Making the decision to move your business online and adopt an online payment processing solution is not a small one. Unfortunately, the next step—trying to decide on an online payment processing solution—is not much easier. There are many, many different providers, all offering different solutions. It can be overwhelming to try to sort out what the right option is for your business.
Following this guide can take some of the guesswork out of picking a provider and ensure you are getting the right online payment processing solution for your business.
Know What You Need
The first step in deciding on a solution is to know exactly what you need. If your business is considered high risk, you’re going to need a high-risk merchant account. That means you have different needs than a business considered to be low risk.
You should also think about your customers: Who are they, where do they live, and how do they want to pay? Your financial situation is another consideration: If you’re a small business owner who performs a number of small transactions, you will want a different solution than a bigger business that handles a higher volume of transactions.
Know What You Want
This, again, comes back to thinking about your customers: Who is buying from you, and what do you want to offer them? Some customers will appreciate mobile solutions, while others may decide they want more payment options. Still others will want you to offer the ability to pay later, and some will want you to consider better security.
Obviously, you also have concerns as a business owner—perhaps security is also very important to you. Maybe you want to be sure you are offering your customers plenty of options, or maybe you are interested in how a pay-later option can help you reduce online chargebacks.
You should always shop around when you’re looking for an online payment processing solution. That’s true even if you’re considered a high-risk merchant. You don’t need to take the first option that is presented to you—and you should not feel obligated to do so either.
Instead, shop around. Visit the websites of several providers, read neutral reviews, ask other merchants you know, and get quotes and talk to representatives. See what each provider will offer you.
Now that you have several offers in hand, you can compare between providers—and with your list of needs and wants. How do the providers fare in what their plans can offer you? You should weed out those providers that clearly do not offer you what you need or what you want, and you should drop providers that want to charge you very high fees or those that have submitted quotes that seem improbable. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Follow up with those providers that meet your criteria. Ask them to explain anything you do not understand (such as additional fees or cancellation terms). You may even want to have legal go over a contract before you sign.
Select a Provider
Once you have finished all this legwork, you should have a clear idea of who is willing to work with you and meet the needs of your business. Some providers will not want to work with high-risk merchants, for example, but there are many providers that will work with you to find a solution that fits your needs.
Once you have partnered with a provider, it’s always a good idea to schedule in a review period for the provider. Assess how much the company has helped your business, and review the terms of your contract. Is the provider holding up its end of the bargain? If not, it may be time to start the process over again and find a solution that is truly right for your business.