In business, collecting payments could be tricky and challenging. This includes finding the right payment processor that works best for your business. Not only is there a wide array of options (TD Merchant Services, Moneris, PayPal, Square, and Payfirma are some), but the technology is ever-changing as well. Just as everyone has adapted to chip cards, there now is tap payment.
Below are recommendations for small businesses in the quest for getting the most out of any payment processor you might opt for.
Read the fine print. This is not like the iTunes or your favorite social networking platform’s terms of service documentation that most of us skip through. Business owners are best advised to carefully read the applicable codes of conduct for the credit and debit card industry. Read this before finally deciding on a payment processor. And once you have chosen a payment processor, go through your contract with a fine-toothed comb.
Acquaint yourself with the players. There are several payment processing companies to choose from, each with its unique services and conditions, as well as suitability to particular business types. To be on the safe side, it is better to stick with the more widely known payment processing companies with an established volume of users. Check on these payment processors’ corporate affiliations, if any. Ideally, they have associations with large financial institutions.
Rent the equipment. Payment processing technology changes rapidly. It is for this reason that it is more ideal to rent the equipment rather than to lease or purchase it. Equipment are prone to breakdown, and you can avail of more efficient company-provided maintenance service if the equipment is on rented terms. Be careful, too, of getting locked into long-term contracts as this will limit your flexibility to terminate the agreement if you get unhappy with the service.
Go with the technology. Your business might not feel ready to switch between payment processes, but if your customers demand it, you should be willing to make the investment. You have to keep your pulse on the needs of your customers. This evolution in technology actually works out well for everyone. As customers’ needs evolve and businesses adapt, payment processing technology stays competitive and progressive, too. Listen to your customers and stay on track.
Be aware of exit penalties. If you should ever become unhappy with your payment processor, the cost of terminating the contract can be too high. Examine the renewal period and what it will take to get out of it should the need arise.
Stay updated on the different credit card rates. Business owners pay different rates for different credit card types. Fees usually range from 1.5 to 2.5% per transaction, dependent too whether it’s a regular card or a premium card. Be open to accepting debit cards as well. This is not just because it’s a preferred payment method for a lot of customers, but because fees are often lower for debit cards.
Payment processing is a competitive industry with a number of independent, and sometimes aggressive, sales representatives. Know when to hang up, especially when you have your payment processor of choice locked and signed. Just think that this competition among payment processing companies are good for everyone, bigger picture.