Unfortunately, merchants can fall victim to any number of scams when shopping for payment processing services. One of the most common—as well as financially damaging—is leasing a credit card terminal for credit card processing.
How does leasing work?
Terminal leasing contracts generally last four years and cannot be canceled. This four-year term exceeds the typical three-year term for merchant accounts, which means that even if you move to a different payment processing provider after three years, you’ll still be paying for the terminal lease. Leasing contracts are easily entered into and almost impossible to exit without incurring high costs.
Far too often, some smooth-talking salesperson convinces a merchant that their current equipment “isn’t compliant” or “needs to be upgraded.” Surprise, surprise—they have the perfect solution! They offer a state-of-the-art terminal that is always much more expensive than you’d expect. Surely you wouldn’t want to pay thousands of dollars upfront for such a sophisticated new machine. The rep then cuts you a great deal with reasonable monthly payments for the next four years, and the payment processing machine is yours.
What the rep fails to mention, however, is that the leasing agreement can’t be canceled, and the true value of the terminal is usually no more than a few hundred dollars. While the upfront savings might be tempting, in the long run, merchants will pay significantly more. In fact, it isn’t uncommon to pay well over ten times the value of the terminal over the length of a leasing contract. Many of these agreements aren’t even lease to own, and in some cases, the equipment may be refurbished or less current than the previous terminal.
And then there are the hidden costs that the rep also conveniently forgets to bring to your attention. In addition to leasing costs, a number of other fees are also levied. These include sales tax and equipment insurance.
Let’s take a quick look at a hypothetical scenario. A terminal costs $400. Instead of paying that cost upfront, you decide to do a monthly lease for $35. Seems like a good idea. But when you factor in the sales tax and insurance, you’ll end up paying around $45 a month. Over the course of a 48-month contract, that’s $2,160 for equipment that you could have owned for way less. Whatever arguments you might hear for leasing vs. buying outright, make sure you know the facts, so you don’t fall victim to high-pressure sales tactics.
Most reputable companies will provide you with a free terminal as a loaner or simply sell it to you at cost. Often the equipment you have is perfectly fine and can be reprogrammed in a few minutes over the phone. Sekure Payment Experts has a team in place to help provide new equipment as free placement. We make it easy to switch or reprogram your equipment.
Sekure Payment Experts has some of the best reviews in the industry, including from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Our customer reviews are over four stars, and the BBB has given us an “A+” rating.