Travel & Tourism—One Size Doesn’t Fit All

We were working with a joint owners of a travel wholesaler business who were looking for a solution, though doubtful they would find one.

This particular company specialized in packages to Europe, sold through travel agencies. When this type of business crosses the typical processor’s desk, it is stamped “RISKY.” The customer isn’t present at the time of purchase, the delivery of services isn’t immediate and happens at a future date. These factors alone are enough to send the rates soaring. With no further questions, the processor demanded $50,000 in collateral from this travel company. $50,000 they had worked to earn and now couldn’t touch.

“That cash is ours and is being held hostage.” That was one of the first outraged comment made by one of the 2 partners.

She was right. Everyday, payment processors impose blanket, arbitrary collateral securities on companies in the travel and tourism business simply because they can. There is no examination of the company’s history, track record, or unique business model. Millions of unnecessary dollars are taken from these companies and are lining the bank accounts of the greedy processors who did nothing to earn it.

“Let us see what we can do,” we told the owners and immediately began a thorough investigation. We examined the details of their business model, looked at their past and current performance, their longevity, and payment processing history. At every turn, the company passed. In fact, they were so clean, we concluded no collateral was required. We would be happy to be their fair merchant solution and they wouldn’t need $50,000 to do it.

“And not only that,” we continued, “In looking at the fee breakdown from your other processor, we found some additional savings.” We went through their old contract line-by-line and circled where they were being deceived—paying a bogus fee here, an unnecessary variable rate there… In the end, the line item savings added up to more than $30,000 annually.

“Wait,” the owners quickly did the math. “Do you mean to tell us we’ll get our $50,000 back AND you’ll save us close to $100 000 over the course of the next three years?” It was all true. The owners signed a 3-year contract that day. Shortly after, we worked closely with their IT team and our dedicated payment gateway was seamlessly integrated with theirs and fully operational.

At Fair Merchant Solutions, we don’t believe payment processing is a one size fits all business. Each company has their own story and should be evaluated and charged based on their unique circumstances. Whether it is $30,000, $100,000 or $5,000 in annual fees, that money is yours and we will never search for (or make up) reasons to take it from you.

Now that travel company is happily doing what they do best—providing unforgettable experiences for their clients travelling to Europe and the owners never have to worry about her money being held hostage again.

We can guarantee you that based on the information we are given and our thorough review and analysis, we will stand by the promise of our savings, combined with integrity-driven work ethics and a passion for finding the solutions fitting your requirements.

Hospitality Industry—Hidden Merchant Fees

The management team of a fairly large all-suite hotel was feeling pretty good about themselves. They had played hardball with their payment processors and won.

After a lot of talk, negotiation and promises, the hotel management walked away convinced they now had the best rate in town. “Now six months into our contract, not only do we provide better service than our competition,” one of the owners told me as we sat down over lunch one afternoon, “we now get to keep more of the money!”

He seemed so happy about it, I almost regretted asking him, “Are you sure?” He looked me perplexed then agreed to let me look at their statements.

Unfortunately, this management team was the newest victim of hidden and variable fees. The team was convinced the merchant discount rate they negotiated was the real merchant rate applied to their transactions… Unfortunately, their payment solutions supplier failed to mention the impact of the different types of credit cards on merchant transaction fees.

“Different cards require different transaction rates and not examining each of them separately leads to higher fees overall.” The owner was extremely upset that he had been misled and asked Fair Merchant Solutions for help. We completed a full annual review of all their transactions. We considered the profile of their clientele, their transactional trends, and each of the cards the clientele used over the course of the year and were able to offer a pricing strategy that turned into over $ 26,000 in annual savings.

One seamless and efficient migration process later, the integration was complete and the management team of this all-suite hotel was feeling even better, now with Fair Merchant Solutions on their team.

Non-profit organization—Creative Solutions

Fair Merchant Solutions isn’t just about transparent fees and customized payment contracts—we believe in thinking outside the box in order for our clients to maximize funds that are rightfully theirs. Sometimes, this requires we be creative—like we were with a particular non-profit client.

Several times a month this non-profit was out in the community raising funds for their cause. 4000 members strong, they were always doing something; sometimes it was a golf tournament, sometimes they were walking for the cause, sometimes it was benefit concert. Regardless of the event, one thing was always constant—the need for payment terminals. Whether they were selling raffle tickets, auctioning off items or collecting donations, every month the non-profit organization was spending significant funds on renting the equipment to accept the money. Every dollar spent on renting equipment was a dollar taken from the cause. It was disheartening, but ask any non-profit and they’ll tell you it’s a necessary cost of doing business.

Or is it?

At Fair Merchant Solutions we couldn’t help but think there had to be a better way—instead of throwing money away on rental fees, what if that money was getting them closer to owning the equipment? So that is exactly what we did—now the monthly fee for renting the terminals was a direct path to owning it.

The non-profit continued to pay a monthly fee for their terminals, like a rental, but with an option to acquire the equipment at the end and still maintain the same level of technical support as long as they were a merchant with our payment solutions network.

That one out-of-the-box solution liberated over $ 17,000 of annual savings—$17,000 that could now go directly to the people who needed it most.

Restaurants and food chains

I sometimes I wonder if other payment processors are hosting an internal naming contest—the best name for a bogus fee wins a trip to Tahiti! It seems extreme, right? Because a trip to Tahiti isn’t cheap… but it’s nothing in comparison to the revenue a false-fee, charged over and over, can yield.

Take for example one of Fair Merchant Solutions clients—a regional chain of gourmet burgers with over 25 restaurants. It was only an hour into our review of their transaction that an alleged “security & compliance” fee jumped out at us. Of course, the client wanted to be secure and compliant and to the untrained eye, the fee appeared to be legit. So when the merchant glazed over those line items, the burger join didn’t question them. However, the fees were totally bogus and, instead of paying for additional security for the restaurant, were passed directly on to the merchant (and the winner of the trip to Tahiti!).

The removal of that one bogus fee alone represented an annual saving of $ 35,000.

It’s become a bit of a contest for us now at Fair Merchant Solutions—who can find the most ridiculous bogus fee. The winner gets a gourmet burger.

Dental practice office—Eliminating Financial Decay

We understand. The idea of undergoing a payment processing analysis is likely less appealing than getting a root canal. But at Fair Merchant Solutions we promise that, unlike a root canal, the experience will be quick, easy and painless. Just ask our Dental Office Client.

The merchant transaction fees were getting out of control for the owner of a large dental practice with no sign of slowing down. He knew it was a problem however, just like a patient in need of a cavity being filled, the dread of finding a new processor meant the dentist kept putting it off. Meanwhile, thousands of dollars were being syphoned off his bottom line, decaying his business.

After much reluctance, he finally agreed to an analysis.

One look at his processing contract revealed a mouthful of cavities. He was literally letting unnecessary fees rot his profitability. His file wasn’t set up properly, there were unnecessary merchant fees, and this combination of non-ethical maneuvers lead to seriously excessive charges.

Just as a dentist recommends a regular cleaning session, the dentist asked that we clean up his merchant statements. The initial savings was in the 4 figures and as Visa and Mastercard granted us, Fair Merchant Solutions, additional reductions on that account and we passed them immediately on to the dentist. Eventually, he was cavity free and all smiles with 5 figure savings a year.