If your company is looking to accept credit cards, you’ll need to work with a credit card processor to help your company securely accept payments. While a basic credit card processing company is sufficient for some companies, many others require a payment processor that offers specialty services.
For example, suppose banks and payment processors like Stripe and PayPal put your business in the high-risk category. In that case, you’ll need to work with a company specializing in high-risk payment processing solutions. Regardless of your industry, you should thoroughly research to choose the best credit card processing company for your specific needs.
When figuring out how to choose a credit card processor, you’ll want to consider multiple factors, including the payment types they accept, their fees, the software and equipment setup, their customer support, their security qualifications and whether they specialize in working with high-risk businesses.
Today’s customers want choice in how they pay for your products and services. Payment processors want to know how their customers pay to build a stronger relationship with you, the customer. If you run an e-commerce business, most of your customers will probably pay with a credit or debit card or other online payment systems. However, because both high-risk and online merchants experience more fraud, you must choose a reliable credit card processor.
You’ll want to accept as many customer credit cards as possible, so the best credit card processing services will allow your business to accept all major debit and credit cards. If you have a brick-and-mortar retail site, customers should be able to swipe, insert or tap their cards to pay. The most secure processing equipment accepts EMV chip cards. You might even want to consider choosing a system that accepts prepaid cards and gift cards.
You should also consider your industry when thinking about the payment types your credit card processing company should accept. If your business has tech-savvy customers, you should consider a payment processor that uses near-field communications technology. That way, you’ll be able to accept payments from digital wallets like Apple, Samsung or Android Pay, where customers can make payments via their smartphone.
When choosing a credit card processor or other merchant account services, you’ll want to consider the fees associated with using their services. Payment processing companies charge both flat and processing fees. Examples of flat fees include recurring, terminal or network access costs. On the other hand, a credit card company will charge you a processing fee when a specific action occurs. Processing fees include cancellation, monthly minimum or liquidated damages fees.
Typical fees a payment processing company include:
Consider functions you might need beyond what a simple payment processor can offer, as specialty services might have different price options. For example, if you’re considering storing customer payment information to make repeat purchases easier or use a recurring subscription bill to charge cards regularly, you might need to select a specialty merchant service beyond what a basic credit card processor can offer.
Think about what type of cash flow tracking and reporting solutions you’ll need and whether you’ll need a mobile credit card processing solution like a mobile app. When choosing merchant services for your business, you’ll want to select a company that’s compatible with your business’s needs.
When choosing a credit card processor, you should ensure that the setup will be simple and not cost your business valuable time and profit. Make sure you understand the entire setup process before choosing a credit card processor. Ask questions about how long integration will take, including how long it will take until your business is up and running with the payment processing system. Delays in setup and integration will take away from valuable time your company could use to convert leads and earn profit.
You’ll want your payment processing partner to be upfront about how long the setup will take. If a company is honest with you from the start, it’ll probably continue to be forthright in the future. A credit card processing company that’s straightforward with fees and installation time will most likely have superior customer service if anything goes wrong.
Even if you do your research and select the best credit card processor for you, problems are still bound to arise. Technology can sometimes be unpredictable, and you might have questions about statements or monthly fees. You’ll want to ensure the payment processor you choose has a dedicated customer support team. Ideally, the payment processor you work with should have 24/7 direct support from a live representative if you have questions or problems.
Help from an actual person will get you solutions faster. Reach out to a few credit card processors to inquire how they deal with customer service requests. You’ll get a solid impression of how a company deals with customer inquiries by reaching out to several companies before you select one.
You can also harness the power of the internet to find customer reviews on different credit card processors. Look for reviews from other customers when selecting the best credit card processor. Customer reviews can give you critical insights into whether a credit card processing company is responsive to customer service requests. You can also check out reviews from professional review companies to read reviews from experienced researchers.
Your customers trust you with their credit card information, so you’ll want to ensure you choose a secure credit card processing company. However, you can also be a victim of credit card fraud — in 2019, 77% of businesses reported being a victim of digital payment fraud. High-risk industries typically experience higher fraud rates, so if your business is in one, you’ll want to ensure you’re working with a credit card processor that can work with you.
Ensure you’re securely accepting payments from customers, too. If your business frequently accepts cards in-person on a regular basis, an EMV chip card reader is the most secure way for customers to make payments. Because the card stores customer’s card information in a chip, bad actors have a more challenging time accessing and forging data than with magnetic strips.
Look for a credit card processor that supports SSL certificates and CVV2 verification for online payments. The processor should also be PCI-DSS compliant. PCI-DSS stands for Payment Card Industry (Data Security Standard) and is a set of 12 secure credit card processing requirements.
The PCI Security Standards Council’s 12 requirements fulfill specific goals, including:
Regardless of how your business accepts credit cards, you must be PCI compliant. By staying compliant, you can earn and keep your customers’ trust by preventing fraud and significant security breaches. You’ll also have to complete a self-assessment questionnaire and pass an approved scanning vendor (ASV) scan to become an approved PCI-compliant vendor.
You’ll also want to choose the best credit card processor for your particular business’s needs. To ensure a payment processor’s merchant services align with your business objectives, you’ll want to consider how your business accepts payments and whether payment processors consider it high-risk. One of the most important considerations when choosing between merchant services is whether your business requires an industry-specific payment processor.
Credit card processors typically classify merchants that use their services according to different risk levels. Some processors serve only low- or high-risk industries, so you’ll want to ensure you choose the best credit card processing company for you. A payment processor observes how well executives run the business, their customer fraud rates, how many customer chargebacks they experience and how regulated the industry is.
For example, businesses in high-risk industries have to consider additional factors when choosing merchant service, as they typically have more difficulty securing a merchant account service. Payment processing companies like Stripe and PayPal assume a certain level of risk when they accept a high-risk business for a merchant account, and they might drop your high-risk merchant account or freeze your funds — if they even accept your account in the first place. Therefore, you’ll need a high-risk payment processing partner to accept credit card payments securely.
Your business might be considered high-risk because of the following:
You’ll want to identify your risk level when choosing a credit card processor to select the best service for you. Save time and money by only partnering with processors that can serve your industry.
If your business is in a high-risk industry, you’ll want to ensure you choose the right payment processing partner for your needs. High-risk merchant services companies understand high-risk businesses require secure payment processing solutions.
At Zen Payments, we believe in no good merchant left behind. We specialize in high-risk merchant account services and offer payment gateways, chargeback assistance and fraud protection services to keep your merchant account running for your business’s lifespan. Contact us today to get a quote within 24 hours!