Everything today can feel complicated and costly as a small business owner. Trying to stay up-to-date on consumer preferences and industry trends is a lot. Add in improving processes and comparing options, it can go from complicated to overwhelming very quickly.

One of the biggest decisions you have – and must maintain – is your payment processing solutions. In today’s market, the ability to accept credit cards, debit cards, and mobile payments have become non-negotiable. If you want to remain competitive, you have to give your customers multiple options. 

But where do you start? Securing payment processing isn’t an easy task for many businesses. Startups and small business owners often struggle to find a processor willing to work with them. They often lack the credit and financial history traditional providers want to see. If a business owner can get merchant services, they often mean long contracts, high rates, and a so-so customer experience.

If you’re searching for the perfect solution for your business, check out the following tips below. They will help you avoid common pitfalls and find merchant services that will help fuel growth – not take away from it.

Know the Ins and Outs

There’s a lot involved in payment processing. The more you know, the more lucrative your experience will be. Here are a few terms you should be familiar with before you start talking to providers.

  • Merchant services. This category of services is what helps your business accept and safely process your customers’ payments. Any business that wants to offer any other payment type other than cash will have to secure these services.
  • Chargebacks. Chargebacks occur when your customer’s payment is authorized, but then they choose to dispute it. While there are many reasons for chargebacks to occur, the end result is the same: chargebacks really damage your bottom line and must be prevented and managed with the help of a good merchant services provider.
  • Processing fees and costs. The fees involved will depend on your industry, type of transaction, credit card types, and processing volumes. Make sure you look into each of these possible fees and understand how they will impact revenue.
  • Independent Sales Organization. ISOs are a third-party company that is authorized by banks to handle merchant services for business owners; they often offer more personalized support, better technology, and lower rates.

Compare Pricing Models

Payment processors have different ways of charging merchants, so it’s important to know which is which so you can make the best decision for your needs. Markups, for example, can come in percentages or a flat rate. Tiered pricing can potentially be the most expensive of all the options available. And subscription (a monthly membership) means there is no variation based on how much you process.

Find a Reputable ProviderThere are many payment processors out there today promising to give your business the best merchant services. Choosing a payments partner can be a tough decision, but using the information above can help you make the right one for your business. Above all, make sure the provider is transparent, has years of experience in providing small business payment processing, working with your industry, and staying up-to-date on the latest trends and technology.

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