Having a card machine for your business can help you take more payments and process them faster; but it doesn’t stop there. Other advantages include making payments more secure, managing payments and accounts easier and future proofing

Sounds great doesn’t it?

But the benefits you get from investing in a card machine are only as good as the deal you get when you sign up. Signing up to the wrong deal can negate the positives you should experience by accepting card payments.

One thing every business owner with a card machine should do is regularly check their account and the services they’re getting to ensure they’re getting a good deal.

This can be difficult as some in the merchant services industry make it confusing and hard to understand what everything is costing you. Some will even sneak hidden fees in there too!

So, in this article XXX from Handepay, highlights what merchants should look for from their card machine and merchant service provider to ensure their card machine isn’t costing them an excessive amount.

Understanding Standard Fees That Come with Merchant Services and Card Machines

No matter which merchant service provider you sign with, they’ll be some standard charges involved. 

While these fees may vary in cost depending on the supplier you choose, they’re common costs of doing business with a card machine.

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These are charges that every merchant will pay regardless of which provider they sign up to.

They include:

  • Merchant service charge

This is the transaction fee you pay for every payment made through a card machine

  • Terminal rental

If you’ve taken a card machine out on a contract and not bought the machine outright (which is the most common scenario) you’ll likely have a nominal monthly fee for ‘renting’ the machine

  • Interchange and scheme fees

This is usually included in the transaction fee and is applied by the card issuer as a way to cover their costs (although it can sometimes appear separate from the transaction fee)

  • Premium card charges

Some cards result in merchants paying a higher transaction fee to process the payment (they usually include the likes of American Express)

Understanding the ‘Hidden Fees’ That Could Catch You and Your Business Out

While these fees may vary in cost depending on the supplier you choose, they’re common costs of doing business with a card machine.

The issues come with the following fees, which many business owners aren’t aware will form part of their monthly charges, and some of which aren’t even necessary.

These fees include:

  • PCI DSS compliance charges

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is simply a set of security standards merchants should comply with. They set out the rules and guidelines for how payment data and private information should be handled when taking payments through a card machine.

Some suppliers will add a monthly charge to your merchant account as a fee to keep you compliant with these regulations (even if they don’t keep you compliant)

  • PCI DSS noncompliance charges

Believe it or not, even though many providers will charge you a fee to keep you compliant with PCI DSS regulations, they’ll also charge you a fee if you fail to comply with those same regulations – and these fees can easily reach hundreds of pounds.

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  • Minimum monthly service charge

This is a fee that regularly catches business owners out. This is a minimum fee you’ll pay on your merchant services regardless of the number of transactions you process, even if you accept fewer payments than the charges warrant. Minimum charges are definitely something to watch out for when signing up with a merchant service provider.

  • Statement and reporting charges

You might think that accessing your statement and payment reports would be a standard part of signing up to merchant services. But no.

Some providers will charge you a fee if you want to access a paper version of your statement, and even for access to some online reporting tools to analyse how your card machine is performing and the number of transactions you’re making.

Be Wary of What Merchant Service Fees You’re Signing Up To

Card machines have become an essential part of doing business in the aftermath of the last few years.

Millions of customers all over the world who had never used card payments prior to 2020 are now regular users of debit and credit cards, while others have turned to mobile wallets and digital payments, like those offered by Apple Pay or Google Pay.

But while having a card machine is important, it should be an investment that benefits your business, not hinders it.

The best advice you can take is to simply shop around. Providers will offer different prices and services, so doing research will ensure that you get the best service for your businesses needs.