by Jean Niemczyk
I would suggest the following:
Make sure you are a Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant originator. PCI is a set of rules and regulations aimed to reduce the risk of fraud in a transaction. This entails an annual questionnaire that is completed to make sure you are compliant. The processor will charge a monthly fee to originators that are not PCI compliant.
Capture as much data as possible when processing a transaction. These are items above and beyond the card number and expiration date including, security codes, billing address and name as it appears on the card. Different rates are charged by the processors based on the amount of data captured. The more data, the less the transaction fee. For the processors, the more you know about the party who has presented the card for the transaction, the less chance there is for fraud.
Review your fees annually with your provider. VISA and Mastercard make annual adjustments to their rates and typically your merchant services provider adds a fee on top of that. Your provider may take that annual adjustment as an opportunity to bump their fees as well. Depending on the dollar volume of transactions you process, you may have significant leverage to negotiate or even eliminate increases.
Answers provided by Jean Niemczyk, SVP, Commercial Banking at Simmons Bank. She can be reached at 314.569.7241 or firstname.lastname@example.org.