Merchant services

Merchant Services: 5 Tips For Choosing The Right Provider

merchant servicesRunning a business is no easy task and is filled with many challenges that arise at a moments notice. It can be an overwhelming feeling dealing with all the operational responsibilities, plus the financial responsibilities that come with being a business owner.

Download "The new wave of payment technology: The rise of smart terminals" to  learn more about the credit card machines of the future!

The good news is, choosing a merchant services provider does not have to be one of those challenges that you face. Accepting credit cards at your place of business, whether online or otherwise is a must. Cash is becoming a thing of the past when it comes to making purchases, as the consumer is expecting a fast, easy, instant payment service, whether that means paying for a service or product online, paying in a store, or paying over the phone. 

Choosing a merchant services provider comes down to doing your homework. Although there are many merchant services providers out there that all can provide you with the service to accept credit cards, they are not all equal. Far from it. I have outlined the 5 most important tips when choosing a merchant service provider to help ease you into the process. Remember, accepting credit cards for your business is essential, and without the proper merchant services provider, it can be a problem rather than a benefit.

Ask Questions

Ask the right questions when choosing a merchant services provider. Don't simply let the account rep or sales rep explain why they are the best. Question how their help desk works. Question how they deal with replacement terminals, or if they even do replacements. Question about the kind of equipment that you will be getting. Why do I need a wireless terminal? Why do I need an eCommerce solution? Asking questions is the only way that you can understand the knowledge that the sales rep has regarding their company.

Sometimes, they could be reading from a script, and without asking questions, they will go through the well written script which details most of what you need to know, but not all. 


Get a breakdown of the merchant services provider's monthly pricing breakdown. Make sure that they include mid-qualified and non-qualified card types, and not just the MDR rates. Also, request a cost analysis if possible. If you are currently processing, it should be a very easy way to provide a cost analysis, but get their prices first.

The reason why I say this is because, if you simply provide a copy of your monthly merchant services statement, a dishonest provider will see how much they can make off of your business, while still making it seem like you are saving money. Hold them to their pricing.


Customer support is the biggest part in choosing a merchant services provider. Your business needs to be taken care of, and if you cannot rely on your merchant services provider to handle your payment processing or troubleshooting issues, than what can you rely on them for. Ask whether or not their helpdesk in located in Canada, or if it is outsources overseas. 

EMV and PCI-Compliant

This is a very important part of choosing a merchant services provider. Although, all providers should be providing your business with EMV certified and PCI-compliant equipment, it is your responsibility to ensure that your customer’s credit card information is safe and protected. Also, with EMV and PCI compliant equipment, you will be protecting your business from the risk of fraud and costly annual chargebacks.

Personal touch

When choosing a merchant services provider make sure that you feel like a business that is wanted, not just a number. You are important, and regardless of how much volume you do each month, should be handled with the same desire and willingness to provide great service and support as the bigger merchants. Great merchant services providers will make you feel comfortable, walk you through the process, and make sure there is nothing less up to chance. Clarity is important in choosing a merchant services provider so make sure that you feel you have covered all your bases.

Following these 5 easy tips for choosing a merchant services provider will help you build that relationship that makes you feel comfortable with the provider you finally choose. Accepting credit cards doesn't have to be an added responsibility for your business, let us take care of that for you.


Text Size

Emily Moore

With seven years of experience in the industry, Emily is the Merchant Boarding and Underwriting Specialist for BNA Smart Payment Systems. She also has experience in credit risk management, fraud and chargeback analysis, and in-depth knowledge of chargeback mitigation. At BNA, she is responsible for reviewing, investigating, and resolving irregular transactions; identifying and analyzing trends; exchanging knowledge of trends with peers and supervisors; and keeping records of past fraudulent activities. With a solid understanding of current fraud trends and software applications, Emily has a methodical approach to problem solving, great attention to detail, and the ability to recognize patterns. As a fitness enthusiast, Emily enjoys CrossFit and playing sports to keep active. She also loves the outdoors and spending time up north.

Find Emily Moore on:

Subscribe to our blog