When you have a business, whether it is a retail store, grocery cart or lawncare service, you have to be able to take payments. In today’s world, this means being able to take credit cards easily. Most of your customers are not likely to have cash or even a check on hand to make a payment for products or services. You must be ready to fulfill their need and accept a form of payment that is convenient for them. However, accepting credit cards comes with its own issues, like fees. How do you best handle these fees? Many businesses are finding that interchange plus is a solution to this problem.
What Is Interchange Plus?
Typically, you will have a few options on how your fees will be structured for credit card payments. Common options include bundled or tiered pricing. Interchange plus is another option. With this, you get a pricing structure that allows you to see the components of the costs. It is reported much more clearly and allows you to plan your costs much more easily. It is available for Visa, MasterCard and Discover.
How Does It Work?
When you process a credit card, the credit card brand will set an interchange rate that you are charged for this transaction. You are also charged a processing fee by the processor. The amount of what you are charged for processing can vary by industry.
How interchange plus works is it allows you to see the basic processing fees and interchange fees individually instead of bunching them into one basic fee, which is how other methods do it. It allows you to see exactly what you are being charged for every transaction, so you can optimize your credit card related expenses. This is compared to other systems that lump everything together so you do not get to see what is being charged where, so you may never really know what processing or interchange fees you are paying.
What Are the Benefits?
The main benefit here is that it is clearer than other options. You get to see what you are paying in a very easy to understand format. Because you are able to see all the fees, this opens doors to getting lower fees. Companies are more willing to lower costs, which passes the savings onto your business. In addition, you can better choose a processing company because you will know what they are charging you and immediately see the best offer.
How Do I Find the Best Deal?
The rates you are offered can vary quite a bit. They are based upon many different factors. So, what may be great rates for one business may not be for another. You have to consider things like what industry you are in, how much risk your business poses and your average transaction amounts. There really is no one answer to the question of what is the best deal. The best thing you can do is choose a processing company that has your best interests in mind and who is willing to work with you. They should be open to the idea of interchange plus, too. If a company is used to this method, it will often be very happy to offer you the best possible rates.
Brian Thompson is a business man who means business. He has helped several companies thrive in the business world, and in his spare time writes for several blogs.
Follow him on Twitter @Biz_Gab
Follow him on Twitter @Biz_Gab