Category Archives: Credit Card Processing

Credit Card Merchant

9 Things to Consider When Choosing a Credit Card Merchant

Choosing a credit card merchant can be a daunting task, especially if you are new to accepting credit card payments. There are so many options out there, and it can be difficult to know which one is the best for your business. In this blog post, we will go over some important factors to consider when choosing a credit card merchant, so you can make an informed decision that will benefit your business.

1. Fees: One of the most important things to consider when choosing a credit card merchant is the fees. There are several types of fees that merchants charge, including transaction fees, monthly fees, and setup fees. It is important to compare the fees of different merchants to ensure you are getting the best deal.

2. Payment Processing: Another important factor to consider is the payment processing capabilities of the merchant. You want to choose a merchant that is able to process payments quickly and efficiently, as this will help improve the customer experience and reduce the risk of fraud.

3. Integration: If you already have a website or point-of-sale system in place, it is important to choose a credit card merchant that can easily integrate with your existing setup. This will make it easier for you to accept credit card payments, and it will also reduce the risk of errors or glitches.

4. Customer Support: It is important to choose a credit card merchant that offers good customer support, as you will likely have questions or need assistance at some point. Look for a merchant that offers multiple channels of support, such as phone, email, and chat, and be sure to read reviews from other merchants to get an idea of the level of support you can expect.

5. Security: Security is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a credit card merchant. Look for a merchant that uses the latest security measures, such as PCI compliance and fraud protection, to protect your customers’ sensitive information.

6. Compatibility with Card Brands: It is also important to consider the compatibility of the credit card merchant with different card brands. If you expect to accept a variety of card brands, such as Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, you will want to choose a merchant that is able to process payments from all of these brands.

7. Reporting and Analytics: Having access to detailed reporting and analytics can be extremely useful for your business. Look for a credit card merchant that offers detailed reports on your sales and transaction data, as this can help you make informed business decisions and identify areas for improvement.

8. Mobile Compatibility: If you expect to accept credit card payments through a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, it is important to choose a credit card merchant that is compatible with these devices. This will make it easier for you to accept payments on the go, and it will also provide a better experience for your customers.

9. Additional Services: Some credit card merchants offer additional services beyond just payment processing. These can include things like invoicing, recurring payments, and fraud protection. Consider whether these additional services would be beneficial for your business and choose a merchant that offers them if necessary.

In conclusion, choosing a credit card merchant is an important decision that can have a big impact on your business. Be sure to consider the fees, payment processing capabilities, integration, customer support, security, compatibility with card brands, reporting and analytics, mobile compatibility, and any additional services that may be useful for your business. By taking the time to carefully evaluate your options, you can find a credit card merchant that is the right fit for your business.

Are You Leasing Your Credit Card Terminal?

Do you want to pay $2160 for a $300 terminal? One of our customers did just that. He had a $45 per month lease for 48 months on a credit card terminal that should have been purchased for about $300.

Terminal leases are great for credit card processors and horrible for small businesses. Any Credit Card Processor that pushes a lease on you is not looking out for your best interests. In addition to the lease they are probably going to overcharge you on the processing as well.

At Essential we take pride in earning our customers’ trust. Although $300 may seem expensive when you are starting out or changing processors, it makes sense in the long run. Purchasing your terminal and signing up with Essential for a merchant account will save a lot of money in the long run. We know it is tempting to lease the terminal or to take the “free” terminal option from a processor, but short term savings is not worth higher fees over the lifetime of your account.

Our rates are very fair and competitive plus we don’t sign you up for a long term agreement. We know that some companies offer “Free” equipment, but they make up that cost many times over on the processing. We decided not to take a percentage of your sales so we cannot give away the equipment, but we are also not going to take advantage of you by singing you up for a lease either. Buying the terminal upfront and paying a low processing rate is the best possible way to accept credit cards for most businesses.

Lower Those Credit Card Processing Fees!


If your restaurant accepts credit cards, you’ll always have to pay credit card processing fees.

Most merchant account

companies charge up to 5% on all credit card sales, including processing costs, and statement fees. America is choosing plastic over cash these days, and choosing not to accepts credit cards is not the smartest way to avoid these fees. You can’t avoid credit card processing fees, but you can reduce these fees and save your restaurant

money with a little preparation.

Comparison Shop
Just like buying a new flat-screen TV or a new car, you can get the best deal by doing a little
comparison shopping. Some providers charge more than others, even though they may offer the same level of service. Other providers may advertise a lower rate, but they actually charge you more in hidden fees and provide less service.

If you need to find a new payment processor, a quick Google search can give you a list of companies. You can also search for companies on the Better Business Bureau website where you can see whether the company is accredited whether they’ve received any consumer complaints.

Ask your processor, what is the total rate when all fees are included? Are there any contracts, cancellation fees, statement fees, service fees or application fees? Can they waives any of those fees for you? They can.

Swipe or Dip Only
Transactions where you enter the cardholder’s information manually cost more in fees per transaction than swipes and dips. That’s because manually entered transactions are more vulnerable to fraud, since thieves usually obtain credit card numbers without a physical credit card to make fraudulent purchases.

Additionally, most credit cards contain magnetic stripes or chips that have built-in security features that would not be used if the card is entered manually. Since the risk of fraud is higher, credit card processors charge you more for manually entered transactions.

Require Credit Card Sales Minimums
If your restaurant usually handles smaller transactions, it might be smart to require minimum amounts for credit card sales. For example, if you own a small carry-out that gets a lot of small transactions under $5 and your profit margin on those products is just 10%, it’s probably not worth conducting the sale after factoring in credit card fees.

Just put up a note that says you accept credit cards with a sale minimum $10. If a customer doesn’t understand, just explain that the cost of processing plastic is greater than cash.

Set up Your Account and Terminal Correctly
Sometimes, a simple mistake can lead to higher credit card processing fees. Stay away from this by making sure you POS provider sets up your account the right way. If your account is set up incorrectly, you risk getting higher processing fees from providing the incorrect business information. Also, do your batch process every day, it is more cost effective instead of every few days or a few times a week. Don’t wait, because the longer you wait to process, the higher the fees and rates.

Ask A Credit Card Expert
We know most restaurant owners know very little about credit card processing, you’re concerned about making good food and giving great service. Get a better understanding and have a trusted advisor by your side by consulting a credit card processing expert. May times, your POS provider can help dispel credit card processing myths. Also, their knowledge and relationship with processors can also help you get lower rates for your business.