Things to consider in choosing a small business credit card processing service

The ever popular business weekly, Barron’s, recently published an article stating that fewer and fewer Americans are making large and small purchases with cash and asked the question whether it is “The End of Cash?” It stated that credit cards and debit cards each make up about 30 percent of all retail transactions. Increasingly today’s customers are paying with credit and debit cards at retail stores, restaurants and accept credit cards online. Over the Internet, credit and debit cards are the method of payments for goods and services and Web based businesses don’t take cash. For small businesses, accepting credit and debit card is a must in order to expand as well as to survive in this difficult business environment. An ecommerce merchant account is must.
Basic fee that any provider of service charge include Interchange fee that include a flat fee as well as a percentage of the transaction amount, non-negotiable assessment fee that are mainly charged by Visa and Master Card, and negotiable processor markup that depends on the business risk factors and others. Here are things to consider when choosing a small business credit card processing provider.

1. Security. Customers are hesitant to provide their credit card information if they don’t feel comfortable with the processor. That is a lost business opportunity for a small business. Therefore, security provided by the small business credit card processing service is more important. As a rule of thumb, many services including no longer use the entire credit card number on receipts and show only last four digits.

2. Reputation of the merchant services provider. Service provider should have reputation for providing high quality service. Consider service provided by Review available genuine critics of the service provider.

3. Consider ecommerce merchant account and agreement. I know we all hate reading fine prints on merchant services contracts. But you should know how they intend to handle disputes, what they promised to deliver for your money, how fast they process payments, and other important factors that are embedded in fine prints. Read the entire contract carefully and ask for clarifications if you have any doubts about any provision. Better yet get it in writing.

4. Understand the technology they use. Many service providers to >accept credit cards online use different methodologies and as a result require different technologies. It may be hard to follow process but you need to know how it works. They should be able to explain it in plain English.

Support. Your business schedule may require 24/7 support. You need to understand any limitations if there are any.

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