From the time the first universal credit card was introduced by the Diners’ Club in 1950, merchants have been paying credit card processing fees. These fees, which can range from 2% to 3%, add up quickly for merchants and negatively impact the bottom line. According to The Nilson Report, merchants paid $86.30 billion in processing fees in 2018. With credit card in-store payments, the largest type by volume, forecasted to reach $1.82 trillion in annual volume by 2024, burdensome merchant fees will increase right along with it.
In today’s cashless society – credit cards are the most common method of payment in the United States – but the hidden merchant fees and costly interchange rates issued by credit card companies continue to cut into business profits. But it’s not just the fees that are problematic, the unpredictability, complexity and lack of transparency associated with credit card processing has merchants searching for a better solution.
Traditionally, business owners’ monthly processing fees vary based on a number of variables including credit card type, how the payment is accepted and the volume of transactions. With an unpredictable amount of transactions each month, business owners never know what their bill will look like when the payment is due and they are ultimately penalized with higher monthly fees as their business grows. The process that these companies follow can even change month to month making fees fluctuate even more, putting a greater strain on small businesses’ budgets and dipping into overhead that could be used towards improving the business.
It is no surprise that many business owners find credit card processing hard to understand. This industry represents the very definition of complexity with a lot of moving parts and ever changing fees.
Consider that Visa alone has a 20 plus page booklet with all of their card types listed and the rates associated with them. To make things more complicated, how customers pay can also impact how much business owners will have to pay for card transactions. For example, transactions involving a customer ordering and paying for something over the phone, will cost merchants more than in-store card swiping transactions. The reason for this is that card not present transactions have a greater probability of fraud and chargebacks. The same applies to online orders, invoicing, recurring payments, and any time a card is used without actually being read directly by a machine.
The U.S. is moving closer to a cashless society with cash representing just 30% of all payments in 2017, according to the FDIC. While this offers convenience to consumers, merchants are often left footing the bill on the rising and hidden rates that come with credit card acceptance.
In fact, undisclosed fees are a significant source of merchant complaints about credit card processers. Some companies will drastically upcharge for equipment and fees to make additional profit, others advertise they have extremely low rates while leaving out that they charge high fees, and some will do the opposite, advertising their lack of fees while leaving out their high rates. This lack of transparency undermines merchant trust in the credit card processing industry.
A better way
Merchants need better credit card processing solutions. VizyPay is striving to change the way the industry works with a first-of-its-kind Cash Discount Program that provides unlimited monthly credit card processing for one flat, low fee based on the merchants monthly processing volume.