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Merchant account question


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
I got some information from my bank for a merchant account today. For AHU account ( no idea what that means) MC is 3.28%, Visa is 3.3% with a 25 cent transaction fee.

For an EDC account the rate is MC 1.89, Visa 1.92 and a transaction fee of 21 cents. The card swipe and receipt printer would run 485 dollars (I don't have to buy their equipment). Question is: How do these rates compare with others and where can I find cheaper equipment?

Joe Jaquess
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Jason Maranto

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
That looks pretty much in line with the prices and percentages I've found... the equipment costs are actually more if you buy the components and attach to your pos, tho' it has certain advantages.

Basic components are:

1)Card swiper
3)Credit card modem
4)Printer and/or digital signature capture.



<span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><
We are not in a metro area and do not actually do that much with credit cards so we now do it via the phone (I think that is the AHU) and have an imprinter just for our record and the customer. Our money is there in two business days. We pay a minium monthly fee of $7.50 + the % but consider it another cost of doing business. If we did more we would join the state Retailers association and they give a very good percentage, you do buy equipment and membership dues. You might check that out.

Sherry Gray

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
For my two cents worth, electronic capture is the way to go. The rates are much cheaper (mine is 1.43% for mc/visa and 2.95% for American Express). I do pay a nominal monthly fee with my current provider which has definitely been offset by the cheaper rate. Electronic capture is more professional looking, oh so easy and your money is there the next day. There are however, pitfalls to avoid. The best advice I can give anyone considering credit cards is to find a service that has an actual person who will assist you. Being able to get someone on the phone or to come to your business is crucial. Originally I was with a national company with an 800 number and I once spent hours on the phone because of a ridiculous up-charge. I promptly switched banks purely so I could get better service. My fees and headaches went down. If you can find a local person who sells this service that's the absolute best scenario. Two weeks ago my printer quit... I called my rep... he came over that day with a used printer, hooked it up and I was back in business. (My rep always has a bunch of used equipment). I think credit card service is one of the least understood business decisions one has to make. Learn all you can about it. In today's electronic world, it's a mistake not to offer credit card service.

Mike Labbe

Member, Former moderator team volunteer
You can also find the equipment much cheaper yourself. Our vendor wanted $599 for a Hypercom T7P-T(Thermal/high speed) terminal. We found them all over Ebay for $199-$225 and got it there. BTW: I highly recommend this piece of equipment. It's extremely fast!

If you're a member of PPFA, they have a deal with NOVA network. You'll get a very low rate if you mention the PPFA and provide your PPFA membership number. We signed up with Nova before we joined the PPFA, and love the service. I believe the visa/mc rates are somewhere near 1.5 or 1.6% at the moment.

Now only if the POS would incorporate this too!


John Ranes II CPF GCF

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Originally posted by framer:
.......Also check out the Verifone Omni 3200 in my opinion the best CC machine out there.

Sorry for the delayed reponse but I want to second Framer's endorsement of the Verifone Omni 3200 machine......We believe in owning the equipment (surge protectors, I might add are worth it ;) ) and after 20+ years of owning a couple of Verifone 250 printers and Zon Jr XL swipers, we upgraded to the Omni 3200.

Banks will typically charge $400-500 for this machine. We also picked ours up on the web for $199 apiece.

One web discounter described the Omni 3200 in comparison to the Hypercom unit this way, "Both good units, where the Hypercom is a bit more sturdy, the Omni is a bit more user friendly".


Mike Labbe

Member, Former moderator team volunteer
I tend to agree with both of you, and my opinion changed since the original post. We have one hypercom T7P at the frame shop, and 3 others at another retail venture. While the Hypercom is VERY fast and reliable, it isn't the most user friendly thing

What I dislike most is the fact that the numeric keypad is backwards, and that new employees often VOID transactions by accident; by hitting the CANCEL key to clear the screen.

One of them has been out to repair twice in the past month. Our old reliable (retired) XON terminals are 12-15 years old and run like clockwork.

Art On Canvas

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
I've been using an obsolete XL300, perhaps designed by Thomas Edison. Novus set me up in

1995, and I keep going with them for a $10.00 month minumin usage fee . When

you start with a company that supplies equipment (the card swiper) get a purchase

agreement that you will own it after paying monthly fees for xxx years. If you ask up

front, they will oblige--you'll still pay for it twice in the monthly fees, but at least you'll

own it outright someday, with no more rental.
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