With each and every transaction potentially shaving away at your profit margins, a savvy business should take every effort to save money on their merchant account costs. That means doing your homework and paying close attention to the finest details of your credit card processing system.

1) Pay attention to all rates and fees. The better a deal looks on the surface, the more likely it’s packed with fees on the back end to drive up your overall expenses. Don’t look at the much-advertised best-case rates; look at every potential charge on a contract, and think about how likely you are to pay a given fee on your average checkout.

2) Match your merchant account to your business needs. Different merchant accounts offer different emphases, which means that mismatching your business with the wrong account type can drive up your expenses in a big way. Make sure your account is equipped in such a way that your most frequent day-to-day transactions cost the least, but also such that you can perform less frequent transactions without breaking the bank.

3) Avoid leasing equipment when possible. Leasing equipment costs a ton of money over time, so don’t do it if you can buy what you need outright. It’s also important to be careful buying on the used market, however, as the market’s full of ‘great deals’ on equipment which won’t actually work, due to a locked-in account or another headache.

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