What are the most important questions to ask when selecting a merchant service provider or ISO? Credit card processing can be perplexing to any business owner. There are multiple aspects which affect both the expense and benefits received from a transaction handling provider. Before getting into the question phase of evaluating an ISO provider, make sure you know what type of help will be needed. Determine the average amount of sales you will most likely receive from daily purchases. What type of cards are you willing to accept? Do you need capabilities for online charge processing or only in store transaction handling? Deciding services, equipment, and types of transactions beforehand will help in your search for the perfect ISO or merchant service.

Assessing Merchant Service Provider Information

A merchant service provider facilitates authorization of a consumer transaction. They communicate with the issuing bank to determine if the card is valid, there are sufficient funds, and help prevent card fraud complications. If you are considering one of the many available ISO’s, make certain they are a registered provider. For example, major credit card issuers are considered to be a bank association. They cannot provide the necessary merchant account to your business. They work with other financial institutions to authorize the transaction. Essentially, they give companies the authority to provide various merchant services to a business. Independent Service Organizations or ISO’s are the direct payment authorizers. A merchant service provider can be an ISO or an agent of one.

Ask for the company to provide the name of their associated bank. Some companies attempt to disguise this information when they are a smaller processor. Are the rates and fees easily obtainable from the company being considered? A majority of providers do not disclose these fees until you have supplied contact data. Once they have this information, they then try to pressure you into signing a contract for their services. Providers who openly disclose their rates are going to be more trustworthy when performing their services. Rate quoting is commonly not very honest. When rates and charges seem unbelievable, they most likely are not legitimate.

Have the company supply a more detailed fee list which shows all charges associated with both swiped and keyed cards. Setup, activation, and application charges may be hidden. Make certain you know what will be charged when the account is actually set up. Ask if they offer twenty-four hour customer assistance. What technologies do they support for credit processing? These should include advancements such as fast transactions, broadband terminals, and internet processing. What is the provider’s rate of approval? How long does it take for the merchant account application to process? All are important questions when you are in search of a great merchant service provider or ISO. Do not forget to verify their experience in the industry. Inexperienced companies are more likely to make mistakes or charge higher rates to get ahead in the business. An experienced company will be able to recommend better solutions for your business and make the payment transition worthwhile.