The 3 Most Important Factors to Consider when Selecting a Merchant Service Provider

Merchant service providers are companies that provide businesses with the ability to allow their customers to use debit and credit cards as a form of payment. They are essential, especially in this day and age when cash is becoming increasingly less common. Most merchant service providers will offer their services either on the phone, on a face to face basis, or over the Internet. Businesses that use a merchant service provider are much preferred by customers because most customers will only carry cards on them, rather than cash. By accepting the preferred method of payment, businesses are able to stay convenient and accessible. Before choosing a merchant service provider , a business needs to take a few different factors into consideration.

1. Customer Service

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The first factor that needs to be looked at is that of customer service. The quality of the different services that are offered by the providers are critical to the success of a business. If the level of customer service is very low, than the services offered by the merchant provider are not worth any amount of money. No matter how cheap the services are, having problems accepting credit and debit cards can kill a company's business and thoroughly affect its ability to be successful.

2. Costs of Processing Credit Cards

The second factor that needs to be taken into consideration is that of the cost of processing credit cards. Every time a credit card or a debit card is processed, the business processing the card will incur a slight charge. These costs will be affected by a number of different factors, including whether or not the credit card is actually present during the course of the transaction, if the card is not a standard card (if it is part of a rewards program or a business credit card specifically used for business expenses), and the types of products or services that are being purchased with the card. The two main companies, Visa and MasterCard will determine the baseline of the charges for the different cards that are being processed. After that, the merchant service provider will then manufacture margins that will need to be paid in order for them to make a profit. Finding a company that produces accurate, fair margins is a very important step when choosing a merchant service provider.

3. Fees and Dues

It is a very common occurrence for a business to not know precisely what the amount of money that they are paying is for. Merchant service providers have taken advantage of this by simply adding in fees and dues that have to be paid on a regular basis and greatly raise the amount of money that needs to be paid each month. By thoroughly examining each contract with merchant service providers before the business actually signs the agreement, it is possible to find a provider that requires the least amount of fees. Checking reviews to see if these fees change on a regular basis is another way to make sure that the fees that are required remain stable.

By looking at these three factors, it is possible to ensure that a business finds a merchant service provider that will be able to keep the credit and debit card processing machines moving smoothly without costing an arm and a leg.

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