Payment processing

5 Things Car Dealerships Should Know about Card Processing

Debit and credit cards are everywhere. From your local coffee shop to major retail chains, more merchants are accepting these payment methods than ever before, and for good reason. Credit card spending has been on the rise in recent years, so businesses can take advantage of this trend if they seek out a processing agreement.

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However, these promising developments hide severe risks. You may find it more difficult to secure a processing deal, and a bad one can cost you more than you might expect. This is especially true for car dealerships and other businesses that sell big-ticket merchandise. One errant penalty or unknown fee could lead to catastrophic losses.

So how do you reap the benefits of a card processing plan without incurring its wrath? As always, knowledge is key. This article will teach you five useful tips that will help you get the best value for your purchase.

1. You Need to Review Your Processing Agreements for Poor Terms

This point probably seems obvious. After all, reading a contract before signing it is common sense. However, a number of business owners don’t look at the fine print before they agree to a deal. As a result, they often have to pay additional charges and fees that can drive up their monthly bills.

Do your research before you decide on a processor. Look around for a firm that will give you a good rate, but don’t make that the sole deciding factor. Instead, consider other aspects that will be important to your business and review your contracts carefully before signing.

2. Your Statement Will Probably Contain Confusing Elements

You may have a negative reaction when you open your first monthly statement. That’s because service providers often charge a percentage of your total charges each month and then add fees to cover paper costs, administrative expenses, and more. You can change these charges when you negotiate for a new contract, but it’s very difficult to get rid of them altogether.

3. Processing Fees Can Eat up Your Profits

Big-ticket businesses like car dealerships rarely let customers pay entirely on their credit cards. These merchants usually make up for low profit margins by selling a lot of inventory. Since processing fees aren’t flat rates, most car dealerships would incur huge monthly bills if they let customers pay for their entire orders on credit cards.

You can still make compromises, though. Dealers know they have to let prospective buyers use credit cards, but only for up to half of a purchase. This reduces the risk of paying exorbitant fees and losing significant revenue.

4. Chargebacks and Other Penalties Are Very Dangerous

Even card processing rookies need to know that chargebacks are bad news. They represent a serious warning sign for merchant service providers. Accrue enough of them and you’ll find that you won’t be able to secure future processing deals. You may even end up on an industry watchlist.

Dealerships need to avoid challenged charges like the plague. While this may seem obvious, processors lose revenue when you draw chargebacks. If you want to maintain a positive relationship with your service provider, you need to prevent this from happening.

5. All-Inclusive Plans Eliminate These Threats

You can avoid the card processing hazards listed here with an all-inclusive plan. These agreements offer you a flat rate that covers all possible fees and surcharges. You won’t have to comb through a complicated bill each month, and you’ll even get added features like chargeback protection. You don’t have to let unnecessary risks hold you back from catering to your clients anymore.


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James Newman

James brings over 30 years of experience in the telecommunications and merchant services industry to his role as Client Relations Specialist for BNA Smart Payment Systems. With a focus on sales, marketing and client services, the last 10 years have been spent with BNA. He has completed over 2,000 hours of professional business training, including professional sales, solution selling, conflict resolution, appraisal workshop, strategic marketing, and financial analysis. Outside of work, James is almost constantly reading fiction. In direct contradiction to this rather silent interest, he took up the guitar six years ago and regularly, happily, and shamelessly destroys the peace and quiet of his family home.

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