If you process credit cards for your business, then you might feel like your credit card processor is the Galactic Empire—cold, unreachable, and totally evil.

But don’t worry—you can use the Force to escape the clutches of the Empire, lower your processing costs, and find a new hope with credit card processing.

Interchange fees

Strange as it may seem, there’s both a Light Side and a Dark Side to credit card processing. Following the way of the Light Side will help you on your path to becoming a Jedi master—and reduce your interchange fees.

You pay interchange fees every time you process a credit card, and they make up the bulk of your processing fees. If you can lower your interchange fees, you’ll greatly reduce your processing costs. (With all that extra money each month, maybe you can buy that X-Wing Starfighter you’ve had your eye on.)

Interchange fees are largely based on risk. They’re a kind of insurance in case the transaction goes wrong—if it turns out to be fraud, then the credit card network is on the hook. So interchange fees are built into every transaction as a backup to cover the losses caused by credit card fraud.

The riskier a transaction seems, the higher its interchange fees, and the more you have to pay to process it. These 5 tips lower the risk of every transaction—and lower your interchange rates.

Not everyone can be a Jedi. Whatever your midichlorian count, here are 5 ways to process credit cards like a Jedi master.

1. Capture and process for the same amount

Save the Jedi mind tricks for the Stormtroopers—capture and process for the same amount. If the preauthorization amount and the capture amount differ, it raises red flags about the legitimacy of the transaction and drives up interchange fees. Whenever possible, make sure the captured and processed amounts match.

2. Preauthorize and capture in a timely manner

Han Solo once made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, and you’ll have to match his speed if you want to lower your interchange fees. Preauthorize and capture your transactions in a timely manner—leaving preauthorizations to wallow will only drive up your interchange fees.

3. Include zip code and address

Whether your customers are from Degobah, Geonosis, Jakku, or Coruscant, be sure to include their galactic sector and star system—er, that is, their zip code and address—with every transaction. The extra information reduces the chance that the transaction is fraudulent and lowers your interchange fees for the transaction.

4. Include line-item details—like invoice number, SKU, quantity, and more

Just like with the zip code and address, including line-item details in the transaction will lower its risk. Details can include the invoice number, quantity, item description, SKU, unit price, unit of measure, and more (integrations will automatically collect this information for you.) This helps your cards qualify at lower rates, so you’ll save money each month. Maybe you can buy another excessively long Jedi robe with the extra cash.

5. Use the right tool

What would a Jedi Knight be without his or her lightsaber? To process credit cards like a master, you need your own equivalent—integrated credit card processing software.

Integrations plug directly into your accounting software (like QuickBooks, SAP, or Sage) so you can accept credit cards without missing a beat. And they’ll automatically capture and send detailed, line-item information with every transaction to lower your interchange rates and lower your monthly processing bill.

Launch into hyperspace with an integration that saves time by automating the accounting process and making you more efficient.

Bonus: Work with a processor you trust

This tip won’t lower your interchange fees—but it will make your life a lot easier.

Say no to the Dark Side. Don’t get trapped in contracts with processors that only care about their bottom line. Instead, choose a processor that will work with you to help your business grow.

Like a faithful droid, the best credit card processors will be there for you 24/7, with in-house support teams to help you with any issues. Together, you can take down the Empire and free your galaxy from their influence.


Interchange fees are the bane of any company processing cards, but these tips will help you lower your fees and your monthly processing bill.

As Yoda once said, “Do or do not, there is no try.” It’s time to advance your training past the padawan stage and start processing credit cards like a Jedi master.