Are you new to the retail store business? Opening a retail store in your city can be an overwhelming and time-consuming task. You need to do enough research, secure inventory, and create an online store for customers who prefer online shopping, and also find the right location before you can open your doors to customers. A retail store business, whether large or small, requires you to have a business plan and layers of complex decision-making to make it successful.
One of the most important things you will need to do when opening a new business is choosing a credit card processor. If you will be accepting credit cards at your shop, you will definitely need to work with the best payment processor in the market.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, less than 40% of all POS transactions are completed by paying in cash. It would be very unfortunate if customers walked into your physical store or shopped online on your website but had to leave their carts because your business does not accept credit cards.
What Is a Credit Card Processor?
Credit card processing can be defined as a series of networked operations required to finish your customer’s payments that are made via card either online, in person, over the phone, or by mail. A credit card processor is a go-between or middleman between your shoppers’ credit card companies and your business.
Whether your business is purely online or you run a physical store, you will need a payment processor to complete credit card payments. But with so many credit card processors in the market to choose from, how do you choose one that will support your unique customers’ choice of payments?
Here are four important things to look for in the best credit card processing companies.
Fees and Costs
Most credit card companies charge a fee known as an interchange fee. The interchange fee, also known as the swipe fee is the fee the merchant pays with every credit card or debit card transaction. The fee is charged in return for the credit risk they accept in credit card transactions. Depending on the processing company you choose, the interchange fee can range from 0.05 to 3% of the complete price.
Your processing company may also charge you fees for monthly statements, set up fees, and even fees for cancellation of the contract. These fees can be overwhelming especially if you are on a tight budget. Be sure to ask about all the fees including hidden fees and additional charges before you agree to work with that company or even sign a contract.
The Setup Process
When selecting a payment processor to work with, be sure to understand their setup process. Even though the set-up process is a one-time event, overlooking it can cost you heavily in the long run. This is because a credit card processing company whose setup process is too long and complicated can take up a lot of your time and inconvenience some of your customers.
Before you do anything, make sure that you talk to your service provider and ask all the right questions. If you want to start using their technology immediately, ask them how long it will take to install the equipment, set up everything, and activate your account.
You should never sacrifice sales during these tough times because your processing company is taking too long to set you up. It is also important to ask if the processing company will offer assistance during the setting up process and if the support will incur extra charges.
The truth is, even the best service provider can suffer from service interruptions once in a while. When your system is down, you need a credit card processing company that you can rely on to help you as fast as possible so that you can get back to business. Work with a company that will offer ready customer support, are helpful, and are just a phone call away.
A processing company that offers round-the-clock support, is a good choice to work with. Remember, you may never know when a problem will arise and therefore it is assuring you to know that your processing company is available at all times.
It goes without saying that credit cards and security concerns go hand in hand. In this age of identity theft, you must make sure that your customers’ payment information data is safe. Ask your processing company which fraud prevention tools they are currently using. Look for encryption and tokenization features and if you are looking for online payment support, SSL certificates and CVV2 verification are a must. If you run high-risk operations, your goal should be getting the highest compliance levels such as PCI compliance.