A Merchant Service Provider (MSP) supplies payment accounts that allow businesses to accept debit, credit and check payment. If your company doesn’t accept card or check payments, it could be missing out on significant revenue. But before you open an account, it pays to evaluate an MSP using the following criteria: business legitimacy, business history, processing fees, customer support, and account options. When companies evaluate MSPs using these criteria, they can feel confident that an MSP will meet their needs.

Business legitimacy

Before doing business, merchant card processing companies must be sponsored by a bank (a.k.a. acquiring bank) to a credit card company. If accepted by a bank for sponsorship, and then approved by a credit card company, they can open for business. However, due to the rigorous standards for bank sponsorship and card company approval, some would-be MSPs are declined. Of those that are declined, some choose to operate illegitimately.

MSPs are required to be sponsored by a bank that has a physical location, and to list the bank’s name on the homepage of their website. If an MSP does not list a bank, or the bank it lists does not have a physical location, or is not familiar with the MSP, choose a different MSP. Most MSPs list the name of their acquiring bank at the bottom of their homepage.

Business history

The history of merchant card processing companies reveals the type of businesses they typically service, such as small businesses, or large ones. Choosing an MSP that has experience with small businesses could be financially beneficial if you run a small business. The same applies to MSPs that have experience with large businesses.

Processing Fees

In addition to the MSP you choose, how much you pay in processing fees (a.k.a. transaction fees) also depends on the type of merchant account you have. Fee structures change frequently, which often can make industry averages obsolete by the time they are calculated. To assess current fee structures, visiting an up to date MSP review site is a good option.

Customer Support

Because a technical problem with a merchant account could result in lost revenue, it is important to choose an MSP that offers elite customer service options, particularly: 24/7 live telephone assistance, 24/7 live chat, and 24/7 email response.

Account options

Even if your business only needs a single merchant account, choosing an MSP that has multiple account options is ideal for adding new accounts, if you ever do need them. Ideally, an MSP should offer the following types of accounts: retail processing accounts, Internet processing accounts, Wireless processing accounts, and mail order / telephone order (MOTO) accounts.

AVPS has the account options you need

AVPS provides merchant accounts that meet the needs of businesses large and small, including online credit card processing, retail processing, wireless processing, check processing, and mail and telephone processing accounts. We have 25 years of experience serving merchants. To learn how merchant accounts can increase your revenue potential, call us today.