Recently, one of our developer partners told us that a good slogan for a merchant services company these days would be, “Look, another &$^%# payment gateway!” Comical? Yes. Realistic? Not exactly. While it’s true that there are many payments companies out there today, we’re all as unique to the industry as Dennis Rodman is to mankind.
Here are the five most important things to look at to determine if a particular payments provider is right for your business.
Make sure they clearly list all fees and terms on their website and contracts. Here at Arrow Payments, we regularly receive backlash merely from being associated to the merchant services industry by merchants that have fallen victim to the tricks of our trade. Hiding “non-qualified” fees, adding annual fees, long term auto-renewing contracts, and gradually increasing rates are just a few of the ways small businesses are preyed upon. When it comes to transparency in payments, your processor should expose themselves as if they are in the buff on a nude beach.
When evaluating a payment gateway, ensure that a redirect process is used within the providers API to avoid passing sensitive data through your own servers. They should also utilize tokenization when storing data and provide a secure vault to do so. This day in age, due to the continual increase in security breaches your processor should do you a solid and handle the heavy lifting on your behalf. You don’t want to pull a hammy, do you?
In the merchant services industry there is a tedious, expensive, and thorough process that a company like Arrow Payments must go through to become a registered provider of Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. However, there is no registration, test, or single pre-requisite needed to become a sales rep for an organization like ours. This unfortunate situation is why there are hundreds of poorly trained sales reps banging down your doors to offer you the “lowest rate”. At Arrow Payments, we live by the saying, “the best trained team wins”. Our sales and service staff undergo extensive training, are not commission based, and work full time in our corporate office to ensure the highest levels of support. Don’t believe us? Just call, email, web chat, Facebook, or tweet us. Go on… you know you want to.
There are three parts to being PCI-Compliant. a) Processing on a compliant device or system b) Following all rules and regulations set forth by the PCI Council c) Submitting your self-assessment questionnaire annually to the card associations. If your processor is unfamiliar or unwilling to assist you with PCI-Compliance, a security breach and non-compliance fees could very quickly become a problem.
5. Ease of Use
Do you need to piece together multiple companies to handle your merchant account, PCI-Compliance, payment gateway and POS System? Having all systems and support teams under one roof alleviates the need to get the “run-around” from your providers and comes equipped with a single point of contact (also known to alleviate migraines).
The truth is that all payment processors work off the same interchange costs and all credit card transactions are being authorized by only a handful of networks. Look for a payments provider with a solid track record that understands your industry’s particular challenges and provides the proper software for your company. The choice boils down to which provider offers the most advantageous combination of price, service and technology to support your business from its launch at the way to becoming a major player in your industry.