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Are You Getting Paid Correctly by Your Payment Processor?
Thursday, May 07 2020

Most successful merchant services agents are very dedicated to what they do. If you take this line of work seriously, you probably make it a priority to deliver the best customer service possible to your merchants. You may even be the type who makes himself available 7 days a week in order to serve his clients during busy times or even emergencies. If you are really making an effort to give the merchants what they need, then you should be fairly compensated for it, period. Is your payment processor giving you all of your money?

As terrible as it sounds, it's possible that you may get shortchanged by your processor. Even some people that I know who have been in the industry for awhile don't know with 100% certainty if they are getting the residuals that their contracts state that they should. After all, these documents can be complicated, and it's just so easy for a company to nickel and dime you without your realizing.

I had this sinking feeling that something like that might have been happening it me. I was pretty sure that if it had, I wouldn't readily notice it—I was too busy working on singing up clients and giving them the best possible customer service. I didn't consider it part of my job to spend my time making sure that my credit card processors were doing theirs.

Do you suspect that your own residuals are coming in short? Do you think that you're being paid less than what you actually made? This can certainly happen, and here are some common signs:

  • You're not sure if the residual payments that you get every month are an accurate reflection of what you earned. This is the first red flag. Sure, it is definitely partially your responsibility to keep on top of your income, but by no means does this excuse a processor ripping you off.
  • You can't make any sense of your statement and you're not sure how your residuals are even tallied up. Ignorance is a tool that ethically dubious companies can use to prey on hard-working people.
  • The statement of your residuals doesn't include much detail beyond the name of your merchants and how much they brought it. Everything should be broken down, or else you don't know why you're getting what you're getting.
  • You notice mistakes in your residual report frequently, and you have to waste a lot of time every month fixing the problem, to the point where it's barely even worth it.
  • There are fees or adjustments on the statement for reasons that you can't figure out.

Are any of these factors true about your residuals? If so, then it's possible that you are not getting all of the money that is owned to you. This can be hugely detrimental to your business, especially when you're first starting out, because you really need every penny you can get to help you expand. You don't want a payment processor that is engaging in unfair business practices and trying to leech money away from you.

Because of this, it is extremely important that you have all of the details about your payment laid out before you sign up with a processor. Make sure you know exactly how they calculate your residuals, so that there is no guesswork. Just as your clients have the right to know what you are going to charge them for your merchant services, you have the right to know exactly what your payment processor will charge you. After all, payment processing fees are going to be one of the larger costs of your business, so you need to take this into consideration beforehand.

In order to make sure that you are getting what you truly deserve in terms of residuals, take a look at this checklist and make sure that everything is right:

  • Your statements and reports should break down your payments in details, so that you know exactly why you are making a certain amount. Don't allow any mystery to exist here.
  • Your reports should be made available by your processing company in a variety of formats, and you shouldn't be limited to just paper or some obscure file extension. Make sure that you can get something like an Excel spreadsheet, and that way you can study your statement deeply and verify every detail yourself with your own calculations.
  • They should provide some way for you to compare the performance of each of your merchants, and to be able to see what your residuals have been from month to month. Even better, if they have some sort of electronic back-end where you can do this, exploit it as much as you can and verify every cent.
  • There should always be a way for you to know what your merchant paid, so that you know they are getting billed exactly the amount that you quoted to them when they signed up.
  • You should always have records of the past available to you, and your processor should not make these hard to access. Ideally, there should be a back-end where you can look all of this up with an online account of some kind.

If your payment processor loves to play the mysterious role and keeps you in the dark about all the details—for example, by not offering a break-down in their reports and only giving you general details—then maybe you should start shopping around for another company to work with. Honest companies typically make it a point to be transparent, and you should know that a shady processor that tries to hide details from you isn't your only choice in this business.

These days, I work with a company that truly honors transparency, and I can always expect them to give me an accurate report that stays true to the original contract. After spending nearly two decades working with different processors with varying results, I stopped allowing this kind of vagueness in reporting to be acceptable to me, and I'm very glad I did.

If you find yourself frustrated in a similar way by the statements that you receive, then maybe it's time that you raise your standards as well. Remember that there are tons of options out there, and that you don't need to stay with a processor that doesn't respect the agreement that you signed or that makes tons of mistakes when calculating your share.

So, have you ever experienced an inaccuracy in your statement? What did you do to fix it? Let me know your story, especially if your experience might be of value to others.

Topics:

merchant services commission, credit card processing residual income, merchant services residual income, how much can i make selling merchant services

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