The important Factors to consider When Selecting a Merchant Service provider
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Owners of small business who are searching for a merchant account have several factors and a wide selection of merchant services companies to take into consideration. Before you start comparing or investigating any merchant services company, it is vital that you have a solid understanding on the primary areas of interest to work out the best offer how to become a merchant service provider. If you merely concentrate on the rates provided, you might be tricked into signing an agreement with hidden contracts and fees. Even worse is settling on with a credit card processor with lousy customer service, while you are running into a problem and the fact that you think you have a small rate will be of little significance.
The four primary areas to go over during your merchant service provider search are the customer service provided, the processing rates given specific to the kinds of credit cards and kinds of transaction your small business will venture, the fees and dues assessed within the monthly statements, any Payment Card Industry (PCI) fees, start-up costs and above all, the cancellation fees in the agreement.
While the fee is vital, the quality of service that you get for your fees can play an important role in figuring out the actual lowest fee the credit card processing solution for you and your business. The financial implications of signing with a low fee merchant service provider will only make your credit card processing system unsuccessful and miss a day, week, or month of processing because of a problem with your merchant account, can immediately affect your bottom line.
Every time an owner of small business processes a debit or credit card, the costs that they are billed on that particular card are based on a variety of factors. Is the credit card present during the time of the transaction? Is it a business or rewards card? What kinds of services or goods are being given? All these elements are exclusively related to the cost a merchant will be billed. The base charges are set by Mastercard or Visa. On the other hand, credit card processing firms put in margins to those charges and locating the right merchant service provider can be the distinction between having to pay margins that are far more than of what you ought to be paying.
In addition to margins, merchant account service providers have also discovered that by assessing merchants along with other fees and dues and assessing monthly minimums, they can increase their earnings even more. If a merchant is not aware and inadvertently or knowingly sign a particular length agreement with a merchant account service provider that he or she do not fully trust, the merchant could discover that regardless of low fees, they are in fact paying a lot more money than they should be.
There are many merchant service providers that still charge PCI application fees. With this in mind, merchants need to avoid these merchant accounts companies at any cost. In addition, owners of small business must review their agreements along with their statement of fees and rates to spot credit card processors that have excessive compliance fees and contract cancellation fees. One of the most frustrating things imaginable to businesses who utilize merchant services is when they are faced with paying a higher percentage rate on their credit card machine use than was advertised or promised. At best, this is misleading. At worst, this is a common industry bait and switch pricing tactic. Why is it that so many merchant services providers charge more than the rate promised?
Many times, banks and merchant services providers quote a low introductory rate to make the initial sale with businesses, only to turn around and slightly increase rates again and again, month after month, year after year. These providers hope that either their merchants will not notice, or will not be bothered to change services once they’ve already signed up for one. This is a common occurrence, and many businesses have been victimized by this coercive business practice.
What can you do about it? Well to start, if you have been with the same merchant services provider for a few years and have noticed your prices slowly creeping up, you should contact a reputable merchant services provider and have them perform an account analysis on your most recent statement. They should be able to identify where you have been overpaying, or where your current provider’s policies have put you at a disadvantage, and should be able to help bring more bottom-line profits back to your table. It doesn’t cost anything, and you could save hundreds of dollars a year!
In particular, look for a merchant services provider who has not raised rates in at least 15 years; this speaks to both their financial stability, as well as their commitment to helping merchants maximize their bottom-line profits. A great merchant services provider will be most interested in helping your company succeed, and less interested in generating hidden fees to fleece you with!
Most credit card transactions require a credit card machine. Oftentimes, a merchant services provider will either overcharge a merchant in order for them to use their “discounted” rate service, or they force the merchant to rent or lease a credit card machine at inflated rates as part of their contract. Both business practices are less than honest, and it leads to businesses overpaying for their credit card machine equipment. We recommend purchasing a credit card machine outright as the lowest cost solution.
Owners of small business who are searching for a merchant account have several factors and a wide selection of merchant services companies to take into consideration. Before you start comparing or investigating any merchant services company, it is vital that you have a solid understanding on the primary areas of interest to work out the…