4 Important Services for Small Business Merchant Services
When it comes to selecting merchant services for your small business, there's a lot to consider. Here's a look at four of the top recommended services small business merchant services should provide.
Mobile Payments Acceptance
As a small business, customers expect you to be ready and willing to accept the full range of payment types popular today, including mobile payments. Consumers of all ages and demographics are becoming increasingly comfortable with and accustomed to paying for purchases—large and small—using their smartphones, tablets or smart devices. Don’t risk losing customers to your competitors who have mobile payment acceptance in place before you do.
Comprehensive Security Suite
Security should be a primary concern for businesses of all sizes. Choosing a small business merchant services provider who can help your business achieve and maintain PCI compliance is especially important, since failing to do so can cost your business financial losses and losses in the form of damaged reputation. It's also a first step in thinking about security. Also as part of your merchant services, your company needs to consider what types of add-on security services, such as encryption or tokenization, may be needed to most effectively secure the sensitive card data you handle on a daily basis. Never leave the integrity of your data and your customers’ data to chance; choose a merchant services provider that holds security as a key value. Today, many providers offer bundled solutions designed to make it easy to make your points-of-sale more secure.
Analytics and Reporting
Your payment processing system should provide you with access to detailed reports that provide you with clear visibility into all aspects of your business performance, including:
- Sales by day, week, month, quarter or year
- Sales by store or individual employee
- Inventory data
- Reconciliation data to simplify your accounting
If you run a small to medium size business, consider choosing a merchant services provider whose payments system integrates with the accounting software you use so you can increase your back-office efficiency and reduce clerical errors due to manual data entry between systems.
Today’s merchant services for small businesses should not just cost you money—they should also help make you money. You can collect customer data and compile a valuable database that you can use to create future marketing efforts. Here are a few ways that gathering customer and sales data can help to improve your marketing efforts:
- Pinpoint your most profitable goods or services
- Reward your most loyal shoppers with exclusive offers
- Attract a wider range of customers by better understanding who buys what—and when—from your company
The above services for small business merchant services are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what payment processors can offer your company today. It’s certainly worth your time to shop around and compare processors before you lock into a contract. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to be sure that you’re getting the most bang for your payment processing buck—and that the merchant services you select will grow with your small business for years to come.