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What Are Credit Card Processing Fees?

Danielle Collard
6 Jul 2023

Businesses everywhere rely heavily on card machines as a cashless society becomes more and more a reality. So the advantages of a good card processing deal are clear: a stronger image for the business, quicker payments, shorter queues, and the crucial reduction in payment processing fees.

The lowest card processing fees may not be obvious when speaking to sales representatives or even trying to read complicated contracts before making a deal. So a thorough understanding of how these contracts work can be extremely valuable.

What is a typical credit card processing fee?

The average credit card payments deal for a merchant involves a long list of additional fees and a shorter list of processing and transaction fees that will always be part of the deal.

When figuring out how much a card machine costs, getting a deal to match the business can make all the difference. There can be a lot of variation in the value of deals based on the kind of transactions taking place. Tiered pricing deals are very common and a good example of this. 

With tiered pricing, different kinds of payment methods have different transaction rates. This means competitive rates on certain types of card and much higher rates on others. When a business doesn’t know which kind of payment cards they will receive for payments this can mean miscalculation and crippling expenses from tiered pricing deals. For this reason, many are finding the best credit card processing fees for small business by moving away from tiered pricing structures to blended rates.

Blended rates are transaction fees where every kind of payment card is charged the same fixed rate. This simplifies the entire process for the merchant and protects them against excessive charges when processing higher-tiered payment types.

Flat rate fees are similarly easy to understand, but involve not only a percentage transaction charge, but a standard cost in addition to this. For retailers with a large number of small transactions, this could eat into profits so many try to avoid flat-rate deals.

Interchange plus plus is another common kind of processing deal that people can become confused by. The principle is that merchants are charged the interchange fee (which is how much it costs to transfer the money from one bank to another via middle-men called merchant acquirers), plus a fee from the card processing company, plus the scheme fees that banks pay to be part of the card machine company’s payment network. This can lead to more complicated reports but the transparency of these offers can make it clear whether the deal is good or not.

With any of these deals though, the difficult part is understanding what you’re paying for, and spotting anything that could be expensive for the kinds of transactions your business makes.

For a payments system that can help your business save on hidden costs and process sales smoothly, try Epos Now Payments for card machines that provide:

  • Simplicity - With clear pricing and an easy to understand contract, you can run your entire business all in one place
  • A system designed for you - Adapt your payments processes to suit your business and experience an easier way of trading
  • Trust - With a safe and secure payments system you can get on with your day, knowing there's an expert support team on standby

Find out more

EPO 001 08 2021 Card Machine 3 Payments

What else is involved in card processing fees?

There are many further costs associated with card payment processing. These deals are complicated and there are many providers with their own methods of negotiating with banks and with merchants. However, below are a few of the most common additional expenses:

  • The vast majority of card machines are rented from the providers rather than being owned by the business using them. While there are benefits to renting and to owning devices, renting does mean a further monthly expense rather than a one-off payment.
  • Authorisation fees are part of a huge number of card processing deals. These are flat rates that are taken every time a credit card transaction is approved by a merchant. This small fee taken off each transaction can weigh heavily on businesses making many small transactions rather than a small number of large transactions.
  • A lot of card machine companies will have a contracted base fee that needs to be paid if transaction charges have been too low over the course of the month. 
  • A setup fee is very common for the installation of the card machine and any services that need to be provided to get the device working. This includes the creation of a temporary account that monies are stored in before being transferred to your business account.
  • PCR Compliance is the legal standard requirement for the payment card industry. Every business using a card machine needs to meet these standards. Many card machine providers will charge a small monthly fee for maintaining those standards and the expense of governing this process.
  • Refund and chargeback transaction expenses are common as it costs the banks more to complete these transactions.

Epos Now Payments: blended and better

Since Epos Now Payments launched in May 2021, over 1750 businesses have processed over 47 million pounds worth of transactions (as of January 2022). In less than a year, this time has provided Epos Now with a wealth of experience in card processing to go ten years at the forefront of EPOS technology.

This places them in the unique position of being able to provide merchants with both an EPOS system fit to fulfil needs and a card machine that is designed to merge with that system. An all-in-one system makes trading, balancing the till, and learning about your business even easier for businesses and customers alike.

But the bottom line is that a card machine must be affordable if it’s going to work for a company. No business should ever have to put itself on the line by making a deal and not understanding what it will entail.

The basic blend offer:

The blended deal provides businesses with a flat percentage charge on any transactions that are easy to calculate and anticipate. It also guarantees very few additional charges beyond that fixed rate.

Except for the standard device rental and additional service charges for processes like refunds, Epos Now Payments comes without authorisation or PCI compliance fees. The page even has a guide for taking you through PCI compliance during setup. As Epos Now members, businesses have access to many guides as well as expert support to guide them through the process.

The business benefits:

Epos Now Payments have card payment processors suitable for any business ready to fully integrate into an Epos Now system.

Link card machines are stylish, user-friendly, and money-saving. Setup through an ethernet connection and secured to a location for steady payment processing, this device is well suited to any business making transactions from one or two till points.

Link does not require charging and can function 24/7 without the need for extra attention. It also reconciles in real-time with Back-Office reports to provide extra business insights while trading.






Pro+ devices provides businesses with the very best in MPOS technology: a mobile EPOS with card processing capabilities. This allows businesses to roam with their till and complete transactions from anywhere. The Pro+ frees businesses from the restrictions of counter-top service and opens up a queueless, experience-led, customer centred world of trade.

Both Link and Pro+ card machines come with the advantage of a sole EPOS and card processing provider, with capable 24/7 support and experience in providing the best advice to businesses in need.

Whether you’re looking for a better deal for your card payments or to begin trading with the best technology, our expert team are available to provide a bespoke offer for your business needs. Alternatively, take a look online to find out more about Epos Now Payments.

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Epos Now solutions are the trusted foundation of over 40,000 businesses all over the world!