Comparing Merchant Account Providers

Selecting the best merchant account provider for your business is a critical move that requires some time and effort on your part. At USB Payment Processing®, we believe the process starts with an honest assessment of your business and the type(s) of credit card processing options it requires — traditional retail, e-commerce, mobile, wireless, dialup and so on.

For example, if all or most of your transactions are card present, you’ll need a different type of merchant account than if you run a MOTO or Internet operation where the norm is card-not-present (CNP) sales. If your business is diversified, you may need more than one merchant account to handle all your transactions.

Once you’ve determined those parameters, you’re ready to start comparing merchant account providers to see who can provide the most comprehensive and cost-effective products and services. Here are some points to keep in mind while sorting out your options:

  • Do your due diligence by asking for referrals from fellow business owners and checking out merchant account providers online. Typically they will offer a variety of solutions, so it’s important to focus in on those that directly address your needs. For example, if you’re a mobile merchant, app-driven Process Now® from USB can have you accepting credit cards virtually anywhere from a smartphone or tablet.

  • Ask a lot of questions. You should be in a learning mode as you begin your search, so be ready to absorb as much information as possible.

  • Evaluate products and services as well as cost to determine which merchant account provider offers the biggest bang for your buck.

  • Make sure the deals you’re considering include all the features and services you need and none that you won’t use. Talk with the sales rep to determine your equipment needs and negotiate the best deal for them.

  • Keep upgrade options in mind. Credit card processing software for your laptop is easily upgraded and more budget friendly than more expensive hardware. As always, base your decision on your needs and not strictly price.

  • Discuss customer service and support. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but if you do you want a merchant account provider who backs you up if your equipment or connection fails. Look for 24/7/365 support.

  • Don’t forget to read the fine print in your contract. The devil is often in the details!

  • The merchant account provider’s reputation is important, so find out how long they’ve been in business and their reputation in the industry. Ask for verifiable references and follow through with a few phone calls before making your decision.

With more than 20 years’ experience as a payment processor, USB should be on your short list of contenders. Tell us all about your business needs and requirements, and don’t forget to mention any plans you have for future expansion. We’ll put together a package of products and services that will best serve your credit card processing needs.

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