Credit card payments are one of the most convenient ways to accept payments for your business today. Whether receiving payments for your online or physical business, you can appeal to a broad variety of customers by accepting credit card types like MasterCard, Visa and American Express. In order to transfer funds successfully from the credit card company to your business accounts, you are going to need a payment processor. Payment processors are the third parties that are involved in the transaction and they usually charge a processing fee for these services. Some service providers can be quite costly. To reduce cost of accepting credit cards, you should consider the following when choosing a payment processor:
All payment processors charge fees for their services. They may charge you per transaction or a monthly usage fees or both. Some payment processors will scale processing fees depending on how frequently you use the application. Take a close look at the fees they are charging and extrapolate them to the rest of the month to see how much you have to spend as compared to your business returns. If they charge one percent per transaction, consider how many transactions you make in a month and what this one percent amounts to. It may seem little at first but you need to look at the bigger picture.
- What is the signup fee? Small business often working on a small budget should avoid payment processors that have an initial fee, as it can be quite costly.
- What makes up the continuous charges? The devil is always in the details. There are various minor fees included in the continuous such as address verification fees, gateway fees and authorization fees. Do not only look at the flat transaction fees when choosing at the service provider.
- Are there any hidden fees? Unfortunately, some platform will not openly advertise all their fees. Only to hit you with some cancellation fees in case you decide to leave the service or even charge you for bounced payments. Be on the lookout of asterisks as they often indicate areas that could potentially lead to extra charges.
Your customers rely on you to protect their credit card information. In case of any problems with their card, they will probably retrace their steps to the last place they used it, which is your store. You should get the maximum level of security that your budget can afford. The most basic way of securing credit card information is through data encryption but you can still do more. PCI-compliant processing for instance offers higher levels of credit card processing security standards.
Check for features such as VeriSign SSL certificates, CVV2 verification and transaction billing address as signs of good security systems. Do not skim on security costs, any minor security breach and your customers could be robbed blind. This will ruin your business’ credibility and probably drive away a good amount of your customers. Just make sure the payment processors’ security reputation is widely known and respected.
Joel Newman is a medium sized business owner who advices upcoming business owners on various business strategies through his blog. He stresses on the importance of keeping up with the latest innovations to stay relevant and competitive. You can read more at http://pymntadvisors.com