Choosing the Right Merchant Account

Document Sample
Choosing the Right Merchant Account Powered By Docstoc
					                  Choosing the Right Merchant Account Providers

      Choosing the right merchant account provider for your business is not a
walk in the park on a fine Sunday afternoon. With more and more people relying
on credit cards for almost all of their needs, merchants with no credit card
processing capabilities are in a frenzied search for credit card processing service
providers so as not to be left behind by their competitors. How to choose the Right
Merchant                 Account                  Providers?                 Click to find more

      However, choosing the right merchant account provider for your business
will determine how much of your hard earned sales you will get to keep!

      Traditionally, credit card processing services were provided by banks alone.
The advent of ISOs (Independent Sales Organizations also known as Merchant
Services Providers) began the area of specialists able to provide more efficient
services to an ever more diverse merchant base for card bearing shoppers.

      The impressive growth of this industry sector also paved the way for the
entry of giant credit card processors and merchant account providers like First
Data, MSI, Elavon, and TSYS.

      Today we see some of these giant credit card processors outsourcing the
marketing of their services to smaller ISOs, the smaller ISOs then partner some of
their requirements such as technical support, security and integration to the giant

      This has made the task of choosing the right provider feel like unraveling a
rats nest of wires.

      On top of this, merchant account providers differ immediately discernible in
a list of their features and fees. Some concentrate on specific business niches while
others are content with a shotgun approach offering a basket of services to any and
all industries willing to partner with them.

      Some are straightforward in dealing with clients while others are less so.
Some offer only standard services while others give a complete line of payment
solutions and support. It is always best to ask around and get feedback from other
merchants before making your final choice.

                                    Processors vs. ISOs

      If we are to make a clear distinction, we can say that there are really two
types of merchant service providers – the processors who aside from attending to
their main job of processing credit card payments are also actively involved in
marketing these services to merchants, and the ISOs who function as resellers or
agents for the processors.

        If you are to use this as the basis for choosing the merchant account provider
for your business, you might logically leap to choose the bigger outfits thinking
they should be the most equipped to meet your needs.

        Unfortunately, this is not always the case as many of the processors have
grown so large that they simply do not offer small merchants the support and
flexibility you might need. For this reason they have partnered with smaller ISOs.

        Point of fact, at the time of this writing about 80% of merchant accounts are
handled by smaller ISOs!

        So what does this mean to your search for a merchant account?

                          The Reputation of the Service Provider

        It is important for you to know the service provider’s reputation. Knowing
how they conduct business, how they handle their relationships with their
customers, and their track record will give you the confidence to trust them with
your merchant services needs. The Better Business Bureau provides a good starting
point to start your reputation research. You may also ask some of their existing
clients for feedback on their experience.

        There exist a few quality websites that make finding this information easy to

      Wink… Wink…

                                  The Application Process

      When comparing providers, choose an application process that is not too

      Choose a provider that offers the fast turn-around and reasonable set-up
fees! Your experience with the application process will be your first indication as
to how streamlined your merchant account providers business systems are.

      Challenges at application are an indication that things will not be as hassle
free and easy as you would like later in your relationship.

                                  Money Back Guarantee

      You will rarely find an account provider offering a money back guarantee.
      It is simply unheard of in this industry, but there is no harm in asking. You
may not be able to get a money back guarantee, but choose a provider that is
willing to stake their reputation on your satisfaction.

                                    Ferret out the Truth

         Get a clear and specific understanding of the fine print features. This should
include rates for rewards, rates for corporate and international credit cards,
minimum and annual fees, charge back policies, Address Verification Services,
account restrictions, and PCI compliance.

         Make a checklist of all of the above items and one by one have them
explained in detail to your satisfaction by the sales representative of your chosen
account provider. Verify if you can accept international credit cards in the first
                                 No Cap on Monthly Volume

         There are providers who put limits to monthly volumes. This is definitely a
no-no because it can stop you dead in your tracks and the last thing you need is a
restriction when sales are pouring like rain into your establishment. On the other
hand, be aware of any minimum volume requirements and what fees are charged to
offset your having a bad month and failing to hit the mark.

                                    Early Termination Fee

         Early termination fees are another industry standard that you will not be able
to avoid.

         I hate them, I rail against them, I complain about them, but I cannot as yet
avoid early termination fees. Though I feel you should always have the option to
jump ship if your provider is not giving the services you deserve, I don’t make the

      Just be sure to be fully aware of what the early termination section of your
contract requires of you, and what it can cost you.

                               Length of Time in Business

      Choose a provider who has been in this business for the long term and has
worked to create long term relationships. Experience and expertise matters, and
there is no replacing the experience of time working hard to create better customer
value and long lasting happy customers.

      With all the tips and suggestions on how to choose the right merchant
account provider for your business, at some point you are going to have to take the
leap and sign up!

      But… before you do, be sure to find out our recommended best companies
list created after compiling real people consumer reviews of merchant account
providers that allow you to accept credit card payments.

       To continue reading the rest of the article and find out our
recommendations, please click here:


Description: Rate Credit Card Processing Services