Tripping Over Dollars to Save a Dime on Payment Processing

When it comes to payment processing options, “incredibly low” rates may look quite appealing at first. But there’s often more to these offers than meets the eye.

Have you looked closely at the fine print on your payment processing service contract lately?

Choosing a payment processing service for your business is analogous to buying a car today. By making a poor decision, you risk losing important sales, costing your organization unnecessary fees and continuous headaches. In fact, sign the wrong contract and your best intentions can lead to frustrating bumps in the road as you attempt to gradually work out the kinks.

The moral of the story: Unless you already know what to look for, you are almost always guaranteed to pay more than you are expecting in the world of payment processing service solutions today.

For this reason, the lesson to be learned is plain and simple: Business owners must understand that payment processing is not free. And when selecting the right payment processing service for your organization, it’s crucial to always read the fine print.

Here are five things to consider when researching online payment processing service options:

  1. Always compare possible fees and their associated rates. Make sure the rates are reasonable and comparable to other alternatives currently available on the market. Be wary of providers who offer significantly lower rates than everyone else – they usually charge hidden fees and could potentially be slipping in deceptive pricing practices.
  2. If a provider tells you that a payment processing account is free, it doesn't actually mean “gratis.” Rather, the provider may have likely (and stealthily) crafted a way to charge businesses for their services by bundling their expense into another fee, or contract terms and conditions.
  3. Do your homework when it comes to a payment processing solution’s customer service. This is important, as their contact center will be your first line of action when resolving potential costly issues. Look for companies that answer their phones, respond to emails and are available 24/7 to help resolve your issues. Call other merchants and ask them directly about their experience with the provider – testimonials today mean everything.
  4. Request a sample agreement contract to review. Always compare the contract terms and conditions of a number of payment processors. Many providers often require lengthy contract terms that can end up locking your company in for several years. Be sure to understand cancellation fees and penalties, which can often be significant if your business needs change and you need to switch providers.
  5. Evaluate a provider’s security and fraud assistance and customer support. For example, are the payment processors you are considering PCI compliant? Are the solutions they offer PCI compliant, and do they offer assistance to help your business achieve and maintain PCI compliance? Are fraud detection and protection services included in the pricing, or offered separately for an additional charge?

Remember: Not all payment processing companies are created equal. Take the time to do the research and evaluate vendors based on all the information you've assembled, not just on cost. Then, pick a payment processor that best meets all the needs of your business, without settling for less.

To learn more, contact BillingTree today.