Small Business owners looking for a merchant account have a wide variety of companies and factors to consider. For those merchants looking for additional information and reviews on credit card processing companies and finding the cheapest merchant account for their small business should focus on 4 main criteria before making their decision.
Credit Card Processing Rates: Whenever a small business owner processing a credit or debit card, the rates that they are charged on that card are determined by a multitude of factors. Is the card present at the time of the transaction?, is it a rewards or business card?, what type of goods/services are being provided? All these factors are directly related to the rate a merchant will be charged. The base rates are set by Visa/Mastercard, however credit card processing companies add in margins to those rates and finding the best merchant account provider can be the difference between paying margins that are far in excess of what you should be paying.
Dues/Fees Assessed: In addition too their margins, credit card processing companies have also found that by charging monthly minimums and assessing merchants with other dues and fees they can further increase their profits. If a merchant is not careful and knowingly/inadvertently sign a specified length contract with a merchant account provider that you do not fully trust, they could find that despite low rates, they are actually paying significantly more money than they should be.
Customer Service: While price is a major factor, the quality of service that you receive for your costs can play a major role in determining the actual lowest cost merchant account for you and your small business. The financial ramifications of signing with a low cost merchant service provider only to have your processing system fail and potentially lose a day/week/month of credit card processing due to issue with your account, can directly impact your bottom line.
PCI Compliance/Application/Cancellation Fees: While unusual, there are some credit card processors that continue to charge application fees, small business owners should avoid these service providers at all costs. Also merchants need to review their contracts as well as their statement of rates and fees, to identify merchant service providers that have contract cancellation fees, and excessive PCI Compliance fees.
If you are searching for additional analysis on any of these categories as they relate to an individual credit card processor, CheapestMerchantAccounts.com offers comprehensive analysis on the top rated merchant services for smbs.