Not all credit card processing companies are created equal and, when you choose one, the rate you are promised today might not be the rate you are charged tomorrow.
Recent regulations have set the costs for debit cards well below historical rates which has resulted in a many new companies entering the market, offering to process your credit cards at significantly lower rates. They all make money by charging you a small fee above and beyond what MasterCard, Visa and other credit cards charge. That fee comes in two types: a flat rate or a percentage of the purchase. In some cases, the merchant (that’s you) pays both!
To get the best rates, many merchants are signing on with brand new companies, not knowing that the introductory rate will only last a few months. Many credit card processing companies start raising that rate in 90 days or less, and it just keeps getting higher and higher. If you had the option to switch at any time, this devious practice would not be as problematic, but merchants are often locked into a contract that lasts three years or more.
When choosing a credit card processor, one of the most important things the merchant can ask for is a lifetime rate lock. That means the rate you are charged the first time you swipe a credit card is the same rate you pay 20 or 40 years from now. By looking for a company willing to offer a lifetime rate lock, you make certain that the majority of the money your customers pay comes to you and not to the credit card processor.