Let’s face it, these days even small business owners need to have some kind of credit card processor in order to make profits. Most consumers today use credit or debit cards instead of cash, and without the ability to process these cards, you could be missing out on thousands of dollars a month in extra revenue. However, the biggest problem is that so many companies are offering readers that the choices can be overwhelming. You want a processor, but you don’t want to pay more than the credit card reader is worth. While there are many different questions to ask when seeking a credit card reader, here are three of the top ones that small business owners should think about.
The first and biggest question small business owners have to ask a potential credit card processing company is how much is this going to cost? For this information, you really have to read the fine print from these companies. Some charge you a monthly fee regardless of how many transactions you do, which can be expensive, especially if you don’t get that many card transactions. Others not only charge you a fee, but will also penalize you if you don’t do a certain number of transactions, or process a certain amount of money per month. The best companies will only charge you per transaction, but you still want a company that is only going to charge you the lowest percentage per transaction. In addition, you may be charged an annual fee. If so, you need to find a company that charges the lowest rates.
The next big question for small business owners to ask is if the company charges an early termination fee. You may find a company and like it at first, but later down the road come across an even better deal. You want a company that isn’t going to rake you over the coals if you decide to change providers before your contract is up. Ideally, a good company isn’t going to have a set contract, and isn’t going to charge you if you find a better deal, or by some strange mishap go out of business before your contract expires. If you end up with a company that does charge a fee, it should be under $400. Avoid companies that want ‘liquidation damages,’ because they will be charging you an estimation of what they would be making from you during your contract. These companies will often inflate these estimates to get more money.
There are other questions small business owners need to ask like is the company compatible with your billing software, interchange pricing, etc., the third big question you have to ask is just how good their customer service is? Let’s face it, sometimes you are going to experience problems, it’s just a fact of life. You want to be able to contact your processing company any time you have a problem or a question about your billing, your fees, and whatever else comes up. Small business owners want a company that is not only going to be available 24/7, but has a live operator available to assist, not some annoying automated voice on the phone.
Because credit and debit cards are in use so much these days, it is important for every small business owner to be able to accommodate these types of transactions. That’s why small business owners really need to take their time and choose a company that is right for you, not going to charge you with unnecessary fees and extra charges, and has someone there to talk to if you have a question or concern. Take your time, do some research and choose a company that is going to give you the best deal overall.