Merchant service providers are an essential part of a business. A merchant service provider bridges the gap between your clients and your business. If you use the wrong merchant service provider, you run the risk of losing your valuable customers.
Continue reading for tips on choosing a merchant service provider.
1. Conduct an Assessment of Your Needs
Before you choose the merchant service provider, make a list of the services you need. Services that you may need include credit card storage and recurring billing. Electronic processing payment’s expert River Cohen advises suggests you choose a merchant service provider that will bundle the services you need together. Otherwise, you will need to use several service providers which can cause a multitude of problems for both you and your client. Another thing to consider when choosing a merchant service provider is how quickly your money will be deposited. Deposit times can vary from provider to provider.
2. Evaluate Exclusivity and Outsourcing
When you talk with your merchant service provider, find out if they outsource credit card transactions to a third party or handle them in-house. Typically, a bank will outsource these transactions. One of the main disadvantages to outsourcing credit card transactions occurs when an issue arises. In this instance, you will need to contact the company handling the credit card transactions. Another thing to ask the merchant service provider is whether they offer an exclusive point of sale software or if you can use the point of sale software of your choice.
3. Calculating the Cost of a Merchant Service Provider
When you are evaluating the cost of a merchant service provider, you should look for any extra charges or hidden fees. Ask the provider if they charge installation fees annual fees, programming fees, etc. Will you need to sign a contract? Are there any cancellation fees and is there is a cap on the number of transactions that can be done in a month. If the number of credit card transactions is limited, ensure that the cap is reasonable for your business. Ask the merchant service provider if the fees for business or international credit cards are different. Typically, a reputable merchant service provider will offer a trial period as well as a money back guarantee. Be careful if the merchant service provider does not offer a free trial or a money back guarantee. Also, if the merchant service provider requires you to sign a lengthy contract, be careful. All of these can be a sign that the merchant service provider is struggling to find and maintain clients.
4. Customer Service and Tech Support
If the merchant service provider does not offer 24-hour customer service and tech support, you will need to determine if their service hours when I meet your needs. Additionally, if you have an IT department you’ll need to ask about compatibility between the service in your IT department. You should also ask if the service provider has its own IT department that can be contacted should a problem arise. The customer service techs should be more than a message taker. They should be knowledgeable and be able to help you with the most common issues. This will ensure the time it takes to resolve an issue is minimized.
5. Read Reviews and Ask for References
Before you choose a service provider, you should learn as much as you can about the company. Go online and read reviews; however, remember that unsavoury companies may hire people to write reviews. You should also check out the Better Business Bureau for any complaints or issues that have been filed. Finally, ask other businesses in your area which merchant service provider that they would recommend.
Choosing the best merchant service provider involves a number of factors. Use the five tips listed above to help you find the best merchant service provider for your unique business needs.