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What Do You Want From Your Merchant Account Provider?

by Dec 27, 2013General Merchant Account

Your merchant account provider options are plentiful. There’s almost too many choices.

There are countless providers lining up for your business, and knowing what you want puts you in the drivers’ seat.

Whether you’re shopping because you have a brand new startup business or you’re considering a switch from one provider to the next there are some important elements to keep in mind while weighing your options.

My goal here is to help you avoid the pointless cycle of switching providers for a flimsy reason like getting a lower rate.

In addition to the 7 important detailed questions you might want to ask a potential provider, consider what you want from them too.


It’s like resetting a watch

Have you ever taken the battery out of a digital watch and replaced it with a new one? Undoubtedly “12:00” starts flashing and you must reset the time to match the current time.

Twelve o’clock is the default starting point.

As I consider all of the elements that go into selecting a merchant account provider, I keep coming back to one single question that supersedes everything else.

This consideration is an important question that I think is skipped over by many business owners seeking the right provider.

You already know the question:  What do you want from your merchant account provider?


If you already know what you want

Feel free to skip ahead.

If you’re the type of person that likes to do ample research and have done so on this site or elsewhere, feel free to go to the specific section that will serve you in getting set up quickly.

Even if you already have knowledge of the merchant account industry and you know how the rates, fees and terminals work perhaps asking this question will help set you up to avoid the cycle of switching providers.

If you have already answered that question for yourself and you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for give yourself a pat on the back because you’re already further along in the process than most.


Think “big picture” first

You’ll notice that I have not given you a list of specific question to ask yet. That’s because I want you to think of how you would like it to be, in an ideal world.

Think about the way you interact with your provider. Would you like to deal with a specific person? Would you like to talk to this person face to face, or over the phone? Do you have access to their direct phone line?

I want to take you through a thought process that will likely set you up to have a merchant account that remains under your control for years to come.


Okay, here’s your list of questions

Keep in mind that there’s not a universal “right” answer to these questions. The correct answer for you will address your questions and concerns particular to your company. What’s right for you may not be the answer for someone else.

All providers offer different things so consider how one provider differentiates themselves from the rest. In other words, why would you buy from “that” company vs. the next?

  1. Do I need to understand all the rates and fees or will my provider set me up with a good deal?
  2. Will I be protected from rate increases?
  3. Do I feel comfortable with this person and with this company?
  4. Can they provide me with customer testimonials?
  5. Do I want a “hands on” or “hands off” approach

This list goes on of course. I offer these since they are the questions  I most frequently hear.


Above all else

Consider what type of person you are and know how you like interacting with businesses that you buy services from.

My recommendation is to sniff out the company that is going to hold your hand throughout course of your merchant account agreement – the one that will be there when questions/problems arise.

Some providers will make it appear one way and in practice it’s quite the opposite. Do your homework and determine what’s most important to you.


If you have questions that haven’t been covered here click the contact form (Let’s Talk) and you will be connected with a representative that will talk to you on the phone to answer your questions.

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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