When a major provider announces rate increases, it can shock and devastate those already burdened with high costs. Those that make use of processors should keep in mind, however, that they have options when such a development occurs, and can meet the challenges of higher prices as they arise. It is important to anticipate such events, just as it is to understand the choices available to a merchant that may be overlooked.

A recent article posted in Practical Ecommerce  by consultant Phil Hinke outlined some basic steps that smaller businesses can follow to make sure they maintain agency during times of change and duress. Chief among his advice is the age-old admission to stay calm and not panic just because of formidable changes in the atmosphere. Specifically, he cites Wells Fargo's recent markups and its institution of an "Interchange Clearing Fee" as potential backbreakers for merchants.  

Hinke also noted that such rate increases can be negotiated the way that initial contracts are, referencing a case where a bank waived an increase after such a negotiation. He concluded by emphasizing research and encouraging merchants to stay informed and wary of where they get their particular POS system.

"Ask candid questions when selecting a POS system," Hinke said. "More than likely the POS system distributor is selling card processing or getting paid behind the scenes by a provider. Some POS distributors can virtually lock the merchant into a provider by making it too expensive to change software or equipment." 

POS credit card software users have reason to be alarmed when it comes to potentially unfair deals and suspect changes in the business. This only underlines the high importance of contacting established and reputable vendors of software to ensure a stable contract between parties.