|Starting a business is an exciting endeavor that can provide an opportunity for individuals to be their own boss and pursue their passions. However, before starting a business, merchants must carefully research and prepare a business plan that includes credit card processing, researching options, comparing fees and rates, understanding the terms of service, and other important elements related to their home business.
“In today’s digital world, credit card processing is essential for any business. Without the ability to accept credit card payments, businesses would be at a severe disadvantage in attracting customers,” Elie Y. Katz, President and CEO of National Retail Solutions. “With the right credit card processor, businesses can do more than just accept credit cards; they can also accept other forms of payment, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Klarna, and so forth. These payment options can significantly expand the reach of a business, allowing it to acquire customers from around the world.”
If merchants do not know where to begin, here are the steps for choosing the right credit card processing company for a business.
Research Your Options
“That is why it is important to read the fine print and understand all the fees associated with the company,” Katz said. “Unfortunately, some companies are not honest or transparent with their customers, so it is important to be vigilant when looking for a company to do business with. While also comparing and researching options, be sure to look at the company’s reviews to better understand its services, reliability, and customer service.”
Choose the Right Company for Your Business Model
“A physical store and/or online ecommerce store can require various methods of payment acceptance. Make sure that the processor you choose fits your business model,” Katz said. “Carefully evaluate the associated costs of accepting credit cards, fraud prevention, and payment options. When accepting credit cards, it is vital to be aware of how the processing company is billing: interchange fees, flat rates, bundled or tiered pricing. Understanding the distinction between them is important because it can impact the company’s profits.”
Fees can also depend on the transaction method, such as paying in person, online, or by manually keying in their payment.
“So merchants should be sure to calculate the monthly payment processing costs and the various payment options available to get an accurate total of the fees they can expect to pay,” Katz said.
Next, if a merchant has an online business, they’ll need to set up a payment acceptance platform with a payment gateway. The customer pays with a credit card or other virtual payment method, and the funds go into the merchant’s bank via the payment gateway.
“When researching this, merchants should ensure that the payment acceptance company provides service and equipment that meets Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) standards,” Katz said. “This includes compliant hardware, a secure network with a firewall, antivirus software, and authentication data. Most credit card processing companies offer a one-stop package with a card reader and payment gateway combined. Setup includes connecting with the retailer’s bank account so that funds can be made available there during the schedule time period.”
They should also be sure to ask the credit card processing company questions such as what their fees are, what their customer service is like, and what security protocols they have in place. “This can help merchants decide if this company is right for their business and ensure they are not paying too much or missing out on necessary security measures,” Katz said.
Consider Special Features
“Patrons prefer using a credit card because of the many benefits they can get with points, rewards, miles and cash back,” Katz said. “Not only do customers feel rewarded when they use their credit cards, but businesses can also benefit from increased sales, customer loyalty, and improved cash flow. Remember to do careful research, to choose a credit card processing company that is honest, reliable, provides good customer service, and is secure. A bit of research can go a long way towards a lucrative relationship with your payment acceptance provider.”