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Choosing merchant services


Getting your business paid quickly.

The use of cash is becoming less and less popular in Australia. Instead, Australians are increasingly using debit and credit cards, and other payment technologies, which they find more convenient.  What does this mean for your business?

It may mean that to provide a convenient experience for your customers, you need merchant services and/or other payment methods that suit their needs and your business model.

What are merchant services?

But first, let’s quickly explain what merchant services are.

Put simply they’re a range of services that process payments on behalf of your business, depositing them into a linked business account. Whenever you pay for your morning coffee on an eftpos terminal, you’re paying a cafe that has set up a merchant facility to handle the financial transaction.

Newer payment systems like Osko and PayID, or existing systems such as BPAY® and PayPal, are other ways your customers can pay you. There has also been a huge increase in new online payments in recent years that can help your customers quickly buy your goods or services without leaving your website.

Merchant service benefits

This is all about a convenient and seamless experience for your customers in a way that works for your business model and gets you paid efficiently. For your business, merchant services may help you provide better customer service than the cash and cheque transactions of the past. Using merchant services could:

  • Cut the risk of problematic cheques
  • Make payments seamless and smooth
  • Help with cash flow and record-keeping.

With a merchant facility, all customer payments and fees are usually handled directly through your linked business account. Using merchant services also usually gives you:

  • A portable terminal for fast payments
  • High-speed transactions and printing
  • Network coverage for 98% of Australia
  • Safe authorization to reduce fraud risks.

Choosing merchant services

But how do you pick a merchant service that’s right for your business? There are many different options provided by Australian financial institutions, established software firms, and startups.

Here are some key points to keep in mind as you do this research and shop around. Find out:

  • How your customers prefer to pay
  • Any upper transaction limits
  • Different transaction fees.

Merchant and payments options – at a glance

  • eftpos mobile. This portable terminal lets customers ‘tap and go’. It has a built-in printer and colour touchscreen.
  • PayID. With PayID, your customers don’t need to know your bank account and BSB details to make a payment. Funds arrive in your account quickly.
  • PayPal and Stripe. Alternative options include both PayPal and Stripe which process payments for online businesses, for a transaction and service fee*

Fees for merchant services

There can be several different fee structures depending on your particular business and facilities: a busy restaurant where people pay at different tables will need more terminals than a newsagent where everyone pays at a till. That’s why most institutions will provide different package options.

It’s common for banks to charge a small monthly rental fee for the capped amount of turnover and an additional fee for extra terminals. Banking institutions will also charge a percentage fee for any transactions above that monthly limit. Talk to your financial institution, or our Business Solutions Team, for more information to work out the right fit for your business.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. This information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, before acting on this information, you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these matters and the product terms and conditions. Information in this article is current as at the date of publication. Terms, conditions, fees, charges and credit criteria apply. Osko services are issued by over 50 BPAY Scheme members. The BPAY Scheme is managed by BPAY Pty Ltd (ABN 69 079 137 518). ® Registered to BPAY Pty Ltd ABN 69 079 137 518. *This service is a 3rd party offering and not provided by or endorsed by Newcastle Permanent.

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