Research Outline

Credit Card Services Metrics


To find specific metrics for credit card processing companies such as Square, Helcim, Payline, TSYS, and Stripe. Examples of metrics include marketing spend, rates, unique offerings, and marketing strategies.

Early Findings

Marketing Spend

  • Square's marketing budget reached $116 million in Q3 2018, a 75% increase compared to Q3 2017.
  • This is equivalent to 13% of its revenue spent on marketing in Q3 2018, a rise from 11.5% in Q1 2018 and %12 in Q2 2018.
  • Its marketing budget has risen following an increase in advertising spend on products such as the Cash App, as well as sales costs going up.

Rates and Processing Fees

  • Square offers different payment options, and rates differ depending on the payment being made in-person or at distance.
  • In-person service rates vary depending on the point-of-sale software and hardware.
  • In-person payments are charged at 2.6% + 10¢ .
  • Processing fees are the same for all credit card providers.
  • Standard rates apply to companies with less than $250,000 of credit card transactions per year, and an average of $15 per ticket.
  • Rates can be negotiated for larger companies.
  • Helcim offers two types of plans, a retail plan costing $15/month and an online plan charging $35/month.
  • In addition to the cost of these plans, credit card processing costs vary depending on the type of plan (retail or online) and the transaction volume.
  • It can reach a maximum rate of 0.25% plus $0.08/transaction for retail plans and a maximum of 0.45% plus $0.25/transaction for online plans.
  • Maximum rates apply to companies that process less than $25,000 worth of transactions per month.
  • Rates decrease on a sliding scale with the size of companies.

Unique position or service offering (competitive Advantage)

  • Square offers services such as Bitcoin trading, peer-to-peer money transfers and a debit card linked to its Cash app.
  • The company offers a variety of additional offerings beyond credit card processing that help keep the client loyal.
  • Helcim provides its clients with an all-inclusive merchant platform, including a variety of services, and simple payment grid.
  • Helcim is considered to be more affordable than its competitors.

Information about how these companies market their credit card servicing plans

  • Square targets a large audience for their credit card processing service.
  • The company uses a variety of different publications to market their services to niche markets and specific topics.
  • The company based in San Francisco started to target a core group of customers locally, that were prone to be influential and spread good publicity for the service.