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Shaw Merchant Group
Dual Pricing Program
 Dual Pricing Program 

Monday, December 04 2023

Are you tired of losing a percentage of your sales to the credit card companies? That’s the cost of doing business, right? Where do you draw the line, though? When does it become too expensive to allow customers to pay with credit cards? You can’t just turn credit card paying customers away – that’s bad for business, so what should you do?

Try the Edge program. It helps ease the financial stress on merchants while rewarding cash buyers with a discount. It’s a win-win for everyone. With Edge pricing structure, every party involved in the transaction benefits. Both the customer and the merchant, there is a lot to love about our Edge program. This merchant cash discount program presents a new way to appeal to customers, incentivize cash payments, and lower the operating costs for merchants. You may have heard of merchant cash discounts before, but this new wave of modern merchant cash discounts provides a brand new perspective and flow to the process that many consider to be a major incentive for paying with cash and supporting their local businesses.

When you use the dual pricing cash discount program, you must make it known that you offer cash buyers a discount on the total cost of the items and customers paying with a credit card pay the full, listed price. This isn’t a surcharge – you aren’t penalizing credit card paying customers. Instead, you’re offering cash discounting or rewarding cash-paying customers.

Here’s an example.

You have a product listed for $20.

John comes in and buys the product for $20, paying with a credit card. John pays $20. Jan comes in and buys the product for $20, paying cash. Jan pays $19.20 because she gets a 4% discount for paying cash.

Benefits of a Merchant Cash Discount Program

When it comes to the Edge program, there’s a lot to love from just about every angle. However, as a merchant, you can understandably be hesitant about implementing a process that you don’t know anything about. That’s why we provide an upfront summary of what exactly the Edge program has to offer and why it is the primary choice of so many merchants that are looking to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Lower Processing Fees

The main benefit of a cash discount program is that it results in lower or zero processing fees. While many don’t give a second thought to what the processing fees are on any given transaction, business owners certainly know that these fees do add up and can affect margin in a very real way. When merchants use Edge pricing they are, in effect passing on that processing fee to the customer. Over time, this can save merchants thousands and provide them with a higher margin on their sales.

Discounts for Customers

What customer doesn’t love a discount? Being able to provide every customer that pays in cash with a discount is not only a very marketable promotion, but it helps to make your customers happy. Customers love going to businesses that offer a cash discount because it allows them to feel as if they are getting a good deal and somewhat have control over what they pay at your establishment. When it comes to happy customers, it is very hard to put a price tag on that.

Increased Loyalty/Happiness

When your customers are continuously having positive experiences at your business and are getting to know your establishment as a place that offers a cash discount, that can only help you. This creates loyalty and happiness in your customer base and helps to establish brand and customer loyalty. This is a very valuable asset and it can help to offer consistent cash discounts to your customers.

Easy to Deploy

When you think of implementing a program like this, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and assume that you won’t be able to do it easily. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In truth, it is growing increasingly easy to deploy a cash discount program and with all of the resources that we provide to our merchants, it is easier than ever.

What’s Included in Our Cash Discount Program?

With our cash discount program POS, you will be able to process a wide variety of payments from all major credit card providers. This offers your customers even more convenience and helps to build loyalty time and time again.

Free POS Equipment

Don’t worry about the cost of upgrading to a whole new system--we have you covered. We provide free POS equipment to our merchants to once again make working with the Edge program as easy as possible. When you work with us, there will be very little to be worried about.

Fast Funding

We are known for providing fast funding to our merchants. It’s hard to operate a business when your cash flow is being restricted, and that is why we put a focus on making payments accurate, concise, and fast to provide you with a business partner that you can trust to keep your financial interests at the forefront.

Flexible Contracts

Worried about getting locked into a long contract? Don’t be. We don’t believe in limiting the options of our merchants and that is why we offer flexible contract options that don’t lock you in for years at a time. With the Edge cash discount program, you’ll have options, which are extremely valuable to have when operating a business. You can pivot at a moment’s notice, should you need to.

Easy to Understand

From a customer and merchant perspective, operating on a new POS system can be complicated and difficult. That isn’t the case with Edge. We have structured this program to make it as easy as possible to understand and use so that any business can use this program to their advantage.

FAQ

Is it legal for merchants to offer cash discounts to their customers?

According to the FTC, it is illegal to inhibit the ability of customers to pay cash. Therefore, programs like cash discounts and surcharging are legal and encouraged.

Does a processing fee drive customers away?

Studies show that this isn’t an issue that consumers are worried about. Most consumers are happy to pay an additional small fee for the convenience of using their card.

What happens if I don’t like the merchant cash discount program?

We have flexible contract options so that you don’t have to be locked into a merchant cash discount program that you don’t like. We love providing flexibility to our merchants and agents. We’re confident that you’ll love our program, though.

What’s the difference between this and surcharging?

The act of providing a discount for those that pay with cash is different than charging an additional fee for credit card users. This is confirmed by many of the major credit card associations.

Why should I choose the merchant cash discount program?

We have been in business for years and have a reputation for providing the best merchant programs.

What resources do I need to ensure that I’m running this program correctly?

We provide our merchants with all of the resources that they need to implement and operate this program, including POS systems, back-end systems, and signage to notify their customers of the change.

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Applying for a Merchant Account for Small Businesses

If you are a merchant, then you will undoubtedly need a merchant account. Merchant accounts are accounts that your business holds with a payment processor or merchant services provider that give you access to the critical tools that your business needs to succeed and accept payments. Without a merchant account, your business will be unable to complete the most important part of any transaction--the receipt of the funds for the goods or services that were rendered. If you want to get a merchant account for your business, then the first thing you need to know is how to apply for a merchant account and what is involved in the process of the application. This insight will give you the knowledge and information that you need to be successful in the merchant account application process and provide you with a competitive edge when applying for your merchant account.

Information needed for applying to a merchant account

If you’re hoping to have success in the merchant account application process, then one of the first things that you will need to know is about the requirements for applying and gaining approval for a merchant account. There are several pieces of information and documentation that you will need if you’re going to have success in your application. Providing these pieces of documentation and information will greatly increase your chances of being successful, but that’s not all that matters. You will also need to display several traits and factors that prove yourself to be a reliable and trustworthy merchant.
 
Here are the pieces of information that you will need when applying for a merchant account:

  • At least 3 months of bank statements
  • At least 3 months of processing statements, if applicable
  • Valid identification
  • EIN or SSN for the account
  • A functioning website that has information about your business

Before you apply for a merchant account, you should be sure to have each of these pieces of information available and ready to send with your application. The absence of any of these pieces of information could prevent you from getting a merchant account or getting good rates if you are granted a merchant account. This could delay the process and make getting a merchant account take that much longer.

Getting approval for a merchant account: factors explained

When you are applying for a merchant account, one of the most important concepts that you should understand beforehand is that there are a variety of factors that go into your approval or rejection as a merchant for a merchant account. Being familiar with these factors can increase your chances of success when applying for a merchant account because it will enable you to optimize your application and make it much more attractive to the merchant services that you hope to work with. Here are some of the most important factors in getting approved for a merchant services account and why they are considered to be important.

Bank history

The bank history is one of the required pieces of information for your business if you hope to get a merchant services account. The merchant services provider that you apply with will ask for at least documentation of 3 months of bank history. The reason that merchant services providers ask for this information is pretty obvious--they want to ensure that your business is reputable and is in good standing with your bank. Without this verification, they might not be able to establish confidence that you are a trustworthy financial partner to work with. Merchant services companies want to verify that you are a legitimate business with a verifiably good relationship with your banking provider. By verifying this, they can guess that you will be a good partner to them, as well. Always provide the most comprehensive statement information that you can and be sure to not just provide the bare minimum, if possible. Applications will ask for at least 3 months, but if you are comfortable you should supply up to 6 months of statements.

Processing history

Another thing that will factor heavily into the decision that is made regarding your merchant services account status is the processing history documentation that you are able to provide. When you apply for a merchant processing account, the company that you apply with will very likely want to see at least 3 months of processing history. Again, the more information that you can provide, the better. Those that are able to provide up to 6 months of documentation will likely have more success. The reason that merchant services companies request this information is also clear--because they want to know that you will be a good partner to them in your merchant services and credit card processing relationship. Being involved with a company to provide credit card transactions is no small matter, and the companies that you work with want to protect themselves just as much as you do. When you provide this information, they will look into your past success, chargeback ratios, and any concerns that have arisen in your past relationships with processing companies.
 
It is possible that you are not able to provide this information, in the event that you are a new business. Still, you should answer as many questions as they have and provide them with answers to the questions that you are able to such as what your expected volume will be. Going the extra mile to provide this information could certainly be the difference between denial and acceptance for your merchant services account.

Credit score

When evaluating your application for a merchant services account, your merchant services partner will very likely want to see your credit score. This is a piece of information that you will likely not have to provide yourself, as many merchant services companies have a way to check this. Your business credit score will tell the underwriter, the person who approves and denies processing accounts, about your financial history and whether there are any red flags. If there are blips on your credit score, that doesn’t mean that you will not be eligible to get a merchant services account. However, it might mean that there are more hoops to jump through or that you don’t get as good of a processing rate that you were hoping for. The best way to handle a poor credit score as a business is to apply to a merchant services program that approves businesses that are in a similar situation and works with businesses to overcome challenges that they might have struggled with in the past.

Industry

Even though you might not have given much thought to it in the past, one of the most relevant factors in your approval or rejection for a merchant services account is the industry that your business is in. It is very important to consider the industry that your business is in because some businesses are at higher risk than others for chargebacks and fraud. If you are in a very normal and ordinary industry, then you probably don’t need to worry that much about the specifics. However, if you are in a high-risk industry that is known for chargebacks and fraud, then you likely want to start looking at ways to bolster your application and show that you can stand out above the rest as a merchant that will not cost the services provider money in the long run.

How long does it take to get approval for a merchant account?

One of the most common questions that is asked when applying for a merchant services account is how long the process takes. The answer is not so straightforward, as there are dozens of factors that go into the decision-making process of either approving or rejecting a merchant for a merchant account. If nothing goes wrong in the process and the underwriters don’t need any more information, then it’s possible that you receive an answer within 24-48 hours, when working with the right merchant account provider. However, this is not always the case. Oftentimes, your merchant account provider will require additional information including clarification on the business plan, more documentation, or just general questions about your business. You can help to reduce the amount of time that it takes to get approved by being upfront with all of the information that you will need for the application and having it on-hand for clarification if needed.

Be selective in who you choose for a provider

One thing that you should know if you want to get the most out of your merchant account is that merchant processing is a serious business. There is a lot of money at stake, and that is why merchant account providers are so selective in who they approve for a merchant services account. You should be equally as selective when choosing a provider. Make sure that you know what you are looking for in a merchant services provider because they are going to have a large impact on your business and what you are able to achieve with your merchant solutions.

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    Shaw Merchant Group is a registered DBA of EPX, a registered ISO of BMO Harris Bank N.A., Chicago, IL, Fresno First Bank, Fresno, CA, and Citizens Bank N.A., Providence, RI.

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