Are you a merchant shopping for a merchant credit card processing company? No matter what industry you are in, there is one thing all merchants have in common: they all need to make sales to stay in business. If your business strictly and exclusively caters to the 9% of Americans who prefer to use cash, you can skip this article. But if you are a merchant who hopes to reach the 91% of the American population who will be giving you money via credit or debit card, choosing the right card processing service is a very important business decision to make.
Some card processing services rob you blind to use your service. Other payment processing services do not offer any protection from charge backs, even fraudulent ones that could cost your business thousands of dollars. Still, some card processors don’t follow best practices for security protocol (which is outrageously not a regulation for them), which puts your clients’ and your business’ sensitive information at risk. When you are a small business owner, any of these factors could put your entire livelihood in jeopardy. To help ensure you don’t fall into the trap of choosing the wrong payment processing company, we’ve put together a few tips to consider.
Three Tips for Finding the Right Payment Processing Service
- Pay close attention to the customer support you get.
You don’t want to wait until you have a problem that involves thousands of dollars to realize that your payment processing customer service number routes you to a call center across the country where a faceless voice has no interest in your success or any reason to be helpful. Or worse, you can’t get to a live representative at all, because your satisfaction is of no consequence to the payment processing service you use. Using a payment processing service who makes their customers’ satisfaction a priority will ensure that if any issue arises, they’re going to do what they can to help you.
Before you ever choose a payment processor, call several times and ask several questions. It’s even better if you ask the same questions every time. Pay attention to how difficult it is to get ahold of a live representative. Pay attention to the consistency of the answers you get from the representatives. Pay attention to how customer-centric the representatives are. If you find a payment processing service who puts your satisfaction first, it could save you a huge nightmare down the road.
This isn’t applicable to all businesses, but if your business deals in large sales, you should be able to get a direct line to an account manager who knows you and your business and works to ensure that your business’s needs are being met.
- Make sure that your customers can give you money in any way they choose.
There is no bigger buzzkill than when a customer wants to give you good, spendable money and you have to turn them away because your payment processing company doesn’t accept American Express (or Visa, or Discover, or MasterCard, or the puka shells their village uses as currency). A good payment processing service is robust enough to take any form of payment that your paying clients want to offer you.
To make it even easier for a customer to pay you, you should consider accepting gift cards to your business and prepaid cards. If your business sells groceries, it’s a great idea to accept EBT cards also. This might be considered an extra feature from some card processing services. Make sure to double check before selecting a payment processing service.
- Look for a payment processing company that is forward-thinking.
Even if you aren’t a big techie yourself, much of your potential clientele might be. Remember, the easier it is for your customers to pay you, the more likely they are to use your business. Just as you would look cross-eyed at a merchant who exclusively accepted checks for their service (and if you are one of those vendors, you really need to catch up with this century), you don’t want to be out-of-date to your techie clientele. Look for a payment processing service that uses Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Venmo, and even Bitcoin to ensure they’re forward thinking.
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