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How To Discover the Best Merchant Account Service for Your Company

If you are a business owner, you will need the best merchant account to do well in your business.

In today’s fast-paced business world, where consumers use credit and debit cards more than cash or checks, a business must have a merchant account if it is to be successful. Without one, you risk losing some of your potentially best customers to competitors who do accept various credit cards.

Unfortunately, it is not easy finding a reliable, reasonably priced merchant account provider. In order to secure the best merchant account service, the business owner must make an educated decision and consider quite a few things first.

Usually, the default choice for a business owner is to get credit card processing from their bank. This is perhaps one of the most expensive ways to process credit cards. With a little bit of comparative shopping, a business owner can find a cheaper solution, and, often one that offers better service. For example, MerchantPlus or provide much better services at a more reasonable rate.

How To Pick The Best Merchant Account Service

Here, then, is a checklist of the steps to take to get a good merchant account provider:

1. Get Recommendations. The first place to start is to get recommendations from other business owners.

2. Ask About Major Credit Cards. Once a business owner has a few leads, the next step is to review if the merchant service provider will accept major credit cards like MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express.

3. Ask About International Credit Cards. If the business owner is conducting a local business, this will suffice. However, if the merchant is conducting international business, then it is important to get a merchant account that accepts international cards. Usually, for example, a merchant with a website should be prepared to take international orders. A business owner who does not get permission to run international transactions risks losing their merchant account services.

4. Review Start Up Fees. After finding a good provider and getting the right kind of payment processor, a business owner has to review all the fees. While many merchant account providers charge a set-up fee, others waive this fee. Also check more general merchant account reviews prior to signing up for a service to be sure that you won't get scammed by the company.

5. Be Wary of Start Up Specials. Sometimes, too, an offer may look tempting because it costs little to no-money to set up and has discount packages for the first few months. However, the business may end up paying more in the long run through the cost of inflated transaction fees that later appear on the bill.

6. Check With The Better Business Bureau. One precaution to take when looking for a merchant account is to see if they are registered with the Better Business Bureau and if they have a list of complaints against them.

7. Analyze Fee Structure. Fees are usually charged per transaction, but evaluated in batches, and a batch is the sum of the transactions made in a specified time frame. Reasonable fees are about 2% to 3% for the total batch of sales.

8. Unexpected Expenses. Sometimes if the business owner is considered to have a high-risk business, there may be fees for protection against charge backs. This money is held in reserve in an escrow account.

9. Monthly Sales Volume Cap. It can be detrimental for a new business that is not sure of its growing sales volume to have a cap on monthly sales volumes. Since sales may vary from one month to the next, a cap can result in the business owner turning away customers.

10. Buying or Leasing Equipment. The business owner has to decide whether it is better to buy or lease a merchant processing machine. One determinant is how the orders will be processed and the fees associated with them. Will the orders be processed using an electronic reader to swipe the cards or will they be keyed in through the telephone. Generally, swiping costs much less than keying in orders.

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