To maximize their selling power, many businesses contract with a merchant service. But how much a business benefits from a merchant service involves more than payment options. It also involves how merchant services operate: with professionalism and foresight, or with ineptness. An inept service can jeopardize its clients’ revenue in several ways; particularly concerning charge back fees and customer defection. Below are six tips for avoiding these types of providers.
Avoid services whose customer care seems questionable
Services that value their customers should provide the following types of support: 24/7 support hours, toll-free calling, contact by email, contact by fax, and contact by live chat. Perhaps a service that offers less support is cutting costs. But if it cuts customer support, what does that say about its customer care?
Avoid services that don’t disclose the banks they represent
Payment merchant service providers disclose the banks they represent. And, unless something ulterior is afoot, there is not a reason why they shouldn’t. Before contracting with a provider, investigate its relationship to the banks it represents. If the relationships don’t exist as described, find another provider.
Avoid services whose acceptance rate is unreasonably low
A low customer acceptance rate could indicate several things, such as: a service being careful in tough times, its inability to attract solid clients, or its application process being too tedious. A good rule is to apply with account providers who have an acceptance rate of 90% or above. Otherwise, you could end up wasting time and missing out on sales.
Avoid services that accept few credit cards
The more cards payment merchant service providers accept, the more cards customers can use to buy what a business is selling. Standard cards that should always be accepted are: Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Discover.
Avoid services that have poor fraud protection
Businesses that don’t protect themselves and their customers with anti-fraud measures can lose major revenue due to chargeback fees and customer defection. Different services employ different anti-fraud measures, the most critical of which is iSPYFraud, which allows online retailers to (a) make sure the person making a purchase is actually the cardholder, and (b) make sure the receipt for a purchase is documented properly.
Avoid services that charge mysterious fees
Paying merchant fees is the price of using merchant services, but some services tack on fees that have no basis. A list of legitimate fees is as follows: gateway fee, statement fee, monthly minimum fee, Internet transaction fee, debit/credit retail transaction fee, address verification fee, batch fee, customer service fee, annual fee, chargeback fee, authorization fee, and early termination fee. If an account provider has fees that seem unreasonable, ask it to justify them.
At AVP Solutions, we understand the risk of contracting with payment merchant services providers that offer poor customer support, poor fraud protection, and a lack of options. That’s why customer support, fraud protection, and remarkable service options are our strengths. Over 25 years experience in Small Business Merchant Accounts and over 16 years of servicing merchants gives us the track record you need in a merchant service.