WMS Companies, Inc. deliverscustomized and diverse merchant payment solutions to businesses nationwide. We are the partner of choice for community banks, trade associations, software developers, franchise operators, chambers and fortune 500 sales teams.
"WMS provides diverse merchant solutions and sound technology advice that their partners can always trust"
Our client partners gain peace of mind that their customer's are receiving trusted representation. We build trust by educating merchant's on card acceptance rules and procedures and at the same time providing cost efficiencies. This is a balance we seek with every merchant experience. We desire to be remembered as an advocate for merchants making important decisions on the who, how and why of electronic card transaction processing. Rest assured, as a client partner with WMS, you and your customers receive the best in service, responsiveness and professionalism.
For merchants accepting credit cards in their business or new businesses ready to start, it can be a very daunting task to understand the different fees associated with card processing services. WMS will not only take the time to educate merchants on how fees work, we provide a pricing format that you have a right to know and one you can trust. That's why cost plus pricing is our only option.
What is your rate? The most common question asked by businesses looking to accept credit cards or change providers. But what they should be asking is “how much will it cost me to process credit cards with you”?
The answer to these questions revolves around interchange, dues and assessments. Interchange is a fee that Visa and MasterCard require merchants to pay card issuing banks for accepting their cards. It’s comprised of over two hundred different rate categories each containing requirements that must be satisfied for a transaction to qualify for a specific rate. Dues and assessments are membership fees paid by financial institutions to Visa and MasterCard. These fees have no categories, rules or criteria. They are simply a set percentage of the amount of the sale and are the same for every transaction processed.
Merchant account providers typically charge for transactions using tiered pricing schemes, commonly referred to as bucket pricing, wherein the hundred-plus levels of interchange are separated into buckets commonly labeled qualified, mid-qualified and non-qualified. Under bucket pricing, each bucket is priced high enough to cover the cost of the transaction type with the highest interchange fee. Consequently, merchants pay higher fees for all other interchange types in the same bucket. This pricing will always benefit the provider.
Visa and MasterCard will make adjustments to interchange categories at least once and maybe twice a year. These changes usually impact only a few rate categories in a bucket but can negatively affect businesses by giving providers the ability to raise rates on entire buckets. Merchant account providers use their own discretion to determine what buckets the categories of interchange will be separated into and it is often not defined in a Merchants Agreement. Since the criteria for this decision are proprietary, inconsistencies are common between providers. This makes it nearly impossible to accurately compare pricing from one provider to the next. Transactions that would land in the mid-qualified bucket with provider A may land in a non-qualified bucket with provider B.
Traditionally, a simple rate structure or cost plus pricing was reserved for big businesses with high leverage. WMS and it’s network of processing partners has decided to level the playing field and make cost plus pricing available to businesses of all sizes and in the process take the mystery out of the cost of credit card acceptance. Business owners are frequently puzzled by service rates and fees. They wonder why they are charged different amounts depending on the type of card used and who keeps the percentage of their sales that is siphoned away as surcharges and fees.
There is an alternative to bucket pricing available through WMS. Cost plus or often referred to as pass through pricing is the answer to unveiling the mystery around card acceptance costs. With this pricing structure, actual card charges for processing are passed through to the merchant. When Visa and MasterCard raise interchange rates, only the affected categories are increased—not an entire bucket. Rates are based on the merchant's Visa and MasterCard average monthly dollar volume and sale amounts. Using these variables, the true pricing rate is determined up front at the time you sign a contract and remains effective throughout the term of the agreement.
With true cost plus pricing, each interchange category carries a consistent margin providing you with the most competitive pricing, the lowest processing costs, a set, disclosed and consistent profit margin and an understanding of the exact impact from interchange increases and decreases.