You want to make it easier for your customers to purchase your products and services. And as you've come to learn, processing transactions online could help to propel your local business forward.
Not to mention, it can also give you a competitive edge.
But how do you know which small business payment processing company to choose? You can start by asking the right questions.
Here's an overview of what to ask.
Do you offer small business payment processing online and offline?
As a local business, you want to ensure you're able to process payments wherever your customers are. And since most are online, it makes sense to process credit cards virtually.
On that note -- the small business payment processing provider you choose should enable you and your customers to insert payment details through its platform. This way, you can get paid online and in person.
What type of support do you offer your customers?
Once you become a customer of a small business payment processing company, you want to ensure you'll get the support you need. Otherwise, you may struggle with getting the results you desire.
Be sure the payment processor offers support in the form of phone support, live support, online chat, and technical support.
Are you PCI-compliant?
You don't want to invest in a small business payment processing platform that isn't PCI-compliant. This will only put your business at risk of being fined or worse.
PCI-compliance ensures that all payments processed through your business meet Payment Card Industry standards. This includes proper encryption of payment details.
Do you offer fraud protection for small business payment processing?
Accepting online payments can be a double-edged sword. Sure, you're opening up a door to make more revenue, but it also allows backdoor thieves to slip through.
This is why you need a small business payment processing company that's PCI-compliant and offers fraud protection services. This includes using the best encryption methods and data protection strategies.
Then when something does happen, your payment processor should help you bring the thief to justice.
Is there a contract or cancellation fee?
Trying something before you buy it makes it easier to determine what you want to commit to. But this is difficult when you're locked into a long-term agreement before you really know.
On that note, you should look for a small business payment processing provider that's contract-free and doesn't charge you to cancel your account.
How will your small business payment processing help my business?
The obvious answer is that it'll enable your business to accept an additional form of payment, which can boost your revenue. However, you want a platform that offers a little more than just accepting online payments.
Choose a small business payment processing company that offers a variety of features that can make your company run smoother. For instance, does it help you to advertise your company, book appointments, or act as a customer relationship management (CRM) system?
What fees do I have to pay & are there any hidden fees?
When you're selecting a small business payment processing platform, you want to ensure you're aware of all the fees. In most cases, this includes charges for:
- Processing credit card transactions in person
- Processing card payments online
- Currency exchange fees
- Monthly plan fees
However, there may be other fees you're unaware of that may spring up on your billing statement. Be sure to ask about all the charges you're potentially responsible for. And more importantly, read the fine print before you sign up!
What countries and currencies do you support?
You're a local business, but this doesn't mean you won't attract customers from other countries. And they may be using the currency from their homeland.
In this case, you'll want to have a small business payment processing service that'll support payments in various currencies.
Are the fees different for each card type?
Some small business payment processing companies will charge differently for a debit card than they do credit cards. You may also find varying fees for certain types of credit cards, such as Visa, Mastercard, or Discover.
Be sure to learn about the fees so you can make your customers aware of what they'll be charged.
Do I get all of the money back when processing a refund?
Payments processed online consist of the rate for your product or service, as well as additional fees charged by the payment processor. In the event you have an unsatisfied customer requesting a refund, you want to ensure you get back the money for the product/service, as well as the fees.
Otherwise, you'll end up losing money per refund. Find out in advance whether the small business payment processing company withholds processing fees.
Which payment methods does your gateway accept?
There are different ways consumers can make purchases online. They can use their credit or debit card details. Or they can use their bank account and routing numbers.
Be sure to ask the small business payment processing company the forms of payments accepted, so you know what to advertise to customers.
Is there a minimum number of payments I must process?
You may run into some small business payment processing services that demand you process a certain number of payments monthly to stay in good standing. Watch out for this type of practice because it could put a strain on your business.
The last thing you need is a quota to meet each month just to appease your payment processor. Instead, opt for a provider that affords you the freedom to run your business during your peaks and lows.
Is there a limit to how many transactions I can process monthly?
You don't want to penalize your business for being a success. Yet, that's exactly what you'll do if you opt for a small business payment processing company that limits your monthly transactions.
Be sure to choose a provider that allows unlimited payment processing.
How long does it take to get funds into my account?
Once an online payment is processed, how long will it take to reach your bank account? This is essential to know so you can plan your finances accordingly.
It's also essential to ask small business payment processing companies this, so you know you'll receive funds within a reasonable timeframe. It shouldn't take weeks to get money into your account that takes other processors several days.
Do you offer support for disputes and chargebacks?
There will come a time when a disgruntled customer will dispute your business. And when this happens, you'll have to undergo a process to resolve the issue, which may eventually lead to a refund.
But what about when there's a chargeback? Some customers aren't honest and will do cancel a payment after receiving your product or service. You'll need support to ensure your business is protected from these harmful practices.
Finding the Right Small Business Payment Processing Provider
With this handy list of questions, you should have no issue finding a small business payment processing provider that's right for you.
But if you still feel a little iffy about the whole ordeal, then you may still have some questions needing answers.
If that's the case, then download our free fact sheet on how payment processing works!