As a provider of credit card processing and merchant services we get a lot of questions from business owners about how to choose a provider. The list of points to consider is lengthy so we decided to focus on the top three points that we believe you should consider during your selection process. We recommend you focus on: reputation of the provider, integration with ERP/accounting systems and price. Let’s dive in.
An Excellent Reputation
It seems that data breaches have become far too regular an occurrence in the business world. So it’s important that any provider you are considering have an excellent industry reputation and long standing proven track record of handling transaction, security and fraud issues effectively. They should practice strict adherence to the PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance standards and support your efforts to uphold your compliance requirements as well. Did you catch our blog on PCI Compliance: Tracking Access to Merchant Card Data?
Accounting and Credit Cards
If you are like most small businesses, you and your staff are already juggling a large number of daily tasks. So it’s important that any provider you are considering have the capability of integrating with your ERP or accounting systems. Again, a track record of integration with your existing system is key as you don’t want them practicing on your business. Seamless integration will minimize the amount of manual input you and your staff will need to manage. Your integration will most likely involve website, shopping card, a gateway and your ERP system. There are several moving parts that should be easily explained by your website developer and integrator.
The bottom line for every business is to minimize costs. But as with any purchase you make you should devote time to educating yourself about your options. Credit card processing services are priced similarly across the industry but extra fees are the primary differentiator. Some packages might offer rates that are only valid for 6 to 12 months. And some packages might not clearly delineate all the costs such as bank interchange or discount fees. Small and startup providers may offer low rates but often haven’t reached the level of financial stability required for the long haul. We recommend you take time to thoroughly review and compare the offers and agreements you receive. Apples to apples comparisons are important as too many times comparisons are slanted by the presenter. Reference our website for more merchant services tips.
It’s Your Choice
Your options for credit card processing and merchant services are numerous. Trying to sort through the complexities of all those options can seem overwhelming. And making the wrong choice can not only be disruptive to your business it can be costly too. The points we’ve highlighted here will make this choice a bit easier for you. Still have questions and a sense of overwhelm? Contact us or leave a comment below. Share your story and we may even write an article about your situation.