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5 tips for selecting a merchant service provider

Posted by Alex Neir on Fri, February 08, 2013 @ 01:14 PM
Selecting a merchant service provider
Selecting a merchant service provider can be a daunting task. With so many companies claiming to be an expert in the industry, how do you make the right selection? Here are a few tips to guide you on your quest.

1. Ask as many questions as possible

In order to feel comfortable with the company you select you will need to ask a few questions. The more questions you ask the better feel you will get from the provider.

Here are a few questions to ask when selecting a merchant service provider:

    • What are interchange fees and how are they determined?
    • What price structure will be set up for my business?
    • What can I do to make sure my credit card sales qualify for the best rate?
    • How will my fees be deducted from my account?
    • If I need equipment will it be leased or do I have the option to purchase it?
    • Is your equipment proprietary?
    • What is the early termination fee?
    • Is there a monthly minimum fee associated with the account?
    • What is the annual fee for the account?
    • What is the PCI Compliance charge?
2. Avoid a processing account from the banks

Merchant services and credit card processing is a specialized industry. You wouldn’t go to your dentist to get gallbladder surgery would you? No, simply because your dentist specializes in a particular part of the body. The same is true of the banking industry. The banks specialty is storing and lending money, not processing credit card transactions. Go with a specialist and your experience will be much better.

3. Understand how the fees are calculated

Understanding the fees associated with the account is very important. The credit card processing industry has intentionally made fee calculation cumbersome so that merchants don’t understand what they are being charged. Avoid this issue by taking some time to understand how the fees are calculated. If the provider you are speaking with is unwilling to explain it, move on.

4. Avoid an account with a cap

If the processor you are working with has an account cap that can’t be exceeded, move on. Most provider will have soft limits set up on the account. The soft limit represents the boundaries the processing account is set up with. These limits can be exceeded, hence the name soft limit. If your account is not able to exceed these limits it can inhibit your business growth.

5. Ask more questions

The more questions you ask the better your experience will be. Make sure you ask about the processors better business bureau standings, ask about the history of the company and their merchant attrition rate.

These tips will help arm you with the best information so that you can make the right decision for your business.

Tags: Merchant Service Tips, Applying For a Merchant Account, Merchant Service Provider