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Choosing a Payment Provider

Payment processing is a mission-critical component of your business, make sure you choose the right payment provider.  Here are some common things to consider when making your choice.

All Payment Providers are Not created Equal

This statement may seem self-explanatory, but let's take a closer look.  Let's put this into another context.  Say you were in the residential real estate business and needed a contract written with very specific terms for your industry.  Would you go to an attorney who specialized in: a) general contracts; b) contracts for the manufacturing industry; c) commercial real estate contracts; d) residential real estate contracts.

Well they all practice law.  And they all specialize in contracts.  But the key difference is their area of expertise.  Only one specializes in residential real estate contracts.

I think we can agree that this isn't an area you want to cut corners due to its importance, even though they all could probably get the job done to a certain degree.

The ones specializing less towards your specific needs would take longer to produce the results you need, if they are able to produce it at all.  This results in additional cost for a service that really wasn't the right solution for your problem to begin with.  The bad thing you might not realize it until later down the road when it's too late and you begin to see the long-term cost of your mistake.

This concept holds true for your payment provider.  To setup your business properly and get the most out of it, you need someone who understands payment processing, your industry, and most of all your business.

Learn more about our business payment solutions here.

Banks versus Payment Providers

A lot of new businesses are under the impression that banks offer better payment processing services.  This is far from the truth.  Not all banks are setup for offering payment services.  And those that do, remember the concept above "All Payment Providers are Not created Equal".

Keep in mind payment providers are in the business of "providing payment processing services" and nothing else.  This means you get better service and support, better service options, better processing rates, and better equipment pricing.

To back up this fact, take a look at the class-action settlement against Wells Fargo: (source)

"Wells Fargo & Co., the No. 5 U.S. bank, agreed to pay as much as
$34 million to settle a California lawsuit accusing it of charging
excessive credit card processing fees to businesses.

The class-action settlement, agreed to on Thursday, resolves allegations
that some 96,000 California businesses were overcharged..."

Credibility & Reputation

You want to make sure they are a legitimate payment provider and will be around tomorrow.

Companies in our industry come and go like day and night.  Why?  It's because a lot of them cut corners and their services reflect.  As a result, their customers end up switching to the competition and they go out of business.  Also some say they are in payment industry, but only do this part-time as a reseller to make an extra buck or two.  They eventually quit because it isn't their core service.

You can usually get a good idea of the reputation or credibility of a company by looking at several key areas:

  • Business image: Business cards, website, brochures, other media - this will tell you a lot about a company's reputation and professionalism.
  • Industry expertise: Direct conversation, informational material such as their website, or other marketing materials like their newsletter can help you determine their expertise.
  • How long they have been in business: Businesses that have been in business for a number of years have proven themselves, and their product or service.

You can find out more about our credibility and reputation here.

Client Support

As with any process, at some point you will have questions about your account or need technical assistance.  It important to make sure your payment provider has adequate support to meet all aspects of your support needs.

Supports can be broken into the following critical areas: Account questions and processing support; Technical support for services and equipment; Support availability.

You can find out more about our client support services here.

Rates & Fees

This section has several considerations.  Understand that rates & fees involved with payment processing are industry standard and tightly regulated by VISA, MasterCard, or their respected governing associations.  For those in the retail business, it is like buying a product from a manufacturer or distributor.

Two scenarios to be aware of when considering rates & fees:

First, how many middlemen are between the payment provider and the actual service being offered.  The reason for this scenario is many payment providers offer their services to resellers, who in return have their own network of resellers, and the cycle goes on until prices are inflated and overpriced.  Then an unsuspecting business comes along and gets charged too much.

Second, beware of payment providers who promise the world through their services while offering extremely low rates & fees.

As a savvy business person you know the following two statements to be true:

1. You can't stay in business without making a profit to cover the cost of your products or services.  Businesses that don't will not be around long.

2. You really do get what you pay for.  The cost of a product or service does reflect what you are getting.

Those statements hold true to payment processing.

If either of these scenarios present themselves with your current provider or a provider you are considering, you can bet their service is lacking in some area or they might not be in business tomorrow.

Understand there are flexibilities with processing cost and fees, but this is mainly the result as to how your payment provider sets up your business to begin with, and their ability to manage the risk of offering these services.

You can spend a little time researching to find competitive rates & fees for your industry.  Or you can save time by talking to a reputable payment provider.

Find out more about our quality services and competitive rates & fees.