After investigating Chase Paymentech, Leaders Merchant Services, QuickBooks, Costco, Sam’s Club, Square, Bank Card USA, and many more, nothing seems to surprise us anymore when it comes to the shady business practices of merchant account providers. We are happy to see that a few others are wising up and offering services to help small business owners discern what credit card processors are truly offering a good deal.
One such website is FeeFighters.com.
With a slick interface and easy-to-navigate website, Fee Fighters has created a system through which merchant account providers can “bid” on your business. On the surface, they seem to have built a one stop shop for small business owners to access transparent pricing (which usually includes Interchange plus pricing instead of three-tier pricing). They even have a fancy “take a tour” feature that explains all the bids that have been provided to you. Although we applaud Fee Fighters for their benevolent efforts, you may not realize two underlying issues with their system.
Two Reasons to Steer Clear of Fee Fighters
- Rates and fees offered by Fee Fighters are based on your processing volume.
As a merchant, you are asked to enter a few pieces of information in order to acquire bids through the Fee Fighters system including your monthly processing volume, average transaction size, how transactions will be processed, and the nature of your business. Here’s the secret behind their system (and most merchant account providers)…your rates and fees are based on the amount of money your business processes. If you are a small company that processes a couple of thousand dollars a month, you’ll be charged a higher rate than a business that’s charging $100,000 a month. The larger the business…the lower the rate. Wouldn’t it be great if every business received large corporate pricing? We think so.
- You are paying to use Fee Fighters (and you don’t even know it).
With a line of customers showing up to search the Fee Fighters system, you may wonder why all merchant account providers aren’t throwing their name in the hat to bid on your business. Could it be that Fee Fighters actually charges credit card processors for the opportunity to place that bid? Do you realize that the companies “bidding” on your merchant account are paying Fee Fighters a residual commission if you sign up through their system? That’s right. You are the one paying Fee Fighters to use their system, and you don’t even know it!
Although the Fee Fighters website (and accompanying mission) is quite impressive, we’d suggest finding a credit card processor that doesn’t provide a rate based on processing volume or pay Fee Fighters for the chance to bid on your business. Our guess is that you’ll be quite satisfied with a better (less expensive) option.