What to Look for When Selecting Merchant Accounts

When it comes to merchant accounts, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the enticing offers you come across. When searching through all the different merchant accounts that providers offer, it’s helpful to focus on a few key areas to narrow down your list and find the best one for you and your business. Knowing what to look for in merchant accounts will save you a lot of money, time, and stress.

A Long, Reputable Track Record
Try checking the Better Business Bureau to get some insight about the business reputation of the provider. A provider with a host of complaints isn’t the best choice. Browse other consumer sites for reviews or complaints about providers. Try to find out how long the company has been in business. Ideally you want a provider who has been in business for a long time and has had hundreds and thousands of satisfied customers. If you know other fellow business owners with merchant accounts, ask them who their providers are and if they have had any problems.

Fast, Quality Customer and Technical Support
When you are having problems processing transactions, you want your service provider to be able to help you as fast and efficiently as possible. Important questions to ask are if the provider has a free customer service number and if there will be any charges or fees for technical support. Know what hours you’ll be able to access service. You wouldn’t want to choose a provider with too limited hours, and you want a provider who you can contact very easily. Try to get a sense of how their customer service would be like. For instance, assess how the representatives of the provider treats you when you are asking questions while still browsing through different types of merchant accounts. Representatives should fully answer your questions and concerns promptly, in a timely manner. If service is lacking before you become a client of theirs, it may be lacking also if you do eventually become a client, and service may be slow or lacking in quality.

Transparency of All Fees
Although cost is important and you should takes the amount of fees into account, going with the drastically cheaper merchant accounts may end of costing you more in hidden fees. Always have a clear understanding of what fees are involved, and the more reputable companies will be more open about their fee system.

Accepts All Major Credit Cards
When a business is able to accept all major cards, it is much more convenient for the customer. The major credit card companies include MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express. Choosing a provider that allows you to accept all of the major cards is a more cost effective choice than setting up direct accounts with the credit card companies that only allow you to process credit cards from their companies.

A Money Back Guarantee
Some companies will offer 100% money back guarantees or trial periods where you can see if you are satisfied with doing business with them. More reputable providers will offer you this, since they are confident in their service.

Other factors you should consider are if there are contract terms for the duration of service with them. It is better to choose a provider that doesn’t require a contract. If there is a contract, find out what the cancellation fees are, since changes may occur in your business and you may want to switch providers for whatever reason. Try to avoid contracts with terms that are too lengthy in duration, like two or three years. Also find merchant accounts that don’t have caps on how many transactions can be processed in a month. If there is a cap on your monthly volume, you wouldn’t be able to accept any cards if you exceeded the cap during a very busy and successful sales month.