It would be nice if we lived in a world where business to business service providers were all reliable and trustworthy. After all, as a fellow business person dealing with another business owner, there’s an understanding of how difficult this career can be, and a knowledge of the careful path that must be walked between profitability and customer satisfaction. But even when it comes to something as serious as handling payment processing, some services aren’t as honest and ethical as others.
And so what seems like a fantastic deal on payment processing with low fees and interest turns out to be an unpleasant surprise when the final numbers come in on transactions. The fees that were so low they seemed too good to be true turn out to be just that.
The single most important way you can protect yourself against hidden fees is to make sure you, or a financial expert carefully go over the terms and conditions presented to you by a payment processing service. This is especially true if the representative you were dealing with presented favorable terms without going into too much detail about how these terms would be delivered. The sad truth is, as long as all the details of a deal are legally defined in the terms and conditions of the contract you sign, the representative is not necessarily legally required to verbally describe the exact details, and can simply say what sounds good.
For example, a service representative may quote a 1.5% discount fee for transactions, but fail to mention that this fee only applies to swiped credit card transactions. However, since the specifics of this are detailed in the terms and conditions, technically, the representative is not lying about the presence of the figure for the discount fee, they are simply not mentioning the very exact conditions required for the fee to qualify.
The “fine print” is everything. Make sure to go over every detail of the contract, and don’t take the representative at their verbal word, especially if what they say is scant on specifics. There may be differences in fees based on fluctuations, on the use of different cards, of even surcharges that are added on top of the cost. All of these additional fees will be documented in the terms and conditions, otherwise these providers open themselves up to the very real possibility of damaging lawsuits, but there is a grey area where they can’t held responsible if you don’t read and understand the fine print yourself before signing.
Make sure you’re not in that position when it’s time to sign, and you can avoid many of the hidden fees that they would prefer not to talk about.