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How to Read and Interpret a Credit Card Processing Statement

How do you know if you pay too much for credit card processing?

Does my business get the best possible payment processing rates? This is a very important question that all field service companies must ask themselves. With more consumers paying with credit cards than ever before, you need to review your monthly statements and make sure you do not overpay for processing. Every percentage point counts and adds up to a huge number when looked at in terms of annual revenue.

In this article, we will review the importance of regularly reviewing your statements, how to decipher your actual rates, and why you should have a competitive rate analysis done for your field service business.

What am I actually paying for processing?

This is a great place to start. You may think you are paying one rate when you’re actually something completely different. May processing companies have different rates based on how you actually take payments. The most common differentiator here involves swiped payments vs. manually entered/Card Not Present payments, a huge consideration for field service companies.

If you mostly take payment in the office (over the phone), you likely pay top dollar for those transactions. In the field, you might have to manually enter card info as well. Due to third party mobile payment solutions, costs, changes in mobile design, or normal wear and tear, you may have to fall back to manually entering card information. This makes your transaction expenses really add up over time. Your payment processing provider may have quoted one rate, but 80% or more of your transactions could fall under manually entered/Card Not Present, forcing you to pay a much higher rate than you think you do.

Nobody can beat my current rates!

Not so fast! Do you actually know your rates? One of the major credit card processors that a lot of field service businesses use rolls all of your processing fees into a low “aggregate rate” that looks really good… on paper. However, this aggregate rate typically refers to ACH e-checks. Aggregate rates for customers who process e-checks are often in the low 1% (and even sub 1% rates). That’s just not an accurate representation of what you pay, since it doesn’t describe the rate for credit cards. Depending on your business, you probably take WAY more card payments than check payments!

Luckily, you can do some quick and easy math to pull the fees only for credit cards. This will get you closer to your actual processing rate. More often than not, the aggregate rate that your payment processing provider advertised is 1.5% lower than what you actually pay for credit card processing.

Read your statements!

Combing through your monthly statements helps you stay on top of things and gives you the opportunity to control the costs and options you have.  Take the time to make sure your actual fees are what they should be, or see if you are accepting payments in a way that drives up your processing fees.

If you need help, our experts can step in. At Smart Service, we can review a recent processing statement to see if our own payment processing can lower your rates. We likely can, and our payments platform provides seamless integration with QuickBooks, and with our award-winning scheduling software Smart Service. This allows you to close the gap on performing the service and getting paid for that service. We will give you a side-by-side comparison with what you currently pay versus what you would pay with Smart Service. No fluff, no smoke and mirrors, no B.S. To get a transparent cost analysis, head to this page and fill out the form.