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  • Writer's pictureDr. Sandy Mehalko

How to Choose a Credit Card processor

Updated: Apr 17, 2018

These tips will help you choose wisely and save money!

You're ready to open your business or have decided you need to accept credit cards (you do, really). Your bank wants you to use them, but what options do you have? First, shop around!

You DO NOT have to process with your bank. They want you to, sure, but they outsource it as well, and you will likely pay more and not get service.

Credit card processing works like this: Your customer pays you with a credit card. You batch all the day's receipts and your credit card terminal sends them to your acquiring bank. The acquiring bank sends them through the interchange process and credits your account while debiting your customer's account. You get the batch deposited into your business account within 48 hours.

Fees for Merchants

Of course there are fees for this service. As a merchant, you pay for the privilege of your customers not carrying cash. You'll pay a small percentage, plus the interchange rate. Usually this rate is around 1.5% of the total transaction plus the interchange fee of about 50 cents. The more you process the lower your fees.

At Prospector, the fees are very competitive with the largest processors but we service our accounts! You can call us with problems and your credit card terminal downtime is minimal.

You can upload a recent statement confidentially here and we check our large network of processors to find you the best deal.

What about equipment?

NEVER sign a lease for a credit card terminal!

Many processors will want you to buy or lease the credit card terminal. This is a bad deal for you. As your needs change, you are stuck with the equipment. If you want to switch processors, you are likely stuck paying for the equipment. At Prospector Merchant Services, we provide FREE credit card terminals! We work hard to keep you happy so you never have to switch again. Even some of our Point of Sale systems are free, but we'd be happy to explain them to you.


Most of the time, if you get free equipment you will need to sign a contract for up to 3 years. You are stuck if the equipment breaks and you can't get in touch with the rep who sold it to you. If you want to leave early, the early termination fees can be hundreds of dollars. At Prospector Merchant Services, we don't have contracts with early termination fees. With hundreds of happy merchants, you need to consider using a local, dependable, and reputable provider like us.

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