If vegetables tasted like bacon, the world would be a healthier place.

For many small and mid-sized businesses, accepting credit card payments ranks up there with being told to eat your vegetables; it’s good for you and your business, you won’t grow if you refuse to do it, and you’re doing something wrong if you don’t believe that credit card fees are the cost of doing business. Fair and affordable pricing is hard to find. Sometimes merchants need to think outside the box when it comes to accepting credit card payments in order to keep their businesses whole.

Life presents us with difficult decisions. Spinach or corn? Bristol Pay or Square?

At Bristol Pay, we have spent the past 20+ years empowering smaller businesses with big tech solutions at fair pricing. When it comes to accepting credit card payments, we look at our merchants as individual entities with specific wants and needs. We help grow and develop the businesses we welcome in as members of the Bristol Pay family. Like a good parent, we remember being a young company once upon a time, and we remember what it took to grow up. The credit card payment solutions and merchant services we offer are meant to help our loyal members flourish during the many years they stick with us.

Just like vegetables, not every merchant services provider is a good fit. People eat corn even though it can spike blood sugar and may prevent weight loss. In the same way, big name credit card payment providers dominate the payments space even if they aren’t doing their best work for merchants. Smaller names, no matter how knowledgeable and trustworthy, have to work harder to prove themselves, just like spinach does—it helps support immune function and digestion, and may even have anticancer properties.

Think Outside The Square Box

Some credit card payment providers have spent billions of dollars convincing merchants that when you accept credit card payments, flat rate/percentage-based pricing is the way to go. They say their pricing is predictable. They say their pricing is fair.

Let’s look at the math: Percentage based pricing is not as predictable as you have been led to believe. Predictable means a business owner knows how much their credit card payment fees are each month because they know exactly how many products and services they will sell in a given month. It assumes that they will know which customers will pay with a credit card versus a check or cash. That’s not possible, and if it were, it would probably mean that the business is not growing. Credit card providers who only push percentage-based credit card pricing bank on a business growing because $100 x 2.90% = $2.90, but $10,000 x 2.90% = $290.

2.90% is the preferred flat rate percentage price point, so a provider might also tell a merchant that passing the card brand interchange fees—the true cost of what Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover charge—is not appetizing. In that case, the provider will bundle card brand costs into that 2.90% flat-rate percentage. They might use the true cost of a business credit card at 3.25% vs their proposed 2.90% as the example to drive their point home, but what if they are selling this credit card pricing plan to a retail merchant whose customers regularly use debit cards to pay for products and services? When a small business takes Visa debit cards as payment, the true Visa interchange cost is .80%. In this example, 2.10% of their credit card fees would go to the payment provider, not the credit card brands.

Bristol Pay Pricing

Using Bristol Pay as your merchant services provider means leveraging our payment technologies and services. Our boutique approach helps us determine which solutions best serve the needs of your business. We board and train each merchant ourselves, to ensure that your staff is fully prepared to use our credit card payment solutions to their fullest potential. These efficiencies are designed to save soft dollars on your back end via time and effort.

Bristol Pay charges a flat, monthly membership fee for our credit card payment technologies and services. The objectives behind this are simple:

  • Our pricing is truly predictable. Our tiers give you a wide berth of credit card processing ranges—for example, process $125,000 up to $250,000 for one monthly flat fee. We will not change your static monthly fee until you consistently reach or surpass the top of your tier.
  • Because Bristol Pay’s monthly fee is not percentage based, process $100 or process $100,000 in one given month. The monthly membership fee remains the same.

What about those card brand interchange fees? All card brand processing fees come direct from the processor and card brands at cost via your monthly merchant statement.

  • No markup. True and transparent credit card pricing charged direct from the credit card brands and going to the credit card brands.

A spoonful of trust and experience helps everything stay down.

When you are struggling, corn isn’t going to do you any favors, but spinach and Bristol Pay might surprise you. Merchants have been told to compare one provider’s bottom line fees to another provider’s bottom line fees. The rising cost of processing is a real concern, so salesmen will focus on that when making their sales pitch. They convince merchants that hard dollar costs are all that matter. It is only one piece of the big picture, but it’s the one thing that everyone talks about. Lower credit card fees aren’t going to grow a business. Voids in the payment discussion shouldn’t go down easily, but merchants swallow it anyway, because they’ve been told to.

One-trick ponies offer temporary pricing, flash sales, and glitzy sign-up discounts to get that final signature. Then, when fees increase, where are your providers? They are spoon feeding information that is hard to digest to the next business. Merchants become so used to believing what they’ve been told that they reject new ideas that might lead them to something better for their business.

When you partner with Bristol Pay, you partner with a knowledgeable advocate who will truly work in your best interest. The alliance becomes a core strength within your business. Bristol Pay looks at all the components that go into making your business whole and we feed the entire system. This ensures a healthier balance of money in and money out.

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We're thrilled you're interested in Bristol Pay!

Provide a few details below and a member of our team will be in touch as quickly as possible.

We're thrilled you're interested in Bristol Pay!

Provide a few details below and a member of our team will be in touch as quickly as possible.