What Fees Will I Pay?
Low fees can be tempting. Salespeople will dangle a low flat fee in front of you as they paint a picture about how much money you’ll save. But you should be wary of processors that offer prices that seem too good to be true. They probably are.
There are many ways processors hide their true fees. Some cut corners by offering poor customer service or tacking on high annual fees. Others may add fees for batch processing, statements, and fund transfers. There may be fees for software installation, annual fees, and gateway fees.
This is when you should pull out your magnifying glass. No matter how great a salesperson makes their company sound, always do your own research to make sure you get a fair price that won’t rise once you’ve signed on the dotted line.
Are They PCI Compliant?
Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance means your business adheres to strict security standards for protecting the information acquired from credit card transactions. Companies that accept credit cards must follow these established guidelines.
Businesses that are not PCI compliant may:
- Suffer financial losses from heavy fines
- Lose the ability to accept credit cards
- Lose customers due to a diminished reputation
Not all processors follow the security standards needed to be PCI compliant. Make sure you choose a merchant services provider whose network and systems are fully compliant with the standards set forth by the payment industry.
What Does the Contract Say?
Read and understand the contract agreement before you sign anything. This may seem like a no-brainer, but in a world of unread contracts (think of all those times you’ve agreed to the Terms of Service), it needs saying.
Figure out how long the contract term is and if there are early termination fees. A good company should be confident in their services. If they try to trap you in a long-term contract loaded with exit fees, then reconsider. Also, steer clear of processors with “liquidated damages” termination fees. These fees prevent you from cancelling early by requiring payment for the full contract.
Contracts might be dull and lengthy, but joining forces with a payment processor is a big deal and deserves your full attention. Read the fine print! Make sure there won’t be any surprises down the road so you can dedicate yourself to growing your business and not shrinking your headache.
Not all processors are out to get you. In fact, there are many merchant services providers that help their merchants flourish. The key is to do your research. Don’t rush to si