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7 ways merchants can save money on payment provider fees

You might have signed up to a payment service provider solution because it was the one recommended to you, or you just picked a brand name that you knew as a consumer. The reality is that there are lots of options out there to save money; depending on what country you’re in and what you sell you’ll need some help deciding which is right for you.

Are cheaper payment fees possible?

If you’re selling on a certain platform, like Shopify, Amazon, Apple or Google you may be almost forced to collect payments in a certain way, which means it’s going to be hard to get cheaper processing rates, but there still might be a couple of tricks in this article that can help you.

Below is how you can get started, but before that, what we will say is that if you’re not processing anything right now you will be given the list price and probably have to go through an online application process, depending on the provider this might take some time and they’ll want to KYC you, yep cover you in lubricant… NO! Check you’re legit – sorry. Let’s get started —

Find the cheapest blended rate

Find the providers in your region that can work with your type of product or service, have the functionality/integrations that you need and then compare on price. A blended rate is when a provider will say, regardless of card type it will cost you X% + $X. Revolut have just launched a payment gateway service undercutting other providers in the UK by 0.1% and giving immediate settlement times.

Work with a provider that doesn’t use a blended rate

If you know you’ll be processing more debit cards than credit cards and not have a high proportion of AMEX transactions you can find a provider who will give you a card type rate. Therefore, your fees will be cheaper if you’re mostly processing these card types.

Research all-in-one solutions vs separate solutions

Companies like and Global Payments offer a merchant account and payment gateway, whilst companies like Stripe and PayPal sign you up with their chosen acquirer behind the scenes. And is touting an improved integrated solution from gateway through to their own acquiring service. Try to find a mix and match model vs an all-in-one solution and compare costs. For a merchant account issuer to acquire you as a merchant they will need to have a license to operate in your country.

Negotiate a better deal with your current provider or a new one

If you’re already processing payments you can try to negotiate a better rate. You could do this based on card types processed, growth trajectory, historical chargeback rates or claiming you’re a loyal customer 🙂 If you’re processing more than $50k per month you should be able to get a better deal than the list price.

Pay a flat monthly fee instead

Some providers will give you a completely different fees model where for a flat monthly fee you can process X amount of payments and beyond that, there may be an additional processing fee. Cybersource, among others, do this.

Pass level 2 & 3 data

If you’re doing B2B sales and your customers are using corporate cards you could definitely reduce your costs by passing the extra data points these cards offer (up to 100 data points). This, in turn, reduces the fraud risk, chargebacks etc, helping those companies who are buying from you manage and report on what is being purchased. This data is passed to the card schemes (VISA, Mastercard), they, in turn, reduce the interchange fee (the amount they charge your gateway).

Do your FX somewhere else

Payment service providers make a lot of money on FX, if you have international customers. Sometimes they could be making 3% for these card purchases and you may get hit twice by FX (on the international card and on the movement of the money back to your international bank account). What you can do is set up multi-currency accounts with banking providers so that you’re settling currency into a local bank account and then moving that money based on the FX rates you can arrange.

Here at Shuttle, we work with over 30 payment providers and have a recommendation service for merchants who need help finding the right partner. The service is free, check it out.