Back before the world of ecommerce really took off, signing up for a merchant account to process card payments was costly and often difficult. Nowadays, everyone seems to be opening an online store and going into business for themselves.
That’s led to a revolution in the merchant services marketplace.
The good news is that is now easier than ever to find a card payment service whatever the size of your business. The bad news is that some SMEs are still not making smart choices when it comes to selecting the right provider.
The first mistake small businesses make is believing that all merchant services are the same. They pick the first one they come across, apply and start working with them without really understanding fully what they are getting into. That includes what fees they are expected to pay for credit and debit card payments and what happens if something goes wrong including who is responsible.
- Reading the Terms and Conditions: Surprisingly, this is something that many small business owners fail to do properly. They give the small print a cursory glance and sign up for their merchant service without being entirely sure what their commitment is. While many merchant services are reputable, this is a crowded market place and there are others who are not so concerned about your future success or delivering the kind of service you are looking for.
- Hidden Fees: When you sign up for a merchant service and start to discover a bunch of hidden fees being applied to your account, it can be very frustrating as well as costing you money. There are several reasons for this – the merchant service could be a new company and not have the right processes or transparency in place or you might have been deliberately deceived by the rep who dealt with you.
- Terms of Contract and Cancellations: These can vary in length up to about three years and means you are tied to that service for that set time. Cancelling your agreement can cost, if you decide to leave so it really is worth checking those T’s and C’s.
- Commitment to Volume: When you sign up for a merchant service you may also have agreed to produce a certain volume of sales per month. This can change, particularly for small business that have, for instance, a dependence on seasonal trade. You are more likely to find this kind of restriction in the US than in places like Europe or Canada, where it is considered unfair.
There may be other reasons why you could have chosen the wrong merchant account. One of the biggest complaints in recent years has been the level of customer service these organisations offer. How easy is your merchant provider to get hold of? Did you get a professional and timely response to your query? If you’re frustrated at not being able to get a solution to an issue, you are not alone. Quite a few merchant services are failing in this area at the moment.
If you are concerned about your current card payment service and want to change, it pays to get some good, impartial advice. Acceptcardpayments.com was set up to do just that, enabling small businesses to get the right merchant service in place which is not only tailored to their needs but is flexible enough to change when that SME begins to grow and thrive.