Byline: HELEN LOVELESS
KEEPING costs down is essential for firms, but many have seen charges for a fundamental part of their business - processing card payments - rise in recent months.
All card payments and transactions must be processed via an 'acquirer', with most firms automatically using their bank for this, and acquirers will charge for the service.
According to Accept Cards, an independent price comparison service, many acquirers have raised their charges in recent months.
Richard Bradley, director of Accept Cards, says: 'The rate at which firms are charged depends on the volume of business they do, but we have found that many firms are paying far more than they need to for card processing services. More than 90 per cent of businesses also do not realise that they can shop around.' Banks are now typically charging between 2.25 per cent and 2.5 per cent for processing credit card transactions and around 30p for debit card transactions. But Bradley says that for firms with a turnover of [pounds sterling]1 million or more, even a two per cent charge is too high.
He claims that Accept Cards' price comparison service can typically save firms between 30 per cent and 40 per cent by finding the best deal, rather than going through their bank, with charges as low as 1. …