Discover the most frequently asked Merchant services questions

What are credit card transaction costs?

The cost of a credit card terminal goes beyond the initial purchase or rental payment. It also includes transaction costs charged by the terminal supplier.

Transaction fee

The transaction fee is the percentage of money your provider charges for each card transaction you accept from customers. Major card associations such as American Express, Visa and Mastercard will often determine the exact amount of the fees that you are likely to incur with each transaction whilst the processors will then determine your total costs based on the risk they attribute to your business. This alters the cost of your Chip and PIN machine over time and must be taken into account when considering card payment machines costs.


Calculating card transaction fees

The card terminal provider will consider your company’s credit history as well as the type of transactions that you are processing. Most credit card processors will have two rates: one for transactions where the card is not present such as those that are conducted over the Internet and one where the card is present, where the transaction is completed straight away, face to face.

The process can get a little tricky after that, as some suppliers may charge additional fees on top of the transaction fee. There may sometimes be a non-refundable application fee which could top £150, whilst other vendors might charge an activation fee or a set up fee. This is where you need to be most vigilant and to ensure that you get any fees and charges in writing. Whilst signing up with a reputable merchant may require you to pay higher transaction fees, but it is more than worth it as you will be doing business with a company that you know you can trust.

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