2nd August 2016

FastGuide – Card Payment Services

Here is your two-minute guide to switching your payment services, whether it’s chip & pin hardware or your merchant services provider:

Warning: This subject is murky and tedious – if you have a short attention span – jump to point 10.

However – the charging rules changed last year so you need to make sure that you are receiving the benefit of reduced costs.

1. Lay your hands on your contracts for chip & PIN AND your merchant payment service – they might be different. See if you are tied in for a period.

2. Let’s do the easy-ish part – it is fairly straight forward to change your hardware if the devices are not integrated into your EPOS system. There’s a bit more care required if integrated but don’t be put off.

3. Now then – Merchant Service Charges: Your merchant service charges consist of many elements and, whilst improvements have been made in clarity of billing, it’s likely that surprises may lurk beneath the surface.

• An Acquirer moves the money from a customer account to yours – dependent upon your type of business they may want to hold onto your cash for days or weeks.

• A Scheme Fee is paid to the likes of Visa or MasterCard (yes every global transaction).

• An Interchange Fee is charged according to the type of card.

• A Processing Fee is also charged by The Acquirer.

• PLUS you might be being charged:

• A minimum monthly fee

• A PCI:DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) fee


4. Let’s discount the Scheme Fees and the Interchange Fees – they are standardised. FOCUS. So, let’s focus upon the following because they are quite variable and negotiable:

• Processing Fee: These fees are sometime volume based – you might have started small but now you could be getting a better deal. Your businesses’ risk profile may have reduced – ditto.

• Minimum Monthly Fee: If you are a smaller business you might be paying more than your transactions alone.

• PCI DSS Fee: This varies by acquirer and how you take payments – this fee usually covers the costs to access an online portal that helps ensure that you have appropriate policies in place and so on.

5. What to do now: Check that you can identify all the component parts above on your bills. If you cannot, you should ask for clarification

6. Now that you know the constituent parts for which you are being charged, do some research and find out whether you could save money by switching provider.

7. Contact a couple of your favoured providers and request a proposal.

8. Check the details, make sure that they will give you future crystal clear bills, then switch

9. Beware: You might wish to avoid your deal on chip & pin devices locking you into one merchant payment provider for a long period.

10. If you don’t have time for all the research and messing – send your details to one of our Switchologists™, and a human being in the UK will get back to you with the options to save. Remember you are not committed to do anything until you sign a contract – there’s nothing to lose.

Our promise: We will never share your information with a third party other than the supplier that you choose.

#Energy Guides #Merchant Payment Services

Jess is part of the SwitchMy content team. She's worked with some of the energy sector's best known brands and helps us demystify business energy for SwitchMy users.

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