Figuring out what you're actually paying in credit card fees

Jeff Noles
Jeff Noles
  • Updated

When LabStar integrated with wepay in 2013, it was the culmination of a lot of research.  We talked with over 2 dozen credit card processors and discovered some surprising facts about the credit card industry.  Our key takeaway was that small businesses need to educate themselves before selecting a processing partner.  For example:

  • Most small businesses pay more in processing fees than they think they do
  • Credit card fees are typically broken down into an "interchange" fee and other charges
  • The interchange fee is at least 2% and credit card companies imply that's the "rate" you pay
  • Most credit card processors, however, make money on their "other" charges
  • Because of this confusion, many small businesses pay up to 4% in monthly fees without knowing it
  • There is no standard set of monthly fees so it's very difficult to compare fees among processors

So how do you confirm how much you're actually paying?  Divide your total monthly processing fees by your monthly payment volume (how much you charged your customers).  Here's where it begins to get complicated since "annual" charges also need to be included in this calculation.  Other fees include monthly fees, PCI compliance fees, annual fees, merchant account fees, connection fees, etc.--the numerous different fees depend on the processing company and, confusingly, all have different names.  This opacity--the difficulty of gaining a clear understanding of fees--is why so many small businesses pay more than they think they do.  In fact, after making the calculation above many small businesses are shocked to learn that despite being promised fees of, say, 2%, they're actually paying closer to 4%.

To ensure transparency in pricing LabStar decided to partner with wepay since they only charge a flat fee (2.75% + 30 cents per transaction) with no other monthly or annual charges.  They also enable LabStar users to "sweep" their money on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis from the free merchant account they provide to your operating bank account.

 

 

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