Business guide to card machine charges


Wondering how much a card machine will cost you?

Here’s a complete guide to the fees you might come across

If you’re going to start accepting card payments for your business it’s inevitable you’ll have to pay some charges related to your card payment machine and transactions.

But card machine charges can be confusing.

Trying to understand which charges are essential and which are just being added on to get more money for the card machine provider.

Even if you’ve already got a card machine, how can you be sure that you’re getting the best deal. And how are your charges even worked out?

In this guide we’ll give you a quick introduction to the types of card machine charges you’re most likely to come across as a card machine user and how they work.


Transaction fees

 

A transaction fee is a set amount of money you pay for any payment taken over a card machine. They cover the costs of processing your transaction.

But they can vary greatly depending on the card machine provider you choose.

If you choose a provider like Handepay, you can benefit from a lower transaction fee because we’re able to negotiate rates on behalf of our customers so you know you’re getting the best deal.

Cheaper card machine providers, like those providing pay as you go machines, will charge you a higher transaction fee.



Transaction fees


Premium card charges

Premium card charges

 

Premium charges are for those payments using a “premium” card like an American Express.

These card providers levy an extra fee on top of the transaction fee so you’ll be charged more if you allow customers to pay using an Amex or similar premium card.


Authorisation fees

 

These are also charged per transaction and they cover the cost of validating and approving payment details to be authorised.



Authorisation fees


Minimum Monthly Service Charge

Minimum Monthly Service Charge

 

Some card providers may ask you to pay a minimum monthly service charge, which you’ll pay regardless of whether you use up your monthly payment “allowance”.

If you don’t take as many payments in a given month than you expected, then you could be hit with this charge. You might also be charged if you try to adjust your minimum fee.

At Handepay we don’t charge you a minimum service charge so you’ll only pay for the transactions you process.


Card terminal costs

 

These are one of the most common charges you’ll see and it covers the monthly lease of your card terminal. Prices for these can vary depending on what type of card machine you decide to choose. Like a countertop or mobile machine for example.

If you decide to choose a pay as you go card machine then you won’t pay this monthly fee because you buy the card machine outright, but you’ll likely end up paying more in higher transaction fees and other charges so do some digging.



Card terminal costs


Card not present fees

Card not present fees

 

Card not present transactions (CNP) are payments that happen without the customer or their payment card being present at the time of the transaction.

They’re usually made when taking a payment over the phone.

There’s a fee involved because a card not present fee is deemed to be a higher fraud risk because the customer and payment card isn’t present.


Interchange fees

 

Interchange fees are another fee that occurs for every transaction.

They’re paid from your bank account as the merchant whenever a customer uses their debit or credit card in your shop.

These fees are paid to the bank that issued the card to cover the costs of dealing with the payment as well as covering fraud and bad debts on a customer account.



Interchange fees


Scheme fees

Scheme fees

 

Scheme fees are paid by acquiring banks to be members of a card scheme to cover the costs of their role in a transaction. These fees are then passed on to merchants either as a bundle charge or per transaction.

PCI DSS

 

As a business accepting card payments you must be compliant with PCI security standards. Some card machine providers charge a PCI DSS fee as part of a service to keep their customers compliant with these standards. There’s also a fee to pay if you fail to meet the standards.


PCI DSS


Statement charge

Statement charge

 

Some card machine providers will charge merchants a fee to get access to their account statement or to provide reports on card machine usage so they can determine whether it’s been a good investment.

Chargeback fees

 

A chargeback is the return of funds to a customer. This could be because the customer has returned an item or because they’ve been the victim of fraud and a charge has been fraudulently made on their card.

If you have to provide a refund through the payment system then you could be charged a fee to cover the cost of the transaction from the bank.

This would depend on the type of transaction. With online payments for example, if the customer has gone through a 3D secure process when paying, then you as the merchant aren’t liable for the chargeback fees.



Chargeback fees

Do you really need to see the costs of the fees?

 

It might seem like there are a lot of individual charges you could face by using a card payment machine, and some providers will charge you a lot of unnecessary fees that inflate your costs and eat into your profits.

At Handepay, we don’t charge any hidden fees and we don’t charge many of the fees you get with other card payment providers.

You’ll always know exactly what you’re paying for before you sign up.

If you’re already using a card machine, then using our price challenge could help you find out how much you could save by switching to Handepay.

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