We live in a day and age where credit and debit cards are used with fervor. Cash is usually too bulky to carry around, and carrying a checkbook is not something that many people, especially the rising generation, do. The convenience of an ultra-slim plastic card to supply all the funds for consumers while they shop is all too appealing for most people to pass up. In fact, there are more than 181 million Americans that have a credit card. With so many consumers holding credit cards today, it may be no surprise to recognize that when these shoppers arrive at the register to pay for goods or services, they are looking for the familiar gleam of a credit card terminal to accept their payments for them.
Those retail shops that operate by accepting cash or checks only as payment methods can really risk losing customers, particularly when doing business with younger people. It can be inconvenient for a person to run to the bank or ATM, make a withdrawal, and then head on over to your shop to spend the cash. Instead of doing all that, a customer may just find a shop that accepts credit cards and buy something there instead.
When you’re deciding whether or not to accept credit card payments in your shop, ask yourself, “is it worth it to lose customers by not having a credit card processor?” The answer will probably be a resounding “no,” and so you may find yourself looking high and low for reputable sources to provide you with the best credit card processing reviews. The good news is that there are lots of resources online to provide you with good information. You may want to start by investigating the following:
Look for terminals in action.
One good way to see different models of credit card processers in action is to go to the store and watch one being used. It’s a low pressure situation because you wouldn’t be working with someone representing a credit card processing company where you might feel obligated to buy in to the salesman’s pitch. It also enables you to see just how user friendly the machine is for the employees operating it.
It may be a little awkward to sit and observe a credit card terminal being used for an extended period of time in a retail shop, and you may have to wait around for some time before seeing a good number of transactions. A quick service restaurant, however, particularly around lunch rush would be a great place to see a credit card terminal used in action. With all the people coming to a quick service restaurant during a busy lunch rush, you may even see an employee process a refund. Be certain to compare several different terminals and see in-person just how easy it can be to process transactions.
Shop around for credit card processing providers.
In order to start accepting credit cards you must have a credit card processing company provide you with merchant services. These services can be provided through a bank or credit union, but they are also commonly provided by companies that offer merchant services only. It might be a good idea to do business with a company that has extensive experience providing merchant services, that way you can be confident that you are in good hands. Before you make your final choice, however, it’s important to compare options from one provider to another. Look for the following:
- Start-up costs. In order to get a merchant account you have to apply for one, and not everyone who applies can obtain one either. It is common practice to charge an application fee, but it is also common practice to waive the application fee. In addition to an application fee that you may possibly be responsible for, there are fees to purchase equipment and have it installed in your retail space. Be sure to ask about equipment and installation fees along with the application fee.
- Average approval rating. Credit card processing companies should be able to show you the percentage of applicants that have been approved to open a merchant account. The percentage represents their approval rating. Companies that have approval ratings on the higher end of the spectrum may be more accommodating, and can provide you with services at more affordable rates. They may also be quicker at processing your application and getting your retail space set up with credit card terminals.
- Monthly cost. Credit card processing companies have various fees that they pass on to their merchants. It’s important to identify these fees and then ask how much they would cost you. Monthly fees might include statement fees, charge back fees, gateway fees, and others. A competitive processing company would offer you low monthly fees and would clearly communicate any changes in fees.
- Set-up time. It’s important to determine just how quickly a credit card processing company might be able to set your account up. Merchant services that are provided by credit card processing companies rather than banks might have the ability to get your application expedited so you could be up and running quickly. While it doesn’t happen all the time, some companies can review and approve your application, and set up your merchant account all in the same day.
- Customer service. It’s important to get the best credit card processing reviews from reputable sources, especially when it comes to researching the topic of customer service. In addition to reading reviews online, take the time to actually call the customer service department of the merchant account providers that you are investigating. See how quickly they might respond to your concerns. Find out what methods of communication you can use when trying to contact them. Do they respond to email, instant messaging, and phone calls, or are they limited to phone call responses only?
Find Reputable Sources when Investigating Credit Card Processing Providers
Before you settle on a merchant account provider, take some time to read the best top credit card processing reviews. Go out and see credit card terminals being used in real time by real people, and shop around to make sure you’re getting a good deal on monthly fees.