How To Choose The Right Merchant Account Provider

by Aug 5, 2013Application/Contract Terms/Account Setup

What should you look for in a finding the right merchant account provider?

Have you asked the important questions about how service will be provided or have you just zeroed in on the quickest solution to solve your need to get a credit card terminal and service.

You probably wouldn’t just run out and buy the first car that you test drove or the first copy machine that Google search result returned to you, so why wouldn’t you put some thought into selecting the right merchant account provider.

After all, most providers are going to ask you to sign a contract so you should know what you’re getting.

Do a little research and prepare yourself with a list of things that are important before you commit to signing up with a specific provider.

In addition to the main points covered here be sure to check out the article on merchant account questions you might want to ask your provider.

 

Ask Simple Questions

Most business owners don’t ask enough questions or they simply don’t know the right questions to ask when it comes to signing up for a merchant account.

As a result some end up paying more for an inferior service when a little research would have pointed them to a company that values good service and honest pricing.

 

Request Social Proof

While everyone’s situation and opinions are unique, merchant account providers that voluntarily offer enough social proof, i.e. testimonials and case studies, to their prospects are typically a safe and reliable source to buy from.

Pay attention to what their current customers are saying. When you see that others are being treated right it’s a good indication that you will receive that same level of customer service.

 

Contract & Equipment Requirements

Do they require that you sign a 3-year contract?

Is there a cancellation fee?

Do they require that you sign up for a new terminal lease contract in order to obtain service with them?

These questions can all be indications of the level of customer service that you will receive after you have signed on the dotted line.

 

Check for Clearly Defined Rate Schedules

Make sure the representative doesn’t promise a specific rate or fee without going through the entire fee schedule with you.

If they don’t mention how ALL of the rates, fees and transaction costs will play into your overall effective rate, be certain that you ask them if there are any “hidden” fees. Often times advertised rates are only part of the story and are not a true indication of your effective rate.

 

Make A List Of Questions

Don’t put the cart before the horse.

Slow down and make your list of criteria that you require from your merchant account provider and then start shopping.

Get quotes from 2 or 3 companies and if the pricing and service seems relatively similar you can reasonably assume that you are getting a fair deal.

On the flip side, if one of the first two quotes that you receive reveals that you will pay $109.00 per month for a credit card terminal and the other says they’ll give it to you for free you might want to do a little more research. Make sure you’re getting the whole story.

 

Consider the People Behind The Business

Since all businesses are run by people it’s important to know who you are going to be dealing with. If you’re signing up for service with a customer service representative that works in a call center, you’re probably not going to get one-on-one support.

However, if you’re signing with a professional that stands behind their work and offers ongoing maintenance with the service contract it’s usually a better option for you.

In short, make sure the people are going to stand behind what they are offering you.

 

Conclusion

It never hurts to ask.

If there are certain elements that you require of your merchant account provider, simply ask for it.

The worst that could happen is that the provider says no, and you realize that you’re not a good fit for each other. Move on to the next company.

You’re the one that decides whether a particular provider is right for you and your business.

Brian Manning

Bancardsales founder and 15 year payment processing veteran, Brian Manning has helped thousands of businesses streamline their electronic payment systems. With a healthy disdain for things like terminal leases and "lowest rate" guarantees he regularly advises on best practices to anyone setting up merchant account related solutions. Brian's mission and passion is to help business owners use their merchant account simply as one tool in the big picture of growing their own business and creating an experience that is positive and meaningful for their customers.

Brian Manning

Bancardsales founder and 15 year payment processing veteran, Brian Manning has helped thousands of businesses streamline their electronic payment systems. With a healthy disdain for things like terminal leases and "lowest rate" guarantees he regularly advises on best practices to anyone setting up merchant account related solutions. Brian's mission and passion is to help business owners use their merchant account simply as one tool in the big picture of growing their own business and creating an experience that is positive and meaningful for their customers.

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