The Best Credit Card Processing Solutions for Different Types of Businesses
Why Do I Need a Credit Card Processing Solution?
When expanding your business, it is necessary to offer different payment options to your customers. More and more people stop carrying around cash, and instead, expect to make credit card payments everywhere they go. To boost your business and expand your customer base it is important to adjust to the customers’ demands and offer a seamless customer experience.
An efficient credit card processing solution is a key factor for great sales. A merchant account provider offers merchant services which make it possible for businesses to legally accept both credit and debit card payments.
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How Can a Credit Card Processing Solution Create Value for My Business and Customers?
No matter the size of your business it is always a good idea to accept credit card payments. Credit card processing solutions create benefits for both your business and customers. Offering multiple payment options is an important factor for growing sales and loyal customers.
Difficulties during the payment process can ruin the customer’s experience and also easily make the customers switch over to a competitor. Especially in e-commerce, where the competition is high and the customers’ demands are rising, a convenient and flexible credit card processing solution is an important feature for a positive customer experience.
The established credit card processing providers accept multiple payment options, and at the same, time guarantee a secure payment. Through a professional credit card processing solution, the sensitive data of the customer is protected, which is very important when offering online payment processing. A secure and easy check-out and payment process will definitely boost your sales and the customer satisfaction.
Important Aspects to Consider When Choosing a Credit Card Processing Solution
There is a great variety of payment processing companies which offer different combinations of merchant services, and it can be hard to recognise the differences between the providers. Here are some different aspects to take into consideration when choosing the right credit card processing solution for your business.
Your sales volume have an impact on the credit card processing solution offer you will receive. With a high volume in sales, the prices are usually cheaper due to a lower risk for the payment providers.
Be cautious about required minimum sales volume, which can become very expensive if you are not always exceeding the minimum level agreed on. The provider takes a fee for the difference between the sales and the minimum level if the sales volume should not be high enough.
The payments made by your customers with credit cards are transferred to a merchant account before arriving in your business account. The payment provider sends the money from the merchant account to your business account every day, every week or so. Depending on your need for liquidity this can be a crucial factor to consider when choosing your credit card processing provider.
For both you and your customers a secure provider is necessary to avoid any exposure of sensitive data. Be sure that the credit card processing provider is trustworthy, and it is good to check if the merchant account provider follows the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). This minimises the risk for any potential fraud. Furthermore, it is of course always good to choose one of the established merchant account providers to be sure to eliminate any scam.
Be cautious when negotiating the duration of your contract. For small-sized businesses it is often recommended not to commit to a long-term contract with a merchant account provider. The business environment and sales volume can vary, therefore, it can be a good idea to have the possibility to renegotiate contracts when circumstances (e.g., sales volume) change. If you want to end a contract before set termination day a high fee will very likely apply.
Range of Credit Cards
Most payment providers in the UK offer credit card processing solutions for all UK credit cards, as well as Visa and MasterCard. If you have many international customers, it can be crucial for your business that other international credit cards can also be processed. This might give you higher payment processing costs, but in most cases, it is still more profitable than losing the international customers who want to pay with, e.g., American Express.
The Different Types of Credit Card Readers
There are many types of credit card readers to choose from. Usually, you can either buy or rent the card reader from the chosen payment processing provider. Some providers even offer it for free when signing a contract.
Based on your needs you can choose a stationary or mobile credit card reader. Mobile credit card machines can easily be connected to a phone or tablet. Often it is a dongle which is plugged into the headphone jack and can easily be used with most mobile phones and tablets. There are also options where the credit cards can be read directly in an app. The best card payment machine for small businesses is usually a mobile credit card reader, which is perfect for flexible payments on the go.
The credit card readers should have EMV standard, which is the shortening for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. This standard provides the possibility to read chip cards. Nowadays this is very common for nearly all modern credit card readers to have this feature.
If you only have an e-commerce platform and sell online, a physical credit card reader is, of course, not necessary. Instead, a payment gateway is needed for credit card processing. This makes it possible for you to receive authorisation of the credit card payment in a secure way.
How Much Do Credit Card Processing Solutions Cost?
The price can be a deal breaking factor for choosing a suitable credit card processing solution. It can be difficult to receive transparent prices from the providers even though it is of great importance to match the costs with your budget and overall business.
Sometimes, it is difficult to find the total prices, which mostly depend on that different business receive different offers by the same payment provider. The prices are a combination of various components. It is very important not only to compare the single costs between the different credit card processing companies, instead add all costs for an accurate cost overview.
To be able to get a comparable cost estimate these fees should be considered for the calculation: terminal fee, payment gateway fee, monthly fee, annual fee, early termination fee, and transaction volume limit fee. When you have received an overview of these fees you can easily calculate your future costs when taking your sales volume into account.
It is also important to be aware if you are in the need of a high risk merchant account. If this is the case, you can expect higher prices and sometimes even difficulties finding a merchant account provider. When applying for a credit card processing solution, the payment provider will do a risk analysis of your business. If the provider estimates high risk, the overall prices will be higher to balance out the risk.
Which Established Credit Card Processing Companies Are There to Choose From?
There are a variety of credit card processing companies to choose from. As mentioned earlier, there are different factors you have to weigh when deciding which company you want to work with. There is not one solution or provider which fits all businesses. It all depends on what factors you value the most and what you are willing to pay without giving up too much of your profitability.
Still, it is always important to work with a established credit card processing provider to be sure to minimise any exposure to unnecessary risk for your brand or any customers due to low-quality payment solution.
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