Entries tagged with “Merchant Services”.
Did you find what you wanted?
Dec 10 2014
Finding the right payment processor for your small business can be challenging. There are a lot of great options on the market, but not every option is a good fit for every type of small business. Here are some tips for how to begin the process of finding the right payment processor for your small business:
- Research the company’s history: You want to choose a payment processor provider who has a proven track record. Find out how long the provider has been in service and how many customers they currently have. Check with the Better Business Bureau for their evaluation. Ask other business owners for their opinions on providers. Getting a feel for which companies are proven to be good providers is a good way to start narrowing down your field of options. There’s no need to waste your time (or money) on a new provider or one who has proven to have a history of unhappy customers.
- Customer service and support: Once you’ve started narrowing your options, look at the providers’ customer service and support options. Do they have a toll free number that’s available 24/7, or are they only available during normal business hours? Can you call them on a weekend? What kind of training do they offer? Will they provide you with a hard copy of your billing transactions or just a digital copy? What is their client satisfaction rating? You want to make sure the provider will be there to help you and keep you and your customers satisfied long after you’ve signed on to an agreement with them.
- Fees: Now it’s time to talk money. Keep in mind that the least expensive option isn’t always the best option. Get a list of all the possible fees and associated rates for each provider you’re considering. Pay particular attention to any provider who has suspiciously lower rates than its competitors, as this often signals that there are hidden fees elsewhere in the contract. Remember that payment processing is never free. If a provider tells you it’s free, they’re hiding that payment somewhere else by building it in to another service term or fee.
- Timing: Knowing when deposits will be made into your account is crucial and can be the determining factor in which provider you choose. Usually the time between your transaction and the deposit into your account is around 72 hours. Some providers, however, can take up to 2 weeks to make deposits, which can be a big hit on your small business.
- Security: Another important factor for your small business is how the provider handles security and fraud. Is the provider PCI compliant? Are fraud detection services included in the pricing or is there an extra charge for this service? Know what the process is if, and when, fraud is detected and whether or not you’ll be charged if it happens.
Finding the right payment processor for your small business will take in a lot of factors. Start by narrowing down the field to legitimate providers who have a good reputation, then compare their fees and other features to determine which one is right for you and your business. For more information on how to choose the right payment processor, contact us.
Dec 4 2014
Using a payment processor can be vital for your small business, but choosing the right one can be a challenge. Each payment processor is different, and each company has a different way of charging you. Keep these tips in mind in order to protect yourself from hidden fees from payment processors:
-Annual Fees: Annual fees are quite common among payment processors but many aren’t upfront about them. Many payment processor companies hide the annual fee within their litany of paperwork, making it so you don’t know about it when you sign the agreement. If your processor doesn’t make you aware of the annual fee in the beginning, make sure to read your agreement carefully so you understand the costs involved and aren’t surprised later on.
-Read user reviews: Particularly the negative ones. If you see patterns emerging among the reviewers, go on to the next option. Reviews are a place where users will vent their frustrations and try to steer other potential customers away from a product or company that has mistreated them. Hidden fees or extra costs that weren’t anticipated will be at the top of the list of frustrations.
-Ask around: Ask other business owners which payment processors they use and which ones they have heard of that include hidden fees or extra costs.
-Cancellation fees: Changing your mind about using a particular payment processor can end up being costly if the company has a cancellation policy that includes a hefty fine. Try to find a company that doesn’t have a cancellation fee. At the very least, be aware of exactly what you’ll pay if you choose to cancel, and get it in writing.
-Find out when fees are taken out: It’s not uncommon for payment processors to charge a fee whenever there is a transaction. Make sure to be aware of any additional charges or fees having to do with transferring of money to the appropriate accounts after transactions are completed. It’s better to find out in the beginning rather than be unaware that you’re being additionally charged later on.
Contact us for more information about how you can protect yourself and your business from unnecessary payment processing fees.
Nov 28 2014
Posted by Sara Davis
Micro Merchant, Small Businesses
Industry players within handmade marketplaces provide easy to use venues for crafting small businesses to get their products out to the world. As you grow your crafting business, you may get frustrated with the limitations put in place by these marketplaces. You get full control over your design, content, and presentation when you go it on your own with a website. When you market your site, you don’t have to worry about visitors checking out someone else’s store. There’s one barrier to entry that gives some crafters pause, however: payment processing.
Payment processing services handle transactions conducted through your website. It’s possible for you to handle your own payment processing, but the industry has strict regulations in place to protect customer credit card information and other data. You get several benefits when you choose a payment processor instead of cobbling together your own solution.
The major benefit is having user-friendly credit card processing available through your site. Many customers seek the convenience of using credit cards over other electronic payment methods, expanding your customer base. The security benefits are also significant, as payment processors do this as their sole business. They have security standards that meet industry regulations, high powered servers available, and support if you aren’t as technically minded as you wish you were. Finally, some payment processors replace the need for a point of sale system at craft shows. They offer a small card reader or payment processing app that works with your smartphone or tablet. Instead of shelling out hundreds or thousands of dollars for cumbersome equipment to take to a show, you get an unobtrusive option.
Contact us for any questions you have about payment processing services.
Nov 26 2014
Posted by Sara Davis
Customer Service, Small Businesses
One of the most difficult aspects of owning a small business is finding the best ways to take payments from customers. Here are a few small business financial success tips to help smooth the operation of your business by making your site more payment friendly.
Maximize Payment Options
The truth is that it’s nearly impossible to perfectly predict what payment options your clients are going to feel the most comfortable with using. As a result, the best approach is to add as many ways of receiving payment as you can.
Some customers will feel more comfortable with anonymous methods that make it impossible to trace the buyer. Others would rather pay with credit cards, or with standard electronic payment methods. If you can, you should also make payment processing possible over the phone as well as online.
Some may only feel comfortable giving you cash in person, so that would be a good thing to take into account if it’s an option for you. There’s also always the possibility of using mobile card readers for taking payments from people in person as well.
Integrate Payment and Tracking
You’re going to waste a lot of time if you try to track all of your payments by hand. That’s why it’s a good idea to look for an accounting system that can automatically add in all of the purchases customers make into a record that you can easily search through.
This is important not just because it keeps the finances of your business in order, but also because you can use this information to figure out what’s working for sales and what’s not.
Don’t Forget Mobile
Due to the rising number of people making purchases with their mobile phones, it’s important to make sure that you have at least one or two options that customers can use to easily make purchases through their phones and tablets.
For more information on payment processing for your business, please contact us.
Nov 19 2014
Posted by Sara Davis
Mobile Payments, ecommerce merchant
With so many payment processing solutions out in the market today, it can be hard to find the right payment processor that supplies the best service possible for your business. It can be tedious comparing costs and finding the processor that’s right for your type and size of business. Here are some tips for finding the right payment processor for your small business.
You don’t have to sign up for processing from your bank. There are many other options that are far less expensive and provide a better service that is customized to your business’ needs. Today, payment systems have moved from being bank owned to technology providers that can vary in size, depth and trust. Always be aware of hard costs that you really can’t get away from, and be wary of hidden fees, and surcharges that some payment processing companies will tack on. Make the choice to go with a price that will fit your budget and is manageable for you.
Only consider payment processing services from companies that explain their contracts, use plain language, and have no hidden or confusing fees. Small business owners need to be able to understand the terms of a contract, so it is important to find service providers that openly communicate contract terms and obligations. Look up reviews online, check out blogs and even go as far as speaking with a company rep armed with questions.
Look for dedicated support.
Look for a service with a dedicated support team. The payment processor should handle all of your service inquiries regarding problems or issues 24 hours a day. Full service is essential because you never really know when a terminal might suddenly stop working, making you unable to process any transactions. Make sure the company you choose is one that provides real customer support and matches you with a payment service that you can depend on when the worst happens.
Look for security.
The processor you choose should be fully compliant with all industry security standards. Payment Card Industry (or PCI) compliance is a requirement of all businesses that interact with credit or debit cards. PCI compliance ensures that you are up to date on the latest best practices to protect your business and your customers from card payment fraud. A breach of security can result in the loss of existing customers and have an impact on how many new customers choose to do business with your organization. Business owners that take the time to do research will have no difficulty finding a reliable and secure processor that offers a wide variety of payment options and offers secure, dependable service.
Evaluate the impact of growth.
Always take a look at how growth will impact the affordability of any service you’re considering. If growth will make a certain contract relatively less affordable in 2 years than it is now, and changing or getting out of the contract will be costly, then you will want to consider other options. Ideally, payment processing partnerships are long-term relationships, therefore it is critical to find a processor that suits your business’ needs today and has options that will allow for making adjustments as the company and industry change and grow.
Finding a payment processor that meets your specific business needs is vital, so it is a good idea to thoroughly investigate and compare all options and value-added services available. With these tips in mind you will be able to find the right solution for your business, one that will scale and support your business’ growth.
For more information, or if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us.