One of the most important decisions you’re going to make in your business is how to process credit card payments. Yet, this is one of the areas that many business owners simply leave to chance. They assume that a bank’s merchant account is right for them, or they go with an easy online option like PayPal. Yet neglecting this decision can wind up costing your business a considerable amount of money.
There are several factors you need to consider when you’re trying to find the right credit card processor for your business:
Your transaction profile is a major factor in your rates
Some businesses tend to have small transactions, with the majority of purchases averaging under $10. Other businesses tend to have transactions that average in the hundreds of dollars. Credit card processors have different rates for different transaction profiles, and so you need to shop for a credit card processor that offers competitive rates that actually fit your business.
How you accept transactions matters, too
If you’re going to physically be swiping credit cards, you’re in a different rate category than if you only process electronic payments. The same goes for those who accept payments by phone. If you use a mix of transaction methods, you’re in yet another rate category. Determine how you’ll accept transactions, and match the credit card processor to that factor, as well.
Rates will vary by volume
If you’re doing less than 100 credit card transactions in a month, you’re going to have different rates than someone who’s doing 1,000 or more. Here again, it’s important to understand your business. You need to know what your average month is going to look like in terms of volume so that you can pick a credit card processor with favorable rates.
As with any other vendor, customer service is important
When it comes to your credit card processor, customer service becomes very important. They’re holding onto your money. They make the decisions about when there should or shouldn’t be a chargeback. You need to know what other people’s experience has been with the credit card processor before you jump in. If their reviews are full of horror stories, good rates won’t help.
Customizable solutions are often better than generic ones
There are some large payment processing companies out there that offer fairly generic solutions. These might be fine for some businesses, but you’ll rarely get the lowest rates or the highest amount of functionality with those behemoth processors. Instead, you want a credit card payment processor that’s able to help your business work the way it’s supposed to work. You need one that offers a fee schedule that’s compatible with your business, and that has options (such as web store integration) that will really work for you.
Choosing the right credit card processor is critical to your business. Take some time to truly compare the different options you have available, and pick the processor that best suits your business’ needs.
About the Author: David Rodwell is a seasoned writer in business and economics, taking a particular interest in payment processing. You can find more of his articles at CreditCardProcessing.net.