These days, it’s essential for a business to accept credit cards. After all, 50 percent of Americans only carry cash about half of the time they’re out. And, 46 percent say they use cash only eight days out of the month.
If your business can’t accept credit cards, you’re missing out on a lot of valuable sales.
Of course, in order to be able to process credit cards, you need to work with a reliable merchant services provider.
Do you currently have a merchant services provider for your business? Are they working out, or are you having issues and considering switching to something new?
Here are some guidelines to help you decide whether or not it’s time to find a new merchant services provider:
1. You Can’t Accept Multiple Payments
When you’re setting up a merchant account with a particular provider, it’s important to make sure they can accept various types of payments.
This includes EBT payments, gift cards, and all major credit cards and debit cards. It’s good to be able to accept mobile payments like Apple Pay, too.
If your merchant services provider can’t do this, it’s time to step into the future and switch to a company that can.
2. They Don’t Offer Services that Fit Your Business Needs
A merchant services provider might not be inherently bad; they just might not be the right option for your business. If they’ve never worked with a business like yours before, they might not be equipped to handle the specific way it operates.
If you constantly have to call the customer service line because your system doesn’t work with your business, it might be time to cut your losses and find a provider that has experience working with businesses like yours.
3. They Don’t Have Flexible Pricing Options
If you’re working with a merchant services provider that doesn’t offer flexible pricing, you could be paying a lot more than you need for their services.
Does your current provider do an excellent job of managing your transactions and helping you keep those costs as low as possible? It’s best to work with a provider that offers flexible pricing, rather than a one-size-fits-all model.
4. They Have Questionable Customer Service
Is it easy for you to reach a customer service representative when you have a question or issue with your system? When you do call customer service, do you get to talk to a real person?
If it’s hard for you to get the help you need, why are you continuing to work with a particular provider? Why not switch to a provider that can actually provide you with the help you need, right when you need it?
5. Their Processing Time is Unpredictable
Finally, predictable processing time is crucial.
It doesn’t necessarily matter how fast your provider processes payments (within reason, of course — it shouldn’t take weeks for payments to clear), but you ought to be able to rely on them to be processed within a certain period of time.
What to Look for in a Merchant Services Provider
Okay, based on these signs, does it seem like a new merchant services provider might be in the cards for you? If so, how do you make sure you don’t make the same mistakes that you made with the last provider?
Keep these tips in mind to make sure you find the right merchant services provider for your business’s unique needs:
Look for 24-7 Customer Support
Customer support ought to be a top priority when you’re searching for a merchant services provider.
Can you reach a representative (a real, human representative) 24 hours a day, seven days a week? Do they have multiple channels you can use to reach these representatives (phone, email, etc.)?
As a business owner, you know that issues can arise at any time, day or night. And, you need to be able to get those issues fixed as quickly as possible.
Find a Provider with a Proven Track Record
Look for a merchant services provider that has been around for a while and is known for providing excellent service. It’s especially helpful if you find a provider who has lots of experience working with businesses like yours.
New businesses might have more attractive offers. But, there are also a lot of risks that come with working with them (including poor customer service, unpredictable processing times, and all the issues you want to avoid when running a business).
Make Sure You Can Process Online and Offline Transactions
Even if you don’t offer online sales right now, that might be something you do want to offer later on. Make sure your provider offers a variety of processing options and is able to grow and evolve with your business.
Learn About Their Security and Fraud Protection Services
When you’re searching for a provider, find out what they do to safely store and protect your customers’ credit card information.
Security is of the utmost importance, and you need to make sure they have a plan in place to keep your customers’ information safe.
It’s also a good idea to find out what they do in the event that data is compromised. Do they offer monetary breach assistance to help cover the costs associated with this issue?
Start with a Short Contract Length
It’s best to work with a provider that offers various contract lengths. Start with a short-term contract so you can get a feel for the provider before you decide whether or not you want to stick with them long-term.
You can sometimes save money by agreeing to a long-term contract, but it’s best to make sure you like the provider before taking this step.
Get a New Merchant Services Provider Today
As you can see, there’s a lot to take into account when searching for a merchant services provider.
Are you ready for a new merchant services provider? Now that you know exactly what to look for, you can make sure you choose a provider whose system works best for your business.
If you run a high-risk business and need help with merchant account services, we can help at High Risk Solutions.
Sign up for an account with us today, and we’ll get to work providing your business with the best merchant account services at the lowest prices in the industry.