Merchant services used to be a somewhat closed and arcane world. Thanks to rapid increases in credit and debit card use coupled with an equally large increase in businesses accepting credit and debit cards, a vibrant and competitive economy now exists for merchant services providers. The challenge for most businesses is finding a good one to serve their needs.
If you are like many businesspeople, your first instinct may be to go to the bank that handles your business's cash management accounts, capital reserve accounts and credit line. However, many business banks do not offer competitive credit card processing options. Most businesses do best by working with a company like Choice Merchant Services that shops a number of merchant providers to find you the best possible option. For most businesses, the best merchant service provider is one that offers fair rates, good quality equipment, and terms that meet their specific needs.
Believe it or not, some businesses still pay merchant rates as high as six percent. In today's market, many businesses can qualify for rates very close to one percent. Merchant rates depend on a number of different factors including the type of business, the way that they process cards, the quantity of business that is done and the credit profile of the business. Even though every business is different, there are still some processors that charge better rates than others, all things being equal. Shopping around, or hiring someone to shop around for you, is the best way to get the best rate available.
Equipment that Fits Your Business
Different businesses require different types of credit card terminals. While the traditional small keypad unit with an integrated printer works extremely well in traditional retail settings, it is not the one size all option that it may seem to be. Retailers where people are in a rush, like convenience stores, benefit from having a customer-swipe terminal that supports new tap-and-go payment cards. Traveling merchants benefit from a wireless terminal that can use WiFi or cellular networks, and e-commerce businesses do not need any type of terminal, but do need a software-based gateway.
Not every service provider offers you a choice of every type of device. Finding one with a good selection will make it easier to find the perfect terminal or gateway for your business. Finding a company like Choice Merchant Services that will give you a terminal for free is even better.
If you run a retail business that does moderately sized transactions of non-controversial goods, always swipes a physical card, receives few returns or chargebacks and you have impeccable personal and business credit, finding a merchant bank should be relatively easy. If your business is at all different from this, you may very well need a more flexible merchant bank. Many businesses fit into this non-traditional category and benefit from working with a company that can match them to the perfect merchant bank, including:
- Mail order businesses
- Service businesses
- Internet businesses
- Businesses with high rates of returns or chargebacks
- Businesses selling "controversial" items
- Businesses led by an owner with questionable credit
The increase in credit card use presents a major opportunity for businesses of all sizes. Since using credit cards appears to make people spend more money, accepting them is an excellent way to increase your sales. By finding the best possible merchant services provider you can also minimize the cost of accepting them.
About the Author
Haliegh Adams is a writer and a stay at home mom. In her spare time she loves to hike and and read.
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