5 Things Every Business Needs To Start Accepting Credit Cards
Business owners require painless credit card processing solutions. Between accepting credit and debit the process is intentionally complicated by the involvement of third party processing firms, card networks, and banking institutions.
Here are five things to keep in mind that might simplify things:
1. Is there a cancellation or early termination fee? The merchant services industry is saturated with independent agents that never disclose termination fees or, even worse, liquidated damages. Both are “gotcha” clauses that should never be charged. Work with a company that insists on earning your business every month. The business owner should never feel trapped into a long term contract that doesn’t work with their long term goals.
2. How and when do I get paid? Next business day deposits should be offered with your merchant account. Funds should be available after properly batching or settling translations on a credit card terminal or payment gateway. In some circumstances it might be practical to have funds delayed as most professionals don’t pay themselves every day. Flexibility is the key with funding.
3. Is interchange-plus pricing an option? Also knows as “cost plus” interchange-plus pricing is a transparent program showing what the card brands charge and the profit going to the processor. Flat rate and tiered pricing are also commonly offered but both tend to group transactions together in categories that yield a higher overall effective rate.
4. Can I pass along the fees that I’m charged for credit card transactions? Absolutely. Surcharging, cash discounting, and passing along convenience fees are viable options for merchants that choose to dramatically lower their overall cost of accepting electronic payments. Always make sure that your processor is complying with state laws and registering your business with the card networks to avoid potential fines.
5. What customer support is available? Hopefully your customer service number isn’t 1.800.GOOD.LUCK. A good processor offers domestic 24/7 support. Don’t be afraid to ask for your agents cell.
These 5 tips will help new businesses get started accepting credit cards. Contact us for more information on how to get set up with your own merchant services account right away.