Choose the Right Credit Card Processing for Your Business

Choosing a credit card processing company, whether you are a brand new business or well established, should entail the same critical thought processes. As this is a vitally important consideration for your business that certainly may change the profitability and atmosphere of your workplace, it would make sense that an equal level of consideration would be necessary to choose the proper credit card processing company. New and existing businesses need to make sure that they ensure success in all aspects of their functioning. 

Poor quality credit card processing companies are plentiful, especially for high risk merchant accounts, and therefore require a discerning eye and a good understanding of what it is that your company needs. It can seem like options are limited or all credit card processing companies are the same which may encourage you to choose quickly. However, there are many important considerations to make in order to avoid the windfalls. 

High vs Low Risk Businesses

At this point, you are already aware if you are a high or low risk merchant account. What you may not know is the importance of this distinction in determining the availability and willingness of credit card processing companies. 

Low risk: Low risk merchant accounts are typically well understood industries with low monthly processing totals, low average ticket size and low chargeback. These attributes naturally make them attractive to banks and readily accepted by credit card processing companies. Unfortunately, this also makes them a target for unsavory processing companies and the high volume of options makes it difficult to determine which companies are scams from the reputable providers. 

High risk: High risk merchant accounts varied but generally are either highly regulated, ecommerce or a possible reputational risk to the credit card processing company or the bank. While low-risk accounts are certainly easy to find willing credit card processing companies, high risk accounts are generally limited in options because of banks willingness to partner/sponsor the credit card processing companies in certain industries. Some companies like Double Helix specialize in high risk merchant accounts and will offer better rates and fast approvals.

Quality Customer Service is Key

Obviously, these two types have opposite hurdles to overcome (one with many options and the latter with few) but, the decision of credit card processing companies should still be made on similar criteria. As a business owner, it is important to have a credit card processing company that is flexible to your specific needs to ensure reliability and reduce costs. Quality customer support and a willingness to work with your company to provide the services you need at standard or low industry prices is an ideal credit card processing company. Personal assistance and attention can vastly change the experience of an issue or error in the event that one occurs. Although quality customer support may seem superfluous or unnecessary to the daily functioning of your business, it very well may be one of the most important characteristics in a time of disaster. 

What to Avoid

In the credit card processing industry, it is unfortunately easy to choose a poor option that will not satisfy the needs of your company and will overcharge you for the privilege. Many poor companies may deploy shady business practices. Examples of these shady business practices mayinclude:

  • Deceptive sales tactics which allow them to charge you undisclosed rates and fees
  • Overly expensive monthly, annual, and early termination fees or non-cancellable/long-term contracts and leases
  • Misleading websites, or disclosing a limited portion of the information required to make a well-informed decision

These types of business may attempt to undermine your options or try to make a sale without disclosing all the pertinent information. Even if you are informed and read though the contract carefully, when using a poor credit card processing company you may soon find that the rates aren’t as competitive, the equipment do not match/will not work for your needs or the customer service is not functional. These issues can negatively impact your profitability at best and the functioning of your business at worst. 

Advantageous Qualities

After taking all of this into account, it’s finally time to start identifying a quality credit card processing company:

  • Flexibility: Most important is a provider’s willingness to assess and meet your business’ needs; satisfying your sales needs, the current budget, and the customer’s expectations.
  • Communication: Customer support and the company’s ability to respond in the event of an issue is extremely important. While maybe not as useful day to day, this is a life saver for any issue, big or small. 
  • Price: Of course, low rates and no cancellation fees are essential! 

Obviously, any company is going to fall somewhere on this sliding scale of good to bad with some attributes of both. However, it is important not to compromise too much. There are good credit card processing companies out there! And more often than not, a poor company with hidden fees and bad customer service sells based on their “lower rates” just to charge as much if not much more than a reputable company. 

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.