Merchant Resources

Merchant Resources


 

Merchant Account Provider Selection Criteria

 

Financial Considerations

Maverick proactively alerts our customers of the best rates, and discloses all fees.  Rates will depend primarily on your credit history, length of time in business, and the risk factor assessed to your particular trade.  When entrusting a merchant provider with your business, consider their overall experience, level of service, integrity, and ethics as well as the terms and fees – before you signup.

 

Primary financial considerations include:

  • The Discount Rate, or percentage of each transaction paid to the merchant account processing company.
  • A Flat Transaction Fee; charged for each transaction processed.
  • Monthly Minimum Fees that the merchant account provider collects if the merchant’s discount rate and transaction fees don’t add up to the monthly minimum specified.  Monthly minimum fee applies to the transaction fees collected and not merely the total sales.
  • A Reserve Account, for a new or high-risk business, which protects the processor from any future losses.  The reserve account is normally calculated as a percentage of your sales.
  • E-commerce  storefront solutions that you must have to effectively operate your Website, such as shopping carts, Web hosting, payment gateways, virtual terminals, virtual checks, databases for fulfilling orders, customer tracking, and a way to calculate tax and shipping charges.

 

Phone Support

Maverick has reliable phone support available at times, as well as a Toll Free customer service number.  We have live operators, and account specialists to help you immediately, with no hold time or busy signals.  We train our specialists to answer questions quickly, politely, and in a thorough manner that is easy for the novice to understand.

 

Merchant Account Support

Live Chat is available for urgent matters such as the cessation of transactions from the account or the inability to access the transaction area.  Offline Chat Messaging and Email Support is always available for non-urgent informational issues that the help desk does not handle.

 

Website Support

Website Implementation and Support is available, and allows for account testing, hosting and implementation of the software.  Our technicians handle a great deal of the Website activity and do more to ensure the security and smoothness of the credit card transactions to prevent lost sales.

 

 

“Maverick is always ready and willing to go the extra mile – it makes all the difference in times of crisis, and is paramount to the overall success and health of our customer’s business.  We strive to be your provider for life”

 


 

Merchant Account Fees

    • Discount Rate
      • The discount rate will usually make up the majority of your costs.  The discount rate is a percentage charged on each transaction; usually lower if you are swiping cards with a card present, face to face transaction, and higher if you are keying them in for MOTO, Internet, or other card-not-present (CNP) transactions.  For example, if you have a discount rate of 4.5%, and you charge a customer $100, the transaction fee would be $4.50.
    • Transaction Fees
      • This is a flat fee charged to process each transaction.  It’s charged on every transaction, regardless of whether the transaction is approved or declined.  Common transaction fees are 20 cents for swiped and 30 cents for keyed transactions.  These fees can be slightly higher for wireless transactions.
    • PIN Debit Transaction Fees
      • These fees only apply if you accept Debit Cards and have a PINpad attached to your terminal.  This fee is a fixed transaction fee and is usually around 70 cents. Some processors, however, charge a low transaction fee (around 20 cents) and then bill you the Debit Network Fee, which varies depending on the debit network.
    • Address Verification Service Transaction Fee (AVS)
      • This fee only applies to merchants who key in their credit card transactions. It’s usually between 5 and 10 cents, and is lumped in with the transaction fees, although some processors charge this as a separate line item.  AVS provides you with valuable address and zip code information that helps reduce fraud.  AVS is mandatory on all Visa and MasterCard transactions and on all keyed transactions where the card is not present.
    • ACH / Daily Batch Fee
      • This fee may be charged when you settle your daily batch and transfer the funds into your bank account.  If you do not have any transactions on a particular day, you are not charged this fee. This fee can range from 5 cents to 50 cents.
    • Monthly Statement / Support / Service Fee
      • This fee is charged by your processor or merchant service provider and is a fixed fee, regardless of the number of transactions.  This fee provides you with a monthly statement, as well as any 800 toll-free customer assistance/support you may need on your account.
    • Internet Gateway Fee
      • This only applies if you are using an Internet payment gateway and does not apply if you are using software or a terminal.  The gateway fee is a monthly fee that is usually billed directly by the gateway provider, or billed through your merchant account.  The gateway fee can be as high as $30 per month. Sometimes there can be an additional per-transaction fee that the gateway provider may charge.  This is in addition to any transaction fees charged by your merchant account provider.
    • Voice Authorization Fee
      • This fee is only charged when you call in your transaction to an 800 number. It is useful if your terminal or software isn’t working and you need to perform an authorization.  Most merchants do not use the voice authorization service.  But if you do, the average cost ranges from 75 cents to $1.50 per voice authorization.
    • Monthly Minimum Fee
      • A monthly minimum fee is not an extra fee but rather a minimum amount that your merchant account provider requires you to generate each month.  If your monthly fees are less than this minimum, then you are charged the difference.  For example, if you had to meet a $25 minimum monthly fee and if the merchant account provider takes a 1% transaction fee on credit card sales, you would need $2500 in sales a month.  If you had only $2000 in sales, you will be charged an additional $5 to meet the monthly minimum.  Usually it is the Flat Transaction Fee and the Discount Rate that are combined to assess if the monthly minimum fee has been collected.
    • Surcharge Fee / Partially-qualified Fees / Non-qualified Fees
      • These fees may appear under any of these three names, but they are all essentially the same. These fees are all related to an additional discount fee that some business types are charged, and only apply to certain card types.  They do not apply to the majority of consumer cards, but they do apply to some business, corporate, rewards and international cards.  In general, these fees range from an additional 0.5% to 2.5%.
    • Application / Setup Fee
      • This is charged when your account is set up.  This fee used to be charged for all new merchant account applications.
    • Reprogramming Fee
      • This is charged if and when you need to reprogram a piece of existing equipment or software. It takes time and effort to program terminals and software, and as a result merchant providers, terminal vendors and software vendors sometimes charge this fee.
    • Chargeback/Retrieval Fee
      • Chargeback fees are the costs charged by a processor to cover disputed charges.  These can be high fees that really affect your bottom line, as well as your risk factor.  Chargebacks and retrieval fees are related to a customer or issuing bank disputing a transaction.  Common reasons for such a dispute are: the customer doesn’t recognize the charge; the product or service was not as described; or someone fraudulently used the customer’s credit card.  A merchant will have a chance to refute the dispute by providing a written response and documentation. Maverick offers ongoing guidance on reducing the number of chargebacks and tips on lowering chargeback numbers.
    • Annual Fee
      • This is the annual amount that may be charged for your merchant account by your processor.
    • Cancellation or Termination Fee
      • Almost all merchant accounts have some sort of cancellation or termination fee.  There is a significant cost in setting up and maintaining a merchant account for a business, and this fee helps recoup some of the attrition losses should a merchant cancel, especially in the beginning.
    • Hidden / Junk Fees
      • Unfortunately, there are plenty of hidden and bogus fees out there.  One of the most common hidden fees is an extremely low “teaser” rate that goes up after a few months of processing.  This usually involves a condition that’s buried in your contract allowing the provider to raise the discount rate at will, or when you do not meet certain volume targets.  Another tactic is to have a teaser rate that only applies to one specific card type in one specific category, then charge higher rates on other cards and categories.  Junk fees come under a variety of different names, such as file fee, security fee, audit fee, conversion fee, over-limit fee, excessive transactions fees, and billback fees.

Maverick does not publish teaser rates, tack-on hidden fees, or offer deceptively low rates.  If you find a provider offering significantly lower rates than everyone else – be wary.