, Discover). It’s not the most convenient for small to medium-sized businesses. Since the fees fluctuate this is not an ideal option for B2C transactions.

Additional Fees to Watch Out For:

  • Account fees
  • Minimum processing fee
  • Statement fee
  • Account setup fee
  • Cancellation fee
  • Chargeback fees
  • NSF fee
  • Early Termination fee

Don’t Forget About Customer Support

Be sure to vet the customer support offerings of a merchant services provider. Payment processing has several moving parts, and tech issues may arise. In these instances, you want a knowledgeable partner who has your back and can ensure that everything runs smoothly.

When selecting a provider, look into their customer service capabilities. Is support available 24/7? What platforms or channels can you use to access the info you need? What are other merchants saying?

The answers to these questions will help you gauge a provider’s reliability when it comes to customer support.

Final Words

Ranked one of the best merchant services companies of 2023, Stax has disrupted the payments industry with our subscription-based pricing model. Stax is a subscription-based merchant service provider with total transparency built into its model. All merchants have access to direct cost payment processing with 0% markups, no contracts, and no hidden fees.

We believe that all of this useful data should be placed in the hands of business owners like you. You can increase your knowledge and make strategic decisions that will positively impact your business. That’s why we built Stax, our all-in-one payment platform. With Stax, you can track payments, create payment links, and collect invoices in one place. Plus, you can also view detailed reports about the state of your business at any time.

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Quick FAQs about Merchant Services Provider

Q: What are the essential services provided by a Merchant Services Provider?

  • Accepting credit, debit, and electronic payments
  • Securely managing PCI compliance
  • Providing technology for payment tracking, business data interpretation, and invoice collection

Q: What is a Merchant Account?

A merchant account is a specialized bank account created for business purposes, allowing companies to make and accept electronic payments, including credit and debit card transactions, with the assistance of a payment gateway.

Q: What’s the difference between a Merchant Account Provider and a Merchant Services Provider?

Merchant Account Provider solely helps businesses set up their merchant account, while a Merchant Services Provider offers a broader range of services, including payments, technology integrations, and business services.

Q: How do Merchant Services work?

Merchant Services Providers supply businesses and individuals with the tools and requirements necessary to accept credit cards, debit cards, and other electronic payment forms for transactions to occur.

Q: What types of payment processing products do Merchant Services Providers offer?

  • Contactless Payments (NFC/RFID)
  • Mobile Payments
  • Credit Card Terminals
  • eCommerce Solutions
  • Virtual Terminals
  • POS Systems
  • Payment Gateway

Q: How do Merchant Services Providers ensure payment security?

Merchant Services Providers use measures such as PCI compliance, tokenizing payment information, and fraud prevention to create a secure payment environment.

Q: How can a Merchant Services Provider help optimize business operations?

By providing valuable payment data insights, Merchant Services Providers can help businesses understand customer spending habits, peak payment periods, and potential areas of revenue growth.

Q: What should a business consider when choosing a Merchant Services Provider?

  • Costs (setup fee, equipment fee, monthly fee, transaction fee, processor fee)
  • Support for various payment types (credit cards, ACH, Text2Pay)
  • Customer support availability and quality
  • Payment processing pricing models (Flat Rate, Interchange-Plus, Direct Interchange, Tiered Rates)
  • Additional fees (account fees, minimum processing fees, statement fees, contract cancellation fees, etc.)