Credit Card Service Providers

Taking credit cards is vital to the success of a business.  Choosing the correct credit card service provider is a very important decision.

You will want to interview multiple companies before choosing one.  Make sure they can tell you exactly what all the fees will be before you sign a contract.  Some companies charge a set-up fee to get your account started, and some charge monthly service fees, separate from any transaction fees. This can be tricky, so make sure you read everything and ask the right questions.

 Look at all of the charges together to determine which company has the best deal.  Calculate transaction fees based on an average month's sales.  Remember to ask your banker for a quote as well.  It may be simplest to use their equipment since you already have an account with them.

Once you've figured out who has the best deal, take some time to research the company's reputation.  You want to make sure they're legitimate and that they will deal with you fairly and be in business for a long time in the future.

Also, it is important to consider which credit cards you want to accept.  Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover are the most common cards.  You'll also want to ask the credit card processing company if you can accept ATM or debit cards. 

When you're ready to sign a contract with a credit card processing company, read it carefully and make sure you are aware of how long the contract is valid, and be aware of any penalties you may have to pay for terminating the contract early.  If you end up unhappy with the service, it's important to know what it will cost you to get out of the contract.

As with most things, knowledge is power.  Make sure you know exactly what you are getting for your money, and you will find a mutually beneficial relationship.