Finding the Right Merchant Service Provider for Your Online Venture
With literally hundreds of merchant provider services vying for your business, making an informed decision can seem a bit overwhelming. Given that many of these companies offer similar services at approximately the same price, what criteria do you use to make a good choice?
Before you even look for a merchant provider service, make sure your website has the necessary components. Merchant provider services that service online businesses expect for websites to have the following items clearly posted:
- Shipping policy
- Return policy
A company’s reputation is an invaluable measure that you can use to help you make an informed decision. A good place to start is with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB promotes the highest ideals in work ethics between businesses and the general public. Doing a quick check to see where the company in question stands with the BBB will give you an idea of their business track record. Another great way to evaluate a company’s reputation is to go to their website and read some of their testimonials. In particular, look for seals of approval from relevant organizations. Finally, don’t be shy about asking for references. Call some of the company’s existing customers to find out what their experiences have been.
It’s been said that a company is only as good as their customer service department. Before choosing your merchant provider service, call their customer service line and note the answers to the following questions:
- Are representatives easily reached?
- Are they courteous?
- Are they knowledgeable about credit card processing equipment and software?
- Can they be reached at all hours?
When it comes to your online business, you want a merchant provider service that is capable of providing you with excellent customer service.
Watch out for companies that offer overly-reasonable rates. If a company is offering services that are priced substantially lower than the competition, look for hidden fees. Some unscrupulous companies use seemingly low prices as bait to attract customers. But savvy business people know to ask questions in order to uncover buried charges.
Watch Out For Caps
Merchant provider services often base fees on the number of transactions done within a period of time. And some companies will either charge exorbitant fees for going over the prescribed volume or they will cease to process credit card transactions altogether. This can result in a nightmare that can cause significant damage to your business. To avoid this kind of disaster, make sure you know the cap policy of your merchant provider service ahead of time.
With credit card transactions, the merchant account provider receives the funds first and then it is distributed to you. Depending on the company, this time-lapse could be anywhere from two days to two weeks. You should know the company’s policy on releasing funds up front so you will know how often you can expect to be paid.
Choosing the best merchant provider service for your online venture can be a difficult task. And choosing the wrong company can be very costly to your business. Before making a final decision, do yourself a favor and do your homework.
About the Author: Guest Post was contributed by Maria Chambers on behalf of ChoiceMerchantServices.com – Maria is a freelance business writer with extensive experience in the finance industry. For more information on how to use a Merchant Service, visit the website.