Why choose IMS?
With extremely competitive pricing for best-in-class service, it’s our integrity that sets IMS apart from the pack. We are transparent about our costs; we work hard to ensure our clients are implemented with the best modules for their business from the get-go; and we take an active role in helping our clients grow their businesses over the years – all with month-to-month agreements, giving our clients confidence that we will do the right thing. Always.
What is “Interchange Plus”?
Each card type has its own cost which is set by Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American Express (there are over 450!). The “Interchange Plus” program charges the true cost of each card type plus a small processing fee which is how we keep the lights on.
Tiered or “bucket” pricing as it allows merchant services providers to group transactions into three categories, resulting in maximum profit for the merchant services provider. We do not recommend that pricing model.
We believe that “Interchange Plus” is by far the best pricing model for business owners because it ensures the best possible rate for each unique transaction to be passed along to our clients.
See the Interchange Reference Guide for more information.
I already have an account; why should I switch to IMS?
When you switch to IMS, you won’t look back. We are constantly hearing from clients who are raving about the money they’ve saved or the solution we found for them. For those who have switched from Paypal or Square, they couldn’t believe they hadn’t made the switch sooner.
For some, having a merchant account is a big step and they can easily feel intimidated. We are quick to remind new clients that our agreements are month-to-month and that our bundled solutions offer a true advantage.
With no commitment agreements, what’s holding you back from giving us a try?
Why should my business accept credit cards?
Have you ever heard the phrase, “bending over a dollar to pick up a penny”? I was in a restaurant the other day and saw a small sign posting that they only accepted cash because merchant services fees were too costly. But what about the cost of losing business of all the customers out there who don’t carry cash on them? This poor restaurant was turning away customers because they were hurt by a merchant services provider in the past. They didn’t realize it didn’t have to be that way.
By accepting credit cards (yes, even American Express with their higher fees), you are opening your business up to more customers than ever before. Customers who pay by credit card often spend more money than those paying in cash. A merchant services account is often still viewed by consumers as a rite of passage for business owners and shows that you are a reputable company.
By choosing IMS, you can rest assured that PCI-compliant merchant services won’t put you out of business. With our fair and reasonable fees and an amazing suite of services, it is easy for our clients to accept any form of payment from their happy customers.
What are the different fees associated with my merchant account?
Discount Rate - Typically comprising the largest portion of your costs, the discount rate is a percentage charged on each transaction you process. It varies depending on the type of card and the type of transaction. It also includes interchange, which are fees that are set by the credit card networks, charged to credit card processors and paid to the card-issuing banks.
Transaction Fees - A transaction fee is charged to process each transaction, whether it’s approved or declined by the card-issuing bank. The fee is set according to the type of transaction; for example, swiped or keyed.
PIN Debit Transaction Fees - A fixed transaction fee that only applies when you process debit cards that require the cardholder to enter their PIN (personal identification number).
Address Verification Service Transaction Fee (AVS) - AVS is required on all Visa® and MasterCard® transactions and whenever the card is not physically present, requiring that the account information be keyed into the system. AVS checks that the address and zip code provided by the cardholder matches the information on file with the card issuer. This security feature is a first line of defense against credit card fraud.
Batch Fees - A fee that is charged when you settle your daily transactions (also known as the batch) with your credit card processor.
Monthly Statement / Support / Service Fee - Credit card processors charge this fixed fee that goes by different names on a monthly basis. It remains the same regardless of the number of transactions you process and helps cover the cost of your statement and any customer support or service you may require.
Voice Authorization Fee - Some merchants use a dialup service for transaction authorization. The voice authorization fee applies to them and is charged for each call. Voice authorization is a useful processing option that can be used as a backup in case your terminal, software or Internet connection malfunctions.
Monthly Minimum Fee - Your merchant account agreement stipulates a minimum amount of transaction fees that your provider requires you to generate each month. If your monthly fees fall below this minimum, you still pay the same monthly minimum fee. IMS does not require a monthly minimum.
Surcharge Fee / Partially-qualified Fees / Non-qualified Fees - Three different names for fees related to an additional discount fee that applies to certain types of cards. These typically include business, corporate, rewards and international cards.
Application / Setup Fee - Once more prevalent than it is now, this fee is a one-time, upfront charge for setting up your account. IMS does not charge an application fee and only charges a setup fee for internet payment gateway accounts due to the actual cost of the software license.
Reprogramming Fee - This fee for reprogramming your existing equipment or software covers the time and effort involved on the part of your processor and terminal/software vendors.
Chargeback/Retrieval Fee - These fees kick in when a cardholder or issuing bank disputes a transaction. The merchant is given the opportunity to refute the dispute with a written response and documentation. The merchant account provider handles the dispute with the issuing bank and charges these fees to do so.
Annual Fee - The amount charged by the processor for your merchant account on an annual basis. IMS does not charge an annual fee (though clients are billed for an annual PCI DSS fee of $99.00 – that is a standard industry fee that other processors may bill on a monthly basis instead).
Cancellation or Termination Fee - If you cancel or terminate your merchant account before the date stipulated in your merchant account agreement, your provider will most likely charge a fee to help recover some of their loss. Although some costs are incurred when a merchant account is closed, IMS does not charge its clients an early termination fee for closing their account. IMS merely requires a 30 day written notice in order to close a merchant account.
What is PCI DDS?
Once per year, complete your PCI Compliance Survey to avoid penalties. IMS sends reminders with detailed instructions for the simple PCI compliance procedure to help our clients avoid those penalties. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements designed to ensure that all companies that process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.
We encourage all of our prospective clients to ask as many questions as needed when looking for a merchant services provider. If there is anything we can do to help you with this important decision, please do not hesitate to ask.