The ability to accept credit and debit cards has become vital for all businesses- offering flexibility, increased sales and a trusted reputation. Understanding how to select merchant services can impact your sales revenue and profit.
When shopping around for the credit card processor that best suits your needs, it is important to understand what a merchant services account will include.
- Credit and debit card processing that is PCI (Payment Card Industry) approved, meaning that you will be up to date on best practices for protecting your business and customers’ data
- Check guarantee and conversion services so a customer’s check can be verified before being deposited at your bank
- ACH (Automated Clearing House) drafting and payment services so you can accept electronic check payments
- Gift card and loyalty program services to generate extra income, new customers and customer retention
- Payment gateways so you can safely accept credit card payments online and protect your business and customers’ data
- Merchant cash advance for short term financing options
- Online transaction processing
- POS (point of sale) systems and software for a brick and mortar location
- Tablet payment services so you can accept credit and debit card payments via your tablet computer
- EBT (electronic benefits transfer) processing, so you can accept food stamps and other programs
- Customer service support via phone and email
- Currency conversion services so your customer can pay in the currency of their choice
- Payroll distribution services
- Mobile payment services so you can accept payment via smart phones
- Advanced fraud detection tools and software to protect your business and customers’ data
- Alerts, online reporting tools, market insight newsletters and more to help you access key information and make informed decisions
- Your own relationship manager to guide you through the merchant services process and keep you in touch with the resources your company needs to grow and thrive
When selecting a merchant services provider, your company should carefully consider its needs.
Fees for options you’re not going to use can add up quickly, but you don’t want to pick such a basic package that you’re having to turn customers away. Stand alone merchant services processors typically charge less than major banks, in some cases up to 100 points lower. You’ll want to make sure that you understand the pricing differences for volume, dollar value and credit card types- the setup fees and monthly fees will vary depending on these variables. You’ll also need to consider your cash flow needs and how quickly a processor gives you access to your money.
Whether you’re accepting payments via bricks or clicks, a merchant account and all the services it provides will make transactions fast, easy and safe, and will keep customers coming back to your business.
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