http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/347660

New York Times sparks national credit card processing discussion

Posted Apr 10, 2013 by Michael Essany
Forget entertainment scandals and political controversies. The hottest debate in one of America's largest newspapers today deals with... credit card processing fees. Sexy? Not for most readers, unless of course, they own a business.
credit card hacking
credit card hacking
images of money
What started out as a simple New York Times blog about the search for credit card processing, quickly turned into a national period of reevaluation of options for countless small business owners - individuals who flooded the blog with comments, feedback, and questions.
"I’d like to thank everyone who took time to comment on my posts on searching for credit card processing," blog author Paul Downs, owner of Paul Downs Cabinetmaker, wrote Tuesday.
The business owner's own search for a credit card processor started in April 2012 and dragged on through the end of this past January, Downs says.
"Like many small-business owners," he admitted, "I have plenty of things to keep me busy, so my search was an on again/off again thing. As it progressed, I found that the more carefully I looked at the terms I was agreeing to, the less I liked them."
As a result of the helpful discussion facilitated by Downs this week, scores of business owners are now convinced that they can find lower processing rates. And so their search has begun.
"It was fascinating to watch the discussion unfold," restaurant owner Ken Torrence commented in response to the high-traffic series of articles. "Mr. Downs was remarkably forthcoming in his analysis of what it takes to understand how the industry works, how these deals are structured, and how to find the right service provider for your individual business."
The most candid revelation offered up by Downs was the admission that credit card processing can be really expensive.
"I spent more than $27,000 on it last year, on $600,000 in transactions," he revealed.
So what can small business owners do to ensure that they are securing the best deal? According to experts in the field, it all starts by knowing where to look and which questions to ask. The team at North American Bancard, an industry leading credit card processing provider, advises business owners to learn the lowest rates before they start searching for a merchant service provider.
"Every year in April and October," NAB explains on its official blog, "interchange fees are published by Visa and MasterCard. Interchange fees are what credit card processors pay to the issuing banks of cardholders. Basically, the lowest cost provider is actually the one who charges the lowest markup."
To read more about Mr. Downs and his epic journey in credit card processing, check out the New York Times article here. And for more insightful tips on making the smartest credit card processing decisions with your own business, NAB recently published a helpful blog available here.