4 Steps to Choosing the Right Credit Card Processing Service for Your Startup

steps choose right credit card processing service startup payments

There are some stereotypes about how card users spend and how they're often less responsible with their money versus when they have cash. That being said, you need to make sure your credit card processing is flawless in order to keep your customers protected, even if they're not responsible with their spending.

Here are four ways to find the right service for your business.

1. Think About Costs

There's no business model on the planet where concerns about pricing and cash flow aren't on the minds of the owner. While large enterprises find it easier to manage costs than small enterprises, everyone looks at the fees associated with credit card processing. 

It's those companies with the thinnest profit margins that are going to be the most concerned with the cost of processing cards.

There are no standards when it comes to the fees associated with processing payments. You need to start by asking whether there are any upfront monthly costs that come with working with a company. 

If you're getting charged on a monthly basis and you're not using the service, you could be wasting your money.

Instead of those monthly fees, some service providers charge a percentage per transaction. For every transaction that you run, you could be paying anywhere from 1% to nearly 3% of the cost if you're using a service like Square or PayPal.

Without a fixed rate for processing, your payment processors could charge a different amount for each card type that you get paid with. Flat fees provide much more transparency than charges that arrive per transaction.

Ask your service provider how much it's going to cost to run each transaction before you sign on with them.

2. Make Sure You're Protected

You need to have robust fraud prevention and security tools if you want to ensure that your customers and your own assets are going to be protected.

No matter the size of your business, you need to take security seriously. As hackers become more sophisticated, they're able to take the time to hit small companies to try to get something out of them.

While the chip system has made cards more secure, there are still ways for cards to be exploited via fraud or malware. At the point of sale, encryption is vital to avoid information being duplicated or intercepted. If you're looking to sell any products online, offer your customers protection with the help of SSL certificates and CVV2 verification.

The PCI-DSS regulations that help to standardize how online payment systems should be inventoried, secured, and properly documented. Implementing this standard is going to help you to assure your customers and to have a system of compliance that makes sense for your business model.

Finding a provider that has experience in your industry and is going to be able to understand your business type will help you design a system that works. It's challenging to go back later and redesign a system, so creating and implementing a system that works now could streamline your payments for the future.

3. Cover All Types of Payment

When you're seeking to get ahead of future changes to the payment systems that your customers are going to use, you need to work with a company that's prepared. You need to accept any method of payment out there as well as any that are slated to come in the next few years.

When you've been equipped to accept contactless payments, like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, you're going to be ready for anything. These payments are made with cards, phones, and wearable devices and are gaining popularity all over the world.

You get an additional layer of transaction security with things like Apple Pay. You get access to the same kind of cryptographic functions that chip cards use along with biometrics to test for identity. When phones and wearables are unlocked by touch, there's built-in security that sellers don't even have to worry about managing.

Businesses need to consider all of the options available and how their customers are going to start relying on this. This helps design a roadmap for implementation. If you're curious whether or not you should be using these new tools, just send out a quick survey to your customers asking about their preferred payment methods.

4. Solid Support

When you're setting up a new system, even your most talented and adept staff are going to struggle to set it up. As you worry about interdependence and interactions with other tools you're using, you need to ensure that you have customer support you can rely on. You should be able to get 24/7 support without having to pay any extra fees for it.

While you might know what you want from a service provider, you might not know how to use every element of it. When things get hairy, you should be able to pick up the phone to understand new updates and how they impact you and your team.

If you don't get the customer service you need, it's perfectly reasonable to switch service providers. You need to have a company that has clear fees, communicates in a way you understand, and is committed to helping you understand how the system works.

If their only goal is to charge you fees to keep their own business running, they're not on your side and you should move on. Look for another merchant account provider if you're unsatisfied.

Credit Card Processing Is Vital to Making Money

If you want to ensure that your company runs smoothly and efficiently, you need credit card processing you can rely on. You also need your provider to be able to give you the tools to accept future forms of payment. Without enough feedback, you're more likely to lose customers who find alternative payment types easier to use.

If you want to make sure your business stays out of debt, you need to process your payments regularly and to check out our latest guide.

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