4 Considerations: Evaluating a new online payment processor

When it's time to change your ecommerce merchant services provider.

Some times change is what your ecommerce business needs. From managing short-term pain to longer-term needs, there's a lot to consider switching your merchant services account. Focusing on these four areas might help. 

Why do merchants switch payment processors? 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 payments provider, where should you begin?  To help with your decision making process, here are four areas to consider.


Transition costs

No matter your reason for switching payment processors, the cost of transitioning is a critical factor. Implementing with a new provider will look different for every merchant and may necessitate 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 payment gateway option can help save time and money.


The decision to switch credit card 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.

Customer Service

Are you getting the attention you need from your current payment solution provider? Internet merchant accounts 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.

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.

Selecting the right payment processor can be challenging and these are just four areas to consider when making a switch.