While credit cards have been existing for decades, it’s only recently that their use became common. Unfortunately, accepting credit cards is not free. Transaction processors, credit card associations, and issuing banks will all get a cut of every transaction you accept. Plus, businesses that operate seasonally often face larger card processing fees than those that work all year round.
Choosing the right merchant provider can, therefore, help you lower the cost and avoid extra fees. A merchant provider will set you up with a merchant account, process all the credit and debit sales, and transfer the money to your designated business account. Here is what to keep in mind when choosing a merchant provider;
This is one of the most important considerations when looking for the best merchant provider. Payment security is key because fraud and data breaches can easily lead to
- Punitive fines and damages
- Out of pocket losses
- Legal and litigation fees
- Diminished consumer confidence
To reduce these risks, make sure you only work with PCI-compliant payment providers specializing in advanced fraud protection, including hosted payment forms, tokenization, encryption, and even fraud management tools.
Research & Compare Your Options
Choosing a merchant provider is one of the most critical decisions you can make to get your business up and running. With this in mind, it’s crucial to get it right. Research and compare your available options, including different packages and services. You also need to compare contract terms and prices and whether it’s compatible with your business, including your current sales volume, growth rate, and potential revenue.
Choose One With Payment Integrations
When shopping for the best merchant provider, it’s critical to think about payment integrations. Integrations will allow your existing business management or accounting software to import any incoming sales without manually entering this data. Besides, it will save you time and provide you with more accurate record-keeping than you would get if you were to do this traditionally.
Go For Reasonable & Transparent Accounts
Merchant accounts don’t come cheap. Besides the processing fees you have to pay, your merchant provider will also charge various one-time, monthly, and annual fees for maintaining your account. If your business is still new, these charges can quickly consume your profit and affect the growth of your business. While evaluating the best merchant provider, you’ll want to choose a fee structure that’s both transparent and reasonable.
Be sure to choose a merchant provider that provides 24/7 customer support and is available by email, phone, and chat. This is especially important if you have an eCommerce store that’s opened all the time. In case any issue crops up at odd hours, you should be able to tell them as quickly as possible. You can also check merchant services providers explained.
Know The Pricing Plans
Most merchant providers offer one pricing plan. This can be tough given that some businesses are seasonal. Most of these providers may charge an extra fee to keep your account open or close during the off-peak seasons. It would help if you had a transparent provider and had various plans. You may also want to choose a provider with flat-rate plans.
Choose One That’s Flexible
You might have a brick-and-mortar business today, but what happens when you decide to move online? Since it’s difficult to predict what will happen in the future, choosing a merchant provider that supports many technologies. This will allow you to scale up or down your business whenever you want.
Be sure to choose a merchant provider specializing in online payment getaways, point of sale systems (POS), virtual terminals, and mobile credit card processing.
In-Person Or Online
Most merchant providers offer both online and in-person card processing. It would help if you were clear about how you want to accept the payment. This way, you’ll assess the rates and cut costs in the process. If you have a brick-and-mortar business, look for a provider that includes a POS terminal or system.
Likewise, if you are an online or an eCommerce merchant, a provider that supports your business payment gateway and POS system is the way to go.
Choose A Merchant Services Provider
Finally, weigh your options and choose a provider that can align with your current reality and support your unique business needs. A small shop with minimal foot traffic has different processing needs than high-growth start-ups experiencing exponential growth.
By choosing the best merchant provider, you are making it easy and convenient for your customers to buy from you. Before you settle on any provider, ask them about their supported payment types, references, time in business, contract lengths, and customer service.