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"How to Determine If Your Merchant Account Is Charging You More Than What Their Initial Advertised Offer Stated"

Are you spending too much to accept credit cards?

Read every word of this article to find out - one way or the other...

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"Accept by Phone is one of those ideas that works just like it sounds. You can process payments from a client quickly by dialing a toll-free number, entering your client's credit card number through an automated system, and then authorizing and processing the payment, all in a few seconds...

Dennis Kennedy


"Accept by phone was an excellent way for our new business to begin accepting credit cards, without the need for complicated contracts and expensive equipment..."

Eric M. Jukes
Capital Region Limousine


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If you are a fairly new business owner, getting a merchant account can be a real challenge in terms of getting the best value for your buck - factoring in the cost, accessibility and customer service. Some of the so called "Merchant accounts" are not what they claim to be.

With so many websites, it’s easy for a payment processing company to glorify themselves as industry leaders. Their mass advertising campaign will convince you to get their services on the surface. But are they really up to par with the elite group of merchant services?

A large number of these payment-processing companies will eventually fail to provide real value in their merchant account services. These scam companies rely heavily on their merchant’s high monthly fees and are looking to squeeze every penny out of their customers by throwing in a number of hidden charges. And they use the termination policy to "lock in" this guaranteed revenue for them - even if you happen to go out of business...

However, there is no need to panic. Consider the following suggestions in order to get a reliable payment processing service before making your decision:.

Instead of critically analyzing the "bad voodoos" of the not so great payment processing services, let’s discuss in brief what to look for before finalizing a merchant account for your small business.

First of all, you can choose to have a true merchant account through a bank itself, but they will not provide you with a payment gateway. Or, if you require specific needs or features, then you can go with a merchant account provider that acts as an agent for a bank, but is able to provide more specific options for the end-user.

Another alternative is to setup a third party processor that will take care of everything (payment gateway included) but you must abide by their rules of credit card acceptance. Usually people who are blacklisted by some credit card companies or have poor or bad credit will opt to have a third party processor out of necessity. Third party payment processors are great for smaller sales volumes, or "high risk" products. Also, if you are not technically savvy then third party processor has an easy setup procedure to put you at ease.

However, of the thousands of options available these days for payment processing - many will try and secure as much profit as possible by imposing any number of the following fees - and usually they do this without your knowledge...

- Additional Chargeback fees

- Setup fees that you are not aware of
(until later on)

- Monthly Minimum Processing fees
(if unadvertised)

- Software fees
(for payment gateways)

- Unadvertised Transaction fees

- Retrieval fees

- Payment Gateway fees

- Account Termination fees
(Usually buried deep within the terms & conditions - watch out especially for termination policies that base their penalties/fees on the amount of time remaining in your contract)

- Unadvertised Statement fees

- Unadvertised Annual fees

The above mentioned are some of the "junk" fees that you can charged for not being completely aware of their terms and conditions - which they don't advertise. Please ensure to read their terms and conditions to look for these hidden charges. Remember that you may be paying higher payment rates for each of your transaction based on these hidden charges.

In other words - What you See is NOT Necessarily What you Get!!!

You should also watch out for discount rates offered at the time of your registration. Check out their terms and conditions that might mention that "discount rates are subject to change without notice". This usually is a bad sign of doing business as they can easily tack on as much profit (at your expense) as they want. And if they've taken the trouble to include a clause like that in their terms & conditions, you can "rest assured" that the rate will more than likely go up - without warning.

(Many advertised discount rates can often be what's called an "introductory rate". Which means that once you're locked into their contract, after a certain period of "intro" time, they'll start slamming you with a much higher rate).

Among the most notable hidden charge gimmicks is the cancellation policy. If this cancellation is not on a flat rate basis then you should immediately smell trouble. If the cancellation policy is based against the period of contract then you will be forced to pay out a lot more than expected.

And finally, you must cross check your transaction statement against what you were promised as part of your contract. Many times their advertising fees don’t even come close to being a reality. If you see any discrepancies, immediately contact them for a statement of charges that are applicable. This step will avoid any unwanted hassles later down the road. In case you are leasing equipment from them - make sure to know about their policy & terms on return of equipment, cancellation of lease, and damaged goods.

The basic idea is to know about their policy and functionality as a payment processing company. If you undermine the above discussed points, there are good chances that you might be welcoming a whole lot of financial trouble.

Beware of payment processing companies promoting misleading ads that will eventually turn out to be a financial hazard to your credit business.

Bottom Line: Go over a merchant service's Terms & Conditions with a fine-tooth comb before you sign on with them!

Sometimes, it's best to see what others say when it comes to choosing the best merchant account.


With Accept by Phone, swiped transactions are only 2.69% (keyed transactions are 3.49% and $0.19 per transaction).

No signup fees, no monthly fees, no PCI fee, no monthly minimum, and no cancellation fee.

See Accept by Phone's Account Details Here >>


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Find out More about how Accept-By-Phone works in the Tutorial Section

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