Many small business owners are hesitant to accept credit cards because they are afraid all of the fees and equipment costs, but fees are not the only thing to consider when you are looking for a payment processor.
First, think about the kind of company you want to do business with. There are banks that provide services that allow you to accept credit cards, as well as independent sales organizations and, sometimes, the credit card company itself.
The advantage of working with the same bank that has your other business accounts is that it is easier for you to deal with, and there may be someone local who you can call when you have problems.
On the other hand, independent sales organizations have more experience and are sometimes more flexible in the kinds of businesses they will work with.
When you’re shopping around and learning about the different packages that payment processing companies provide, here are some things you should pay attention to:
The biggest factor that most people use to choose the merchant account company they want to go with, however, is the price. There are many different fees associated with accepting credit cards, including an application fee, the discount rate (a percentage of each sale), transaction fees and fees for sales made over the Internet or the phone.
There are also fees for statements, for not meeting a minimum amount of sales and for any returns or refunds you process.
Look carefully at all the different kinds of fees each company collects and what the rate is. If you’re expecting people to make a lot of small purchases with credit cards at your business, you might look for the company with the lowest transaction fee. If on the other hand your credit card payments will be high, you might be more interested in a lower discount rate. It all depends on what your priorities are.
A final thing you’ll want to consider when choosing a payment processing system is what if any costs you will incur from renting or buying equipment. Some companies offer free equipment for credit card processing, which can be a big positive that cuts down on your up-front costs.