Start Up 101: How to Choose a Credit Card Processing Service
Starting a business is exciting, but also comes with a lot of responsibility. Questions need to be answered and decisions need to be made. In addition to working with vendors and hiring employees, you will need to choose a credit card processing service. The options can be overwhelming, but it’s important to not make a hasty decision. Here are a couple things to consider as you evaluate your choices.
Start-ups often don’t know what they don’t know much less what they need to know when it comes to choosing a credit card processing service. Taking the time to research, and compare and contrast payment processing services will make a big difference in the end. Look for a credit card processing service that offers simple, reliable, secure solutions backed by customer service that is easily accessible. Some budget card processors may look good on the basis of price alone, but are limited in their offerings and customer service. An all-in-one, streamlined processing solution can streamline your business as well. Providing equipment that helps makes the process foolproof and doing your best to account for future scenarios — like the demands of the customer to pay with their mobile phone — gives you a head start with your business.
You can’t expect your credit card processor to know the intricacies of running your business, but you can expect your processor to know what types of payment solutions are best for your business. Some processors are large enough to have expertise in many different areas, from servicing start-ups to large corporations. Ask colleagues in your industry about the processors they work with. Find out if there is a preferred processor for your type of business and consider one that specializes in the payment solutions you need. Will you be taking payments in-store, offsite, or online? Are you going to sell to customers in different countries?
Start-ups have varying degrees of experience in payments. Some may know exactly what they need, while others may need more guidance. Self-evaluation is a good place to start. Take a good hard look at your business and your customers. How much do you know about accepting card payments? How will your customer prefer to pay? Will they buy online or in-store with their phone? Don’t forget that more and more consumers are carrying chip cards. Find out what you need to do to accommodate the myriad of payment options available today.
A credit card processing service may be the last thing on your mind when you are opening a business. But it’s no less important than inventory, marketing, hiring, and all the other moving pieces you have to track when starting a new venture. Finding a reputable credit card processing company that will answer your questions and guide you in the right direction is time well spent.