Rates & Terms Explained

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Last week, I received a call from a longstanding merchant who asked me this question:  What do all of the terms mean on my statement?  I LOVED the question- especially coming from such a loyal merchant who admitted to reading very few statements since they hired us 9 1/2 years ago!  So here is your answer my friend:

Qualified Check Card Rate:  This rate is applied to swiped cards that are attached to a checking account.  The % is one of the lowest you will pay.  Check Cards can be identified because they typically list Debit or Check Card on the face of the card.  They can also be used with a PIN number but then Debit processing fees would apply instead of the Qualified Check Card Rate.

Qualified Rate:  This rate is slightly higher than the Check Card rate and applies to swiped, standard issue credit cards.  These cards look like any other but will not say Debit or Check on them and they are not attached to a checking account.

MidQualified Rate:  This rate applies to any key entered Check/Debit card and any key entered standard issue Credit card with an Address Verification match (AVS) or any Rewards card that is swiped or key entered.  The % is slightly higher than the Qualified rate and you cannot tell by looking at the card (in most cases) that a higher rate may apply.

NonQualified Rate: This rate applies to any Corporate or International credit card or any key entered Check/Debit or Credit card with NO AVS match.  You can also be assessed the NonQualified rate if you do not settle your credit card system within 24 hours.

Interchange Statements

These statements are a bit more complicated and we typically only use this style when a merchant has TONS of different card types or has the time and knowledge to decipher a more complex statement.  The 300+ tiers of pricing (Interchange) are listed out on the statement and the % and per item fee charged directly by Visa/MasterCard are listed separately.  The additional charges for capture/authorization & settlement are listed in the fee section of the statement. 

Additional Fees-these may not all apply to you but it is good to know what they are!!

Monthly Support Fee/Annual Fee- these fees cover the costs of servicing your account on a monthly and annual basis.  You will never see any per call charges when you need support and you can expect a minimum of 2 annual calls from our staff- checking in to see how things are going in your business.

Batch Fee- these are never seen on our Tiered statements (the fee is covered in your rate structure) and are listed out on our Interchange statements as they are the fees charged to settle the transactions you process.

PCI Fee- this is the fee charged for the Industry Mandated Compliance process you are required to go thru on an annual basis.

Non Compliance Fee- this is a fee you should NOT have to pay!  By making sure you are compliant and taking the necessary steps to become compliant each year- you avoid this unnecessary additional fee!

Wireless Fee- if you use a wireless device, the company that provides that service charges a fee to use their service and an additional .05 cents per transaction.

Secured Monthly Gateway Access Fee-  in order to process credit cards online you have to have a secured gateway and this product has an additional monthly fee & per item fee.

Chargeback/Retrieval Fees- these fees are charged if you have a dispute with one of your customers and they want to either get a copy of their receipt or they want to get their money back from you.

There are lots of fees in our industry and it is important to be able to understand your monthly statement- please feel free to call into our office and have one of our staff members walk you through to make sure you know exactly what you are paying.

And for my loyal merchant- thank you for the trust NOW READ YOUR STATEMENTS!! Smile

Cheri Perry 2/20/2011

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