Running a small business requires being able to provide your customers with a variety of payment options. You will want to accept debit and credit cards to give your customers more flexibility. Doing so also allows you to not lose sales to your competition.
Finding the right merchant account provider is essential to ensure you are maximizing your profits. If you choose the wrong credit card processor provider, the fees you pay could cut into your bottom line. To help you choose the right merchant account provider, make sure to ask these questions:
#1: What type of fees do you charge for credit card processing?
Fees are part of doing business and accepting debit and credit cards. You want to choose a provider with transparent payment processing fees that you can easily understand. Be wary of merchant providers that charge account maintenance fees, account setup fees, early termination fees, and other hidden fees.
#2: What type of equipment do you provide?
You will need some sort of equipment to process debit and credit card transactions. You want to ensure the equipment you select is PCI compliant, meets current EMV chip-based standards, and includes features so you can accept mobile wallet payments.
#3: What is the amount of processing rates charged?
Processing rates are another type of fee. Part of the fee structure is set by the card issuer. Another part of the fee structure is set by the credit card type—Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc. These are fixed-rate fees and cannot be changed.
Another part of the processing rate fee is paid to the payment processor. This fee can be negotiated on, as part of the other monthly fees you pay the merchant account provider.
#4: What type of software do you provide with your equipment?
Keeping track of your debit and credit transactions does require some type of software. Some providers may provide access to virtual terminals, where you can log into a cloud-based app to keep track of your transactions. Others may include an app that is installed on your POS system to generate various reports.
The software you select should best reflect your business needs. Keep in mind that your needs will vary depending on the type of business you own. Brick and mortar stores will have different needs from eCommerce-only operations and service-type businesses.
#5: What payment processing plans are available?
When it comes to debit and credit card processing, you want to avoid providers that offer “one-size-fits-all” plans. You want to choose a merchant service provider that offers different plans that best align with the volume of debit and credit card transactions for your business.
Ideally, you want to look for providers that offer clear, concise, flat-rate plans with month-to-month contracts. This way, as your business needs change, you can move from one plan tier to another without any penalties.
#6: What type of customer service and customer support do you provide?
When shopping around for credit card processors, make sure they will be there after you sign up. The last thing you want is to not be able to get a hold of customer service and customer support when you have questions, something goes wrong with the equipment, etc.
One thing you can do is Google the merchant account provider and check out some of their reviews to find out from other businesses how they treat their customers after setting up their accounts.
#7: Can I change equipment as my needs change?
Initially, a mobile payment processing solution might work for your small business. Later on, you may want to upgrade to different equipment like outfitting your services team with their own handheld payment processing devices to make it easier for customers to pay.
Verify with the payment processing provider that it is possible to change equipment. Please keep in mind that you may need to purchase the new equipment unless you are leasing your current equipment. If you are leasing, make sure your lease agreement includes a clause that allows for equipment changes.
#8: How honest is the merchant account provider’s marketing?
You want to avoid dishonest marketing campaigns that can be very misleading. For example, you see an ad pop up in your Facebook feed for the lowest credit card processing rates. You visit the website and are given a low rate for an “introductory period.”
Yet, you are not told what the rate will be once the introductory period is over. Sadly, many businesses are fooled into signing a contract that ends up being long-term. If they cancel, then they are hit with outrageous early termination fees.
The best solution is to avoid misleading marketing campaigns. Instead, request that the credit card processor provides you with a full disclosure of their fees, processing rates, and other costs you may be charged.
An honest account provider will also take the time to educate you about how debit and credit card processing works, why PCI compliance is essential, and which type of fee structure and processing plan would best suit your business’s needs, and they will answer any and all of your questions you may have.
By taking the time to ask these questions when you are shopping around to choose a merchant services account, you will be able to find the best payment processor to meet your needs.
For honest, clear, and concise payment processing with exceptional customer service and customer support, please feel free to contact Adept Payments at 888-732-3838 today! We offer a variety of payment processing plans and equipment that will best meet the needs of your small business.