FirstData is notoriously known for using a billing method known as BillBack or Enhanced BillBack. I recently spent about 10 minutes explaining this to two recent merchants that are currently on this type of billing with FirstData. This type of billing is great for the agent or merchant provider as it makes it difficult for the merchant to fully understand and know their processing cost which can reduce attrition with other competitors. However, it isn’t great for merchants on the other side of the table. This is how it works. You are charged a flat percentage rate on all transactions regardless of card type. This is what you see on your current monthly statement. You are then assessed the “billback” for all the transactions that downgraded to the higher interchange rates, such as rewards and business cards. Here’s the tricky part. They place this BillBack charge on your next month statement. So January’s processing statement has BillBack charges for December’s processing! You essentially need two months of statements to figure out your true cost for a particular month as information is spread out between the two months.
Enhanced BillBack is identical to the standard BillBack plan. The difference is theprovider adds an additional fixed percentage markup, hence the reason why they call it “enhanced.” It enhances their profits. Some agents including myself see this type of pricing alittle misleading to the merchant.
This isn’t easy to recognize unless you know what to look for. Normally it is listed under a category called Interchange and you will see something like: Jan BB159 or Jan EBB159. The BB stands for BillBack and EBB is for Enhanced BillBack. This would also be on a February’s statement, since it says Jan, the previous month.