One of the big decisions that any business needs to make is what merchant service it uses. This is the portal that handles card payments, whether online or in store. For SMEs, it is a particularly important choice because they generally have a tighter operating budget – getting value for money and all the usability, flexibility and responsiveness they need is essential.

What Do You Really Need?

The best place to start is with your own, individual business banking needs.

  • Are you a store owner who wants to make sure you can accept cards when people come into your shop?
  • Do you want a simple method that ties into your tablet or laptop or something more complex?
  • How much do you want to be charged for the service?
  • What range of cards do you need to be able to accept?
  • Are you also operating online and want to tie up your payment service with your bricks and mortar store?
  • Do you want a basic merchant service provision that can expand as your business develops?

There are plenty of issues to consider as a small business and it can often be useful to talk them through and get independent, impartial advice from someone who knows the industry.

Shop Around

Not all merchant services are born equal. There are also many of them out there to choose from.

It’s not a simple case of picking any one for your SME and expecting them to provide everything you need. Costs and packages vary which is why you need to be sure of what you need with any card payment system. As with all service purchases nowadays, you should be shopping around as much as possible to find the right deal for your business. Don’t just settle for the first merchant service you come across.

Ask Questions

There are plenty of questions to ask and you shouldn’t let any rep that contacts you simply run through their sales spiel without challenging them. Work out what could go wrong with the service – for example, what happens if a terminal breaks down? – and ask these important questions. There are other more technical issues to understand such as how the merchant service gateway works and what useful features they offer that sets them apart from competitors.

The other area that you obviously need to check out for your SME is the range of fees that a service charges for card payment solutions. These can vary quite considerably between providers and they are not always immediately obvious.

Do Your Research

That means you need to know something about the industry. There are plenty of resources online about choosing the right card payment service and what questions you should be considering. Once you know what you are talking about, you can quiz any rep about what happens if certain things go wrong or if you need to change your service package.

Check the Support

Unfortunately, it’s one area that many merchant services are falling down on at the moment. You have a problem and want to get in contact with someone but find it difficult simply to pick up the phone and get through. Support is important when you choose any service and this is one area that you need to check out thoroughly. You want it to be readily available and helpful once you get the support on the other end of the line.

Getting good advice when choosing your card payment service is vital and something that can benefit your SME immensely. At acceptcardpayments.com we provide a comprehensive and friendly advice service that puts you in contact with the bespoke merchant service that your business needs. Ending up with a poor merchant service and card payment solution can not only badly impact on your business it can cost you money that could be better spent elsewhere.