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Businesses in need of credit card processors need to weigh their options carefully. The right payment processor is reliable and cost-effective, allowing customers to use their preferred methods of payment. In other words, the right service can keep your customers happy!

The worst payment processors, however, can add considerable stress to your business and cost you more money out of pocket than you need to pay. Worse, these processors can even expose you to liability if they’re not secure, pushing your customers away. You’ve worked too hard building your business to tolerate such an issue.

As you look for credit card processors, read the fine print and talk to other companies. In addition, be sure to avoid the following types of services.

1. The High Fee Chargers

The worst credit card processor is one that costs you money instead of partnering with you to help you earn more. Be wary of companies who are vague about costs, fees and charges or who don’t put everything in writing.

Bad companies focus on nickel and diming you instead of treating you like the valued customer you are. Look closely, and you may find hidden charges, secret fees and unexpected costs you certainly did not agree to. Maybe you agreed to some pricing factors at the start, but they appear to be thrown out the window as your costs increase month after month — if that’s the case, you’re dealing with a high fee charger.

Look out for companies that care only about the bottom line and are not completely transparent about precisely what you will pay for what. These companies will cost you extra and can push you into debt or severely hurt your cash flow.

To avoid high fee chargers, always get all fees in writing and make sure you understand exactly when each service fee will be. Compare prices to find an affordable and transparent company you can trust.

2. Unsecure Companies

Make no mistake about it: If your customers’ personal data is compromised, your customers will look at you and hold you liable, even if the fault lies with your credit card processor. Your reputation and the well-being of your customers and company are stake, so find a processor who takes security seriously.

Companies that are not secure are not PCI-compliant and are not familiar with the latest risks and the newest technology. Such businesses may not have a written policy regarding security. They likely can’t answer your questions about compliance, security and what they are doing to keep your customers’ information secure.

Avoid outdated credit card processors who do not have an audit strategy and have not gotten serious about hiring professionals to make their systems secure. Look for businesses with thoughtful and thorough security systems in place. Ask about security. A security-conscious company will be able to tell you that they’re PCI-compliant and will be happy to inform you about what they’re doing right now to keep customer data safe.

3. The Non-Negotiators

When you choose a credit card processing company, you want to get the best deal possible for your business. Though you’ll always need to pay your provider a percentage of sales and a fixed per transaction fee, your processing fees are up for negotiation — or at least they should be.

Some companies charge high processing fees and expect customers to pay, even when lower-fee competitors come onto the market. This complacent approach to pricing leaves many customers paying too much for their transaction processing.

When you work with a non-negotiator, you have two options. You can either continue paying a processing fee you have no say in or take your business to a different credit card processor. At Velocity Merchant Services, we employ a meet or beat policy to ensure you always benefit from the lowest processing fees. If you find a competitor that provides lower pricing, simply notify us in writing and we’ll match their price or give you one even lower. As a credit card processor open to negotiation, we’re able to offer the most competitive processing fees and spare businesses the hassle of switching providers.

4. Outsourcing Services

When something goes wrong, who can you call? Be wary of companies outsourcing support. When you have a question or concern for your payment processor, you don’t want to be sent away to a third party who does not know your business or even your credit card processor.

Outsourced support services are a big concern because they indicate a company is happy to take your money but don’t want to be on-hand when there’s a worry. Outsourced support can also be frustrating. It can take longer to get answers because the outsourced company has to contact someone else, in many cases, to get the information you need. The bottom line is that you don’t want a middleman handling your worries.

A service provider who outsources support is indicating that your satisfaction is not their concern, which is a troubling message. You deserve someone who stands by their services and is willing to make things right.

When you’re looking for a payment processor, seek a company offering in-house support around the clock. Verify that the company’s own professionals are answering, not a third party. You might even want to phone support before you sign on, or ask other businesses in your field to determine what support with the company is like. Will you need to wait long to get answers? How satisfied are other clients? How long does a resolution take? What is the process of resolving an issue?

The Bottom Line

The wrong payment processor can hurt your business, but there are great options out there for your company. Avoid businesses that want to take your money and show little interest in honesty, integrity and your success. The best credit card processors are those who will work with you in your business and grow with you as your size and success increases.

If you’re looking for a reliable, trustworthy, secure and high-quality payment processor, contact Velocity Merchant Services for a free conversation about your needs. Ask about our EMV chip card terminals, industry-low prices, more than 20 years of experience and A+ Better Business Bureau rating.

Have questions?  Talk to one of our Small Business Specialists.