How to Save Money on your Payment Processing

This article was written by Kasey McKenney, SVP of Venture Operations at Upper Hand.


Credit card processing is complicated. So many billing options, so many ancillary fees. Many fees are baked into your processing statement with fancy names that make you feel as if they are required…they are not. In this post, we will be breaking down how to spot what we are calling “fluff” fees and start saving money immediately.


What are “fluff” fees, and why do they matter?

To run an effective sports business in the post-pandemic world, your sport facility has to transact credit and debit cards online and in person. Navigating the payments world can be confusing. Processing credit and debit cards comes with a cost, however not all the costs are mandatory. Payment processors are masters at creating and baking in fees with fancy names that can easily add $30-$50 a month to your bill without you noticing. Here’s how you can identify and better understand those “fluff” fees to help you save money.


How to spot a “fluff” fee

At the end of the month, you’ll likely see a large bulk of processing fees leave your bank account. The majority of fees are directly tied to the credit or debit cards you processed that month, but there are “fluff” fees that are not. Follow the step below to easily identity those fees. This will help you negotiate to waive these fees or find a better company to process your credit card payments with.


  1. Review your monthly payment processing statement. Sign into the payment processing portal and review your monthly statements. Or, open the snail-mail statement that has been sent to you.
  2. Identify the fees section of your monthly statement. The truth is these statements can be overwhelming. The quick and easy way to spot these fees is to scroll to the bottom and look for section headlines like “Other Fees,” “Misc Fees,” or “Fees.” Most companies will list any fees directly related to the processing of your credit and debit cards for the month. Then, they will sneak in the additional fees at the end.
  3. Look for the following keywords: Risk Fee, Govt. Compliance Fee, Business Benefit Fee, Non-Qualified Fee, “omnishield”, “bizshield”, or really anything with “shield” in the title. Furthermore, look for any fee that you do not understand what the additional fee is for.
  4. Ask what the fees are for: A general rule of thumb is to look for any flat fee in the “other fees” section. If you do not know what it is doing for you, then make a call to understand what you are being billed for. The more knowledge you have, the more money you can save.


The world of payment processing can be confusing, so we are here to help you. This blog is the start of a series that will help you understand the payment processing world. Arm yourself with the knowledge to save money and better operate your sports training or sports facility business.


What Now?

So, what can you do to start saving money today? Take a look at your monthly payment processing statement. For sports business that need help, our experts at Upper Hand are happy to break down your processing statement and show you how we can help save you money. This will help you optimize your sports facility business process. Subscribe today to continue to learn more tips and tricks on navigating the payment processing space.



Looking for a way to grow your sports training business? Upper Hand can help. Schedule a demo today to see how you can grow your business with sports management software.

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