Payment processing is a crucial requirement for almost all small businesses. To find the best deal on your merchant account, you need to understand how these services can affect your profit. Given below are six direct questions that can help you make a well informed decision while selecting a merchant service provider. Have a look!

Q1. What are merchant account services?
Merchant services enable businesses to effectively selling merchant services handle payment processing. A merchant account is required to handle transactions with your customer’s bank to help direct payments into your bank account.

Q2. Who provides merchant services?
Merchant services are offered by specialized companies, referred to as merchant account providers. There are various financial institutions, independent sales organizations and local banks that offer payment processing services. There are some companies that handle a variety of payment processing requirements, while others specialize into a specific type of business.

A good example of a generalist is Merchant Services Direct, a Spokane-based company that offers payment processing services including credit card processing, debit card processing, check services, cash advance, ATM services etc. Likewise, you will find several other merchant account companies that will specialize in only credit/ debit card processing.

Q3. Which type of company suits your business best?
Which type of merchant services company will suit you best depends on the nature and size of your business. If you have a home-based business, merchant companies and independent sales organizations will serve the purpose. Banks may turn down services to a home-based business. Many businesses would like to hire the services of a local bank while others may like to go with a credit card processor that offers affordable rates. Select a direct merchant services provider that matches your business requirements.

Q4. Do I really need to accept credit cards?
Yes! Credit card processors will charge a small percentage of each of the payments that you receive. Having a merchant account in today’s economy is a no brainer. It adds professionalism to your business and statistics show that accepting credit and debit cards increase your businesses income. The small fee you pay to accept electronic payments will be worth the additional business and convenience you offer to your customers.

Q5. What do I need to for online payment processing?
A website, shopping cart and a merchant service company that can directly link your shopping cart to their secure payment gateway. This sounds confusing but as long as you work with a good merchant service provider they can easily guide you through this process headache free.

Q6. Should I look for a local company or does it really matter?
In short YES! With merchant services being a competitive industry there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get a good deal along with local service. Most business owners feel more comfortable doing business face to face and there is definitely something to be said about having a local office to go to with any issues or needs.

Google Search Tip: Once you have narrowed down the list of merchant companies to choose from, you can conduct online research to read the company’s profile on other sites, aside from visiting the company’s own website. This helps you find out about the online reputation of a company. Search term examples include “merchant services direct” or “merchant services direct, spokane”. Adding location (Spokane) to the company name (Merchant Services Direct) filters your search results. Other useful search term examples may include “merchant services direct review” and “merchant services direct profile”.

Categories: Business