It’s a fact that consumers are going cashless for everyday purchases. Not only is it faster, but it’s also more convenient. International brands like Starbucks have built payment features into their apps for quick mobile ordering and payment. These new technologies enable consumers to pay for their purchases in seconds. Accepting credit cards at your business is now a necessity if you want to stay competitive. And that means working with a merchant service provider for credit card processing.
No matter how long you’ve been in business, choosing a merchant services provider can come down to your organization’s size, needs, and own goals. In this blog, we’ll go through some of the questions you need to ask and steps you should take before picking a merchant services provider.
Narrow Down Your Business Type
The type of business you have can determine what kind of merchant services provider you can work with. Certain industries are “high risk” because businesses that operate within that industry are subject to a high amount of chargebacks. A travel agency would be a good example of a high-risk business. The customer experience can be subjective, so travel agencies are often subject to a high amount of chargebacks. Thus, they’re classified as a high-risk business.
If your business is considered high risk, you’ll need to work with a specialized merchant services provider. Once you know if your business is high risk or not, you can narrow down your search.
Determine What Will Contribute to Your Success
Finding out what a merchant services provider can give your specific business is a must. The best way to do this isn’t just to look at what products a merchant services provider offers, but what they can offer to help ensure your specific business’ success. This goes beyond simple processing, extending to the kinds of technology and customer service you can expect.
Each merchant services provider comes with different strengths, weaknesses, and features. Does the provider offer the right kind of integrations? Can you contact customer support 24/7?
How long does it take before you can start processing? You can look up customer reviews or read testimonials for the answers. These customer stories offer firsthand insight into the kinds of technology and service you can come to expect from your merchant services provider. Once you have a full understanding of what a merchant services provider can offer, you can move forward in your search.
Ask Yourself: What Are Your Business Goals?
There’s no one-size-fits-all merchant services provider. Your merchant services provider should be able to keep up with you if your business grows quickly. Their technology needs to be robust enough for your needs. And their pricing shouldn’t eat into your profits and bottom line. If your ultimate goal is rapid growth for your business, you need a processor that can accommodate you. Before you get on a call with a potential merchant services provider, lay out your business goals. See if your needs and their capabilities align so you can grow without any friction or extra costs.
Here’s an example: Sally sells handmade jewelry at a monthly flea market. In the past, she’s used a mobile app and card reader to accept payments. Her processor charges her per swiped transaction for processing. But in the last year, she’s moved beyond selling at flea markets to open her own store.
Sticking with a merchant services provider that charges per swipe would add up for Sally’s business the more payments she processes. The best choice for Sally would be a merchant services provider that offers physical terminals and a flat-rate pricing structure. With this provider, she’d save money and have all the equipment she needs ready to go. She can expand her business as quickly as she wants.
Find Your Average Monthly Sales Volume
You can find out what you’ll save with a merchant services provider by requesting a savings analysis. This report takes your monthly transaction volume and calculates how much money you’d save by processing with a particular merchant services provider. The more information you send to the merchant services provider, the more accurate your savings analysis will be. The chances are, if you send an unusually high monthly transaction volume for savings analysis, you won’t have a reliable result. By sending a more average, stable example of monthly volume, you’ll know what to expect for your expenses and savings for processing.
Choosing a merchant services provider can come down to what services they offer and the savings they provide. Knowing what your business needs to succeed helps answer the question of what the right provider looks like for you. With that in mind, you can make an informed decision and choose the right merchant services provider for your business.
Looking for more information about credit card processing? Here’s all you need to know about interchange.
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