Publisher inks deal to cut merchant card fees in half

Roots dating back to before the Civil War

Osteen Publishing Co. prints The Item, South Carolina’s first small town daily newspaper, with roots dating back more than 150 years. Today, the company is run by fifth-generation Osteens, whose great-great-grandfather became involved in the newspaper business in Sumter, S.C., before the Civil War.

Modern times and current costs

Flash forward to the present. Readers and advertisers now make purchases and payments with credit or bankcards, not Union gold or Confederate currency. Despite their ease of use, the publisher was concerned about merchant cards as steadily increasing fees and new charges appeared on monthly statements.

General Manager Larry Miller engaged merchant card fee experts with Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA). “As a publishing company, we don’t have the time or expertise to fully understand the structure of these fees,” he said.

Using their industry knowledge, ERA Consultants recommended process changes that eliminated a number of charges. They also compared Osteen Publishing’s fees to ERA’s benchmark pricing data, which led to an RFP and, ultimately, a solution that halved merchant card fees.

 

"ERA substantially reduced our merchant card fees and produced a solution with a more transparent fee structure." - Larry Miller, General Manager of Osteen Publishing

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