Merchant Account Details

Discount Rate: A merchant account Discount Rate is a fee paid by the merchant to the acquirer for credit card processing purchases charged to a cardholder's credit card.  It is an agreed upon rate charged on sales and returned transactions. Discount rates are deducted daily prior to deposit into a merchant account.

Transaction Fee: A merchant account Transaction Fee is paid each time a merchant's credit card gateway, software, or terminal dials and communicates with the credit card processor. This includes; authorizations or sales, closing of a batch, declined responses.

Address Verification Service (AVS) Fee:  A merchant account fee paid on a transaction where an AVS response is requested. This is mandated by MasterCard® and Visa® for all keyed (non card swiped) transactions.  AVS verifies the numeric street address and ZIP code the issuing bank has on file for a particular cardholder. An AVS response code does not affect authorization.  The fee associated with the use of AVS is $0.05.

Card-Swiped Merchant Accounts
Swiped merchants sell face to face and swipe at least 71% to 100% of their MasterCard and Visa credit card processing transactions. This includes purchasing card, mobile (wireless) or home based merchants. This defined percentage is used to define retail swiped merchants. Wireless merchants are also defined by this percentage. However, their transaction fee is $.10 more than the standard transaction fee, and a mandatory wireless IP address fee of $19.99 per terminal.

Qualified Card-Swiped Merchant Accounts
Merchant's who swipe MasterCard and Visa transactions, electronically transfer funds and close batches daily enjoy a qualified discount rate. All other transactions generate the following:

  • Assigned discount rate plus .69% and $.10 mid-qualified rate. Merchants who manually key transactions and close daily batches with AVS prompts.
  • Assigned discount rate plus 1.50% and $.10 nonqualified rate. All transactions that do not meet the preceding requirements (foreign, business and corporate cards always receive the nonqualified rate)

Keyed Merchant Account Transactions
Keyed merchants are defined as merchants who key 30% or more of their MasterCard and Visa credit card processing transactions. These merchants are also charged a mandatory $0.05 AVS fee. Merchants who key MasterCard and Visa transactions, use electronic authorization, request AVS responses and close batches daily are charged their assigned discount rate.  All other transactions generate the following:

  • Assigned discount rate plus 1.50% and $.10 nonqualified rate. All transactions that do not meet the requirements above (foreign, business and corporate cards always receive the nonqualified rate).

Monthly Minimum
Merchants are charged a minimum of $25 per month on their MasterCard and Visa merchant account. Merchants are charged whichever is greater:  the discount rate for the month or the $25 monthly minimum. They are not charged both.

 Customer Support Fee
Merchants are charged $10 per month. This fee allows the merchant to access our merchant services group for customer support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in over 140 languages and dialects. For an extra $9.95 per month the merchant can receive paper monthly statements outlining the fees and charges associated with processing in a given month. Merchants who do not wish to receive the paper statements can avoid the $9.95 monthly fee and get their statement online at 
Statements are generated at the first of the month.  Merchant's direct deposit account is debited anytime between the 3rd and the 5th of the month.  Daily and weekly statements are available upon request at an additional cost.  Discount rates are debited on a daily basis.  Merchants receive deposits via automated clearing house (ACH) 48 to 72 business hours after closing or settling their batches.

ATM/Debit Cards
ATM/Debit cards were created to replace checks and cash.   They are similar to a credit card, but the dollar amount of the transaction is deducted from the consumer's bank account. Millions of people use ATM/debit cards. By accepting ATM/debit cards, merchants can offer their customers another convenient payment option which will reduce the possibility of being fraud victims. At first, ATM/debit cards were met with resistance, but consumer awareness has increased their use over time. All merchants will be assessed a flat rate of $5 per month three months after their account is live.
ATM/Debit cards are linked to customers' checking accounts.  A personal identification number (PIN) is required for online debit transactions, but not offline (MasterCard or Visa check card).  It is the fastest growing non cash transaction.
Benefits to Merchants

  • Provide an additional payment option to merchants' customers
  • Offer less fraud potential than other forms of payment because of the use of PIN's
  • Online capture means funds are guaranteed
  • Lower risks with the reduction of fraud
  • Provide a cost effective method of receiving payments
  • Lower transaction cost than credit card processing transactions
  • Encourage quick checkout
  • Auto-close with funding within 24 to 48 business hours

Benefits to Consumers

  • Can provide a cash back feature, which can increase store traffic
  • Increase sales potential due to a higher average ticket
  • Encourage impulse purchasing
  • Payment flexibility
  • Safety, less cash to carry
  • Easier than a check, speedier checkout
  • As useful as a credit card, but without the credit burden
  • Cash back adds convenience, one stop shopping

American Express®
American Express card members are tend to be loyal. Many card members look for the American Express decal at merchant account locations to determine if the card is accepted. American Express cardholders might go to different merchant account locations if their card is not accepted.  Many members enrolled in the American Express Membership Rewards® Program go out of their way to use or insist on using the card for payment.  
When a merchant gets setup to accept credit cards with an American Express merchant account the first American Express transaction signifies the acceptance of the terms and conditions of the merchant account.  American Express has no monthly minimum requirement for retail merchants.  Participating merchants must display decals or stickers in view of the consumer at the point of sale (pos).  Internet merchants that sell tangible goods may apply directly with us. But Internet merchants that sell services or electronic soft-good download (ESD) must apply directly with American Express.

Diners Club®
The Diners Club discount rate is 3.15%.  The transaction fee is $.25.  There is a $7.50 Diners monthly minimum.

JCB is an internationally recognized credit card issued by the Japanese Credit Bureau and the largest card issuer in Japan .  The JCB discount rate is 3.35%. The transaction fee is $.25. There is a $5 per month acceptance fee regardless of the credit card processing activity. 

 Credit Card Processing History
In 1950 Diners Club was the first credit card established. Two years later Diners Club® became the first international charge card. Then in 1958 Bank of America began Licensing with other banks to issue the "BankAmericard".  BankAmericard later changed its name to Visa®.
In 1966 a group of eastern banks began issuing its own card called InterBank Card Association (ICA). The InterBank Card Association was later changed to MasterCharge and then to MasterCard.
MasterCard and Visa agree to allow banks to issue both MasterCard and Visa  Fierce competition led to millions of cards being issued and mailed to target consumers.  Banks ended up suffering staggering losses due to fraud. Through competition and technological advances the banks were able to lower the amount of fraud and bring the banks back to profitability.  The result has been that most banks now offer merchant account credit card processing and issuance as an extra service.
Travel and entertainment cards such as American Express compete directly with bankcards for credit card processing.  They offer no credit limit and are designed for upscale consumers.  American Express® is the largest travel and entertainment card. Travel and entertainment cards do not pass through interchange, only bankcards like MasterCard and Visa do.

All of the above pricing was valid when posted to the website.  Pricing is subject to change without notice and may not be current. Please call or email sales support to verify current pricing.

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