Credit card processing fees for small businesses

December 23, 2014
5 minutes read

Shopping around for a credit card processing service (a.k.a. “merchant services”) for your small business? You’ll see some tempting teaser rates out there.

Here’s what you need to know: Teaser rates have lots of conditions!

You might start with a low rate if:

  • it’s a face-­to-­face transaction
  • using exactly the right brand of credit card
  • with no rewards, miles, or special features

But be careful…!

  • Did you take your order on the phone, online or by mail?
  • Did your customer uses a credit card that gets rewards, like a Gold card, points card or a loyalty card?
  • Did your customer uses a commercial credit card?
  • Is your customer’s bank in a different country?

If any of these is true, you probably pay a higher rate — a lot higher! Often as much as 3.5%, 4% or even more!

What about hidden fees?

If you’re paying a low teaser rate, you’re probably also paying a bunch of these fees on top:

  • terminal fees
  • monthly/quarterly/annual fees
  • statement fee
  • membership fee
  • monthly minimums
  • online access fee
  • imprinter fee
  • gateway fee
  • PCI fee
  • regulatory fee
  • breach fee
  • authorization fee
  • batch header fee
  • international transaction fee
  • APF/NABU/data usage Fee
  • refund fee
  • address verification service fee (AVS)

How much are you really paying in credit card fees? If you don’t know for sure, you’re probably paying too much. Understanding your credit card rates and fees will save you a lot of money!

With Wave, you get guaranteed, easy-­to-­understand low rates and no hidden fees, period. Pay 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction, with no surprises.

Learn more at

(Prices for Canada & U.S.; for international pricing please see

By Rob Maurin

The information and tips shared on this blog are meant to be used as learning and personal development tools as you launch, run and grow your business. While a good place to start, these articles should not take the place of personalized advice from professionals. As our lawyers would say: “All content on Wave’s blog is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice.” Additionally, Wave is the legal copyright holder of all materials on the blog, and others cannot re-use or publish it without our written consent.

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