So, you’re ready to start accepting credit cards as a means of payment for your company, or you just want a rate review to make sure your existing supplier is charging you fairly. Whatever your purpose for seeking a merchant services provider, you will confront various obstacles.
Choosing the appropriate merchant service provider for your company might make all the difference. Hundreds of businesses advertise anything from extremely inexpensive rates to “the greatest” customer service. So, how can you know which option is the best for you? Here are some things to consider.
- Rates and/or Pricing
For obvious reasons, pricing is at the top of things to consider when working with a new merchant services provider. Unfortunately, pricing for merchants can vary drastically based on company type, card-present vs. card not present, E-Commerce vs. Retail, and so on, making it difficult to determine whether you are competitively priced. The only way to know you’re receiving a fair deal is to ask many suppliers and then choose the one with the best rates.
- Customer service
Customer service and assistance are other critical problems. Will you be able to get someone on the phone to help you if you have an issue processing a credit card and a client is standing right in front of you? What if you have a problem in the middle of the night? Is the service provider available 24 hours a day, seven days a week? Is the assistance in-house or outsourced? In many circumstances, customer service is the primary reason a consumer will select a supplier that is even more expensive than their competitors. Make sure you receive every detail if customer service is crucial to you.
- Funding Alternatives
Some providers deposit cash in as little as 24 hours, while others take up to 48 hours, and American Express takes three days. If you require same-day money, check with the supplier before signing a contract. If you want funds to be put into one account while fees are deducted from another, you must ensure that the supplier is capable of doing so. Some people can, while others cannot. Make certain to learn everything you can about when and where you may expect your money.
- Tools and equipment
Does the service provider provide any complimentary equipment? If that’s the case, inquire about the first issue: pricing! Many companies will supply you with free equipment for a higher price. If they do not provide free equipment, bear in mind that a typical credit card terminal costs between $200 and $250. Compatibility is another difficulty with equipment. Is there a service that allows you to accept credit cards from the provider’s smartphone? Is the device PCI-compliant (Payment Card Industry)? Does a manufacturer’s warranty cover the equipment? Again, the more knowledge you have, the more prepared you will be to make the best decision possible.
- Contractual obligations
A one-year contract is generally the industry standard. Make sure you understand how long you’ll be trapped in a contract and what the charges would be if you decide to break it. Early cancellation costs might range from nothing to thousands of dollars. Make sure you read your contract completely! Some carriers, once again, will offer no-strings-attached contracts with no cancellation costs. However, keep in mind that they may be raising your fees to compensate for the time and effort it takes to underwrite and accept the risk of processing cards for your company.
- Support for Point-of-Sale Systems
If you’re utilizing a POS system, it’s critical to determine if your merchant services supplier can help you with it. Some POS systems only work with particular processors, while others impose exorbitant fees if you change your processor (Especially if the processor itself provides the POS system). Ensure you know how much replacing your software will cost and who will pay for it. Depending on how strongly the supplier wants your business, you may be able to negotiate the rates!
Make certain that anybody you want to do business with has a good reputation. Make certain that there are no complaints about the firm displayed all over the internet. When a consumer has a negative experience, they will often write about it in various places, so if there is a complaint about the firm, you should be able to discover it rather quickly. Keep in mind that a company’s size is less-essential than the service it delivers and the price it charges. Merchant services for small businesses are sometimes a better choice for doing business with since they are more eager to earn your business and can provide better prices due to lower expenses.
When opening a new merchant account, these are the most critical items. First, obtain as much information as possible, whether you’re looking for better prices or setting up for the first time. You will be able to make a better-informed selection if you have more knowledge about a firm and its offerings.