03 / 17 / 21

The most popular question asked to a processor is “what’s your rate?”.

The most popular question asked to a processor is “what’s your rate?”.  

Accepting credit cards has become one of the most important pieces for your business. The truth is, it’s never just a rate. And if it is? It’s because the rate is so marked up, it covers all the other fees.  

Flat rate pricing is an increasingly popular model, this is like Square, Stripe, PayPal, etc. This model gives the impression that you’re getting a great deal, but it’s extremely expensive because you’re charged the highest interchange cost, plus a markup to cover all fees.  

It’s convenient, but you’re paying for that convenience.  Here’s a breakdown of the best pricing structures, and which might be the best for you.  

Interchange Plus 

Interchange is cost. Each card you accept has a cost, so think of this program as cost PLUS, a small mark up. This is the same way you do business; you have a cost, and you mark it up.  

This structure is the most transparent because you‘re paying a la carte for your card payments and this optimizes interchange so you’re not overpaying. This program is available for ALL merchants, you don’t need to be an enterprise or large merchant to apply! 


Level II and III processing 

If you‘re accepting business and corporate cards, then you may be missing out on additional benefits from Visa and MasterCard. 

Level I processing is your standard card sale, you just input the card information and billing address. By adding additional information to the sale (quantity, line-item total, unit of cost, etc.), you will receive a discount to interchange costs from the card brands. By adding this extra information, it will lower your fees even more 



The name says it all, you surcharge a flat rate onto your customer bill which means you’re no longer paying the fees.  

This could be a win-win for everyone, because your customers will receive more points or rewards and your business gets to keep its profits. Merchants are also choosing the split surcharge program, where they pass on 1.75% to the customer and absorb the remainder as a cost of doing business.  


These price programs are the most popular choices by our merchants. Maybe you’re still unsure which program would be the best for you. Aliant can prepare a side-by-side comparison that shows all costs, and fees for you to determine the best fit! 


Learn more about pricing and which is the best for you!  

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