Fee Fighters: Fighting for Low Credit Card Processing Fees
Does your freelance business (or eBay or Etsy account, etc.) accept credit cards, or are you looking to incorporate credit card processing into your business practice soon? Have you turned selling stuff into a viable business that's ready to go to the next level? If so, Fee Fighters is a free service you might want to know about that can advocate for you and get you the best deal with credit card processors. (See also: 250+ Tips for Small Business Owners)
How Fee Fighters Works
After inputting some basic information about your business and credit card processing needs, Fee Fighters presents you with a list of competitive “bids” on their auction marketplace from their roster of vetted credit card processors vying for your business.
And the bid price is the final price, so you can safely compare apples to apples without worrying about statement fees or other extras after the fact. You can also scour the fine print by viewing contracts, and you can anonymously ask questions of the bidders to clarify your needs and terms. The idea is to keep high-pressuring salespeople out of the picture so you can make a decision on your own time.
Fee Fighters claims that their comparison search engine can save businesses an average of 40% on credit card processing fees, and they’ve helped over 15,000 businesses compare their credit card processing rates so far this year.
"There aren't any that do quite what we do. There are some others that take your information and immediately sell it to credit card processing companies that pester the crap out of you. What we do is very different and was very hard to build... We don't expect any competition to arise in the near term," says Sheel Mohnot, VP of Marketing at Fee Fighters.
Fee Fighters requires credit card processors to become certified to their standards before they allow them on the marketplace to bid for your business. The terms include no hidden fees, rate hikes, or cancelation fees, and they’re audited monthly for compliance.
They’ll Advocate For You
A very powerful example of how the folks at Fee Fighters are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty for businesses is in how they helped a coffee shop owner navigate a very sticky situation with a few credit card processors and shady salespeople, and set her up with a new processor that saved her $7,000 in expenses and over 40% off her credit card processing fees. They even helped her recover an unexpected $1,000 termination fee from her old processor. The story is very compelling and can be read in full on the Fee Fighters site.
From a business standpoint, this speaks well to me. So many online services begin and end with the online experience, but Fee Fighters has live chat available, as well as a phone number you can call that a real person will answer. And in chatting with the folks at Fee Fighters, they assured me that the level of service they extended to the coffee shop owner above is available to anybody who needs it.
Why does Fee Fighters go above and beyond to advocate strongly for business owners? Partly because they only get paid once a deal is struck between the business owner and credit card processor. (It's like a finder's fee payable by the processor.) When pressed for reasons why they will help even beyond brokering a deal, Mohnot implied that we're all the same boat. "Frankly, we know what it's like to be a small business. We try to save any place we can and we know merchants...do the same."
Credit card processing is increasingly important for businesses to offer, especially if they’re location independent, since it increases options for receiving online payments. (Check out other tools for running your location-independent business, as well as these essential services for the road.) Heck — as a consumer I use my credit card for everything, so I’m much happier if I’m dealing with a happy vendor who isn’t being fleeced with credit card usage fees.
So if you’re new to the business of offering credit card processing, if you want to cross-check the fees and service you are receiving against what’s out there, or if you’re in a bind with your credit card processing and need help, Fee Fighters could be just the thing you need. Oh yeah — and it’s free.