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Credit Card Processing Fees in 2021

Just started a business and looking into the process of accepting credit card payments for the first time? Or perhaps you’re an experienced merchant and you want to find the lowest credit card processing fees available? Whatever your background, a thorough understanding of payments processing can help you to understand what costs you should be dealing with and where to get the best rates. Learn everything you need to know about credit card processing fees, right here.

What are credit card processing fees?

Also referred to as credit card merchant fees or credit card transaction fees, credit card processing fees are the credit card fees that businesses need to pay to get access to the proceeds from any credit card transaction. Although the total fee is determined by the provider of your merchant account, the funds will be split between a couple of different entities. It’s important to remember that you’ll have to pay credit card processing fees on every credit card transaction, so getting the best deal is seriously important.

What are the average credit card processing fees in 2021?

According to data from Fool.com, the average credit card processing fees for the four payment networks (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express) are as follows:

Network

Average credit card transaction fees

Visa

1.29% + $0.05 to 2.54% + $0.10

Mastercard

1.29% + $0.05 to 2.64% + $0.10

Discover

1.48% + $0.05 to 2.53% + $0.10

American Express

1.58% + $0.10 to 3.45% + $0.10

It’s important to remember that these credit card processing fees are estimates and that there’s no definitive figure for average credit card processing fees. This is because the actual fees you’ll end up paying will depend on a broad range of factors, including the type of transaction you process most frequently, the average size of the transaction, and the type of business that you’re running.

What are the different types of credit card merchant fees/costs?

In the table above, we’ve included the two types of credit card processing fees that payment networks charge: interchange fees and assessment fees. Interchange fees are paid to the bank that issued the credit card, whereas assessment fees are paid to payment networks. Average interchange fees are between 1.5% and 3.3%, while the average assessment fees are around 0.14% (again, according to data from Fool.com).

Then, you’ve got the payment processing fees, which are paid to the company that accepts the card payment and sends the transaction onto the payment network. This may include a number of constituent costs, including a per-transaction fee, a monthly service fee, and the price of the equipment that was used to process the transaction.

How can I get the best deal on credit card processing fees?

The payments processing industry can be complex, and it’s not always easy to know how to get the lowest credit card processing fees, since this is going to be largely dependent on the type of business you have. It’s also going to be somewhat dependent on the pricing model offered by your account provider (i.e., flat-rate, tiered, membership, interchange-plus).

If you’re a small business, go with a highly rated provider that offers flat-rate pricing with no monthly fees or long-term contracts. Medium-size businesses may benefit from interchange-plus. By contrast, larger businesses may end up saving more money through membership pricing. Ultimately, it all comes down to the specifics of your individual business.

Just remember, it’s not just about the fee. Expensive providers may charge you more, but the benefits you receive in support and customer service can make the additional fee worthwhile. Bottom line: do your research and make sure you’re opting for a provider that suits your business, not just the provider offering the lowest credit card processing fees.

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