New Research From Optimized Payments Consulting Sheds Light on Credit Card Processing Services from BJs, Costco, and Sam's Club

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Wholesale clubs like BJ's, Costco and Sam's provide fantastic value when you want to buy in bulk, but how competitive are they when you are looking to buy credit card processing services for your business? A new research paper by Optimized Payments Consulting compares the value offered by each of these clubs and highlights the strengths and weaknesses of purchasing merchant services from wholesale clubs.

navigating the payment-card processing system can be an overwhelming and costly burden.

Payment processing, specifically credit card processing, is one of the most confusing and complex services that businesses buy today. Although the top seven merchant acquirers processed over 90% of the U.S. Visa and MasterCard credit and debit sales in 2007, there are thousands of resellers and referral companies. A new research paper by Optimized Payments examines helps merchants understand the value of buying credit card processing services from Wholesale Clubs such as BJs, Costco, and Sam's Club.

Given the competitive nature of payment processing, it is possible for merchants to get competitive rates for their credit card processing business. It is also very easy to get lost and taken in by all the marketing, teaser rates and complex rate structures. As The Wall Street Journal noted in an August 2007 article titled, "Charge It!", "navigating the payment-card processing system can be an overwhelming and costly burden."

Wholesale Clubs simplify the process by offering standardized pricing to all of their members. Moreover, Wholesale Clubs are aligned with some of the largest processors in the U.S., so merchants can expect reasonable and comparable levels of service.

Wholesale Club / Processing Partner / Relationship with Processor
BJ's / Chase Paymentech Solutions / Referral Partner
Costco / Elavon / Referral Partner
Sam's Club / First Data Merchant Services / Reseller

So how do these clubs stack up when it comes to price and overall value? That's a complex question that Optimized Payments has tried to answer through its research and analysis. The complete research paper can be downloaded at http://www.optimizedpmts.com/blog

"Each of the Wholesale Clubs has certain strengths but, collectively, they also have significant shortcomings because of their one-size-fits-all programs. However, some merchants with specific profiles as noted in the research paper could benefit from the programs packaged by these organizations," explains Optimized Payments Consulting founder, Anand Goel.

Comparing Merchant Services programs from BJ's, Costco and Sam's is not as clear-cut as one might expect. BJ's and Costco seem to have the most competitive offering with Sam's not too far behind. All Wholesale Clubs offer reasonable levels of service backed by the largest processors in the industry. However, these offerings are less competitive for mid to large-sized merchants.

"Good due diligence can save merchants tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on credit card processing services. And that's crucial in this economic environment," notes Goel.

This research paper can be downloaded at http://www.optimizedpmts.com/blog.

About Optimized Payments Consulting:
Optimized Payments Consulting is an Atlanta, Ga.-based consulting firm recognized for helping businesses reduce credit card processing costs through its payments expertise and proprietary software. Unique to the industry, the company literally measures its success by the actual cost savings of its clients, and its consulting fees are only as a percentage of demonstrated savings.

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