For many merchants, processing card payments is a key to revenue growth. But where they acquire a processing account can be just as important. Like most industries, the merchant service industry has its share of bad companies, and avoiding them can mean the difference between failure and success, especially for small businesses. If you need a merchant service, but you aren’t sure where to turn, below are five tips that will help you choose a good one:
Consult the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
In addition to checking a service’s letter rating, read the notes in its file. Because serious account problems occasionally happen, merchants should be wary of services that don’t resolve customer complaints quickly, even if they have a high letter rating. A service’s BBB record alone shouldn’t determine your choice, but it should always be considered.
Verify the Validity of an Acquiring Bank
Services that offer credit accounts must have an “acquiring bank” that performs credit processing. Acceptance by an acquiring bank involves rigorous standards that some merchant services are unable to meet. Consequently, services that offer credit accounts are required to list their acquiring bank’s address in their promotional materials and on their website’s homepage. After verifying an acquiring bank’s address, contact it to see if it partners with the service in question.
Watch Out for Strange Account Fees
Most card processing companies charge the following account fees: discount rate, transaction fee, monthly gateway fee, monthly statement fee, early termination fee, and monthly minimum fee. Some services also charge an annual fee that goes toward overhead. Fees to watch out for are ones that kick in after a certain period of time and ones that make advertised account rates extremely conditional.
Watch Out for Low Account Fees
Low account fees may seem like the mark of a good merchant service, but they are often just the opposite. Because the services account fees are rendered by other entities, most merchant services have little leeway in lowering them. Therefore, stay away from services whose fees are significantly lower than their competitors: they typically offer poor service.
Avoid Services that Make Financial Promises
As crucial as they are for revenue growth, merchant accounts don’t make money on their own. Therefore, a service that promises a financial return should be avoided. A merchant’s revenue depends on what, how, and to whom it sells, and how well its account options (including the credit card terminal it uses) accord with these things. While most merchants experience revenue growth after they open an account, precisely how much is impossible for a merchant service to predict.
AVPS has the Credibility You Need
Opening a merchant account is an important decision, and what merchant service you choose is just as important. For over 25 years, AVPS has had a reputation for transparency and meeting the needs of small businesses. At AVPS, our history, customer retention rate, and range of account services demonstrate our dedication to customer service. For a merchant service that will meet your needs, and then some, call us today.