If you’re considering how to expand payment solutions in the coming year, deciding on which company to go with can be a challenge. There are several things to consider before deciding not only what company to ultimately trust with your processing needs, but what services you’ll need to make everyday business a success. That’s why we put together a guide to the basics of credit card processing, along with a short list of credit card processing reviews for January 2016.
When you’re checking over company reviews for credit card processors, it is vital to take into consideration what reviewing methods were used. Learning more about the business, their track record, and the other products and services available will also help you make the best decision. You’ll want to choose a business that is a good fit over the long term – and that means good rates and good customer support, too.
How Taking Credit Card Payments Helps Your Business Grow
Whenever the discussion opens up about credit card processing, it is worth taking note how your company can benefit from processing credit cards in the first place. You might have an idea that you’re missing out on a few customers here and there, but recent studies have shown that businesses who don’t accept credit cards are missing out on a huge chunk of business.
In fact, a software company that studies that effects of consumer trends noted that on average, businesses who only accept cash are missing out on $7,000 in sales a year. That’s a considerable hunk of change, but it really does fall in line with what the Nilson Report found out as well.
The folks at the Nilson Report have projected the continued trend away from paper by consumers. In fact, between the years 2007 and 2017, US consumers will double the use of cards in their day-to-day transactions.
Given that fewer people are carrying cash around to make purchases, offering more choices is relevant to your success now more than ever. So whether you’re an independent contractor, you have your own storefront, or you’re an artisan who runs a business from home, you can benefit from credit card processing solutions.
For instance, with mobile credit card processing, you can quickly and easily accept payment from your store or on a delivery – any person-to-person transfer of money is made safe, secure, and instant. You won’t even need to worry about purchasing extra equipment, because your clients can receive an instant e-receipt to complete the order.
Many business owners like the mobile credit card processing solution, because the only equipment you need is the small swiper that connects to any internet-connected device – like your phone or tablet.
When you start accepting more forms of payment, you open up new opportunities to do business – you can integrate new options like offering gift or reward cards, too. Offering reward cards not only builds loyalty, it helps you cater to your customers’ needs in new ways. For instance, you can also track buying history — and that helps you target promotions and sales.
How We Rate Credit Card Processing Companies
To find some of the best credit card processing companies, our team looks at not only rates and fees, but other factors as well. Although the cost is of course one of the most important deciding factors for a small business, we take a deeper look to make sure that a company is consistently going to provide great service.
Customer Service – If your business needs support, will your processing company be there to assist you? We think processing companies are more effective when they can meet the needs of their customers. Quick services helps keep business flowing in the face of any technical or other issues that crop up day or night. That’s why we look at their available customer support opening times as well as customer feedback and reviews from folks who have needed assistance.
Flexible Products and Service Options – When your business expands, your credit card processing company should be there to offer flexible solutions. The same holds true if you’d like to cut back on services or you need to find different processing solutions that meet your specific needs.
We also ask this question: As payment solutions evolve, is the processing company keeping up? We take a look at how involved the company is and how active they are in the industry. Businesses who take initiative are the ones who will be able to help you keep up with the demands your customers have as well.
Efficient and Secure Service – Our team takes a look at a variety of factors including analysis of the internal processes put in place by each company. We look at security measures like fraud detection and other layers of protection that provide highly accurate processing. Additionally, we look at overall cost and compare that with the value offered.
What to Expect in Costs Associated with Credit Card Processing
When you are doing your own research with credit card processing companies, you’ll want to take into account the rates charged in each transaction. Comparing other fees involved with processing can help you find the company that will provide you with the right balance of cost and services.
Application Fee – With processors, the application fee can be quite varied. Some merchant service companies have higher fees but you may want to focus on some of the more long-term costs and services before you eliminate anyone. Additionally, we found that some companies that have higher application fees also have strong customer service reviews – so cheaper isn’t always better.
Take a look at the breakdown of the long-term costs and variables you’ll need to consider:
- Termination Fees and Contracts
- Qualified Rate
- Mid-Qualified Rate
- Non-Qualified Rate
- Wireless Transaction Fees
- Other Fees for Service
- Monthly Minimums
As you are making some calls, it is a good idea to let the person on the other end of the line know that you are calling around. There’s no need to lock yourself down on the first one or two calls. By doing this, you also gain some leverage to negotiate better fees. Some rates are going to be non-negotiable, but others are set by the processing company and may offer some flexibility – it never hurts to ask.
As stated earlier, it is important to consider more than just the fees and rates. A reputable, established company that offers reliable service is critical to your success and security as a business.
More Ways We Determine Credit Card Processing Reviews
Analysis of Providers – When our team analysis credit card processing companies, we collect information about the organization such as services provided, available reports, customer feedback, and more. Additionally we apply metrics that help our team get an accurate picture of overall performance over time.
Thorough Evaluation – After the beginning stages of analysis in regards to reviewing reports, feedback, and overall performance, we go through additional metrics to form a deeper view of performance. We look at the following:
- Calculation Methods
- Overall Quality of Service
- Efficiency in Service
- Level of Security
We thoroughly evaluate every aspect of service and delivery to determine who delivers consistent, reliable service and offers good pricing as well.
Industry Engagement – When our team identifies industry leaders, one of the most important factors is industry engagement. Credit card processors should ideally be engaged in the changing trends of payment processing and be able to offer the latest services and products for you. We look at several layers of engagement to find those who outshine the rest — because typically the more active a merchant services company is, the higher the quality of options that they can provide.
For instance, merchant services can typically provide a variety of options to assist your business with core services including:
- Mobile Processing Solutions
- Point-of-Sales Systems
- Payment Gateway
- Online Credit Card Processing
- High-Risk Processing
- Retail Processing
- Merchant Cash Advance
- Small Business Loan
When you’re looking through credit card processing reviews, take a look at the other services the company provides – but don’t forget about the basics.
Some of the other important things to consider include:
- What credit cards are accepted by the processor?
- Can you offer gift cards?
- Will you be offering a loyalty program?
- Can your equipment process chip cards?
- Can you offer tech-savvy solutions like Google Wallet and Apple Pay?
The more you understand about the changing payment processing solutions, the easier your decision will be.
This January, our team built a list of the top processing companies – take a look at the top 3 credit card processing reviews that will help you find a company that’s right for you.
#3 – Cayan comes in at the third spot for the month. It has a strong record of serving clients with a 98% client retention rate to over 100,000 clients. Founded in 1998, Cayan provides services to suit the everyday needs of business including payment processing, gift card programs, and loyalty solutions.
#2 – Credit Card Processing Specialists holds the second spot. Clients are served well with 24/7 hour service – they have a 98% client retention rate. They provide credit card processing, equipment, and other solutions tailored to the specific needs of your business.
#1 – The top spot for the month goes to United Payment Services. They have a 97% client retention rate and have over 10,000 active clients including IBM and Otis Spunkmeyer. They can assist you with processing, check guarantee services, Internet commerce service, and more.
As your business explores more ways to grow this coming year, the great news is that you have solid options in processing companies that will provide you with the support and services you need.
Sources: Investor’s Business Daily, “Businesses Miss Out on Sales,” 23 May 2012. [Online]