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Merchant Accounts
Depending on the Merchant Account Provider you may have some startup costs like setup fees and application fees. Unless you are leasing or purchasing a credit card terminal, your Startup Fees (Setup Fees) should be free or very low. The Merchant Account industry has become very competitive. Do NOT find yourself paying setup fees, application fees, or "site visit" fees. These fees are all profit excuses for the Merchant Account Provider. Should you be an internet Merchant, you may run into a "licensing fee" but do not expect to pay more than a one-time licensing fee. You should not be "leasing" anything related to "software".

Your next step is to look at Monthly Recurring Fees. Depending on your actual monthly sales, your monthly cost as a percent of sales will vary. If your business is accepting MasterCard and Visa cards in a "card present" environment you can expect to pay 1.4% or higher of your credit card sales. Should you be accepting orders over the phone, through the mail (MOTO), or over the internet, you should expect to pay 2.0% to 2.5% at most. Transaction fees vary but can be "bundled" meaning you pay NO transaction fees. Transaction fees range from a nickel to up to thirty cents, or more. Make sure that your percentage rate or "discount rate" is all inclusive - meaning you should not be paying a Merchant Account Provider AND someone else, like a bank or a software provider. You should be paying all your fees to one entity.

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