Exactly what is a Monthly Minimum and just how Do you use it?

monthly minimumSo you have the very best charge card processing rates around, you’ve purchased your terminal rather of leasing, and you’re prepared to begin saving big in your payment like a responsible, well-informed merchant. BUT, before getting too excited, allow me to demonstrate the way a monthly minimum fee could double your charge card processing expenses.

Most retailers believe that reduced rates are the most crucial attribute to consider inside a processor when attempting to lessen cost. As well as for individuals processing a higher amount of cards each month, this is often true. For lower volume or sporadic processing, however, there is little mean more for you than the usual monthly minimum. Regrettably this remains probably the most confusing and misinterpreted figures for beginning retailers, then one that lots of sales people will mislead you about.

But exactly what is a monthly minimum? To begin, here’s exactly what the monthly minimum is not:

  • The minimum amount of cash you have to process every month
  • The minimum amount you’ll have to pay your processor

The 2nd guess is close, though. Here’s what it’s:

  • A regular monthly minimum may be the minimum amount you have to pay in processing charges towards the provider.

If you don’t achieve this minimum number, you’ll be billed the main difference like a fine. Only your processing charges count toward this, NOT your statement fee, gateway fee, PCI compliance fee, chargeback charges and so forth. These can be compensated on the top from the monthly minimum.

Consider it just like a phone plan with monthly minutes. By accepting a regular monthly the least $25 (the standard), you’re prepaying for, say, $10,000 in processing minutes. Whether they are being used or otherwise, you’ve compensated on their behalf. And you know what? They don’t rollover. Utilize it or lose it. Performs this seem like a good deal for you? Me neither. Especially not when you are able find lots of providers offering interchange-plus without any monthly minimum needed.

Monthly Minimums and Interchange-Plus

99.9% of times, interchange-plus rocks and could save you money. Allow me to demonstrate the missing .1%.

Should you not understand what interchange-plus prices is that you simply should look at this article, but here’s the gist: With interchange-plus, you pay a markup percentage within the actual cost to operate a transaction with the card systems (known as interchange). So that your charges are only about .10 to .30% having a transaction fee of $.00 to $.10. The rest of the processing cost (averaging at approximately 1.8%) goes straight to the credit card systems.

For those who have a regular monthly minimum with an interchange-plus account, you best be processing a large amount of money. Keep in mind that just the processing charges compensated for your provider count toward the monthly minimum. So lets if you have an interchange-plus plan at .25% and $.00 per transaction. You’ll have to process over $10,000 every month to prevent having to pay a regular monthly minimum fine for those who have a $25 monthly minimum.

How to determine Your Minimum Processing Cost

Now think about this. Your average retail credit card merchant account has got the following scheduled charges:

  • Statement fee: $10
  • PCI compliance fee: $8 (presuming $96 yearly)
  • IRS reporting fee: $2 (presuming $24 yearly)

This is exactly what a generally affordable retail credit card merchant account will need in monthly charges, equaling about $20 altogether. This is exactly what you’ll pay even though you don’t process just one transaction. Well, for those who have a $25 monthly minimum, this shoots as much as $45 monthly as the minimum monthly charge, greater than doubling your cost just for maintaining your account open.

Even though you process $2,500, you’ve still tossed away $13.75. This could improve your rate by .55% per dollar!

Avoid Monthly Minimums

My advice for you: avoid monthly minimum charges. Lots of sales people will claim you need to have this charge to be able to be eligible for a cost-plus (pass-through) prices. Don’t accept this. The monthly minimum is even harder to achieve with interchange-plus prices since just the markup counts toward the minimum (unlike tiered plans, that are generally more costly).

Here’s a short listing of suppliers that offer interchange-plus with no monthly minimum:



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