What to Look For in a Merchant Account

Retailers need to accommodate their customers in order to be successful. Since many consumers have switched from cash to using debit or credit cards, it is necessary to select a merchant account service provider in order to accept credit and debit cards. All merchant accounts are not created equal, and it’s essential to carefully analyze your available options before deciding which provider to use for your business since there are hundreds of options for you to choose from. 

The first thing to consider is the fees that the merchant charges for their services. There is a transaction fee charged each time a card is run for payment, along with an address verification fee with some providers. The fees vary depending on whether the card is swiped or manually keyed in. Monthly fees also factor into merchant account costs, including a gateway fee for using the service, a statement fee and a monthly minimum that must be met to keep your merchant account.

Startup time and costs also need to be taken into consideration. You shouldn’t have to pay hundreds of dollars to get up and running. You should be able to begin processing transactions as soon as possible. Some companies offer same-day account setup, while others can take from one to two days to complete. Find out whether you will be required to sign a long-term contract as well, or if you have the ability to easily switch to another provider if you aren’t satisfied with the current rates or service.

Choose a provider that meets your needs for security and acceptance. Ensure that the merchant accepts all major credit cards and uses up-to-date methods to keep the customers’ information safe when swiping or keying in the card number.

Customer service is crucial to consider. It is inevitable that at some point in time you will need to contact the merchant directly to resolve a problem. Select a provider that has positive reviews from other businesses, along with convenient hours and methods of contact for the times when you have questions or concerns that need to be addressed.

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