As the owner of a small or mid-sized business, it is vital for you to understand that if you accept credit, debit and prepaid cards, no matter what size your business is, you have rights. Card processing can be complex, and credit card processing can unfairly impact small and medium sized businesses if they are not cautious. Statements can be confusing with fees being automatically debited from bank account, undisclosed markups racking up the already high processing rates and many business owners are often confused by what they are really being charged and just how many middlemen they are paying.
The Merchant Bill of Rights is proposed as an industry standard that calls for clear and straightforward presentation of card processing costs. It’s main purpose is to enable merchants (business owners and operators) who don’t have the resources of large merchants to effectively manage their processing costs, get competitive pricing, determine which processor best meets their needs and realize significant savings.
The following are the ten rights you ought to recognize to protect your business by promoting fairness, transparency and honesty in card processing.
· The right to know the fee for every card transaction ― and who’s charging it.
· The right to know the markup of Visa, MasterCard, Discover Network and
American Express fee increases.
· The right to know all Visa, MasterCard, Discover Network and American
Express fee reductions.
· The right to know all transaction middlemen.
· The right to know all surcharges and bill-backs.
· The right to real time dedicated service.
· The right to encrypted card numbers and secure transactions.
· The right to real-time fraud and transaction monitoring.
· The right to reasonable equipment costs.
· The right to live customer support 24/7/365.
Also, large merchants have the resources to recognize and avoid interchange mark ups, hidden fees and other charges that smaller businesses may unnecessarily incur and as an owner of a small/ mid-sized business, you have the right to be treated right and you may not be excluded from the benefits big businesses receive. You have the right to get the personalized service your business deserves.
The most fundamental and integral part of setting up a new business is to set up a merchant account, which is a type of bank account that allows a merchant to accept card payments. Accepting credit card payment is not possible without a merchant account, and without having a card payment option, your business is most likely going to lose many of your credit card holding customers.
Endorsing the Merchant Bill of Rights while setting up a merchant account can keep you aware of which fees are legitimate, exactly what and who you are paying for each transaction and alert you on other unethical business practices so you can control your card processing costs and focus more on your business to make higher profits.