Trusting any aspect of your business finances with another entity is a decision that deserves worthy consideration. Not all payment processing companies are considered equal. Some don't deliver the customer support you need. Other payment processing brands charge fees so high, it's difficult to justify accepting credit cards at your store at all. Other merchant payment processing businesses lack the security your business needs to protect customers and your own finances. If you want to accept credit cards so that you can improve the services you offer to more customers, keep these five questions in mind as you're going over your payment processing options.
1. What Experience Do You Have?
The type of experience a merchant services provider has is very important for your business because you'll want to make sure that the partner you're working with is prepared to handle your business transactions and meet your growing needs. Ask merchant payment processing providers:
- How long they've been in business
- What types of businesses they work with
- How much business they handle a year
- What recommendations from other businesses you can access
The payment processing provider should have a positive reputation with organizations like the Better Business Bureau and other review sites. You might also want to align your business with one that works with similar types of businesses, so you can be sure that they can handle your needs. Asking payment providers for references to similar businesses they work with can give you better insight.
2. What Are Your Rates and Fees Like?
For merchant services to benefit the bottom line of your business, you should work with a payment processor whose rates and fees are competitive and fair. Some payment processing companies charge hidden fees that aren't revealed until after you've already signed a contract with the business. Ask about rates and all fees before committing to a provider.
Simple rates that are charged per transaction help your business to plan better and charge accordingly. The best way to evaluate the rates and fees that are available to your business are to determine how much value you're getting. For example, a provider that charges low rates on transactions but charges significant monthly fees on services you won't really use may not be worth it.
3. What Kind of Equipment Will I Get?
It's great when a payment processor says they'll help you accept desktop, mobile, and tablet payments, but having to purchase expensive hardware just to do so is a significant investment. For businesses just starting out or for small businesses with other budget needs, investing in point-of-sale equipment, tablets, and smartphone applications can get expensive.
Some merchant payment processing providers will offer free equipment that is easy to use and looks great in a store. The benefit for the payment processing provider is that when a business gets equipment in perfect working condition that is easy for employees and customers to use, the transaction process can happen more quickly and more transactions can occur. Enquire about what kind of maintenance and replacement policies the payment processor offers on equipment, as well.
4. What Security Do You Have in Place?
Credit card and debit card fraud is rising, with alerts up 15 percent in 2017 compared to 2015. When security breaches happen to credit monitoring companies or in other sectors such as healthcare, identity theft risk extends to purchasing. Businesses need to be aware of fraud risks and make sure that whatever payment processing they're using has PCI compliance in place. PCI compliance is following the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which is a set of standards that protects how credit card information is accepted, processed, and stored.
The payment processing companies your business is considering should provide a multilayered security approach that protects data at all stages during payment. Point-to-point encryption and tokenization ensure data is not able to be shared or stolen. This protects your customers' finances and your business in case of an attempted data breach. Look for a merchant services provider whose security measures are proactive in fraud detection, as well.
5. What Is Customer Support Like?
While simplicity is great for getting payment processing set up and implemented for your business, it's helpful to know that customer support is always available should you need it. And that doesn't just mean during normal corporate business hours. For businesses that operate ecommerce websites or are open nights and weekends, having dedicated, 24/7/365, live, U.S.-based customer support is essential. Customer support helps businesses with:
- Equipment issues
- Questions about payment processing, charges, or financial statements
- Fraud detection and security
Knowing that you're partnering with a merchant services provider that is always there to help you at any moment gives your business peace of mind that you can process payments confidently and securely. If you're open, your payment processing partner should be, too.
Looking for Merchant Payment Processing? NAB Can Help
At North American Bancard, we understand how important the decision of a merchant services partner is. That's why we offer free consultations to any business interested in what our payment processing can offer them and their customers. For information on what we can provide you, please contact us online or call 877-840-1952.