Friday, September 12, 2008

Comparing credit card processing fees

I recently ran across a service that could be useful to e-commerce businesses. TranFS claims to be "an online comparison shopping business for small business financial services. Think of us as an Priceline or Travelocity [...]: we help small businesses compare and purchase financial services (such as payroll processing, credit card processing and business loans)." Sounds interesting.

I tried out their "Credit Card Processing" calculator.

It's not clear to me if they put everything into the calculation or not. With "everything" I mean: merchant account monthly fee, payment gateway account monthly fee, fixed and variable transaction fees. Assuming they do, according to the tool at Early Impact we are paying way too much. We'll have to look into it :-)

Similarly to services like LendingTree.com, it appears that you can submit some information about you and what you need, and they get you a few quotes from competing service providers. The system is still in BETA and there is not much information about the company on their About Us page. There is a phone number you can call for more information.

It might be worth a look if you believe to be paying credit card processing fees that are too high.

BuyerZone and VendorSeek appear to be offering a similar services.

If you end up switching your Internet Merchant Account provider, make sure that they can work with a payment gateway that is supported "out of the box" by your shopping cart. Otherwise you could drive yourself into a messy situation.

If you try any of these services, please post back so others can learn from your experience.

Cheers,

massimo

Disclaimer: I have not spent time digging into the TranFS service to see how accurate or dependable it is. I have also not submitted our company information to receive bids from matching service providers (too busy: we're in the middle of a software release). I have not tried the BuyerZone and VendorSeek services either.

2 comments:

tina said...

Nice post Massimo. I viewed several online price comparison websites like eComparison when I was looking for platinum credit card. With so many credit cards on the market it is essential to use these sites to ensure that you get the best deal.

Sean Harper said...

Hi Massimo - thanks for visiting our site and giving it a whirl. To answer the questions that you raised, the only fees that are not included in the calculator are the gateway fees, since they usually show up on a separate bill. However, there are notable exceptions such as cybersource. We are working on ensuring the calculator's accuracy for all situations, but it's an iterative and difficult problem that will require time to solve 100%.

You most likely are paying too much for your credit card processing. Try starting an auction (when you are done with your release) and upload a copy of your processing bill - at the very least we would love to get your feedback on the service.


There is a big difference between us and buyerzone or LendingTree. At Buyerzone you enter your contact info which is then sold to salespeople who sell to you in the traditional way (by calling and bugging you). At TransFS your contact info is not sold to anyone. Instead, we reveal a small amount of information to the bidders who then make a binding bid based on that information.

Our software compares the bids on an apples-to-apples basis.

My co-founder and I started TransFS because we were both business owners frustrated with the process of shopping for financial services. We believed that the hard part of shopping wasn't finding potential service providers, but rather comparing them. Both Buyerzone and TransFS help with finding potential service providers.

But only TransFS helps compare them.