Top 5 features the best merchant services will offer
The best merchant services plan ahead in addition to providing choices that are actually valuable to businesses like yours. You don't need a multitude of complex features that you'll never end up using. You want simple, streamlined processes that are on the cutting edge of technology.
When Google noticed that more people were searching businesses with their mobile phones than on their laptops or desktops, they took notice. They changed their searching algorithms to make for a better consumer experience to cater to those companies with excellent mobile websites. As a business owner, you should sit up and take notice too. Mobile payments, including Google's Android Pay and Apple's Apple Pay, are only likely to increase in popularity. Your merchant account provider should set you up with the best merchant services, which today includes acceptance of payments from Android or Apple phones. The terminals, devices and technologies available at your point of sale are responsible for making this possible and the best merchant services will make it clear what's available to you.
Speedy payment processing
Your customers want to get in and out of line quickly and fast payment processing helps facilitate this. You don't want to leave them with a reason to go to a competitor. If every time you upgrade your software on your current devices, you notice you lose speed because your old machinery is struggling to keep up with the new features, you need a merchant service who can set you up with a new system. The new machines offer options like a more efficient POS that can make transactions much easier. If you operate a restaurant in a college town and 10 different students hand over 10 different cards for a check, you don't want your terminal to slow down your servers or cashiers when trying to run them all.
The fear of identity theft is a something nearly every consumer is concerned with. The best merchant card services have several ways to fend off fraud—from data encryption to various authentication features. Look for toolkits or bundled solutions that help you protect your point of sale and make it more secure. This includes not only stopping fraud before it starts, but protecting data in the event that it is ever stolen.
Choice and flexibility
You may not be able to customize everything you want, but you should be able to pay for the features you need and not pay for features and services you don't. There is no doubt that the amount of options out there is overwhelming, but it doesn't mean you need to invest in everything new on the market. The best credit card services are flexible, understanding that the needs of a small diner are very different from a mid-sized retail store. They can help you make the decisions before implementing an entirely new process by asking questions to determine what's important to you.
You should have the ability to contact your merchant service provider at any hour of the day or night. Criminals work at all hours, so a merchant service both needs the right alerts and customer support at all times. When any kind of suspicious activity occurs, you have the option to take action. Also when you inevitably have questions about specific payment situations or some sort of machinery hiccup, you'll know you have someone you can call who can answer them quickly. It's important to understand what reporting tools you'll have available to you. They not only help you understand your own customer payments better, they can help you build better relationships with your customers—understanding their purchase patterns and preferences, allowing you to make special offers or provide additional incentives.
There's a range of merchant accounts and providers available to you today as a small business. The best merchant service providers will be masters of the five features above. Understanding how you'll be covered in those five areas will get you started off on the right payments path.