Own Your Business... Don't Let it Own You
Updated: Jan 18, 2022
Steps to Your Best Credit Card Processing Situation
Credit card processing is a critical financial decision for your business. I have created a check list of what you need to consider when assessing your current contract or looking into switching to a new processor.
1. Get Help
Have a knowledgeable rep who can take you through the labyrinth of Credit Card Processing and make sure you are getting the best situation.
2. The Chip
If you are using a regular chip reading machine; you can often get the best pricing by purchasing the machine. Prices should be reasonable for these.
3. POS Equipment
Don’t lease a machine or POS unless it’s for a good reason. For example, Clover POS are often leased because they come with a 1-year guarantee but with a lease it’s covered the life of the lease. Some POS have free equipment, but try not to get stuck with high credit card processing because it’s free.
Some hardware and software have compatibility issues. Weigh all your options and don’t sacrifice higher credit card processing for the ease of a program when it can be found in another.
If you feel like you have high processing rates, have a knowledgeable credit card processing broker do an analysis. It could save your business. If you are with a Bank or do not have a rep it’s always a good idea to have an analysis done. Many companies raise their rates every year and you could be with one.
6. Know the Fee Structures
When signing up with a new company, make sure you understand all the fees and you are not paying anything unnecessarily. A knowledgeable rep should be transparent and be able to give you exactly what you need and not what you don’t. There are some costs with credit card processing that will always be there. But some are not necessary.
7. Cancellation Terms
Be sure and check out your contract. Find out how long it is and if there is a cancellation fee. Good companies don’t charge a cancellation fee unless there is free equipment involved, then it should be reasonable. It can take 3 years for a credit card company to pay off a machine they gave you for free but the cancellation fee should be no more than the cost of the machine. Most contracts are 3 year and some automatically renew for another 1-3 years or automatically renew after 3 years annually. If you try to cancel without proper notice, you can even be charged liquidated damages.
8. Customer Service
Besides having a knowledgeable representative, the company’s customer service should be a happy experience. Normally a knowledgeable rep would not work with a company that has poor customer service and most things can be fixed by the rep, so you should be able to call them first. Customer service is there to help you with your machine if it has problems or your account if any changes need to be made, or explain something needed. Their service should be timely and good.
9. Ask Questions
If you have questions about reading your statement and it can be important to your business, make sure your knowledge rep explains it to you. They make them hard to read for a reason.
10. Consider a Credit Card Processing Broker
A credit card processing broker has access to multiple companies. They do not represent one company. An experienced broker can find the best fit for your company's needs and can offer greater transparency.