Choosing the correct merchant account provider is an essential step in setting your business up for success.
The contracts you sign will determine how many fees you will be paying throughout your time with that account.
Begin your search with all the facts.
Here are some of the basics.
What is a Merchant Account?
Your merchant account is the account into which you will receive payables from credit cards.
Every non-cash transaction your business receives will flow through this account.
Since most consumers have moved to non-cash spending habits, fees related to this account are an important part of your business expenditures.
Despite being a very competitive market, a merchant account can be difficult to obtain.
Vendors will assess your business during the application process by several criteria; the type of business, the credit history of the business owner, and the financial history of the business will all play a role in whether or not your application will be accepted.
What You Will Pay For a Merchant Account
As with any financial service, you want to find the most value for your money.
Be aware that in addition to the per-transaction fee, there are other less obvious fees that can take the per-transaction cost over 3%. These include:
- Application Fees
- Setup Fees
- Monthly Fees
- Cross-Border Fees
- Terminal Equipment Rental Fees
Your fees will be determined by the type of business you have.
Online businesses incur higher fees because of the added risk of fraud with online transactions.
Businesses that incur high rates of returns will also see additional costs.
The many variables involved highlight the need to shop around and get the best deal for your business.
How to Choose a Merchant Account Provider
The provider you choose is going to become an important partner to your business, so it is best to know who you are dealing with.
Always start by checking the Better Business Bureau report of any provider that you are considering.
Avoid any provider that has a long list of consumer complaints.
Ask other business owners about the providers that they have used and their experiences with each.
After doing your homework on multiple providers, compare the rates.
Be wary if any provider has rates that are significantly lower than their competitors.
Unusually low rates may be variable once you are in-contract, or they may be hiding additional fees. If it seems too good to be true, look closer.
Check and see if the provider offers technical support.
If they do, what are their hours? Find out if the type of processing you need is supported by the provider.
Do you plan to expand into an online presence? Make sure your provider can support you through that transition.
Are you growing in the near future? Check to see if there are caps on your monthly processing volume.
Do Not Assume Your Bank Will Offer the Best Rate
One of the simplest ways to get a merchant account is to go through your bank.
This option is appealing to many because of the convenience and familiarity of using someone you already know.
While this may be a good option for some, banks are often not equipped to set you up with the optimal account for your business.
Banks will often simply set up the account and hand it over to their preferred payment processor, having nothing further to do with the account.
Since they will not actually be servicing the account once it is in place, the bank often has no way of accurately calculating your costs up front.
If you put your trust in your bank without knowing all of the details of the contract you may end up overpaying.
How Can MyWatchmen Help?
At MyWatchmen, we are industry experts and we work for you.
We are not associated with any banks or financial providers.
As a business owner you are busy and your time is valuable.
It is unlikely that you have time to become an expert in payment processing and to then comb through the details of payment contracts to find the best deals.
You should be focused on maximizing your revenue and focusing on your core business. Our core business is saving you money.
Whether you are looking to set up your first payment account or trying to switch to a better one, we can help.
We can assist with everything from finding the best rates to getting you the best equipment at the lowest price.
Our pricing structure ensures that our interests align with yours.
With MyWatchmen you have an ally in your corner.
If we can’t save you money, you pay nothing.