Entries tagged with “Merchant Services”.


Finding the right payment processor can certainly be a daunting and overwhelming task. Every provider will have different guidelines, contracts, and fees. Since these things are all different, it is important that you understand all the subtle differences so you will make the right decision.

It is always a good idea to set aside some time to compare all of the payment processors before you make a critical decision and choose one. When you think about it, the payment processor that you choose can determine the amount of revenue that you will bring in. Before you implement a payment processor or switch from your old one, here are some questions that you want to keep in mind when comparing payment processors.

What Kind Of Rates Do You Have?

Sometimes there are different charges, rates, and fees for different cards. Some customers will have their rewards cards, their business credit cards/debit cards, their personal credit/debit cards, and other cards. You should know what type of fees you will have to pay for every transaction.

Do I Have A Limit?

Some payment processors give you limits on how much your business can process. This can certainly cause some problems, especially if you did not know this beforehand. Your customers may not be too happy with the limits either. This is why it is important to ask questions before making a final decision on a payment processor.

Payment Processing

There are different fees and rates depending on how a payment method is entered. What kind of rates or fees will you be charged with if a specific credit/debit card is swiped? What about keying in manually? If you accept a payment method over the phone, fraudulent activity is possible. Since there could be a possibility of fraud, the fees for processing can go up. When using payment methods online, there is also a risk of fraud. In this case, the payment processing fee will go up as well. For these reasons, you will want to make sure you understand what kind of rates you may see.

Finding the right questions to ask different providers of payment processors is a big task. When you ask the right questions and get the answers, you should also try to take a test run. Whatever provider you feel will meet the needs of your business is the one you should go with. Contact us for help in making this big decision.

There’s plenty of advice out there about the major factors surrounding the finances of small businesses.  Control of your small business’ limited cash-flow is a must to maintain fluid finances month-to-month. Often, small businesses are inundated with tools or products to help grow their business that may be well-priced, but add up quickly, and may not be worth the investment. Here we talk about ways to manage shipping costs and how to process client payments.

Paying for Trackable Shipping for Everything

Trackable shipping is a great fraud-prevention tool, so it should be used whenever it makes sense. It does not, however, make sense to use it for everything. The biggest example is the shipping of small, low-value items. If your company sells accessories such as batteries that only cost you a few pennies to buy, the sensible thing to do is simply put them in a first-class envelope and mail them regardless of the retail price you charge. The cost of putting tracking on such items is more than what it’d cost to do a direct replacement.

Using the Same Shipper for Everything

This is a mistake because each major shipping service – the USPS, UPS, and FedEx – has its own set of sweet spots. For example, the USPS tends to offer the best prices for things shipped nearby, while the other shippers are better for long-distance deliveries. Figure out which one offers the best deal for each general area you ship to and divide your carrier use accordingly.

Buying Boxes

In many cases, this cannot be avoided. However, if you sell items that will fit into the packaging provided by the shipper you intend to use, use their boxes as well as their service. The U.S. Post Office (USPS) has a huge array of flat-rate packaging available, so this may prove advantageous as you seek to deliver your packages quickly and at an affordable price to your customers.

Using Payment Processors

Like managing your shipping expenses, it is important to consider how you are processing the payments of your customers. Re-evaluate semi-annually the costs and benefits associated with your payment processor and your provider. More times than not, you will find that there are less-expensive and safer options available.

For more small business tips feel free to contact us. We’ll be glad to help you save money in your day-to-day operations.

“You get what you pay for.” You’ve undoubtedly heard that phrase before and have possibly learned through personal experience that it is in fact true. When it comes to merchant services, this saying is no exception. With the industry buzz about “Free Accounts” or “Free Card Readers”, more and more companies are falling for this trend without fully understanding what this so-called “free” really entails.

In order to better define these free services, the following sections offer a comparison between ProPay’s services and a competitor offering a free merchant account and reader.

Secure Card Readers

ProPay

Free Service

  • All of ProPay’s approved card reader devices encrypt sensitive credit and debit card data “on the head” of the device as information is collected off the magnetic stripe.
  • ProPay’s ProtectPay enables merchants place customer’s credit card data on file for repeat billing.
  • Additionally, ProPay over 10 ways to accept payments.
  • Competitor offers no ProtectPay equivalent.
  • Competitor offers no “clip” to secure the reader in the audio jack permitting it to spin around and risk damage to the audio jack. Also requires the merchant to awkwardly hold the phone and reader while attempting to swipe the card.

Competitive Rates

ProPay

Free Service

  • 2.60% on all swiped (Visa, MasterCard, Discover; AMEX is slightly higher).
  • 3.40% on all keyed (Visa, MasterCard, Discover; AMEX is slightly higher).
  • ProPay provides multiple tier pricing options that offer better transaction rates based on merchant’s needs.
  • 2.75% on all cards swiped.
  • 3.50% + $0.15 on all cards keyed.
  • One size fits all.
  • No data coverage, no ability to accept payments.

Fund Accessibility

ProPay

Free Service

  • No bank account is required.
  • Easily transfer money to your own bank.
  • Access funds immediately through Enhanced SpendBack.
  • Funds should be available within 24 hours.
  • Process up to $1,000 per week. Any amount over $1,000 is held in reserve for 30 days.
  • Limited to “banked” customers with a Smartphone and a data plan.
  • Bank Account is required.

Customer Service Capabilities

ProPay

Free Service

  • Phone, Email, Chat
  • U.S.-based customer service representatives.
  • Representatives that speak the following languages: English, Spanish, French.
  • Available Monday-Friday 6:30 AM – 7:00 PM MST
  • SMS, Email, Phone Monday-Friday 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM PST.
  • SMS, Email, Phone Monday-Friday 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM PST.

Payment processors set up through your merchant services account are meant to help your small business make money. However, accumulating fees simply for processing payments will cause you to lose more money in the long run. Small businesses can’t afford to lose even a percentage on a payment without raising prices. Instead, a little research can go a long way toward protecting yourself from hidden fees.

Here are 6 tips to help you keep the money you make:

1. Be highly selective when choosing a payment processing company. Even companies who advertise “no fees” may have some caveat such as no fees for certain credit cards, additional fees for debit cards, etc.

2. One of the most common “hidden fees” is charging extra, as much as 20 cents per transaction, for credit cards that are entered manually versus “swiped”. When setting up a merchant account, remember part of the overall cost involves investing in hardware that can “swipe” a card. Mobile card readers may be a good investment if this fee can’t be avoided.

3. Most payment processing companies require a “monthly minimum”, usually hidden way down at the bottom of your contract in the very fine print. How much business do you expect? Can you reliably meet the minimum requirement? Remember, the minimum is counting credit/debit card transactions only – not cash or check sales.

4. Payment gateway fees refer to how sales are made, typically online or at a brick-and-mortar location. E-commerce sales may have more hidden fees for providing connection services.

5. Almost all processors will have an extra fee for paper statements as opposed to receiving your statement via e-mail. On that same token, they may offer small discounts for setting up “auto-pay” options.

6. Some credit cards have higher fees than others. Weigh the risks and benefits of accepting all major credit cards or deciding not to accept one or two in order to avoid those fees.

Ultimately, your decision affects not just your bottom line but your customer experience as well. Some small businesses are forced to pass on fees for credit cards or require a minimum purchase in order to use a credit card. With credit and debit transactions becoming the norm, small businesses have a tough choice to make. The moral of the story here is to do your research, ask questions, and examine the contracts closely.

Contact us to learn more about global payment solutions that are simple, secure and affordable.

The right payment processor for your small business can be an incredible asset for  your business, it can also be an overwhelming decision. The following are three tips you may not have thought about when it comes to your payment processor.

- Customer Service Matters – Contact your potential service provider. Finding out how they treat customers is a good step towards understanding how they will treat you as a customer. Many payment processors are operated solely by large corporations with limited focus on the individual, and smaller companies. When dealing with regulatory changes, security issues, or more, you need a company that you can talk to. If they get back to you in good time with good answers to your questions, you know that you can expect similar customer service further down the road.

- Online Processing Should Be Intuitive – The first thing to check in a demo, or trial period is how the interface feels online and on any app you want to use. Do they have the right interface for your preferred hardware/browser? When you do the demo, make certain that reporting, payment information, receipts and customer information can be accessed in such a way that you will be able to continue using the interface for years.

- Pricing Should Not Require a Lawyer – Glance over terms and conditions and contracts before doing a demo. If the pricing scheme has hidden items, monthly surprises or odd schemes, this could cause problems down the road. Some payment processors specifically target larger businesses, so they charge smaller businesses that process less payments. You do not want to end up paying more to process a small invoice than you earn from the invoice. If the payment process scheme does not make sense and your customer service rep cannot explain it to you, then that payment processor is not right for your small business.

To find out about simple payment processing plans for small businesses, please contact us.