Most people pay for things using a credit or debit card rather than a check or cash. In 2013, American consumers spent about $4.6 trillion with credit and debit cards, which represented more than half of the overall consumer spending total of $8.6 trillion. In April 2013, it was reported that there are 522 million Visa cards on the planet and 278 million of them are in the United States. It really does not matter what is being sold or bought with those cards, merchant account providers make a lot of those sales possible.
Merchant account providers give businesses a way to accept payments with a credit or debit card. Given how many people prefer to pay for goods and services with a card, not being able to accept these forms of payment can hurt your bottom line.
Tips to finding the best credit card payment system for your business.
- Know what you need. Not all merchant account providers handle the same services. Do you need additional services such as recurring billing? If you need a lot of services, try to find a debit and credit card payment services company that can do all of it rather than use a few companies that provide a credit cards payment system to handle all the different aspects of your billing.
- Find out if they outsource the work or do it themselves. Anytime a company outsources their payment processing, it complicates process. Also ask if you need to use their point of sale (POS) software or one that you prefer.
- Research the cost. Get bids from several merchant account providers but also do not forget to ask about any additional fees they may charge. These include fees to install the system, program it, maintain it and some even charge an annual fee. Remember you also need to train your employees how to use any new POS software so that can be an additional cost. Be sure you are clear on all the fees that you will be charged before you sign anything.
- Ask about customer service. What are their customer service and technical support policies and hours? Do they outsource these services? Can they provide 24 hour support? You may not need someone available 24 hours a day but you may during your peak business hours. You need to know that someone can help you when problems come up, and they always do at some point.
- Get References and look up reviews. When you approach different merchant account providers, you should already know something about them. Look at the social media pages and website. Find reviews on Yelp! and Facebook. Do a Google search and see what people have said about them. Keep in mind the fact that people are much more likely to complain than compliment but it can be useful to know what people think. As the company for references and follow up with them.
The ability to take credit and debit cards can make a big difference for your bottom line.