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Credit and Debit Card Processing

Looked at your credit card fee statement lately? Have any idea what those fees are costing your company? Get ready for a little shock. Upon close examination of your processing statement, you may find you are paying fees you didn’t even know existed!

Luckily, some of the country’s premier processing services are now courting the petroleum industry. If charge cards and debit cards are a significant portion of your business, you owe it to yourself to investigate the possibility of an independent provider. It may not work with all brands, but at least you’ll know your options.

At Meridian, we took bids from non-bank providers. (Yes, we try to practice what we preach!) The savings was outstanding. Our winner was Concord, affiliated with EFS National Bank. We met them at PMAA’s Winter Retreat. As the country’s largest grocery industry processor, they are now making a run at the petroleum marketplace, especially those marketers with ten or more stores/stations. As the third largest processor in the nation, touching one out of every ten credit card transactions, they have the clout to do it.

We realized how naive we had been about our processing charges at Meridian when the EFS rep did an apples for apples comparison of fees. Not only was their processing percentage rate significantly lower (about 1.5%), but we also discovered our bank processor was tacking on extra fees each month we didn’t even know about! We all get those statement stuffers, but who wants to read all that fine print? If you’re like us you’re great at ignoring them and then filing them. Luckily, we won’t incur these costs with our new processor.

If you accept debit cards, you will be amazed at the variety of fees and charges associated with debit. Often processors will charge the same percentage fee on a debit transaction as they do on credit. This is highway robbery! Check your debit fees and make sure clerks differentiate debit transactions when they ring.

When you shop for a processor, look at the entire cost of the package:

  • Discount rate
  • Timing on access to cash
  • Transaction fees
  • Equipment costs
  • Installation costs
  • Contract costs

As with any other business transaction, you’ll find that the big print giveth and the fine print taketh away, so go by the letter of the contract.

If you are major branded and assume you don’t have a processing choice, it’s worth a phone call to research whether that’s true. Just be sure to read your refiner contract to stay within your obligations and good graces.

To reach EFS/Concord’s petroleum division, contact Jason Godin at 800-235-1794, extension 5017.

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