How to Choose a Merchant Card Processor

September 25, 2018

For most business owners, it won’t come as a surprise to learn that nearly 66% of all in-person transactions involve plastic. That’s why choosing your merchant card processor, the “link” between your business and the credit card networks, is so important. Without a processor, you can’t accept debit or credit payments. There are many factors to consider when choosing from the countless number of providers.

1. Pricing. There are many factors that determine pricing, including the number of transactions you process, how those payments are accepted (i.e. online, in-person), and the cards you want to accept. It’s important to know your current and projected level of transactions in order to receive accurate pricing from potential vendors.

2. Cash Flow. Processors use different systems that affect the time it takes funds to reach your bank account. Make sure you know when you can expect your money to be deposited in order to maximize your cash flow.

3. POS (point-of-sale) System. You’ll probably want to connect your processing and current POS systems. Carefully evaluate your current and future needs and be sure the system you choose works best to meet those needs.

4. Customer Service and Support. Many overlook service because of their focus on accepting payment. There will be a time when you need to access customer support and talk to an actual person, not an automated system. How easy is that to do? How comfortable are you with your customer service representative? Do you have an established trust or talked with current customers?

The bottom line is that choosing your credit card processor is as important a decision as any you make. Take the time to talk other business owners, conduct online research, and analyze the “fine print” of proposals you receive. Taking the time to do your homework will pay off in making the best choice for your business.

The views, information, or opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Citizens State Bank and its affiliates, and Citizens State Bank is not responsible for and does not verify the accuracy of any information contained in this article or items hyperlinked within. This is for informational purposes and is no way intended to provide legal advice.