Accepting credit cards and debit cards at your place of business is an essential part of owning or running a business in today's technologically advancing society. With new ways to make purchases, either online, through your smart phone, with tap and go credit cards, or simply by inserting your credit and debit card at a POS system, it is important to have a merchant services provider that is in your corner. Not all merchant services providers can give you the insight, technology, and support that your business requires to meet the demanding needs of today's consumer, but the right merchant services provider can.
Whether your business is B2B or B2C, a merchant services provider that knows your industry, and know can put together a merchant services program that is built specifically for those needs will set your business up for success. But that sounds easier said than done, because a lot of times, business owners run into problems trying to get set-up with a merchant services provider for a number of different reasons that range from poor credit, future deliveries, unsecure website, no history of processing, or for any start up - no financials.
Although this can be a frustrating part of opening a business, it is not the end of the world. I have provided 3 tips that you can follow when looking to set up a merchant services provider for the first time, or when you are switching merchant services provider. These tips will help speed up the process in getting you set up with a merchant account, and get you on your way to generating revenue through accepting credit and debit cards.
1 - Financials
Especially with a new business, most payment processors want to see some sort of transaction history that proves your business is legitimate, and provides the goods or services that you say you do. For new businesses with no financials, or previous processing history, don't be alarmed if the merchant services providers asked for a Personal Guarantee.
Many business owners do not want to provide a Personal Guarantee, so in lieu of that, you can always prepare a cross corporate guarantee from another business with some processing history, and typically that will suffice in lieu of financials. If you are an established business with merchant services history and you are looking to switch providers, prepare in advance printed copies of your last 6 months merchant services statements, because more often than not the merchant services provider will ask that for it. When they ask for it, you will have them prepared in advance, and can provide the statements quickly and easily.
2 - Online Solution
If you are looking to start accepting credit cards online either through a hosted pay page, or an online store, do some research into which shopping carts the merchant services provider is integrated to before speaking to them. This information will typically be on their website, and will clearly outline the shopping carts they prefer. This will allow you to ask the right questions without having to do a lot of back and forth.
If you know that your website is using a specific shopping cart, see if the merchant services provider's payment gateway works with that shopping cart, and if not, when asking for a quote, ask the provider to include the list at the same time. It may be easier to add a new shopping cart to your existing website, than to try and find an online solution that will integrate with your current shopping cart.
3 - Be Transparent
The best tip for getting your merchant services account set up quickly with a merchant services provider is to be transparent with your business model, and all information that is asked to being the process. This means that if you know your business processes annual memberships, let the merchant services provider know, and outline how much and often you do those types of transactions.
If you have somewhat poor credit, but have been managing it, and have great financials that show your business is growing, let the merchant services provider know ahead of time, and more often than not, they will work with you to get you approved. Bottom line is, if you withhold information, chances are somewhere throughout the process the issue will come up, or the questions will be asked, and it will simply slow down the process, and perhaps even create some doubt or confusion with the merchant services provider. Being transparent will always trump trying to hide information.
Follow these three easy tips when looking to get set up with a merchant services provider and I can guarantee this will speed up the process. The merchant services provider will do whatever they can to get you approved, and you will be on your way to generating revenue through accepting credit cards either at your place of business or online in no time.