How to choose the right credit card processing company for your business
For any small business, choosing the right credit card processing company doesn't have to be difficult. Start with a few simple questions. Can they work with my business? Do they fit in with my process, existing technology etc.? What will I be charged? Can I rely on a customer service team to troubleshoot any technical problems?
Thinking longer term is important. Selecting the right credit card processing company is about carefully weighing the pros and cons of all options available to you. Today, there are more options than ever, making choosing a processing company more difficult.
The following questions cover some of the big areas of consideration as you decide.
Are they compatible with your business needs?
First thing’s first. You need to know if your merchant processing company offers what your business needs. Options are everywhere today. Different options solve for different needs. So, what's your business: eCommerce web site, brick and mortar store, large business, small business or something in between? Look for a credit card processing company whose merchant accounts, services and solutions are tailored to your specific business type. Whether you're a grocery store, pharmacy or restaurant or an eCommerce start-up or non-profit, your credit card processing company should fulfill your needs.
How much does it cost?
One of the greatest advantages a credit card processing company can offer you is the option to cancel when you need to without early termination or similar fees. Understand what you'll be paying for processing services and what you can expect for service across the term of your contract. Be careful about offers that look too good to be true. Get a clear understanding of what fees you'll be paying and for what services and solutions.
There's often a long list of additional fees that come with credit card processing. Different credit card processing companies charge differently. There will be fees associated with transaction processing itself, e.g. interchange and other pass-through fees—these often come with some additional per transaction fee. Be aware of other fees coming from your credit card processing company that might cover statement fees, reporting fees, and fees associated with other services they offer. You'll also want to be aware of fees associated with compliance or non-compliance and the like. You should also expect there to be different fees, including interchange rates, based on whether you're processing in-person transactions (card present) or over the phone, by mail or over the web (card not present).
Payment processing is complex. Most of the time, it happens without you having to think about it. Still, there are times when a process needs explanation or when a glitch needs some help from others to resolve. Understanding the kind of merchant service you'll receive is important. A better credit card processing company is going to have 24/7/365 access for basic service and technical support. They'll also have clear service paths for payments-related functions such as chargeback management.
Security and fraud
Protecting against fraud is a bigger concern than ever, and so choosing a processor that builds security into your transactions is always a safe bet. Today, fraud solutions for in-store include chip card acceptance. Online, fraud detection and prevention takes on additional meaning, and you'll want to investigate what's available to you based on what you're selling and across which channels. For online and in-store, you'll also want to think about steps that you're taking to make card data more secure—as it's being transmitted or stored for future use. A good credit card processing company often provides some type of bundled solution, such as OmniShield Assure, that covers the biggest security and fraud threats facing a business.