Setting up a merchant account for your business makes it easy for you to start accepting credit and debit cards across your online and offline platforms. While you can continue operating exclusively on checks and cash, adding card payment options allows you expand your sales types. Choosing a merchant service to provide this expansion is dicey therefore as you can end up losing business. This is why you should take care to ask the following questions when making your decision.
How long have they been around?
To ensure the reputation of your business is in good hands, you need to watch out for a provider with a proven track record. They must have built up a good reputation over the years. While newcomers may have enticing offers, you don’t want your business to be part of their learning curve.
Do they offer full range of services?
The best merchants are able to provide both online and offline payment possibilities. You don’t want to be in a situation where you will have to switch providers because your business is expanding offline or online.
What are the applicable fees?
“Most merchant account providers have cancellation fees and transaction fees and these are standard. You only need to find out what the charges are and any other hidden charges you may not have noticed at first” says David at Dharma Merchant Services. “We have made sure to cover this extensively in our Dharma FAQS but other businesses may discuss charges separately. It is the duty of the client to ensure they rule out any surprises”.
Do they offer live and round the clock support?
For a business with an international focus, you need to make sure your merchant services provider would be on hand to address any issues that may arise during the day to day running of your business. Offering round the clock email support is not enough either as you want to be able to talk to someone live over the phone or over chat.
Do they offer fraud protection?
Credit card fraud is still very common today and businesses are suffering
You must therefore ensure your exposure is reduced to the barest minimum by finding out how the merchant services provider protects sensitive financial information.
How long does it take to process funds?
For any business to be successful, predictable cash flow is a must. You need to know in advance how long it takes for your funds to clear. While there is no right or wrong timeframe, your provider should have a fixed timeframe so you can avoid unwanted surprises.
Is their payment processing system compatible with your system?
You don’t want a merchant services provider with setups that will clash with your current online shopping carts for example. You therefore need to check compatibility and run tests before signing any contracts.
Do they have references?
Reading customer testimonials is not enough. You have to confirm these testimonials by looking for real life application of the services of your chosen merchant. It is also best to look for businesses that are similar to yours. The best merchant services providers should be happy to provide you with these references.
What is the length of the contract?
Most merchant service providers will provide you with contracts that have predetermined lengths. For a new business, it is always advised to try out the shorter contracts and scale up as you become more comfortable with the services provided to you.
With these tips, you should be able to find the right merchant services provider for your international business.