Did you know that there are about eight million small businesses in the United States alone? If you’re trying to find the best ways to improve your business, you may be struggling with where to start. Payment processing is a great way to improve the quality of life for both your customers and your team.
But how can you choose a good payment processor? Read on for seven integral features of an effective payment processor.
While searching through your payment processing options, one thing is more important than anything else: security.
The security of a system relates to how safe it is to use. Payment processing options are often the victims of cybercriminal attacks.
These attacks can include DDoS attacks to make it so others are unable to use the processor. Other common attacks are attempts to steal information from the processor. If a processor saves or stores information, this sort of attack is particularly dangerous.
When looking into your options, check for PCI Compliance. Put simply, PCI Compliance ensures that the payment processor is following the guidelines for cyber safety. Another factor is end-to-end encryption, which can mask information and hide details.
These are two of the most common factors, but far from the only tools in use. Look for payment processors that use more than these two safety measures. There’s no such thing as too safe for a payment processor.
2. Wide Acceptance
A second factor to look into is the availability and acceptance of a processor. The acceptance of a processor is how many things it will allow customers to pay with.
Most payments through a processor will be with a credit or debit card. Think of the stores you’ve gone to and what they did or didn’t accept. Amex, MasterCard, and Visa are the most common of these cards.
If your processor doesn’t accept a card, you cannot receive payments from customers using such a card. Not only will this restrict your payments, but it will also stop customers from shopping. Do your best to find a payment processor that accepts as many options as possible.
3. Speed and Efficiency
When it comes to the speed of a transaction, every second affects your customer’s experience. Spending nearly a full minute while their card processes will lead to annoyance and concern.
As they wait, customers behind them will continue to line up and grow aggravated at the wait. While such lines don’t matter for online retailers, lengthy transactions can lead to frustrated customers. Some may close or cancel the transaction out of worries that something has gone wrong.
A fast payment system is crucial for your business. Such a benefit will keep customers happy while also facilitating more transactions. The faster your payment processor, the more business payments you receive.
4. Charges and External Fees
One factor that most business owners will look into is the charges and external fees. There are a few factors that have a more direct impact on your profits than these charges. But where do they come from, and why do they vary across payment processing options?
Fees are unavoidable, and you will not find a processor that operates with no fees. However, they vary drastically, and you can often find a better processor by searching by what they charge.
Transaction fees are the most notable for some businesses. A transaction fee is a percentage of every transaction made. The lower the transaction fee, the less money you use.
Service and maintenance fees are also common, but not every processor will have them. These fees are a surcharge meant to cover the costs of the processor’s operation.
Set-up fees are more common for retail stores that need equipment. These fees are for the machines and software to run the payment processor.
Another fee that may be imposed is the “missed mark” fee. Processors will charge you for going over the maximum limit of monthly transactions. They may also charge you for missing your monthly minimums.
5. External Maintenance
Payment processors are far from invulnerable and need frequent maintenance. How much will it cost you to maintain these systems? More importantly, how often will you need to maintain them?
You should look into the reliability of the system you intend to use. Go with a payment processor that offers reliable and prompt service. Every second they fail to fix the problem is another moment you aren’t able to make money.
6. Ease of Use
Some processing systems are easier to use than others. The fewer steps, the simpler and faster the system is to use.
If you’re training employees on using the sales system, you’d want it to be as simple as possible. The simplicity will make them easier to train and let them get to work much faster. Additionally, troubleshooting problems will be quicker, cutting out downtime.
7. Flexible Under Strain
Finally, you should look for a processing system that’s flexible. The ability to take large volumes of transactions is integral, as failing to do so can garrote your functionality during peak hours.
The necessary numbers depend on your business. Restaurants and stores often have a regular, steady flow of transactions. Businesses like B2Bs will use their sales system less often, making strain unlikely.
The frequency and size of transactions are the most important factors in a flexible system. Consider what sort of transactions your business will perform before you choose your system.
Finding the Perfect Payment Processing System
The perfect payment processing system is custom picked depending on your company’s needs and challenges. Look for something that’s secure above all other factors, as well as easy to use and low on fees. Don’t pick something from a company with poor customer service or you may find yourself lacking the support you need.
For more information, be sure to contact us. You can also browse our services to see how we can help your business shine.