Add one more item to your list of annual checkups – a review of your payment processing. Along with health, insurance and vehicle exams, it is a good idea to make time once a year for a review of your processor and payment agreement.
An annual payments exam with your processing partner can uncover changes that may save you money, or introduce new security procedures to protect your customers and your business.
10 Questions to Ask Your Credit Card Processor
Has my business changed?
From changes to your
- average transaction value
- an increase (or decrease) in sales volume
- an online presence
- an expansion into new items or services
Fact is, sometimes simple processing changes can make a big difference. Other things to look out for are:
- ensuring transactions are batched and settled within established timeframes
- making sure POS devices and software are properly encoding transactions
- taking advantage of special programs
Discuss any business changes with your processor.
Does your processor understand your business? Just as you wouldn’t call a florist for a dental problem, why consult a processor who knows nothing about your business? Your processor should understand your business model, what drives your industry, and offer suggestions to help you grow and succeed.
Is your processor EMV chip card ready? Make sure your business is using secure, up-to-date credit card machines to accept payments. Chip-enabled terminals take advantage of the fraud-fighting technology built into EMV cards and may help protect you from card-present counterfeit fraud. Many EMV terminals are also NFC ready which also opens up new methods of payment acceptance.
Does your processor support Apple Pay and other mobile wallets? Many newer terminals also allow you to accept digital wallet payments via Near Field Communication (NFC), including Apple PayTM and Samsung Pay. New methods seem to be released every month. Stay on top of them with your processor.
Are the rates on your statement the same as outlined in your contract? Compare your contract with a monthly statement to ensure fees and rates are consistent. If not, ask your processor about the discrepancies.
All processors pay the same rates to the credit card brands to move transactions. (All of the major credit card brands post interchange rates on their websites.) Extra costs lie in the added features a processor offers. If you discover additional, then ask your processor to explain where all the costs originate, how funds are paid to each of the parties, and why costs are inconsistent with your contract.
Is customer service available when you need it? Many businesses today operate 24/7, and the last thing you need is a processing problem outside of customer service hours. Ensure customer service representatives are available during your business hours, not just your processor’s.
Also investigate whether your processor offers onsite, telephone or web-based training. Are alternate processing options available in the event of a technical system failure? What is their system reliability track record and client satisfaction rating? These are all important issues to investigate before you need help.
Do you receive regular communication and educational opportunities from your processor? While a processor’s main job is to safely and reliably handle your payment needs, they should also represent your interests in regulatory and security matters – not after regulations have been enacted but when they are in the discussion stage.
Are reserve funds required? If so talk about releasing them now that you have had some time with them and you have built a relationship.
Do you receive statements and payments on time? Statements should be timely and available to meet your business needs. Many processors offer online access to real-time transaction information to help you track a wealth of information including fees, batch processing, income and volume.
The time between sales transactions and when proceeds are deposited into your account should be around 72 hours, or (in many cases) sooner. Some processors however may take up to two weeks before releasing funds. Industry trends are next day funding if you batch by a certain time. Be sure you are getting your funds as quick as possible.
Headquartered in Pinole California, MerchantZoom, Inc. was founded by Wally Arakozie. Previously employed by one of the largest merchant processing companies here in California for nearly a decade. Since the company’s beginnings MerchantZoom, has grown into a reputable national merchant provider. Along with delivering state of the art technology and competitive rates, MerchantZoom, thrives on personalized local customer service and support. In order for your business to ZOOM!
759 Appian Way Ste 1A Pinole, CA 94564
Content Release Date Oct 14, 2016 – MerchantZoom Inc.