Compare merchant services: 4 considerations

Why do businesses like yours switch payment processors? Well, the reasons vary but may include considerations such as reliability, cost control, product offerings, and customer service. If you’re just starting out, or if you think the time is right to change your merchant services provider, where should you begin?  To help with your decision making process, here are four areas to consider.

1. Transition Costs 

No matter what your reason for switching payment processors, the cost of transitioning is a critical factor. Implementing a new provider will look different for every business and may require an investment in engineering resources. As you explore implementation options, ask if a dedicated implementations team is available to help you through the process. Also consider if using an existing integrated gateway option, or integrated partner (for example, a shopping cart provider) can help save time and money.

2. Pricing 

Your decision to switch payment processors can come down to price. Processors structure their pricing models in various ways and it’s important to know which one makes sense for your business. Some processors offer a simple pricing strategy via a flat percentage fee. This model might be the best option for your business because it’s simple, straight-forward, and predictable. Alternatively, a processor might offer pass-through pricing where all fees (interchange, assessments, and processor fees) are reported separately. While this type of price structure doesn’t offer the simplicity of a flat percentage rate, it might make sense if you’re looking to actively manage your processing costs and have the resources to do so.

3. Customer Service 

Are you getting the attention you need from your current processor? Processing in-store payments or online payments can be challenging and a helpful hand might be invaluable when issues arise. As you evaluate new processors, ask what their customer service includes and evaluate how it complements your business model. Access to 24-7 technical support might be a must, or perhaps you need the hands-on support of a dedicated customer service team. Be sure to pick a model that makes sense for your business needs.   

4. The Future 

It’s important to find a processor that meets your current needs in terms of size, customer service, and overall processing power. But will they be able to support you in the future? Consider the long-term goals of your business and make sure your processor is well equipped to grow with you. For instance, you may only require core processing capabilities today, but as your business expands you may require additional solutions like advanced fraud and security tools or actionable customer insight data.

Check out this resource for useful information on what features to look for when making the switch.   

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