The Merchant Account Bill of Rights

Posted by Beth Duff on May 25, 2016 05:00:00 AM

Topic: ALL

Person exchanging a card with another person

If you’re just getting started accepting credit cards, you probably have a lot of questions — and that’s good, because knowledge is power, especially when you’re trying to choose the best merchant account for your business!

At Bank Mutual and TransFirst®, we’re always available to answer your questions and offer professional expert guidance on all aspects of credit card processing, from merchant accounts to the latest technology to new industry trends.

We also believe that all of our clients have rights, including:

First and foremost, the right to a merchant account that fits your business needs.

The merchant account you choose should reflect the type of operation you run. The nature of traditional retail, for instance, is acceptance of credit cards with a POS terminal that handles card-present (face-to-face) transactions. Mobile merchants use wireless terminals or a mobile app like ProcessNow® from TransFirst that can accept credit cards on the go. Online merchants accept credit cards online through a secure payment gateway like Transaction Express®, while MOTO (mail order/telephone order) merchants often opt for dialup credit card processing that’s very cost effective for low-volume operations. It’s important to tell your TransFirst representative all about your business and any plans you have for future expansion to ensure that your merchant account package gives you the most bang for your buck.

The right to know what you’re paying for upfront.

As with any ongoing service that you engage, there is a rate structure for credit card processing. Processing fees are simply your cost of doing business with your merchant account provider, the credit card networks and the issuing banks. Some of the fees that you will encounter include the discount rate (which includes interchange and assessments paid to the banks and credit card companies), transaction fees, chargeback, ACH, AVS, monthly minimum, statement and termination. Make sure you have a clear understanding of all the fees you will be charged before you enter into your merchant account contract, and then review each monthly statement to confirm that it is correct.

the right to know how credit card processing works.

Regardless of how you accept credit cards — online, on the road, in a brick-and-mortar establishment — the process is essentially the same. It’s a complex series of events that begins when a credit card is swiped, dipped, waived or keyed into the system at the terminal and securely transmitted to the processor, who sends it on to the issuing bank for authorization. The bank reviews the data, authorizes or declines the transaction and sends a code back down the line through the processor to the merchant, who completes the transaction.

The right to state-of-the-art security.

The triple threat of credit card fraud, identity theft and data breach is of critical concern to all parties involved in credit card processing. By working with a reputable processor like TransFirst, you have access to rigorous security measures to safeguard yourself and your customers. These tools include PCI compliance, AVS (address verification system), CVC (card verification code), SSL (Secure Socket Layer) transmission and our Data Breach Security Program.

Learn more about Merchant Service options