A payment processor is a must if you want to accept card payments – an actual necessity these days, rather than just an opportunity for people to try a different payment option. There are lots of options out there and some of them stand out in the crowd.
There is a reason wherefore you still find many small businesses asking for cash only – saving money on the fees associated with such transactions. What they fail to realize is the fact that customers want convenience, so they lose clientele.
The pricing will depend on a bunch of different factors, such as the model of your business, the types of payments you can take, the amounts you get in a certain time frame and so on. Before picking a processor, think about how much money you take on a monthly basis.
New businesses may also be hit with setup fees – they are usually fixed, so there is not much you can save there. They are still worth some attention though. Then, the volume of transactions will also dictate the fees – some processors charge a percentage, while others charge per transaction.
Smooth and simple integration
This is another necessity when looking for a payment processor. Such things do not work on their own. They are part of a more sophisticated system and you need to ensure the platform will work well with your website, for instance.
If you need it for online shopping, you must find something suitable for that respective platform. It must be supported and easy to integrate. If the integration is not flawless, there will be glitches – failed payments, missing money, customers abandoning shopping carts out of frustration and so on.
Good customer service
No matter what kind of service you need for your business, a good customer service is a must. The same rule applies to payment processors. You will end up securing hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a daily basis. One hour of downtime could seriously harm your business, not to mention longer downtime.
If anything goes wrong, you want the customer service to be there anytime, be it 4AM on a Sunday morning or 11PM or a Tuesday night. The customer service must be there round the clock and should be available for contact in a few different ways.
To keep it simple, reaching to a business with poor customer service will get you to lose money eventually. It will cause a lot of frustration and can seriously make a dent in your business operations and reputation.
How about a recurring billing solution?
This consideration is often overlooked. However, many payment processors are used as SaaS – Software as a Service – these days. This idea is not bad, but it depends on a significant factor in terms of transactions and that is recurring billing.
In other words, this option is great if you plan to bill customers on a regular basis (such as weekly or monthly) for subscriptions or membership. A top notch payment processor should make it simple to collect such payments in an automatic manner.
Device compatibility is a must
At this point, it depends on the industry you activate in. It also depends on what exactly you sell and what kind of customers you have. Normally, there will be potential customers using all sorts of devices to access your website.
For maximum effectiveness, you should find a payment processor that works with no issues at all on any device. After all, some platforms tend to have bugs on particular platforms. Before signing a contract, make sure you are aware of the compatibility standards.
It should take seconds for a payment to be processed. The customer aims to make the payment and should get a confirmation straight away. But then, the money will not be in your account straight away. There are more stages they need to go through.
For example, there is an approval stage. Then, think about refunds. Holding periods vary from one payment processor to another. Sometimes, it may take as little as 24 hours. Other times, it could take more than a week. Faster is normally better.
Top notch security
Finally, you are dealing with money. This decision is strictly related to your finances. Therefore, you do not want to take any risks whatsoever. You do not want your customers to lose money or get hacked – it would ruin your reputation.
On the same note, you do not want customer data breaches or perhaps missing money from your account. With these thoughts in mind, you need to ensure that the payment processor provides encryption, fraud protection and PCI DSS compliance.
If you do not rely on a hosted service, all these things become your responsibility. You may need to invest in certain upgrades to ensure you or your customers can safely browse and shop without being exposed to dangers.
As a short final conclusion, deciding on the best payment processor for your business is not as difficult as it may seem, yet not very simple either. It does, however, require some extra time on your behalf. You need to ensure that you choose the right processor for your particular business.
While looking for reviews and suggestions is always a good idea, recommendations should not always be taken for granted, even if they come from friends or reputable businesses. Keep in mind that what works for some businesses will not work for others, hence the necessity of doing your homework.