Merchant Service Charges Explained.
Merchant Service providers will usually quote a percentage fee, but you should be aware, that this may not be the same for each type of card.
For example, you may be quoted a different MSC percentage fee, depending on whether it is a debit or a credit card or whether it is a Visa or Mastercard (or another card scheme such as American Express). Equally, business and commercial cards and international cards will be charged separately.
Different rates may then apply depending on which channel you are processing the payments in. There could be a difference between face to face sales (cardholder present) and sales taken over the phone or via a website (cardholder not present).
Because, Cardholder not present (CNP) transactions carry the associated risk of fraud, acquirers will tend to charge you a higher rate to process the transaction. This is often referred to as a 'non-secure' transaction rate. Another consideration, is that by asking the cardholder to read their details out to you, triggers your PCI DSS requirements to protect them and increases your risk of reputational damage. If you cannot evidence to your acquirer that you are PCI DSS compliant, you may be charged additional fees each month.
Some providers will offer the merchants, blended rates.
With Blended pricing, the merchant will always pay the same rate on a transaction of a specific card name regardless of how the transaction was accepted. Whilst this might sound attractive, it can often lead the businesses overpaying on certain card types. It is therefore vital that you understand where and how your customers will be paying you, so you can source the best deal for you.
This can often by very complicated, with merchant service statements, littered with acronyms and jargon.