If you plan to take payment from credit cards for the services provided by your home business, you need to have a credit card processing service. There are many online credit card processing services that you can use and the overwhelming choice can becoming daunting. Fortunately, there are a number of factors that you can consider which will help you determine which online credit card processing service and finding the best payment solutions that is right for your home business.
The Costs And Fees
It is important to note that all credit card processing services will have fees that you need to pay. When you have a small home business, you will not be able to afford the large fees that certain providers charge. This is why you need to be aware of the costs and fees that are charged and what they will mean for your business.
The first fee that you will face is the interchange fee which is the fee that is charged for every credit card transaction that goes through your account. This fee is paid to the card-issuing bank by the payment processor and will generally range from 2 to 3% of the transaction amount. However, the actual rate that you pay will be impacted by various factors including the type of transaction and the size of the transaction. Larger and less frequent transactions will result in lower fees while phone and online transactions will cost more because there is a risk of fraud.
Another fee that you need to be aware of is the application and setup fees. These fees are charged when you set up your account with the payment processor and should be clearly stated by the company. If you are going to be using a credit card machine to take payments in your home business, there could be an extra charge to set this up as well. These fees will vary greatly from one provider to another and you need to determine if you are able to afford them.
The monthly minimum fee is another cost that you need to be aware of. As the name suggests, this fee will refer to the minimum amount of fees that the processing company will collect in a single month. If you do not meet this minimum fee, you will be charged extra to meet it. This means that if the minimum is $25 and you only accumulated $20 in fees, you will be charged the extra $5 anyway.
The last fee that you need to take note of is the monthly gateway access fee which is charged by some processors only. This fee is a monthly charge for the access you get to the gateway to the system which processes the credit card. This fee will generally be between $10 and $30.
How Long Will It Take To Set Up?
Once you understand all of the fees and costs associated with the credit card processor, you need to find out how long setup will take. This is important because you will want to be able to take credit card payments as soon as possible. The setup process should not take very long, but there are some processors that take longer to set your account as active.
What Payment Types Are Accepted?
A lot of people do not realize that certain credit card processors will not accept all major credit cards. There are some that will only allow you to process Visa transaction while others will accept all credit card transactions. It is recommended that you choose a credit card processor that allows you to accept all major credit cards.
If you are unable to accept all credit cards, you will run the risk of having to turn customers away or ask them for an alternative payment option. This is something that you want to avoid because it could cost your home business clients.
The Security Tools They Offer
Accepting payments is something that needs to be done securely and if you cannot offer your clients this they are not going to want to work with your business. This is why you need to consider the fraud protection and security tools that the credit card processor has to offer you. All reputable payment processors will have security features included in their systems.
You should ensure that the processor you use supports SSL certificates and offers CVV2 verification. They should also offer encryption for POS systems and tokenization for additional safeguards. If the processor cannot display that they offer this, you should reconsider using them because your transaction may not be secure.
You should also check that the credit card processor is complaint with Payment card Industry Data Security Standard regulations. This regulation states that the payment ecosystem will need to be documents, secure and inventoried. Fraud resolution is also important and you need to ensure that the company offers you support should fraud occur.
How Helpful Is The Customer Support?
The last thing you want is to run into a problem with your processor and not be able to get any help from the company. Additionally, you will want to be able to contact the company if you have any questions about your monthly billing statement. This is why you need to ensure that the company you choose offers quality customer support.
To determine the quality of the support, you should look at their support hours. Ideally, you will want to work with a credit card processor that offers 24/7 customer support. You should also see if you are able to get direct help from an account representative when you have any issues. To test the customer support, you should contact them regarding a question that you have about setting up an account. The representative should be able to easily understand you and offer you the answers that you need.
Choosing the right credit card processing service is important for the success of your home business. Being able to accept credit card payments will boost your profits and make your business appear more professional.