If you’re a business owner, you know how important it is to accept credit cards in today’s marketplace. Although credit card processing fees are the cost of doing business, they can add up quickly. Credit card processing fees are levied on each credit card sale you make and can vary month-to-month depending on your sales volume and the merchant service provider you use. If you feel that you’re paying too much in processing fees, there are steps you can take to lower the amount you pay. Here are five ways you can lower your credit card processing fees:

Understanding Credit Card Processing Fees
When you start accepting credit card payments in your business, you’ll pay fees on everything from setup, processing and customer service. It’s important to remember that no two providers charge the same fees. One may charge a low rate per charge while others may charge more for service items, while another may charge for setup but waive their fees on other services. There are often several different tier levels that are tied to different costs. This is why it’s so important to find the right merchant service provider for your business.

Choose the Right Provider
When choosing a merchant service provider, there are a few things you should look for. It’s important not to be fooled by low pricing. The merchant service provider with the lowest cost isn’t always the best one for your business. Low price could mean a variety of things, such as unreliable service or hidden fees. Also, choose an integrated payment solution that will help save you time and money by reducing the amount of duplicate data entry and errors. Most importantly, understand all of the fees that are involved before you sign a contract. Learn about the different processing rates and find out whether you’ll be charged a fee for terminating your contract if you’re not satisfied.

Set Up the Right Merchant Account
In order to accept credit cards, you’ll need to set up a merchant account. To get the best rates, make sure you choose the account type that’s most appropriate for your sales volume and business type. Each type of account has its own rate and qualification requirements. Ask your provider about upfront costs that can save you time and money later.

Make Sure Customer Service is Included
Make sure that customer service is included in your contract. Avoid merchant service providers that charge you a fee for contacting customer service. If your system isn’t working, you shouldn’t be charged extra to contact someone about getting it fixed.

Swipe Instead of Entering
Credit card transactions are usually split into different tiers for discount rates. For the most part, to qualify for the least expensive rate, you need to have the card present and swiped through a card reader. When card numbers are entered into the system over the phone or online, you’re usually charged a higher rate. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t offer phone and online payments, but having in-store payments as your primary payment method will help reduce the amount you pay in credit card processing fees.

If you feel that you’re paying too much in credit card processing fees, you may be right. Do your research to understand the processing fees you’ll be charged and find a merchant service provider that offers a plan that aligns with your business model. Make sure that you won’t be charged extra for customer service, and if possible, swipe cards at a point-of-sale system rather than entering them manually. Taking these steps can help you reduce the amount your business pays in credit card processing fees every month, helping your business become more profitable and successful.