About ISOs, Universal Processing and the Payment Processing Industry
The credit card processing industry is highly complex. It's important to have a general understanding of how we help you ensure your customer's payments are delivered in a secure, reliable, and timely manner.
Your customer approaches you, the merchant, seeking to purchase a good or service with a credit card. To accept your customer's card payment, you have to be working with a merchant services provider. Aside from providing software and equipment for safely accepting credit card payments, a merchant service provider helps maintain and manage a receiving account for your business. The issuing bank associated with the cardholding customer can then communicate with the merchant service provider to verify the security and ensure the timely processing of payments. Banks and authorized merchant service providers follow security protocols within the payment processing pipeline which are governed by credit card associations such as Europay, MasterCard, and Visa.
Universal Processing is a merchant service provider with status as an authorized ISO with Wells Fargo Bank. With over 15 years of service and a nationwide team. we help act as an intermediary to ensure your payments are processed in a timely and secure manner. We also help our merchants by providing the optimal equipment, software, and support needed to operate and grow their business.
What are your rates?
The quick answer is that it depends. The rate we offer you is dependent on the costs we undertake to provide our service. These costs vary based on the characteristics of your business as well as the nature of the credit card your customer uses. These variable card costs are predetermined by the issuing banks and governing credit card associations and are consistent across the industry. It is, therefore, nearly impossible to assess a fair rate without first analyzing your business. Knowing which factors influence costs, however, can help understand and predict your rate.
Varying business factors and interchanges costs serve as the main determinants of variability in credit card processing costs. Business factors include typical transaction value, customer demographics, and total processing volume. These are easy to predict due to the cost structure of processing cards. Each time a card is swiped, issuing banks and credit card associations charge a fee composed of two parts, a small fixed transaction fee and a low percentage of the transaction total. The fixed cost means that transaction size can be very important. As an example, a business with a high number of transactions with a low value such as a coffee shop will have substantially higher card processing costs than a business with a low number of transactions with a high value such as a jewelry store. Your business may also cater to an audience that has cards that are more expensive to process. This can be better understood by looking at how interchange fees are determined.
The other major factor, interchange fees, refers to the interest rate and transaction fees associated with the type of card the customer uses. These costs are attributed to the type of card used and are determined by the issuing bank. This is based on the risk associated with the line of credit extended. For example, a debit card has a very low processing cost. On the other hand, a credit card offered to a high-risk consumer, such as a business with large purchasing volume, would have a far higher processing cost. This is the reason why some businesses may not accept some types of credit cards.
Because each business is unique, various pricing models are employed to best minimize their costs. For these reasons, we offer free consultations so that our merchant consultants can assess your business and recommend the plan that will help optimize your rate. Visit our
contact page or call us at
(888) 885-8358 to speak with a merchant consultant about your business.
Can I use my own equipment?
If you already own a credit card processing terminal or a POS system, we can more than likely help you process payments without any need for new equipment. In fact, thanks to our dedicated technical support staff and technological partnerships with POS solutions providers, we are able to extend our 24/7 technical support service to your existing equipment as well.
Is the terminal provided capable of processing EMV and NFC?
Yes. We offer several different models of credit card processing terminals. All of these are EMV (Eurocard, Mastercard, and Visa) compliant to allow payment by chip reader and also feature NFC (near-field communication) technology which will allow your customers to pay through tap or a smartphone's mobile wallet such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay.
How do I get more paper for my processing terminal?
We like to make processing as easy and convenient as possible. You shouldn't have to worry about the headache of malfunctioning equipment when you're busy running your business. As a standard service to our clients, we offer 24/7 technical support as well as free thermal paper refills.
What is the interchange plus pricing model?
The interchange plus pricing model separates the base cost of processing credit cards from the cost of service assessed by the merchant service provider. Interchange fees are costs linked to each credit card that is determined by the bank when they are issued. The monthly bill of a business using the interchange plus pricing model would show interchange fees collected by the issuing banks of customers, the assessment fee charged by credit card associations, and lastly, the fees that are charged by the merchant service provider. The first two costs often represent the majority of a business' processing costs but are unfortunately fixed and unnegotiable.