If you own a small business, it’s really important that you are able to accept payments online. If you don’t, you’re literally leaving money on the table. Your profits and your customer base could be so much higher. Even a small corner shop will need to take some kind of card payment since some people don’t carry cash with them. You need to have a payment processing system, but how do you pick one? Here are a few tips to take into consideration so that you will find the right one for you and your business.
1. Experience & Stability
You need to research a potential company’s background. For example, have they been in the processing business for a long time and built a solid reputation? You need to find a company that is dependable and that you can rely on. You want to do business with a company that is financially stable and have at least a few years of experience.
2. P2P Encryption
You need to find a company that encrypts data transmission every step of the way. When a card is swiped, there are several points of digital transmission going back and forth taking place. Any vulnerability at any point can cause this information to be compromised. The customer’s information will become vulnerable to fraud. With point-to-point encryption, every step of the way protecting this data, it helps to prevent any information from becoming compromised, adding security to every transaction.
3. Are All Fees Fully Disclosed?
Make sure that you completely understand all the fees connected to your account. If you start accepting credit cards, you want to know just what the full cost to you will be. Sometimes, a fixed rate could mean a lot of hidden charges that may shock you later on. You need to find out exactly what you’re going to be paying for, so don’t sign anything just yet!
4. Ask About EMV Technology
Just about every card that is issued nowadays features this technology, however, the point of sale equipment may not be updated to take a chip payment. EMV chip technology is really important to protect your business from security breaches like hacking and other fraudulent activity. If your point of sale can take chip technology, then your business is protected.
5. Account Statements
You need to find out if your merchant account statements are easy to understand. As you know, sometimes these statements and other account statements such as your cable bill can be a little tricky to understand. You generally just accept it and move forward, never questioning anything. 9 cents is deducted for something and 12 cents is deducted for something else that may be abbreviated as “tbl add-on” or “7.7 mgh rental” (only god knows what these things mean; perhaps it’s even fictitious). Make sure you can understand the statements and exactly what you’re getting and what you’re paying for, because these things can add up and cut into your profits.
It can be a bit of a pain, but do look at the fine print. There’s no doubt you will need a payment processor, but make sure to check the agreement with a fine-tooth comb. You don’t want to be surprised by any hidden fees. Whoever you select, they must be able to meet the current and future needs of your business.