Merchant services relates to the broad category of financial services available to businesses to accept payments through secure channels to process a customer’s credit or debit card. Typically these include;
- Credit and debit cards payment processing
- Check guarantee and check conversion services
- Automated Clearing House
- Payment gateway
- Online transaction processing
- Point of sale (POS) systems
As with all Overhead Costs, opportunities exist to reduce Merchant Service Fees, even by comparing the various offers from the market. Additionally, correct usage and implementation of the following tips will reduce your Merchant Service Costs while enhancing you customer’s experience;
(1) Broadband / IP Connection
Check to see what type of line your terminals are connected to. If you have a broadband router at your business, it is a great idea to connect your terminal to this rather than the standard analogue phone line. There are 2 great reasons for this;
- The router will eliminate the need for an analogue line. Cancelling this will eliminate any unnecessary Telecoms charges, and
- The experience is a much faster and more efficient one for both your company and your customers
(2) Foreign Currency rebates on non-Euro denominated cards (DCC – Dynamic Currency Conversion)
If your business has customers from outside the Euro Area (e.g. Sterling and US Dollars etc.), ensure you have the foreign rebate function switched on at your terminal point. Again, there are 2 great reasons for this;
- Your customers will know exactly what amount will be appearing on their visa statement once converted. This allows for easier reconciliation for them including far easier reconciliation when claiming expenses (for business customers)
- While as the facilitator, you will earn additional revenue for your business through a FX rebate
(3) Over the phone / MOTO Transactions (card not present transaction (CNP, MO/TO, Mail Order / Telephone Order)
Double check that you are processing over the phone transactions correctly. Some terminals are set up that you need to enter these transactions in a different manner to the customer present one. If you are doing this incorrectly you could be incurring unnecessary surcharges.
(4) Contactless Transaction
For your customers who spend less than €15 as an average transaction, ensure your terminal can offer contactless transactions. It speeds up the transaction and provides an enhanced customer experience. They just tap and go. No need to delay the transaction by entering the pin.
(5) Tax refund transactions
For those of you who are offering tax refund service, you may have a separate terminal for this. Check with your supplier to see if they can offer it to you all on the one terminal. Saves on desk/counter space and frees up power and phone lines for your business. Also allows for a smother customer experience.