We have in the past talked about when meeting up with potential clients and being horrified to see the hidden charges that they knew nothing about.

With that in mind we thought it would be a good idea to let you know about the things that may or may not appear on a merchant services statement and what they are for.

• Performance Reports – This is an app that you can have for £5-£10 per month, that lets you see how much money is going through your machine. If you are a SME you won’t be needing this as long as you do an end of day on your terminal, you can get all of the information that is ever required.

• Capped Rates – When you agree to a contract with a provider, you are locking in your rates for the duration of that contract, to have a surcharge for Capped Rates is simply unnecessary and will save you approx. £3 per month

• PCI DSS – This is a mandatory charge on your merchant services statement. PCI DSS is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is a worldwide standard that was set up to help businesses process card payments securely and reduce card fraud. The way it does this is through tight controls surrounding the storage, transmission and processing of cardholder data that businesses handle. PCI DSS is intended to protect sensitive cardholder data. Usually the cost of this will vary between £3.90 - £7.00 per month.

• PCI Phone Validation – Sometimes a merchant will help you get approved and may charge you for the pleasure. Whether you choose to accept the help is entirely up to you and if your business warrants it, this can sometimes be a good thing, however keep an eye on what you are being charged for this I have seen it vary from £10 -£50 for this service.

• Financial Software – This is a piece of software (similar to performance reports above) where you can keep an eye on transactions that have come into your business. Unless you employ or are a Financial Director I wouldn’t think you would really need this and the £15 per month you would save would be a nice addition to your bottom line.

• Free Advertising – This is a clever one because it won’t appear on your statement, some companies offer to give you a free listing on a local directory, it’s free for a period of time and then they normally charge you a per quarter charge of around £25 per month. Always check for what you are signing for in the contract terms and conditions.

• Terminal Replacement – This is one of my favorites, you’ve signed a contract, you’ve got your terminal and then it goes wrong. Every provider have an agreement with a terminal supplier that gives you 24/7 support already included and you don’t need to be paying the extra £3 per month to have this included. Selling on fear is one of the things I despise by some of our competitors in this industry.

• Till Roll Subscription – Another one you simply don’t need, a monthly payment of say £5 per month to keep an eye on how much till roll you are using. You can buy till roll anywhere, by all means by it from your provider but only buy it when you need it, otherwise you will have the stuff coming out of your ears.


All of the above (not including the PCI Phone Validation as that is an annual fee ) comes to £61 per month on charges you simply don’t need.

When you are re-negotiating your deal, you only need the terminal, the rates and the PCI and authorisations and nothing else and that is exactly what we do here at Payment First.