Case Study – Benchmarking Merchant Processing

Picture of Michael Hammelburger

Michael Hammelburger


The Challenge:

For one particular client, saving money at every single turn in the process was vital. While this client had multiple expenses we could optimize, the biggest opportunity was in Merchant Processing fees. This client didn’t know that these fees were negotiable, let alone that they were overpaying. They also didn’t have time to educate themselves on this expense type while growing their business. Even if they were able to renegotiate, they would not know the exact price they should be paying because of a lack of data in regard to benchmarking their spend. Luckily enough, the client was more than willing to let Optimally optimize their operating expenses.

The Choice:

The decision to work with Optimally was driven by the volume of our data and the big data model that drives all the benchmarking. The ability to benchmark their operating expenses against our $6 Trillion worth of vendor invoices from over 10 million companies offered the credibility they were seeking in an evidence-based solution. Along with our volume of data, there is the knowledge that once we have the information to pursue negotiations, the onus is on us. Optimally handles all aspects of the negotiation process, freeing our clients to focus on running their business.

The Analysis:

The client was intrigued with adding thousands of dollars to their bottom line, so after receiving 12 months of the client’s general ledger, Optimally began optimizing their expenses. Optimally analyzed every single line-item expense category in the client’s general ledger, but the one that stood out was merchant processing. Before Optimally began any of the negotiations, there was an optimization analysis meeting to discuss which vendors the client wanted to negotiate with. It is important to note that Optimally never proceeds with a negotiation without prior approval from the client.

The Process:

After OA presentation, the Optimally negotiation team contacted the client’s vendor for merchant processing. The vendor had been partnered with the client for 4 years, but Optimally was able to renegotiate the contract on behalf of the client, without impacting the relationship. In fact, the client has claimed that the relationship is even stronger after optimally renegotiated the contract.

The negotiation process took 15 days to complete and during that time, Optimally was able to recognize much deeper savings than the client initially realized by leveraging data from our data lake. Optimally has saved the client over 29% on their merchant processing during the duration of the contract, equaling $2,800 a month in savings. This was only across merchant processing, NOT the entirety of the client’s expenses, meaning that there were more savings attainable.

The Outcome:

Optimally continues to optimize this client’s expenses, ensuring that month over month, the vendor is compliant with the renegotiated rates. On the following billing cycle after the new rates had been implemented, savings were realized by the client. The client has partnered with Optimally for 36 months and the relationship grows with every dollar that we are able to save them.

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