No matter the size or type of your business, you’re probably finding that at least some customers want to pay by credit card. Even if you’ve operated mainly on cash or check payments in the past, you will lose customers if you’re not set up to accept credit cards — and even other forms of payment — quickly and easily.
With so many providers available, it can be difficult to know which platform is best for your business. Many of them give you the capability to accept mobile payments and several of them can integrate with your point-of-sale (POS) system for seamless operation.
Before deciding on which and how many merchant services to use, there are a few things to consider:
- How much does it cost? Many providers offer free trials of their programs and services. According to Small Business Trends, you’ll typically pay between 1.75 percent and 2.9 percent of the transaction price per sale, plus a nominal flat fee per transaction, like 50 cents. Some services, like Square, offer no monthly fees but a slightly higher flat rate of up to 3.5 percent. Be aware of hidden fees that are not advertised or published by providers. Providers like First Data offer a simplified pricing programs and pricing transparency with their business management system Clover ®.
- What is your current sales volume and the types of cards you usually process? Some services may be more than what you need and others not enough. For example, Dharma is recommended for volume sellers processing more than $10,000 in credit card payments per month, while Cayan’s interchange-plus pricing makes it cheaper to process a debit card.
- How long does it take for funds to go through? Square can take one to two business days to get money into your bank account. There are some companies that can take up to a week to process funds — too long for many businesses to wait to get paid. Be sure to check with your bank to see how long their service takes. There are companies, like our partner, First Data, that usually take 24 hours or less.
- What are the benefits of using your bank’s merchant card partner? Most banks offer merchant services either directly or through a third party. When you choose to use your bank’s partner, you not only have the banking relationship, but you gain an additional contact for assistance. And, you can take advantage of promotions or specials that are offered to customers. Keep in mind, most of the time you will get more than just standard credit card processing.
Small Business Trends advises checking with the Better Business Bureau before signing on with a company to ensure it is in good standing. You could also ask your banker or accounting software provider if they have a credit card processing service or partner with any companies that offer one.
*MidSouth Bank has partnered with First Data, a leader in the merchant processing industry. Clover® does so much more than process credit cards. Clover® comes with over 20 pre-installed apps and hundreds more on the Clover App Market that can help manage inventory and orders to tracking sales all while securely accepting the latest payments. Other business apps available include everything from setting up reward programs, a time clock for employees, accepting online orders, to getting customer feed back and collecting, filing and paying your sales tax automatically. Learn more about MidSouth Bank Merchant Services and Clover or request an appointment to see which Clover® product is right for you.
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