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Three Things to Look for When Choosing a Payment Processor

A trustworthy payment processor whose systems are both reliable and secure is essential to running a successful business. Choosing that payment processor, however, can be difficult. Most payment processing sales teams can talk a good game, but can the company really deliver?

When considering the answer to that question, there are a variety of factors to take into account, including:

  • Cost
  • Customer service responsiveness
  • Security
  • Funds accessibility
  • Software compatibility

Unfortunately, many businesses make the mistake of considering cost alone, to the exclusion of the rest of this list—much to their detriment.

While cost is an important factor, it shouldn’t be the only criteria on which you base your decision. One of the major failings for many credit card processing companies is a lack of customer service and slow response time to system issues. These types of problems can severely hinder your business’s ability to process card payments, which can cause you to lose money.

Of course, these factors are only a part of the larger whole. When conducting interviews and negotiations with a credit card processing company, there are actually three main characteristics that really set some companies apart from the others.

Those characteristics are:

Professionalism

This concept can be interpreted in various ways—many based on office image and the quality of one’s business suit—but I use it in the sense of a true professional—one who realizes that the only way to sustain a business long-term is by providing the best products and services possible to every client. True professionals aren’t going to try to sell you a product that doesn’t suit your needs and/or serve your best interests, because they know that you talk to other business professionals. While that scam may work once, it’s not the kind of business practice that leads to successful and sustainable profits.

To find the right professionals, talk to your contacts. Ask other businesses who they use for payment processing. The customers themselves are always the most reliable source.

Experience

During your search for a company that prides itself on good professional ethics, make sure to ask your friends how long they’ve been with any companies they recommend. Because, as we all know, it’s easy to provide the best service in the first six months, but often that quality of service tapers off after a while. A company that has a long-term reputation that is consistently positive is one to consider.

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Adaptability

A final important factor is adaptability to your business’s needs. Can the company’s systems fit with your organization’s current systems in a way that is both easy-to-use and functional? Check this before you sign anything because there are few experiences more disappointing than signing on for a service, thinking you’re good to go, and finding out that the systems clash in a way that makes your job twice as hard.

Additionally, your business might have certain unique needs, such as inventory recording requirements or other automated system functions. Be sure to explain your vision for your system interoperability carefully, so your expectations are clear. Depending on your circumstances, there may be a way to ensure your payment processing system works in tandem with other systems for an even more efficient work environment.

In short, choosing the right payment processor for your business is an involved process, not an overnight, one-phone-call decision. Take the time to consider your options carefully, get all the facts, and shop around for firsthand opinions. You won’t regret making the time, and your business will definitely benefit from a safe, secure, and dependable payment processing system that offers your customers the payment options they prefer.

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