Credit Card Processing Tips: 6 Confusing Things about Accepting Credit Cards

Credit Card ProcessingAs a merchant, there are multiple aspects of credit card processing to understand. While some of these things are clear, several tend to be confusing.

Credit Card Confusion

  1. Processing Quotes – Pricing tends to be the most confusing aspect of credit card processing because you probably have no idea what constitutes a competitive price quote. Because of this, you are forced to depend on what your sales rep says. Even though you expect your bank to provide all the answers, in truth, these financial institutions know very little about the credit card industry. Therefore, you need a sales rep with a minimum of two years of experience. In addition, ask vendors for three quotes, and always get full disclosures in writing for all fees and rates. 
  1. Pricing Models – Another area of confusion for credit card processing is the various pricing models. Among the various methods, two stand out: interchange-plus and tiered pricing. Interchange-plus is a transparent pricing model with rates set by the credit card brand; tiered pricing involves you qualifying for different rates determined by the vendor. In both cases, you need specific answers regarding rates.
  1. Contract Terms – Although a necessary evil, lengthy contracts are often confusing. For this reason, you need to fully understand the details, or you could face serious challenges with service limitations and hidden fees. Most importantly, ask if the equipment is leased and find out about the contract length and fees, including setup, monthly minimum, early termination, and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance.
  1. PCI Compliance – Security for credit card processing is serious business. If your customers’ data are not protected, your entire reputation is at risk. In addition, you might be charged bank and government fines, as well as face potential lawsuits. PCI compliance, which is a set of security standards relating to credit card processing, is critical.
  1. Non-Payments – To automatically repeat business, recurring charges and subscriptions are essential. However, for customers with a canceled or expired credit card, you need the right technology or mechanism for dealing with recurring charges. Otherwise, charges for an overlooked non-payment are difficult to recover.
  1. E-Commerce Compatibility – Business technology has advantages and disadvantages. Because not all credit card processors are compatible with the different services that merchants offer, you need assurance that your merchant account works perfectly across all sales channels.


Feeling confused about credit card processing is common. It is important that you ask the right questions and gain as much knowledge as possible. In addition, professional services are available to make your life as a business owner easier and more profitable.

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