Top Things to Look for in a Credit Card Processor
The ability to accept credit cards is more important than ever for business owners as credit card or debit card payments have become the preferred payment method for most consumers. Whether you are running a brick and mortar store or e-commerce business, accepting credit card payments can lead to a noticeable increase in sales. However, the choice to accept credit cards is anything but simple. Often times navigating the world of credit card processing can be complicated and arduous. Understanding merchant accounts, fees, POS systems, and more can be frustrating but we can help navigate the process by helping you understand the top things to look for in a credit card processor.
When looking for a credit card processor, businesses often look for the credit card processor with the lowest processing rates, but there is much more to a good credit card processor than low rates. Becoming preoccupied with low rates can be costly in the long run for businesses looking to accept credit cards as many processors will add on hidden fees associated with your merchant account. Furthermore, well-known processors such as Stripe or Square can often provide low rates but cannot give your business the full-service merchant account it may need, such as PCI compliance services. As your business grows, you will often find that you need personalized customer service from your credit card processor and customizable payment processing solutions.
Extensive Experience in the Credit Card Processing Industry
The credit card processing industry is complex and ensuring your credit card processor has ample experience should be a top priority. Every business has unique payment processing needs and the ability to identify and fulfill those needs comes with experience. It is important to assess the company’s stability and experience by asking how long they have been processing payments and what kind of businesses they service.
A Focus on Security and PCI Compliance
Accepting credit cards comes with a great amount of responsibility as you will be entrusted with your customer’s highly sensitive data. This data is often the target of hackers and thieves and must be securely maintained. Your credit card processor should make security a top priority for the safety of your business and your customers. Any processor that takes security seriously should be Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant.
Full Disclosure of Fees
The ability to accept credit cards comes with fees from various sources (processors, issuing banks, etc.) and they can easily get out of hand. Some dishonest processors will make the disclosure of their fees intentionally confusing in order to attach several fees later on. Be sure to choose a processor that clearly outlines all of the fees associated with processing as well as fees associated with the maintenance of your merchant account. Moreover, do business with processors who are willing to answer questions any questions you may have about fees and are willing to put everything in writing.
Exceptional and Attentive Customer Service
Relationships should matter to your credit card payment processor. The business relationship doesn’t end after they sell you’re their processing services, it should be long-term and well-maintained. Customer service should guide you through the credit card processing set-up and the ever changing needs of your business. Your processor should always be readily available to answer questions or to help troubleshoot any issues you may have. Choose a processor who cares about your business as much as you do.
Technology Offerings That Help Your Business to Grow
Up to date software and hardware offerings are another important thing to look for in your credit card payment processor. Your business should have a choice in the newest in credit card terminals, mobile credit card readers, POS systems, and more. Payment processing hardware is constantly being updated with better technology and increased security features such as chip readers (EMV) and your processor should be on the cutting edge. Equally as important as hardware is the quality of software your processor is using. The payment gateway and virtual terminal can be essential to your business and help in the expansion of your business.
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