Best way to charge a USD credit card payment from Canada?
We sell equipment to private labs in the US and Canada and for years we've just had straight forward PO/invoice/wire or cheque type orders come through in both the US and Canada without issue. Recently a customer wanted to purchase an entire device (roughly $100k USD) on their US AMEX card, we told them we weren't interested but at the end of the day that was the "only" way they could place the order and it was still a good order. We already bank with TD so we called TD merchant services to see what our options were.
We explained the whole situation to the sales agent and are setup with a CAD Merch account, instructed to select USD and deposit to our TD USD$ acct. The only charge will be a 2.9% amex fee and a monthly $10. Cool, we move forward.
Go to bill the customer and we can't select USD...sure enough you can't do that with this account type.
Back to the drawing board, they move us to a USD Merch acct, this one comes with a $40/month fee for a min of 2yr but the rate was a bit better and we figure we may use it in the future??
Go to bill the customer and find out the TD USD Merch acct can't charge AMEX cards (explains the better rate I guess)...
So in the end we're back to the CAD acct, charge the US customer in CAD based on most recent exchange rate and poof it goes through, we get our money!!!!
Flash forward to months end, our TD Merch acct charge which was a whopping 4.05% of purchase price! This was well in excess of the 2.9% +transaction fee we had been told about. There was now a foreign transaction fee of .8% and a "discount and adjustment fee" of 1% along with a few other little fees here and there.
Not only has this whole process been time consuming and frustrating, but 4.05% for processing the transaction is highway robbery. The high fees and poor service so far make me want to find something better, we did rush into this in order to get the payment processed (it had to be done before customers year end) but moving forward I'd like to find a better solution.
Any ideas on how we can cost effectively bill our US customers in USD on their US credit card without getting blasted with high fees?