As a business, your ability to accept payments is your lifeline. Because of this, you should be putting a lot of thought when choosing a credit card processor. Below, we will cover some of the top things that you should be considering when making your decision.
- Cost Comparisons
Credit card processing fees are a huge part of operating cost, and paying too much puts your business at a huge disadvantage. One of the most important things you have to consider when you are trying to compare the cost of accepting credit card from one processor to another is the rate structure. This is a very important concept to understand, because you want to ensure that you are comparing apples to apples. You don’t want to be caught by misleading offers or hidden fees. While monthly fees are likely to vary slightly with each processor, the transaction fees are really what to you want to pay close attention to. Figuring out how these transactions fees are structured is the most important. Some processors will charge rates that include the cost of Visa and MasterCard’s fees, while others charge a rate that is added on top of these fees. The fees charged by the credit card companies (Visa & MasterCard) are called Interchange Fees. Knowing if these fees are included in the rates you’re being quoted is essential. Often times a low rate is charged separate from these fees, known as Interchange Plus Rates. Both rate structures have their advantages and disadvantages, but the key is to know which one the processor is offering. You may then compare them side by side to other offers with the same rate structure for a true comparison. You can then do the math and figure out which one is truly the best option for your business.
- Payment Options
This is another major factor that you want to consider when choosing a payment processor. The more payment options you enable for your business, the more customers you are going to be able to cater to. Therefore, in an ideal world, you will choose a processor that accepts any and every payment type. By accepting all payment types, you will make it easier for customers to pay you. Some customers are very peculiar about the payment types they use. Because of this, you want flexibility when it comes to the processor you choose. While credit card and debit card payments are the most widely used, other payment options are rising in popularity, and some customers will base their purchasing decisions on whether or not they are accepted.
- Customer Support
Another thing that you are going to want to look into would be customer support. The customer support that you are able to receive from a processor can be key to maintaining a successful business because any issues related to your ability to manage payments is going to cost your business money. This is why it is key to find a processor that is willing and able to provide customer support at all times throughout the day and night. This will ensure that you are able to get your issues resolved as quickly as possible and get back to accepting payments.
- Merchant Protection
Another important consideration when you are shopping around for a payment processor would be whether or not they offer appropriate protection options for your business. This includes PCI Verification, Data Breach Insurance, Chargeback Notifications, as well as Fraud Detection. You want to ensure that you are choosing a payment processor that is going to have the necessary tools and services in place to help protect you from issues and ensure your business is compliant with all the appropriate regulations. Not having a properly protected merchant account can be costly in time and money.
- Special Features
You’ll also want to learn about any specific features available with the credit card processors you are considering. This may include things like, faster deposit time-frames, online access to your records, proprietary payment systems or free credit card equipment. You’ll want to consider whether or not these features factor into your decision process. Some advantages may offer cost savings beyond the rates and fees in the form of time savings or streamlining your business processes. For instance, a couple examples, Shopify offers extremely good features included with their processor solutions which can help you tightly integrate all of your payment systems into one easy to use and hassle-free platform, while the NMI Payment Gateway is loaded with many features such as integrated shopping card, recurring billing, as well as many more.
In the end, choosing the right credit card processor and online payment gateway for your eCommerce business or retail store can really make your business run much smoother overall. By choosing the right one that fits your business model and one that has excellent security and customer support, you should feel confident in your selection.