If you read our previous blog, you know small business owners don’t like credit card processors.

Since credit cards are essential for any business to be successful, we decided to explore the top features to consider when looking for a credit card processing company to service your business.

Do they offer the support your business needs?

Many credit card processors will treat you great until you actually sign up with them. After that it’s goodbye and a statement every month. Many large processing companies (aka banks) don’t have an internal support team to help you if you have questions about your statement, or if your terminal has problems.

Make sure you’re not going to get outsourced to some call center through another company, where you’ll be on hold for a long time. Knowing that this processing company understands exactly what your business needs are, is vital to finding a great provider.

Outside of support, most processing salesmen have no idea how to read your statement. If you have questions, chances are they will not be able to give you any answers, or direct you to a place to find a good answers.

Ask every credit card processor salesman if he can read your statement. If he can’t, see if there’s someone in his company that actually can. Knowing that they can read and understand your statement is a step in the right direction.

Do you have to lease the equipment?

Leasing credit card terminals is a terrible investment and a dangerous red flag. There are almost no circumstances where you should sign a lease on credit card equipment.

It may sound like a great deal, but leasing is an expensive mistake compared to just buying a $200 terminal. If you lease, you’ll spend roughly $600 a year just renting a terminal.

They may give you a bunch of reasons why it’s a sound decision to rent, like less upfront costs, or it allows you to stay current with technology. Unfortunately, those answers don’t hold up to reality. The truth is it’s just an easy way for the processing company to pay a nice upfront bonus to their salesperson that signs you on the lease. It only benefits the salesmen for your business to rent.

How frequently do they raise rates?

Alright, we’re going to brutally honest, that at some point, everyone’s rates will go up no matter who you use as a processor.

Every company will raise their rates after a few years, due to the costs of inflation, and sometimes the company’s own needs. Sometimes there’s behind the scenes costs processors have to pay that benefit you, and they’ll raise your rates to compensate for the loss.

Many processors (banks included) will raise your rates with no rhyme or reason. Most commonly rates are raised every quarter. While all things must go up eventually, it doesn’t be every quarter! If a business is going to raise your rates every 3 months, you need to stay away!

How do you handle security and PCI?

Security and decreasing your chances of experiencing a data breach is vital for your business. Customers want assurance that their transactions are being handled properly, e-commerce or over-the-phone transactions are risky.

Working with a safe and secure gateway provider is one great way to keep transactions secure. The BNG Payment Gateway with Encrypted Swipe Software is a PC based secure point of sale software that enables any Windows computer to be able to accept credit and debit card payments with a Point-To-Point Encrypted USB card swiper or signature capture device. It has features and functionality that are years ahead of competing software. The BNG Payment Gateway can be used in almost any type of business, and is very easy to use.

Want to take payments smarter?

Read about the success these merchants had with their credit card processing.