Merchant Updates Blog

Bait & Switch PSA

Posted by Nina Pioletti on Mar 15, 2017 8:06:00 AM


psa.jpgThis week’s blog is not actually for you (but feel free to read along and arm yourself from the influx of bait and switch tactics that are taking over the industry). This week’s blog is more of a PSA alerting any of the other MSPs (merchant service providers) out there that our flat rate clients are too smart to fall for your tricks!

As the Director of Sales here at Singular Payments I have seen it all, but lately, the misleading “proposals” from other MSPs that have been crossing my desk are just an outright insult. As the only processing company to offer a true flat rate program, we can say with confidence that there are always going to be additional charges that will make any other offer, what I call NSF… Not So Flat! These charges could be in the form of network fees, assessments, card qualifications or tiers, etc. But, there is not one company, except us, that has truly delivered one rate for all cards. Therefore, the only way to attempt to earn a merchant’s business is to find a way to convince them that their multiple rates and fees are even close to being comparable. How may you ask? See the following example below that was just sent in for review last week: 


This “competitor,” (if we must call it that), very boldly tries to elude to offering a 1.89% ‘flat rate’ for Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. They continue filling in zeros in sections 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 to take up space in a “look up here” method that keeps your eyes away from the small print that states, “The above is a representation for a retail comparison, actual rates are: Interchange Plus: 0.25%.” If you are unfamiliar with interchange and all of its complex moving parts feel free to check out a previous post, “Decoding Payment Processing Lingo” to learn how it works. But don’t feel bad – interchange is what WE deal with – YOU shouldn’t have to! The bottom line on interchange is your costs will fluctuate immensely from month to month. Therefore, the assertion that you’ll pay anywhere near 1.89% in this scenario is completely hypothetical.

Since a proposal doesn’t have to be signed, it is technically not binding. Therefore, they can show you whatever you want to see, which is typically savings, by fudging the numbers and laying it out in a way they think you’ll eat up (no pun intended).

Luckily, our clients know better. When MSPs provide a proposal, expect the merchant to ask for the actual application and merchant agreement to compare to your offer. The proof is in the pudding. Our clients can spot these tricks, and if they can’t, they’ll send these proposals into us for review. The fact is, 10 out of 10 times we can identify a trick or two hidden in plain sight.

***PSA Conclusion…. You may now return to your regular flat rate processing.***


Topics: flat rate credit card processing, merchant service scams, merchant fees, merchant services

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