Tuesday, April 14th, 2020
Not that long ago, most people still paid for their purchases with either cash or a personal check. In the last few decades, the use of credit cards has become commonplace. Most consumers today have a variety of credit and debit cards and prefer to use them instead of cash. To keep up with changing consumer demands, trends and preferences, it’s important that your business prioritizes offering as many payment options as possible.
The Best Merchant Account:
Unfortunately, accepting credit cards is anything but straightforward. In order to accept credit and debit cards, you will need a merchant account. This account with a credit card processor simply allows you to deposit funds from cleared transactions and pay various fees and per-transaction charges incurred. Merchant accounts also have other benefits and services that you need to operate smoothly, like point-of-sale systems, credit card terminals and more.
Selecting a merchant account provider is not an easy task. Not all merchant accounts provide the same level of service. When choosing an account, there are certain elements you should look for that will help you make the right decision for your business:
- The Right Hardware for Your Business Type
Regardless of your business type or industry, you will need equipment to process your sales. Even the smallest ecommerce venture needs some hardware. There is a much wider variety of options for reading credit cards than there used to be, so you will need to do a little research to determine what exactly you need. For example, there are point-of-sale (POS) systems, near-field communications (NFC) for contactless payments, wireless terminals, etc.
- Software that Helps Your Business Grow
Today’s merchant accounts utilize the power of the internet to track and store your business’ account data digitally. Thanks to cloud-based systems, this data is then available just about anywhere. In order for businesses – brick-and-mortar and ecommerce alike – to access the data, appropriate software is a must. If your business offers online sales, for example, you will have to have a payment gateway as part of your merchant account.
- Unthreatening, Transparent Fees
In addition to processing rates, you will have to pay on each transaction. Your provider will also charge a variety of one-time, monthly and annual fees for maintaining your account. Merchant accounts are an expense, but a necessary one. In evaluating any merchant account provider, you will want to take a really close look at their fee structure. Is it both reasonable and transparent? Some common fees you should expect are account setup, monthly or annual account fees, PCI compliance fees, monthly minimums and early termination fees.
- Easily Understood Processing Rates
The processing rate is the total percentage of a transaction that you will be required to pay to your merchant account provider in exchange for processing the transaction. Because processing rates can be confusing, companies have devised different pricing models. Interchange-plus pricing is generally the less expensive option overall (compared to tiered or flat rate pricing models) and you can easily see exactly how much your processor is keeping from each transaction. Tiered pricing consists of three tiers: qualified, mid-qualified and non-qualified transactions. Because most transactions fall into tiers that have much higher rates, many merchants avoid providers with this pricing model. Flat-rate pricing is usually higher than interchange-plus pricing, but they also charge a lot less in monthly and annual fees.
Do you need more information before choosing a merchant account? Best Payment Providers offers all the information and reviews you need to pick the best merchant account for your business type and industry. Browse a long list of the top merchant account providers in the U.S.