Unless you’re operating a cash-only business, you need a payment processor. This statement holds true regardless of your company size or industry. If you’re accepting credit cards, a processing company is the only way to make that happen.
Simply put, all payment processors are not created equally. Rather than choosing the first option that comes to mind, you can assess the potential candidates by asking the right questions.
1. What Payment Methods Do You Support?
The last thing you want to do is turn away customers because you don’t accept their preferred payment method. Don’t assume everyone has a Visa—and if they do, it doesn’t mean that they want to pay using that card.
In addition to the four major credit card networks (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express), your customers may want to pay using alternative methods like Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, etc.
Find out which methods your payment processor supports and ask them how you can accept the options that they do not.
2. How Will You Protect My Business from Fraudulent Charges?
Will they be able to detect fraud? If so, how? Ask these questions and get the specifics.
The best payment processors will be using robust technology paired with fraud-fighting experts to prevent your company from running fraudulent transactions.
Otherwise, you can get in trouble with the credit card networks and rack up hefty chargeback fees if you continually process unauthentic charges. Use a processor who has your back in this area.
3. How Soon Will I Get Paid?
First, the transaction needs to go through the initial approval process. That’s what happens at the point of sale to either approve or deny the transaction, and it typically happens in a matter of seconds. But then you still must batch your sales at the end of the day and wait to get paid.
Depending on the processor, this usually takes anywhere from 24-72 hours. If it’s taking more than three business days to get paid, that could be a problem. Find out the details for your payment cycle and ask about circumstances that would involve your payment being withheld.
4. What Are Your Installation and Set-Up Fees?
You’re going to be paying your credit card processor for every single credit card transaction that your business processes. There is no reason why you should have to pay them anything else.
Installation fees, set-up fees, or other initiation fees to get started are bogus and shouldn’t be charged. If your payment processor is charging you for these, then it’s a red flag.
5. What Other Fees Do You Charge?
Once you get past the setup, processors love to hit you with random recurring fees and one-off fees to increase their profits. Ask for some transparency ahead of time to avoid paying for things that you should not have to pay for.
- Cancellation fees
- Authorization fees
- Discount rate
- PCI compliance fees
- PCI non-compliance fees
- PCI regulatory fees
- CPU fees
- Software fees
- Statement fees
6. What Are Your Customer Support Hours?
In today’s day and age, credit card acceptance is the lifeblood of every business. You need to make sure your processor is available to support you day and night. In the event of an outage or other problem, fast support is crucial to your success.