If your business accepts credit cards, you've probably wondered how to choose a payment processor. Without a doubt, choosing the right payment processor is critical to business success.
As a merchant, it is your responsibility to ensure smooth and efficient transactions. A proficient payment processor can help ensure customer satisfaction which ultimately accounts to more money in your wallet. However, not all payment processors are created equal.
When choosing a payment processor, always do your research. Here are some tips to help you choose a payment processor that best suits your business needs:
1. Security/Fraud Protection
40% of all financial fraud is related to credit cards. With enhanced payment technology, businesses can now accept payments from any location. However, this privilege can also come with serious liabilities. To help protect sensitive credit card information, choose a payment processor that implements tokenization.
Tokenization is a process that takes credit card information and replaces it with a unique token. This token acts as a key for all future transactions and is only decipherable with the proper payment card tokenization system. Hackers cannot access your credit card data without this key, and even if they did, the information would be indecipherable.
2. Integrated Payments
Make sure the payment processor is compatible with your current software. Having the ability to integrate payments with your accounting, CRM or ERP software can help reduce operating costs, processing time and human errors. Integrated payments can automate your acceptance process and provide you with more time to focus on customers and other areas of business.
3. PCI Compliance
In order to accept payments, businesses must by PCI-compliant, which ensures that credit card information is processed and stored in a secure environment. Merchants must complete a Self-Assessment Questionnaire in order to become PCI-compliant. A payment processor that is PCI-complaint will help safeguard credit card data and make sure business information is guarded at the highest security levels possible.
4. Customer Service
Customer relationships are the heart of a successful business. In fact, 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent. Look for a processor that offers 24/7, in-house customer support specialists. An exceptional payment processor can help simplify your current payment acceptance procedure and allow for more time to manage important business affairs.
5. Rates and Fees
Be wary of hidden fees. Many payment processors will charge higher rates based on the type of cards you accept. To avoid financial surprises, find a processor that charges a flat rate. In addition, avoid payment processors that try to lock you into a contract. When doing business with a payment processor, there should be no secrets. A good payment processor will tell you exactly what you need to pay without adding any hidden charges.
6. Payment Gateway
A payment gateway authorizes credit card transactions for your business, and can reduce processing costs, save time and increase efficiency, as well as allow your business to accept payments online. Choose a processor with a feature rich payment gateway that is compatible with your ERP or accounting software and allows for unlimited transaction history, customizable reports and secure data tokenization.
7. Do Your Research
Review these factors carefully, and make sure you know exactly what a payment processor can provide your business before entering into a relationship. By doing proper research, you will benefit from increased security, lower fees, and a PCI-compliant payment gateway that will help ensure lasting success for your business.
Learning how to choose a payment processor doesn't have to be a hassle. By following these simple tips, you'll be able to choose the payment processor that is right for your business.