Bankcard acceptance is a highly intricate and costly variable expense for merchants. It’s not a simple 1-rate billing model proposition. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to controlling these expenses.
Here are the facts:
- Payment acceptance fees are the 3rd largest expense for small businesses in the U.S. For example, Starbucks spends more on payment acceptance fees alone than they do on coffee beans!
- Approximately 83% of all merchants are paying higher fees than their initial quoted rates.
- Approximately 20% of all merchant transactions are charged 50-basis points (1/2%) more than they should be, due to their billing model and transaction downgrades.
- Merchants on a 3-tier billing model (the prevailing model in the U.S.) routinely pay about 32-basis points (1/3%) more than they would on an interchange pass-thru billing model.
- Merchants pay as much as 10% on AUTH attempts that didn’t even result in a sale!
Many TVPS competitors promise guaranteed savings on payment expenses. TVPS estimates that 95% of the businesses in the U.S. don’t understand all the complexities involving payments fees and end up paying more than they should and more than they need to!
Our partnership approach, transparent business model and processing solutions are built on the key principal of saving you money. At TVPS, we:
- Set you up on an “Interchange Pass-through Billing Model.” It’s the most transparent. Interchange rates are published online, making it easy for you to substantiate the rates you paid;
- Qualify transactions properly so you can mitigate downgrades and unnecessary processing expenses;
- Consult with you to prevent chargebacks, so you avoid costly expenses while maintaining compliance standards;
- Assist you in winning Chargeback Representments;
- We provide no hard term requirements or exclusivities to further validate our savings mantra and earn your business every day, month-by-month.
Approximately 90% of payment acceptance costs go to card issuing banks in the form of interchange fees, yet merchants battle with processors for fractions of pennies at the Authorization and settle per transaction expense. Interchange expenses can account for approximately 90% of a merchant’s bill. Therefore, the real savings can be achieved with interchange optimization.
Interchange expense leakage generally occurs both through inefficient processing and/or operational and technical inefficiencies at the merchant level. TVPS is an Interchange Management specialty processor creating savings opportunities for merchants by aggressively and proactively managing the interchange pricing tables at the processor level while educating merchants to be operationally and technically efficient.
Interchange Downgrades and Optimization
For merchants to obtain the best interchange rate, the transaction detail (string of data) must conform to certain rules established by the card brands (qualification criteria for the lowest possible rate to avoid downgrades that result in higher transaction fee).
When any of the qualification criteria required is not met, the transaction downgrades to the higher Electronic Interchange Reimbursement Fee (EIRF) rate for example. Most merchant statements we analyze are laced with unnecessary EIRF downgrades attributable to issues controlled at the gateway or terminal level. Most are unwarranted and can easily be rectified. Keep in mind; CPS/Card-Not-Present and EIRF only represent two categories making the complexities enormous. Our mission is to assist our merchants to properly qualify all transactions through simple measures and best business practices that result in bottom-line savings. It is an ongoing arduous process and service we provide using advanced systems and knowledgeable personnel to achieve the objectives.