Choosing a Merchant Service Provider for all of your credit card processing needs can be a daunting task. It can seem like there are hundreds of Merchant Service Providers to choose from. When setting up a merchant account it feels like you have to acquaint yourself with a number of new terms. Not to mention that signing the contract might sometimes be harder than signing up for a new cell phone! However, we’ve put together a list of the top ten mistakes people make when searching for a Merchant Services Provider to help you find the service that will work best for your business needs.
Merchant Mistake #1: Price is Not the Only Thing That Matters
When you are looking for a Merchant Service Provider, the key word is pricing balance. Many times you will be offered an incredibly low percentage rate, only to find out that you are paying a higher month-to-month fee. Another tactic is to offer low month-to-month fees, but charge a high equipment lease or rental fee.
While it is to be expected that your Merchant Service Provider does make money on the services they provide, that doesn’t mean that a good chunk of your profits should go to them in fees. Don’t be afraid to ask for a run-down of all the fees that you will be charged each month including per transaction fees. Take some time to work out what it will mean for your bottom line.
Another consideration in addition to pricing balance is the experience that a Merchant Service Provider offers. Many Merchant Service Providers come and go. Sometimes it’s worth a little extra to pay the people who have been doing this for a very long time. They most likely thoroughly understand the complicated system of credit card processing. They are also aware of the best credit card processing solution that may work for you. We’ve found that if they’ve been in the business for a number of years, their methods are tried and true. (Coincidentally,the SecureGlobalPay Core Team has been providing Merchant Service Solutions for 20+ Years! We have seen it all and we are ready to help with whatever you need.)
Customer support also matters when finding the best Merchant Service Provider. You never know what crises may emerge during the business day and if you can’t reach somebody, it can be frustrating at best. If your operation is stressed due to technical difficulties with your merchant account you run the risk of losing customers on the ground when you can’t contact a genuine live professional to get the assistance you need. If the Customer Support is limited, don’t be afraid to walk away. It can cost you later.
Merchant Mistake #2: If It Seems Too Good to Be True
If your Merchant Service Provider is promising you things that seem a little too good to be true, we ask that you be wary. It’s not that good deals don’t happen. We’ve saved customers upwards of $3000 a month in credit card fees! However, if you have a hard time seeing how your Merchant Service Provider is making any money from this deal, you may have to look further to see if the deal is everything you are being promised.
Another red flag may be if a Merchant Service Provider is coming in ridiculously lower than other services out there. We highly recommend that you find out why. You can even
call SecureGlobalPay and we will walk with you through the quote and tell you whether the deal you are receiving is in fact a bust, or a great deal.
Merchant Mistake #3: You Don’t Read the Contract
We get it. Reading a Merchant Service Provider contract cover to cover is the last thing you want to spend your time doing. We still recommend that you read the contract. Take the time to go through it line by line. If you don’t understand the verbiage, then use the merchant glossary section of our website.
Don’t be afraid to request the contract a day or two before you need to sign and then go through it and write down your questions. If the Merchant Service Provider does not satisfy you with their answers, then don’t sign.
Merchant Mistake #4: Don’t Lie to Your Merchant Service Provider to “Try and Get a Better Deal”
If you lie on any part of your application, or are not honest in answering the questions, it will hurt you in the long run. This could also be the cause of your application being rejected outright.
We thoroughly understand your hesitation in handing over personal information about your business. A Merchant Service Provider will want to know how your business operates, how much you think you might process, or ask you to hand over financial statements. This information is personal and private and typically nobody’s business.
However, it is the business of your Merchant Services Provider. Every piece of information the Merchant Service Provider requests goes into designing the best package available for your business. It’s amazing how much money can be saved by just being in the “right industry.” So find a Merchant Service provider you can trust and open up!
Merchant Mistake #5: You Don’t Discuss your Future Plans
This is another uncomfortable area that customers usually hesitate to share with their potential Merchant Service Provider. However, we highly recommend that you detail every part of your future business goals to get the absolute best rate possible. Your prospective Merchant Service Provider has solutions to many issues of collecting money that you haven’t even considered!
For example, if you own a Brick and Mortar store, but get a lot of business through trade-shows, internet sales or similar where you have to key in transactions as opposed to swiping them, you could be spending extra on money on unnecessary downgrades should your merchant account not be set up properly. So don’t shy away from sharing your business plans for future growth and call your SecureGlobalPay representative so they can assist you properly.
Merchant Mistake #6: Don’t Sign a Long Term Contract with Steep Early Termination Fees
Long term contracts used to be the only option available when signing up for a Merchant Account. This worked well for many years…for the Merchant Service Provider. However, this is no longer the case. There are so many option out there that you can still get a really good contract without having to commit to a number of years with a certain provider. You should walk away from any Merchant Service Provider who tells you that “everybody in the industry does this.”
Hopefully we’ve repeated this enough but you must not be afraid to communicate with your potential Merchant Service Provider. Most providers genuinely want to find a processing solution that will work best for you. After all, the best business is the happy customer that keeps coming back.