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How To Choose A World-Class Credit Card Processing Company

How To Choose A World-Class Credit Card Processing Company

Accepting credit and debit card payments is an integral part of doing business today. However, it is estimated that about 55 percent of the 27 million small businesses operating in the United States do not accept credit cards. And, according to Intuit, businesses that don’t accept credit or debit cards miss out on approximately $7,000.00 in sales each year. So whether you’re running an online store or a brick-and-mortar business, it can benefit your bottom line to diversify your customers’ payment options – your customers will also likely want to pay via a credit or debit card. That means before you can hang the “Now Open” sign, you should research which credit card processing companies will make it easy and safe for your customers to pay with plastic.

With so many credit card processors to choose from, it can be useful to know which offered features will help you run your business efficiently, securely, and economically. As you start your search, here are a few of the most important factors to consider.

Features
Technology has made it easier than ever to set up a point-of-sale (POS) solution on a budget. As you shop for payment processing providers, consider which features will make your job easier.

  • Mobile POS (mPOS) Options – Businesses are no longer limited to a cash register in a brick-and-mortar store. An mPOS allows you to accept payments wherever you are, including trade shows, flea markets, and business conferences. And with a POS that’s as mobile as you are, you’re able to save money on processing costs – card present transaction fees are typically less than card-not-present transaction fees.
  • Acceptance For All Payment Types – If you’re interested in accepting credit and debit cards, make sure that the payment processing provider offers acceptance for all major card brands. The best payment processing provider should also help you accept the latest ways to pay – new payment technologies utilizing near-field communication (NFC) technology (e.g., Apple Pay and Google Wallet) are growing in popularity. You may also want to ask about accepting prepaid cards or gift cards, depending on your business model or type.
  • Payment Security Technologies – When a business begins accepting credit and debit card payments, that business should also take steps to secure customers’ sensitive payment card data. The fallout from a cyber-attack or data breach can be devastating, no matter how large or small the business may be. Does the processing provider offer to guide you through the payment compliance process? Can they help “future-proof” your payments, so you’re able to adapt to secure card processing technologies? Are they merchant advocates, offering training or education on payment security issues?

If the payment processing company you’re considering lacks any of the above features – or only allows a limited number of transactions to be processed each month – it may be wise to continue shopping around for other providers.

Merchant Advocacy
You’ll want to partner with a processing provider that cares about its merchants, so as you conduct your search, pay close attention to each provider’s commitment to its merchants. “The best credit card processing companies support small businesses and essentially become their business partners.” Once you’ve found a selection of reputable providers, search deeper to determine how chargebacks will be handled. Also, make sure you choose a company that has customer service representatives available to support you during the hours you’ll be accepting payments, especially if those hours fall on weekends or holidays.

Fees
Before signing on the dotted line with any processing provider, make sure you read the fine print. Pay attention to any additional fees you’ll be required to pay – some providers add on several expensive start-up costs and some assess an annual fee to continue service. If you find that a payment processing provider has several fees built into their price, you can negotiate with them to drive the costs down. But beware: the only way to negotiate these fees is before you’re locked into a contract and still have other options.

Merchants have a wide variety of choices when it comes to payment processing providers. Fortunately, this means they can be selective, eliminating companies that won’t look out for their best interests. With careful research, you can select the right provider from the start and avoid frustrating issues that will force you to switch when your contract is up.

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