Analyze Your Merchant Service Statement In 1 Minute

In most cases the merchant service statement is designed to confuse merchants with complicated statistics that seem to require algebra skills to decipher any meaningful data. Credit card processors have a variety of formats to choose from when it comes to generating these statements. Some statements are simplified with summary data, whereas others can be 20 plus pages detailing every transaction.

Reviewing a merchant service statement, let alone getting the will to open one that has come in the mail is daunting to say the least. In fact, a majority of business owners rarely take the time to analyze their current fees. With the exception of a hand full of complex statement formats, merchants can calculate a simple effective rate to find out whether they're in a good or bad situation.


Sample merchant service statement

The Effective Rate formula is simply the total fees charged for the month, divided by the total sales volume. These figure are often found at the beginning and end of the merchant service statement, indicated by terms such as "total sales", "settled amount", "card summary", and "total fees". Take note that merchants with a Direct American Express merchant account will likely see the Amex sales volume, but not the fees which will be reflected on a separate statement. Failure to exclude Amex sales volume will greatly skew the results of the effective rate. However, those that are setup with Amex Onepoint or the newer Amex Optblue pricing will have these fees included. These fees are indicated by item line descriptions similar to "Amex Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3", or "Amex Qual, Mid-Qual, Non-Qual".

To help you gauge your standing, we have listed typical effective rates by common industry. These are just guidelines, and some merchants may differ greatly based on their specific situations. With that said, let's hope you're close to our national industry average.

Retail - 1.86%

Restaurant - 2.39%

B2B - 2.77%

eCommerce - 2.56%

Lodging - 2.15%

Schools - 1.99%

Government - 2.81%

Healthcare - 1.79%

How did you fare? Find out how to get close or even beat the national industry average. To get a better understanding and a more detailed analysis, contact Merchant Intelligence Report for a free consultation.