the card payments industry is often a two-edged sword: potentially a
financially rewarding endeavor, yet often difficult for the sales
professional new to an unfamiliar industry. This program is designed to
assist both new and seasoned veterans attain true financial success by
employing a simple and effective sales process.
WHAT IS A PAYMENT PROCESSING STATEMENT?
Payment processing statements are monthly recaps of merchant
sales activities tied to credit card purchases that provide important
data for the business owner. The ‘processing statement’ shows important
data such as sales activity, deposits into the merchants bank account,
charge back occurrences, and processing fees.
Understanding payment processing statements (PPS) is a key
skill set sales professionals in the payment industry must eventually
master. This section will provide you a strong introduction to ‘making
sense’ of a merchants ‘statements’. We will break a statement down into
it’s four constituent parts and take our first look at specific
Only so much can be gleaned from one chapter. Where can you go
if you have additional questions regarding payment processing
statements? We conclude this chapter with several recommendations, as
well as outlining a process designed to assist you in growing your
‘statement analysis’ capabilities. Demystifying statements is a huge
key to becoming a pro.
Chapter 18 - What is a Processing Statement?
vocabulary of truth and simplicity will be of service throughout your
- Winston Churchill
If there were but one physical item that defines the card
payment industry, it would be the payment processing statement.
Take great care to use the proper term. Merchant’s receive
many statements from many companies including their bank. A
‘payment processing statement’, or ‘merchant services statement’ is not
the same thing as their ‘bank statement’. You need the former.
It is an unfortunate fact that too much emphasis is placed on
acquiring a merchant’s payment processing statement and less time and
effort is invested learning the sales process. iProcess will address
Later on iProcess through PATHFINDER will discuss the sales
process in depth. First, you must become familiar with the data found
in a processing statement.
Processing Statement – A monthly accounting of the merchant’s card
based sales activities and the associated fees assessed by the
Payment Processing Statements (PPS) were introduced initially
as a supplement to the business checking account statements a merchant
receives from his or her bank.
Years ago, credit cards were issued banks that also managed
the acquiring aspects of the transaction. All fees were displayed on
the merchants business checking account statement. As the acquiring
piece became ‘outsourced’, it fell upon the processors to provide a
detailed reporting to the merchant and in so doing disclose the fees
incurred while accepting credit cards.
That is how it works today.
PPS are not regulated. There is no ‘standard’ by which all
companies must adhere when it comes to the layout, design, and
information provided in a statement. The most that can be said is that
‘statement’ formatting is fairly consistent within any given processor.
Take heart. If you are able to read a ‘merchant statement’ or
‘PPS’ (your choice) from one company, then all others from the same
company should be fairly simple to decipher.
Below are a few other facts regarding payment processing
terms and descriptive items. Some terms used
by one processor may mean different things to the next; therefore, what
is called one thing with one processor may be identified under a
completely different heading with the next processor. Example
‘transaction fee’ and ‘per item fee’.
processing statements are not typically designed to
be ‘simple to read’. Most processors do not want to make life easy for
competitors trying to steal business nor do they wish to make the
process of ‘comparing rates’ easy on a merchant
are available from the processor. If a merchant
has no merchant statements don’t panic. Contact the processor while at
the merchant location and have the business owner handy to request PPS
to be emailed (or faxed) to you.
data to close deals. A PPS not only provides key
processing data such as sales volume and transaction counts. It also
discloses items such as charge-backs (more on this later), types of
transactions, and potential ‘additional fees’.
The variations of payment processing statements and the lack
of consistency can make statement analysis and review a daunting task
to the sales people new or seasoned.
Furthermore, some merchants may misunderstand your need for a
PPS, thinking you will merely ‘undercut’ their current vender.
A PPS is a requirement to switch a merchant from their current
service provider to your company, end of story.
It is important to demonstrate to those accepting card
payments that you can provide a financial advantage. A PPS provides the
data necessary to accomplish this task. Be prepared to play the role of
a detective, both in obtaining the PPS and then deciphering the data
Cracking the code of the payment processing statement
Beyond the data, a PPS can help building . . . .