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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    73

    CDG Commerce - Excess Fees?

    I just studied my CDG Commerce statement for the first time in a while, and there are alot of direct-to-CDG fees that I don't recognize. I'm curious:
    1) Are these normal for CDG?
    2) Are they standard in the payment processing industry?

    The fees I understand after looking at the page I signed up from:
    Code:
    3 AMEX Transactions 0.300        $0.90
    1 Statement Fee                        $10.00
    NonQual Fee 1.60%                   $7.37 (although their website says 1.50%???)
    NonQual Fee .100                      $1.70
    Fees I DON'T understand from the website:
    Code:
    MidQual Fee 0208 .100             $4.90
    21 Excess Aths MC 0208         $6.30
    53 Excess Aths Visa 0208       $15.90
    16 Excess Aths AMEX 0208     $4.80
    31 Per Batch Fee                       $7.57
    These are all, of course, in addition to the standard 2.25% processing fee for transactions.

    All told, I'm paying close to $65 to CDG when I thought I was paying a little over $10! Not the end of the world yet, but as that number grows I want to understand what is going on.
    Last edited by dordal; 03-15-2008 at 04:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    563
    Why not open a ticket with them? They have top notch support.

    The batch fee's are common when batching sales out at the end of the night in any industry. The excess fee's I'm not too positive what they are for, but if I had to guess it would be because you are going over the revenue amount you specified with them when signing up. You may need to increase your limit.
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  3. #3
    Hello,

    These fees are easily explained and they are legitimate. You can see a list of all fees by logging into your CDG account and then clicking the "Support" link. Then look for the section titled "UNDERSTANDING YOUR FEES, FUNDING & BILLING". Then click on the "What fees am I billed for at the end of each month?" and "I don't understand the rates/fees. I would like details of each fee charged to my account." links to see what all the fees mean.

    Here's a quote:

    Question: I don't understand the rates/fees. I would like details of each fee charged to my account.

    Answer:

    Qualified Discount Rate: This is the fee statistically charged on 95% or more VISA/MC sales. (Most other merchant billing structures downgrade 50-60% of ALL transactions to mid-qualified and non-qualified surcharges, so this is a key area of savings for you as a merchant and a major advantage between this rate structure vs. others.)

    Non-Qualified Surcharge: This is the fee that applies to a statistically small portion of your VISA/MC sales, most prominently to corporate purchase cards. Statistically, only 5% or less of all VISA/MC transactions incur this surcharge.

    Per Item: This is the base per transaction cost for live transactions that you process on your account.

    AVS Per Transaction: This is the cost per each Address Verification Service (AVS) attempt that is made on your transactions. AVS is required for all Internet/mail-order sales in order to avoid undue downgrade costs.

    Non-Bankcard Per Transaction: This is the per trans cost assessed on American Express, Discover, Diner's Club and JCB to send them to their respective processor.

    Monthly Statement & Support: This fee is for your Merchant Statement, Merchant Real-Time Online Bank-Level Reporting, Online Chargeback Notification System, Unlimited Merchant Support via Phone/Chat/Email

    Monthly Minimum: This is the minimum monthly amount of discount rate billings that will be assessed. For example, if Monthly Minimum is $25 and you pay $17 in total discount rate billings, you will be charged an additional $8 to reach the $25 minimum.

    Annual Service Fee: This is an annual merchant account fee. It is charged in the first month of activation and recurs each year thereafter.

    Termination Fee: This is a fee that is charged upon termination or cancellation of the merchant account.

    Batch Header Fee: This fee occurs usually about once per day (assuming there has been at least 1 transaction for the day) when all the transactions for the day are settled and deposited into your bank account.

    Chargeback Fee: This fee occurs when a client disputes a charge directly with their credit card company. Although you can submit a rebuttal and potentially get the entire amount of the chargeback returned, the fee is non-refundable. This is not a credit return or refund fee.

    Retrieval Fee: This fee occurs when a client calls their credit card company to get information about a charge. The statements generally provide enough information to help stop this from happening.
    Question: What fees am I billed for at the end of each month?

    Answer:

    Here is a listing of the end-of-month fees that will be summed up on the last day of each month on your merchant account. While it may seem like a large list, this is simply due to the fact that our reports break out this data into far more detail than with most merchant processors.

    For instance, most merchant processors only provide a total # of transactions for each card type. With CDGcommerce, you see a break down of each card type and how many transactions were settled as well as declined or not captured. In addition, we break out the AVS portion of the total quoted transaction cost separately as well on our reports.

    Per Transaction Fee – specifically charged on Declined / Not Captured Sales
    Excess Aths MC – this is the per trans fee charged on declined or non-captured MasterCard sales.
    Excess Aths VISA – this is the per trans fee charged on declined or non-captured Visa sales.
    Excess Aths DISC – this is the per trans fee charged on declined or non-captured Discover sales.
    Excess Aths AMEX – this is the per trans fee charged on declined or non-captured American Express sales.

    Address Verification Service Fees
    AVS Auths MC – this is the Address Verification Service (AVS) per fee for MasterCard transactions.
    AVS Auths VISA - this is the Address Verification Service (AVS) per fee for Visa transactions.
    AVS Auths AMEX - this is the Address Verification Service (AVS) per fee for American Express transactions.
    AVS Auths DISC - this is the Address Verification Service (AVS) per fee for Discover transactions.

    Downgrade Fees
    MidQual - this is the downgrade surcharge % assessed on certain corporate, foreign/intl and Rewards cards.
    MidQual Fee – this is the per item surcharge assessed on certain corporate, foreign/intl and Rewards cards.
    NonQual – this is the downgrade surcharge % assessed on certain corporate & Rewards cards.
    NonQual Fee – this is the per item surcharge assessed on certain corporate & Rewards cards.

    Other Fees
    Per Batch Fee – this is the fee per settled daily batch that you process.
    Statement Fee – this is your monthly statement and support fee which includes your MerchantPortal™, Chargeback Defender™, Fraud Defense System™ and unlimited merchant, customer and technical support from CDGcommerce.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Castle Pines, CO
    Posts
    7,189
    What did CDG say when you contacted them? I mean, this is a webhostingtalk forum and not a support forum for CDG (or any other processor for that matter).

    Sure, people like to complain but if you get the story from CDG first and then disagree, complain. They will be happy to go over each and every line by line with you.

    Companies are in business to make money of course and I am glad to see CDG charging fees. Unfortunately, those fees are also dispensed to the card associations, acquiring bank and a few other companies as well.

    Now, if he does not provide billin support over the weekend, just wait until Monday. There also should be a website that you should be able to view these day by day as well so you know what is happening each day.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    73
    Thanks for the replies, guys.

    Just for the record, I'm just trying to understand whether these are normal fees for CDG (e.g. do all of you see the same things, or does it vary by business) and whether these are normal for the industry. I'm very specifically NOT 'complaining', or accusing CDG of any wrongdoing, cheating, etc.

    That said, I do think they could have been more clear during the signup process, perhaps by posting a full fee schedule publicly. I reviewed all of the information on the public website, as well as the contract I signed, and while most everything was at least disclosed in the contract, the Excess Aths was not disclosed anywhere, and the NonQual rate is listed in my contact as 1.5%, but they charge 1.6%. (Maybe that was a mistake, and even then the 0.1% is not a big deal, but I'll contact them again to check).

  6. #6
    Yes, this is normal for CDG (and for any other merchant provider). We have the same things in our monthly statements from CDG.

    "excess auths" are charges for declined authorizations. You will get charged an authorization fee for any merchant account you have, regardless of the provider. If you attempt to charge a card, you should expect to pay whatever is your "per transaction" fee, regardless of whether the charge is successful or not. If it is declined, then this is the "excess auth" fee you are seeing.

    I do think you have a LOT of declined charges (given your low volume), which is not normal... so you might want to review that with CDG directly or take a look at your billing software and see what is going on.

    With regard to the non-qualified fees, this totally depends on what kind of cards your customers are using and where they are located. (See the description I posted above for what is a non-qualified transaction.)

    As for the mismatch between the rate you are paying, and what you think you should have.. you should discuss this with CDG directly. If it's a mistake (hey, it does happen), I am 100% confident they will fix the problem and reimburse you for any over-paid fees. CDG is an awesome company to work with, and they really know the high value of terrific customer support and service.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Castle Pines, CO
    Posts
    7,189
    It should all be in your agreeement. Visa came down hard on ISOs and agents awhile back because agents were adding extra fees to agreements and not telling the merchant. So the merchant was locked in at a ridiculous rate.

    If you look at a lot of agreements now, they are numbered so no one misunderstands anything. But everyone gets a piece of the pie while the slices are getting a bit slimmer.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA
    Posts
    3,379
    Hi Dordal,

    I just became aware of this thread and it looks like the questions have basically been answered already, which is great. Thank you, to everyone who helped out on this and for the many kind words about our business.

    In terms of fee disclosure, we do list out all of the fees on the online application system on the 2nd page. This page has a description of every fee line item, what it is, and when it applies. Every merchant has to see that page before they can go on to the final page of the online application.

    Another area that you can see a listing of your rates & fees is in your MerchantPortal under the Account Summary area. We have a real-time display of your current processing rates & fees at the bottom of that page.

    In terms of "Excess Auths" - this has been a point of confusion from time to time. Most merchant processors do not break out the # of excess auths (i.e. trans that were attempted but declined or never settled) and instead just lump it into the total # of authorizations line item.

    To make it more clear to merchants how many of their trans are getting declined vs. approved, we do break that portion out into a separate field called Excess Auths. However, this fee is simply your same network transaction fee. (I think that based on the confusion here, we'll go ahead and update our verbiage on that page for future users)

    In other words, say that you processed 100 sales but had 10 declines. With other processors, you would likely have an "Authorization fee" line item listing 110 auths.

    With CDGcommerce, you would have the per trans line items for 100 and then a separate field for 10 excess auths. Same #, just itemized differently.
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