Technology solutions can streamline your business processes tremendously. From billing solutions to bill-paying solutions, choosing the right tech is critical for several reasons. You don’t want to just go for the lowest bidder. Although it’s important to keep costs down, you don’t want to compromise on quality. A few things to keep in mind with a payment processor are the fee structure, quick and easy access to your funds, security, and offering multiple payment options. As an outside CFO, I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Here are a few highlights I have found to be most important.
Although you may have found a low cost processor, watch out for hidden fees! The rate that many of these providers will advertise is the qualified rate, which only applies to certain types of cards. The higher rate is called non-qualified and applies to cards that offer customers rewards like points and sky miles. Additional fees will often go on top of the advertised rate that they will not necessarily go out of their way to highlight. These types of fees will relate to things such as cancellations, withdrawals, and batch processing.
Access to Funds
Naturally you are going to want quick and easy access to your money. Your money can be frozen due to suspicious activity, leaving you out to dry until the matter is cleared. This happened more often in the early days of e-commerce. They need a pretty good reason to do this now. Even still, make sure you consider accessibility to your money when choosing a provider.
Fraud is becoming an increasingly challenging roadblock for many companies. With the plethora of payment options now offered to consumers, many holes are left for information to be stolen. Consider Home Depot’s data breach last September wherein 56 million payment cards were compromised. The stolen information was used to buy everything from prepaid cards to electronics to groceries.
Installing your own fraud protection system can be expensive and challenging, so going with a merchant who is already set up for that is a great alternative. Does the processor flag transactions that look risky? Is data securely stored and encrypted? If your provider is not secure, it could cost you big later on.
Multiple Payment Options
Consumers may leave your site because they can’t find the payment option that fits them or that they are comfortable with. By increasing the amount of payment options, you can likely increase your sales. An important option to consider is a payment plan, especially if you sell big-ticket items. Knick-knacks aren’t as important, but as you get into $200 plus, many customers will require some type of financing or payment plan. This can be difficult to setup yourself, so again, going with a processor that gives you that option may be an added benefit.