When looking for a payment processor as a new business owner, it is easy to get overwhelmed with complicated concepts, marketing information, and the sheer number of options. For most, the decision is made with little understanding of the industry, and the assumption that there is nothing that can be done – it’s just going to be expensive.
This is not your fault. Most credit card companies thrive on the fact that their customers are in the dark. This way, extra fees and markups can be added without complaint. This is why it is so important to take a second look at your payment processor to make sure you are getting the absolute best value, and that your current provider is meeting all of the unique needs of your business. There are 3 aspects you need to evaluate your processor on.
1. Fees and Markups
Due to merchant’s general lack of knowledge on things like interchange, traditional merchant services providers are able to add fees and markups to their statements without anyone noticing. Typically, the statements themselves look confusing enough that the average business owner will not even read the entire document, resulting in hundreds of dollars spent monthly in unnecessary fees.
The only thing you actually have to pay as a business owner is interchange, which is the cost set by credit card companies themselves that allows business owners to accept their cards.
Outside of interchange, different merchant services providers make a profit in different ways. A very common way is by adding a percentage markup on top of that interchange cost, which can really add up if you are running high volumes. In these cases, it typically makes more sense to explore subscription-based providers, as that flat monthly subscription would be lower than markups based on volume.
2. Feature Functionality
Not all payment processors are created equal – and neither are businesses. Make a list of exactly what your business needs when it comes to payment technology, and see whether or not you have access to those features in your current provider. There are a lot of options out there, and it pays to do your research and see where you could be getting the best value for the best technology – not just payment processing.
For example, if you are using your bank as your merchant services provider, you are probably missing out on certain technology features – like analytics reporting. Taking payments the way you want to take them is vital to your business, so don’t settle for whatever you are being offered by your current provider. Dig deeper and get the best technology for your business.
3. Customer Service
You trust your merchant services provider with your money, so why is it so hard to get someone on the phone when you need them? Having a support team ready to help when you need them is important to many business owners – yet the majority of them accept bad service as just “part of the industry.”
This used to be the industry standard, but it is no longer the case. Some time on the internet will reveal a number of companies claiming dedicated customer service, and although it might take a few phone calls or review sites to find the right fit, I promise real human customer support is out there.
The bottom line?
Take the time to re-evaluate your current payment processing company. Although it might seem like a daunting task now, you will be very glad you did when you finally decide on a provider that is best for you and your business.
Looking for Payment Processing software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Payment Processing software solutions.