For many retail and service businesses, credit card processing is a major expense. With fees averaging around 3% per transaction, it’s not uncommon for a company to see their profits eaten up with merchant account fees. Here are seven tips for choosing the right service for your business.
- Read the reviews There are a lot of online sources ranking the best merchant account providers. Learn about each provider’s processing time, the payout schedule, and customer service. Picking the right provider from the start can save you a lot of time, money, and headache in the long run.
- Choose the processing service that is best for your business For example, if your business makes sales or provides services away from its main location then you will want the ability to accept customer credit cards in the field. To save money, a business like this should look for a processor that offers discounts on mobile payment processing.
- Consider if you really need specialized equipment Dedicated machines that process cards can cost hundreds of dollars a month. Rather than rent these machines, smaller businesses have discovered that using card readers that connect to existing computers can save them a lot of money, and the difference doesn’t affect customers.
- Look carefully at high-volume “discounts” There are processing plans geared towards businesses that process hundreds or even thousands of transactions a day. They typically charge a large flat fee every month but give the business a smaller percentage charge on each transaction. Consider the average number of transactions you expect to do each month before agreeing a number specific plan.
- Train your employees A fee is charged every time a card is passed through a card reader. That means that if an employee tries to run a card but makes a mistake, your business is still charged a transaction fee. Putting money back onto a card also costs your business. You can save money by training employees to process cards properly.
- Review your processing fees every six months Credit card processors can change their terms and conditions frequently, making a previously cheap service one of the most expensive. Also, look for a new processor if your business model has changed. For example, if you find that you are doing more credit card transactions in the field, it might make sense to go with a processor who offers a discount on mobile transactions.
- Look out for fraud While rare, there are several kinds of credit card fraud that can occur with a processing company. Carefully reviewing your statements can prevent it or catch it early, before it costs you thousands of dollars.