Payment processing

Payment Processing: What High-Volume Retailers Need to Consider

A payment processing solution is almost a given for anyone in business today. It’s especially important for retailers, since offering credit card payments and other options is sometimes the difference between customers placing orders with your store and taking their business elsewhere.

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Different retailers have different needs, however. High-volume retailers often ponder this when they shop for payment processing providers. Like any business, high-volume retailers have unique needs, which means they must consider different factors when they shop for payment processing solutions.


The first thing on any retailer’s mind, high-volume or not, is the fees connected with the plan. The web of fees associated with payment processing can be confusing. At first glance, these fees might appear downright punishing. Since retail often has slim profit margins, the proposed fees might make you think signing up will make staying in the black impossible!

High-volume retailers definitely want to consider the fee structure of any plan before they sign on the dotted line. If it’s possible, look for providers that are willing to negotiate—and that offer a lower per-transaction fee. If you process many transactions each month, those per-transaction fees can and will add up!

How Much Do You Move?

Most payment providers include certain volume thresholds in their agreements. When you sign up, you’re agreeing to process a minimum in sales per month—whether it’s a dollar amount or a number of transactions. High-volume retailers want to scrutinize the levels laid out in their agreements before they sign.

While agreeing to high volume might result in lower fees, you want to be sure you can maintain that volume level each and every month. Be sure to look at your month-to-month data and determine both your lowest volume and your monthly averages. These benchmarks give you a better idea of what number you should include in your payment processing agreement as a minimum.

Using your lowest volume months as benchmarks is especially important if you experience large swings in volume. You don’t want to sign up with fees based on your highest volume months and then get dinged when you can’t meet that minimum.

Chargeback Protection

Retailers that process many transactions each and every month are at higher risk of encountering large numbers of chargebacks. While every retailer risks getting a chargeback, the laws of probability state the more transactions you process, the more likely you’ll encounter at least one chargeback.

Chargebacks are problematic for merchants, since the credit card company simply takes back funds once a charge is disputed. The removal of funds can hurt your cash flows—and, if you receive a lot of them, it can jeopardize your merchant account.

Retail’s a notoriously difficult industry, so you should ensure your payment processing solution offers you protection from chargebacks.


High-volume retailers don’t necessarily process transactions that have high values. In fact, most high-volume retailers simply process a lot of transactions, often with very low value per transaction. Having more transactions often translates into having more customers—who are giving you their data. You need to protect the data of not just 10 customers, but 100 or even 1,000 customers.

That’s why you want to be sure any payment processing solution you decide to adopt for your business offers you great protection. You want those customers to shop with you again and again, which means you must keep their information safe.

More Options

High-volume retailers often want to make shopping as easy as possible for their customers. Since they’re serving a larger number of customers than other retailers, they need to offer more options. Whether it means accepting multiple credit cards or adopting a pay-later solution, you must be sure you’re offering your customers the flexibility they want.


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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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