The Merchant Statement Fee

Posted by on May 31, 2014 in Blog, Credit Card Processing, Payment Processing | 0 comments

The Merchant Statement Fee

The Fee is not Just for the Paper

Every month millions of businesses are charged a statement fee in association with their card processing merchant account.  Many ask the question, “Why am I getting charged so much to get a few sheets of paper each month.”  Merchant statement fees are commonly $10, $12 even $15 and there is a large misconception that this fee is only related to the packet of paper that summarizes the card processing for the previous month.

The truth is that most organizations have an “account on file fee” associated with every merchant account they board.  This fee is typically based on how many accounts an ISO (independent sales organization) has with the processor and can be anywhere from $0 to $5.  It is also common for sales agents to be restricted by a statement fee “buy rate,” meaning that they can not charge less than say $5.  The account on file fee is designed to account for the monthly cost of doing businesses associated with each account, which includes, preparing and sending a paper statement to the merchant, even if they do not process a single card.


How to Eliminate the Statement Fee

It is common to see statement fees from $5-$15, if you are paying much more than this, call your account representative and find out why.  Additionally, most processors and sales organizations offer to remove or reduce the statement fee if the merchant moves to paperless (online) statements.  If this is not an option, or if you prefer paper statements, it is likely that the sales organization or agent will reduce this fee should you ask.  This is especially true if you have increased processing volumes since the account was first established.

An important piece of information to know is that, the two major tools that sales organizations use to protect or keep their merchant accounts are via the statement fee and monthly minimum. These fees are commonly used in calculations for termination clauses.  They are also used as ways to guarantee a minimum level of revenue, should a merchant account become dormant for any reason.  So do not expect to completely eliminate this fee, however ensure that what you are paying is fair.

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