What You Should Know Before Committing to a Credit Card Processing Company

Let me say it upfront, the cheapest credit card processing company won’t be your best option.

Credit card acceptance is vital for businesses today. Sure, there may be a mom-and-pop diner that’s been around for 40 years that only takes cash, but they are few and far between. If you’re serious about growing your business, you’ll need to accept credit cards, and to do that, you’ll need a credit card processing company.

There are many credit card processors to choose from, but you want to find one that meets the needs of your company. Here are some important items to look for when selecting a credit card processor:

Contract Specifics – Be sure to look carefully at the contract before you sign it to verify the length of the contract and whether there are any cancellation or early termination fees. Look for companies that don’t charge a cancellation fee. Companies may charge anywhere from $200-$400 for early termination of the contract. Also, look for additional fees that may be tacked onto the contract, like monthly, regulatory, or compliance fees. You shouldn’t expect to pay no more than $300 annually for these types of fees.

Processor Charges – The amount per transaction you pay the processor should be as transparent as possible. Look for a processor who charges you interchange-plus pricing, which breaks down your fees by what the credit card company charges and how much the processor adds on to that.

Online Payments – Find out if the processor’s system can be easily integrated into your existing online shopping cart. Many processors use a common software system called Authorize.Net, which works with most systems. Other processors may use proprietary software that would require you to reconfigure your online payment system.

POS Terminals – When selecting your point-of-sale terminals, stay away from renting, leasing, or buying credit card terminals. You also want to be sure to get EMV-compatible terminals that allow you to process the new credit and debit cards with embedded computer chips.

Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance – To ensure that your transactions are processed as securely as possible, check to see if the processor’s system uses security measures recommended by the credit card industry.

Reputation – Be sure to ask how long the company has been in business. You may feel more confident going with a credit card processor who has been around for five years or more. You should also ask for references to verify the company’s performance with its customers.

Customer Support – You don’t want to be missing out on sales just because the customer support team already went home. Find someone who has been referred to you as an expert with POS terminals and troubleshooting processing issues. That way, it doesn’t matter what company you choose because you would have your own personal credit card guru to be there to assist you. No more worries about calling a 1-800 number and sitting on hold for hours.

Payment processing is an integral part of a successful business. Thoroughly investigate potential credit card processing companies before committing to one. A little research up-front can save you a lot of headaches, and money, in the long run