Great, you want to accept credit cards at your business! You’ve joined the ranks of millions of business that are doing this right now!
It’s not an easy decision to make when shopping around for best credit card processing/merchant account. Your business is unique and you need to find a solution that works just for you. But what exactly do you need to look out for when comparing merchant service providers?
Just like any other service you want to look for specific features, qualities, and fair pricing when comparing credit card processing companies.
The first question you need to ask yourself is, “how will I accept credit card payments?” Are you going to accept them face-to-face, meaning your customer will swipe their card? Will you be taking credit cards over the phone or through your web site? When you have this answer, you can ask the following questions if applicable to your means of taking credit cards.
– What credit card processing equipment do they offer and what are the pricing terms? If you plan to accept credit cards through a credit card terminal, make sure the merchant service provider offers durable machines at a reasonable price. You definitely DON’T want to lease the equipment and end up paying twice or three times the amount it’s worth and not own it. If you lease, you will likely not be able to take your terminal and process with someone else should you decide to switch. Also, make sure their machines aren’t proprietary, which means you cannot use it with another company.
– What kind of pricing structures do they have? Tiered and interchange plus are the most common pricing structures. Ask them which they are offering you so you can compare apples-to-apples.
– If you want to accept payments through your website, then make sure the merchant service provider works with your shopping cart.
– Are there any long term agreements? You may be sold on their pricing but take a step-back and read the agreement. Is the merchant service provider locking you into a one, two or even three year contract?
– If you have a POS system, make sure it’s compatible!
– If you use QuickBooks, make sure it works with the payment processor.
– Are there any PCI fees?
– What kind of customer support does the merchant service provider have? When you first call, take note of how long it takes to reach a live person. Then ask what kind of support hours are there. Will you be assigned a dedicated customer support representative if you board with the company?
So when comparing merchant service providers, be sure to ask all of these questions before it’s too late and you’re locked into a long-term commitment! If you still have questions about merchant accounts, feel free to give Group ISO a call at 1-800-571-2606. Our live merchant account consultants are ready to answer your questions with no obligation.