Physicians are advised to be on the lookout for an additional annual fee on their credit card processing statement in December, according to Merchant’s PACT (Payment Acceptance Consulting Team), an AOA affinity partner.
Rates and fees fluctuate regularly and the company reminds DOs to thoroughly read and understand their credit card processing contract, including the terms and conditions. In addition, practices should regularly audit their statements to ensure the rates and fees comply with the terms that were originally negotiated.
“While this can be time consuming and difficult to evaluate, it can save your business thousands of dollars in increased rates and fees,” said Chris McNulty, Merchant’s PACT president. “Finding the right provider is often confusing and maintaining a fair and reasonable cost for card acceptance is difficult. “
There are three main types of fees involved with credit card acceptance, McNulty added.
- Interchange fees, which are mostly uncontrollable costs paid to the issuing banks. Interchange fees, for most merchant categories, average between 1.25% and 1.80% per sales transaction.
- Network fees are an uncontrollable cost paid to Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and Pulse. These fees average between .13% and .16% per sales transaction and should be equal for all merchants. However, some processing companies have started to increase network fees to increase their profit margins, McNulty noted.
- Acquiring fees are a controllable cost paid to various merchant processing entities. The fees aren’t published and are inversely proportionate to transaction volume. Small and medium businesses typically pay 10 to 100 times more in acquiring fees per sales transaction than larger chains, McNulty said.
AOA members who would like more information about how to reduce the costs of credit card processing can contact Merchant’s PACT online or at 502-964-6030 for more information. The company offers independent audit and negotiation services to AOA members.