Today’s business scene has become a whole lot digital and businesses now have to modify their systems to meet up with the tech demands of this age. ePlatforms have taken over and it is reshaping how business is being done. Payments for purchases by customers are no longer primarily cash based as trends for a cashless society is being echoed globally. As a result of this development, businesses have to engage the services of merchant account providers in order to ensure that they are not knocked out of business by competitors who have embraced these providers.
Merchant account providers are into the service of data processing which covers the establishing of a secure network, debiting of the customer’s account and then crediting of the business’s banks account. When a customer is about to make payment for goods via credit/debit card, they create the connection between all parties involved in the transaction (i.e the customer, the card issuing bank, the card network and the business’s bank account).
Despite the complexities of the process involved, this service is now an integral part of business flow. Due to to the convenience it brings to the customer, they are more likely to patronize businesses with such facilities. Businesses now have to make available this service or risk losing customers. While they all offer the same primary function (credit and debit card processing), each offers additional features that distinguishes them from competitors.
The necessity of merchant account providers make them highly important and such businesses need to choose one that its charges are not outrageous as their charges vary while ensuring that quality service is not in question. Some of the factors to be considered before the business makes their choice are discussed below.
Great customer support
This is an important factor to consider. This is because accepting payment and receiving your money on time is a very vital part of business to keep it as a going concern and this is dependent on your provider. In case of complaints or delays with account being credited, software issues etc the provider should be able to provide a 24/7 human or technical support which can help resolve issues round the clock.
Merchant account cost
The key factor to consider in this decision is cost. Most of the providers offer three different pricing models;
1. Interchange plus pricing
2. Tiered pricing
3. Flat rate pricing
Experts recommend the interchange plus pricing model as this is the most beneficial pricing structure today.
Pricing consistency and transparency
Some providers are in the habit of not clearly stating full band of charges to the business before they are selected. Some are quite open about their charges/fees, clearly stating it on their website or giving full details through their sales rep.
Selecting a provider with low processing fees is very vital.
Identifying your business needs
It is always worthwhile to invest adequate time into finding the right provider for your type of business.
The industry has been making progress and has there a quite a number of card issuing networks today. Providers should be up to date so as to be able to accept all major cards, EMV chips and even mobile wallets. Non acceptance of some cards on their software will definitely put off some existing customers and prospect.
The service provider must have enhanced security features e.g EMV technology, PCI etc. They should be security complaint as customers’ information should be kept safe and secure due to the delicate nature of these information.
Business should be on the look out for the contract length proposed by the providers so as not to be locked in. They should be open to short term contracts as the fees for contract termination are mostly expensive.
References and reviews
This is likewise an important step. Reading online reviews might not be enough as some are paid to write amazing reviews, it is also good to seek for references from other businesses which provider they make use of and what concerns if any they have with their choice.
Irrespective of the provider chosen, it is always good to make sure that the one who works best for your business is selected and you are to be enjoying the best rates in the industry while also ensuring that quality service is not swept under the carpet.