Customer service fees – What are they?
A merchant account and Credit Card Processing facility is absolutely essential for nearly all business owners. The ratio of payments conducted by credit card or debit card is soaring and as a business owner you need to accommodate customers, or your competitors will. Setting up a credit card processing facility however is quite a task and that’s not where the battle ends: you will be facing a list of fees and charges that may be quite baffling. A customer service fee may very well be one of them.
Charged at a fixed monthly rate of $10 to $20, a customer service fee pays for your access to a telephone or online customer support. Not all merchant account providers charge this fee but you will find that it is one fee that may or may not pop up depending on which bank you talk to. Other banks may charge you an equipment rental fee, which subsidizes the point of sale terminal you may use in your store, though that’s not applicable to online merchants.
Merchant account providers have various other fees in their arsenal. This ranges from the daily (batch fees) to the occasional (minimum transaction fees) to the frequent (discount fees). Discount fees are likely to count towards the biggest proportion of the money you hand over to your merchant account provider.
Unfortunately pricing structures, even though they may differ somewhat, tend to be standardized for the most part, so shopping around will only save you so much. You can save more by being a bit clever about which pricing structure you sign up to, as certain types of transactions qualify for different pricing structures.
While you’re deciding which bank to use for your merchant account you might as well try to find the cheapest solution thought this should not necessarily be your only criteria. Customer service fees are one of the expenses you could very well ignore when considering a different provider as this might not be a priority, if your volume of transactions is so large that a couple of dollars every month won’t make a difference.
If your transaction volumes are lower, it is probably worth trying to avoid the customer service charge and equipment rental charge if you can. Many affordable merchant account providers would be more than happy to help you set up and support you onwards without charging you a fee for that. However be careful, don’t skip on the customer service fee and end up with a bank or organization that is not interested in helping you when you do need help.
It may sound as if all the fees and charges are simply too troublesome and that the lost business is not such a big issue, and then decide not to set up a Credit Card Processing facility. You are, however, simply postponing the inevitable. We may not be approaching a cash free society any time soon but it is likely that you will have fewer and fewer customers who are willing to pay cash, as opposed to more and more customers wanting to pay by card.