What Your Payment Processing Statements Are Trying to Tell You

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What Your Payment Processing Statements Are Trying to Tell You: 4 Tips for Taking a Closer, More Meaningful Look

Written by: Julie Rogers

Did you realize that reviewing your payment processing statements won’t only help you understand what you’re paying to process payments, but can also reveal ways to improve your payment strategies?

While truly understanding your statements can be complex, a quarterly audit is critical to knowing how much money your company is spending on fees, assessments, refunds, chargebacks and more, and will reveal opportunities for saving money and new opportunities for optimizing your business.

At BlueSnap, we know that some payment processor’s statements can be challenging to understand. Here are four things to look for that will help you get a deeper understanding of your payment processing statements.

Examine Your Payment Processing Statements for Clarity

One of the first things to consider is the clarity of your monthly statements. Convoluted payment processing statements with unclear labels or charges can make it challenging to understand what you’re paying for and why. For example, some payment processors provide a data dump of information on the statements, containing tons of information that isn’t conveniently organized or able to be easily skimmed.

This doesn’t necessarily mean your provider is trying to hide anything, but it does require you to do more work to understand your true costs and identify areas for improvement. This initial assessment will also help you prepare for the amount of work you may need to do in order to make sense out of your statements.

Consider All of Your Payment Processing Fees

Many statements include an “Additional Fees” section at the bottom. These fees can have confusing, unclear names, and while it may be tempting to ignore them, don’t.

Occasionally, processors hide charges in this section in order to keep the rest of your fees artificially low. Taking a closer look could also help you discover if you are being charged different fees for different card types, additional fees for certain payment methods or even the same fee on multiple accounts. This knowledge could impact how you display payment types on your site or even promotions you might want to run to encourage specific customer behaviors.

What Are the Costs of International Sales?

Knowing what you are paying per transaction for cross-border fees can provide valuable insights for your international online sales strategy. These fees, which are incurred when card payments from issuing banks in one region are processed by an acquiring bank in another region, are often overlooked and you should examine them by region. Having a full understanding of what you’re paying in cross-border fees can help you manage them.

For example, suppose you’re an American company paying thousands of dollars a month in cross-border fees for transactions from countries in the EU. In that case, you might decide that pursuing local acquiring in the EU is worth your time and resources. On the other hand, local acquiring might not be worth pursuing with South America if you’re paying a very small amount in cross-border fees for only a few transactions originating there.

Know Your Chargeback Rate

Chargebacks, when debit or credit card charges are reversed by the bank, are a serious issue for any business, whether they are legitimate chargebacks or the result of fraud. Reviewing how much you pay for chargebacks each month can help you understand just how big of an issue it is for your business. Inspect your chargeback costs from month to month to determine how successful the tools you use to prevent chargebacks are and whether you need to develop a new strategy.

These are just some of the insights you can glean from an in-depth look at your payment processing statements. If anything seems unclear or misrepresents, or you’re surprised by what you’re really paying to process payments, we can help.

Reach out to us to request a free consultation with a payment expert who can help you review your payment processing statement.

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