Accepting credit and debit cards is a major component to revenue for most businesses these days. This is especially the case for e-commerce operations, but everything from food trucks to mom and pop brick and mortar outlets rely on merchant services (credit and debit card acceptance) as a way to provide convenience for customers and, more importantly, get paid.
While accepting credit and debit cards streamlines things in many ways for both you and your customers it is not without its headaches. From merchant fees to lack of reliability, there can be a number of issues when it comes to dealing with your merchant services provider. Below is a look at a number of issues all businesses should consider when looking to partner with merchant services provider.
As a provider of services or products you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers or clients to pay you using their credit or debit cards. This entails accepting as many different cards as possible, which is not something that all merchant services providers are capable of doing.
It also entails providing an easy gateway to integrate card acceptance in your process. This includes things like ensuring that your online merchant solution is properly integrated into your website or making sure there are available wireless terminals for your brick and mortar location. It also includes having virtual terminals available for all of your service reps.
The idea is to give multiple options to your customers so that paying you using their credit or debit cards is simple and straightforward. Making this process difficult for customers and clients is a surefire way to risk losing their business.
Customer Service and Support
There is nothing more maddening as a business owner than having an issue accepting credit cards or debit cards and not being able to speak to someone from your merchant services provider that is capable of providing you with support. If there an issue accepting credit cards or debit cards for even a short period of time it can negatively impact your business in a significant way.
When shopping for a merchant services provider the level of support is certainly a major consideration. Of course, ideally there will not be much of a need to rely on the support but team but it is a necessary safety measure to have in place. When meeting with different merchant services providers ask for customer references so that you can get an idea of what the customer service and support will be like.
A key component for a merchant services provider is the ability to provide flexible options that work best with your business. Merchant services is not a “one size fits all” prospect. What works for large companies that process thousands of transactions per day does not necessarily work for a mom and pop business processing less than 50 transactions per day. A merchant services provider that is focused on you and truly understanding your business is a partner that you can grow with and depend on as your business shifts.
Migrating to EMV
If you accept credit or debit cards at a brick and mortar location simply relying on the swipe of a magnetic stripe is no longer good enough. Customers have come to expect to use the chip on their card and they view it as a much more secure way to go about spending their hard earned money. Plus, if you don’t offer the chip your business is at a greater risk for fraud. It is best to work with a merchant services provider that is current with the latest technology ensuring your business operates in a modern and secure manner.
Understand customer patterns and behavior
Your merchant services provider can be a great resource for tracking and understanding the actions of your customer base. This is especially the case if you operate an online business. The benefit of an omnichannel business is having data to see how your customers behave in the different channels that you operate within. A good merchant services provider will provide this data and all the metrics it entails in an easy-to-understand presentation that can be useful in your marketing efforts and attracting repeat business.
These are just a few of the factors to consider when selecting a merchant services provider. There are plenty of them out there and it is imperative to select one that can help maximize your business for years to come.