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How to Read a Credit Card Seller Statement – 5 Ways to Classify Fees

You can read the seller’s extract and find out the rates and commissions from which you charge a fee, with the game “Where is Waldo?”. One reason is that there are almost as many different statement formats as there are trading companies. In addition, due to how competitive the industry has become, many monthly reports do not fully disclose tariffs. And sometimes they are completely hidden.

I know banks that don’t even send statements. If the seller wants to receive detailed information about what he paid, he must log in to his online account to find it.

There is a war!

One reason for this is competitiveness. You must remember that credit and debit cards are part of the $ 2 trillion industry. Money is like a magnet – it attracts the majority of sellers who are constantly contacted by competing processors, trying to get them to switch processors, promising "lower rates", etc.

Thus, so that the sales agent from another processing company could not select the seller, some processors make it difficult for the competitor’s sales representative to enter the business, analyze the seller’s statement and make “apples for apples”. comparison.

At the same time, there are several more key keys that you need to look for when reading your application. Here's what I'm looking for in an analysis of a seller’s statement in order:

  • One: Pricing structure – how is your account set up? What pricing model does it use? Does it use levels (for example, 3-level; 4-level, etc.) Or – does it use "Interchange Plus"? (NOTE: most sellers use a pricing model by levels, which, in my opinion, ensures that they are overpriced. In addition, there are other pricing structures, but tier pricing is the most common)
  • Two: Monthly payments (sometimes called “Other”) – then I look at what the monthly payments are. This may include: report fee; monthly maintenance fee; account maintenance fee (usually you see only one of them, although I saw two – or you can see the equivalent fee, but using a different term); PCI card batch fee; and gateway or access charges. It may also display any different, but not monthly payments – for example, an annual fee or semi-quarterly payments.
  • Three: Processing fees – discounts will be indicated here. If you are at the price level, the best operators will print a detailed list showing the rates "qualified", "medium" and "unskilled" (3 levels). If you work at Interchange Plus, you will see a list showing all the various cards you have taken, followed by the actual exchange rate for the card, “dpi” (unit discount), and processor margins, expressed as a basis. points and commission per transaction (or per unit, depending on the term used to transfer it).
  • Four: Login – here you will find commissions that go to VISA and MC. They will be indicated as fees for access, authorization and / or WATTS. You can also find here AVS fees (address verification); assessment fees; brand usage fees; risk payment; Settlement fees, payment for IAS (issuer's access and settlements).
  • Five: Third Party Fees – Third parties are networks other than VISA and MC that are included in your application. This will include American Express, Discover, and debit networks if you use pin debit.

Part of the problem when reading a seller’s statement is that different processors use different category names and different terms to determine costs. That's why I started by saying it was like the game “Where is Waldo?” Despite the fact that there are general terms used for certain fees, there is also a wide variation depending on the buyer (the company with which you signed a trade agreement).

Again, this is partly due to an attempt to hide what is being charged and to complicate the competitor's analysis of the application. Although this "somewhat" is understandable – in my opinion, this is a bad service for the merchant. Integrity requirements transparencyPerhaps, if the processors were more focused on merchants, they would have had a lower turnover and they would not have to worry so much about competition. At least that's my opinion.


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