Accepting credit cards has become a big priority for nearly every business in the US today. There are an infinite number of credit card processing companies to choose from, and many business owners find it to be a painful and confusing task to try to select the best one. As a busy merchant, the last thing you want is to have to spend a lot of time looking for the right processing company.
In today's economy, keeping costs down is a huge priority for many businesses, so it's important for business owners to understand the fees that they will be charged. For starters, there are set-up fees, one time fees, annual fees, and transaction fees that you should be aware of because they definitely add up.
But what many merchants do not know is that finding the right credit card processing company can actually save them a small fortune. Below are some suggestions for businesses that are looking at adding credit card processing.
Ask lots of questions
One of the most important things you can do as a merchant when talking with credit card processing companies is to be sure to ask a lot of questions. One of your primary goals should be to understand which fees you will be charged and a ballpark figure of how much they will add up to. It's a good idea to have some real numbers on hand to share with processing companies when you speak with them. Based on your average sale and an average of your total daily sales, credit card processing companies should be able to give you an idea of what you will be paying in fees.
Written agreements – good or evil?
It's important to understand that a written contract is a "two-sided" agreement, and there's a great way to protect your business. Most processing agreements include an early termination fee that you are required to pay if you do not stay with that processing company until the end of the term. But if your processing company is not delivering on the fees and service outlined in your agreement, you have every right to switch companies without consequences.
But if your processing company is holding up their end of the agreement, why switch?
Some credit card processing companies will want to lock you into a long-term contract. One advantage of having a contract is that your processing company will be responsible for explaining fees and honoring their part of the agreement in terms of the services provided, fees assessed, etc.
There are also processing companies that do not require you to sign an agreement. One advantage to not being under contract with a company is that you are not "locked in" so if you did want to switch experts you would not be required to pay a termination fee.
You do not have to take it
If your credit card processing company is failing to deliver the service and fees that they promised, then you have reason to cancel, which would waive the termination fee. Your number one goal should always be to fully understand, as best you can, the fees and services that the processing company is offering. If you're like most merchants, price will be their number one concern, and most processing companies understand this concern.
Making sure you understand credit card processing companies' fee structures are an important step in the process of signing up with a processor. Once you understand the services and fees you will be charged, you can make an informed decision as to which processing company will be the best fit for you.