Getting a merchant account is crucial if you have a subscription business model. Many SaaS and consumer-based companies assume that the most affordable merchant account is the best. However, it’s important that you scrutinize other aspects of your merchant service provider before making your decision.
In this article, we’ll discuss the crucial items that a business should consider before making a final decision on a merchant service provider or payment gateway.
What is a Merchant Account Provider?
A merchant account holds the money you receive after customer’s online payments go through. The provider of this account, the continuity subscription merchant account provider, will set up your account and allow you to process transactions. They will then take care of the task of transferring the money into your business account. Check out direct marketing – continuity/subscription merchants.
Choosing a Merchant Services Provider
Many businesses find it difficult to understand what good pricing is for a merchant account. When setting up a business, payment solutions are often not the first thing you consider. Because of this, most businesses will choose to work with a merchant account provider based on price alone. However, this can be potentially damaging to your business when it begins to grow.
When you’re looking for a merchant account provider, make sure that you understand everything they are offering. Always read the fine print before signing a contract so that you are aware of any hidden fees.
Here are some things to consider before signing up with a merchant account services provider. See more how to open a high risk merchant account.
The Needs of Your Business
You will need to consider the current and future needs of your business. If your business continues to grow, you’ll need a solution that will grow alongside you.
If you’re just starting with a subscription billing business method for your business, your needs will be different than those of an established business. Those with more customers may need a different merchant account than those with just a few subscription customers.
Always be careful not to stick to the bare minimum features of different providers. You’ll need to know that these solutions can work for you in the future, not just right now. Your growth plan should always be in mind and in the mind of your merchant services provider so that they can help you find the right account for you.
The whole point of having a merchant account is so that you can better serve your customers. You should always consider their payment preferences to find solutions that address these needs. Remember, people often shop online for convenience, so your payment gateway and solutions should reflect that.
For example, if you have a merchant account that accepts credit cards only, but your customers prefer using bank transfers, you will not be addressing their needs, which can lead to poor sales.
Your merchant account services provider should help you make it easier for your customers to pay for their subscriptions. Customer loyalty is everything when it comes to this type of business model.
If you’re not sure which payment solutions your customers prefer, send them a survey and give them a discount once completed so that you can learn more about them and in turn, boost your business.
Read more: Communication Is Key With a Subscription-Based Business
While cost should never be the most significant factor when looking for merchant service providers, you will always have to consider it. Allowing your customers to pay online means that there will be a cost to you.
There are fixed fees charged by card providers like Mastercard and Visa, and your merchant account provider will also charge you fees to process those credit or debit card transactions.
You should know the total cost your business will incur with every potential merchant account service provider. Comparing services will be crucial for you.
Always beware of merchant services whose advertisements say you’ll pay less, but don’t have that listed in their contract. You may end up paying more expensive fees or set up costs. Make sure to do the math correctly and have an understanding of the contract. If you need to, seek professional legal advice.
Service Provider Reputation
The reputation of the value merchant services company you choose to work with matters. In fact, we’d argue that it’s more important than the price of the services.
A company with a good reputation helps you build a better brand image and uninterrupted operations. The company you work with should be PCI-compliant and follow the best practices when it comes to collecting customer credit card data.
If anything goes wrong on that side of the business, it’s likely that your customers will blame you for any data leaks or hacks. This can have a serious implication on your business that can be detrimental.
Customer Service and Support
Once you sign a contract to accept credit card payments with a merchant services provider, you may encounter growing pains with your merchant account. For example, your API may not integrate with your billing system. Also, in the technological age, most merchants do expect some system errors like double-charging credit cards.
When problems do come up, it’s important that your merchant account provider is available to answer your questions and address your concerns. With eCommerce businesses, your customers will be able to shop constantly, which means your merchant account provider will need to offer support at any time of day.
You should also make sure that they can be available for you during busy times, like holidays. Their support is critical to the continued success of your business. Ideally, sign up with a company that provides you with quality documentation and online forums, along with the ability to speak with a person directly or live chat when problems arise.
What’s most important for you when you shop for merchant account providers? Let us know in the comments!