Originally published August 2016. Updated September 2019.
Accepting credit cards is a necessary component of nearly any modern small business. To do so, you must work with a credit card processing company, and picking the best can be a bit intimidating with so many options out there.
After some time, you might begin to wonder if you made the right choice. The good news is that you don’t have to be stuck with the same credit card processing provider forever. In fact, switching providers is an excellent way to save money on this invaluable service, and even extract more value from that spend.
Identifying when you might be better off elsewhere, however, isn’t always obvious. Below are several strong indicators it might be time to switch your credit card processing company.
1. Confusing Merchant Statements
Your merchant statement is your guide to what you’re paying your credit card processing company. Unfortunately, some companies make these deliberately difficult to navigate, to mask hidden fees. These can be tricky to identify on your own, since they’ll have legitimate-sounding names, such as "Service Packages" or "Breach Insurance," as examples. The best way to recognize these for sure is to talk with other providers and receive quotes outlining their charges.
Doing so can give helpful insight into your bill, and does not commit you to anything. It's well worth enlisting another set of eyes to learn if you’re being taken advantage of.
Want a MerchantPro Express credit card processing professional to review your merchant statement? Let us know!
2. Misleading or Rising Rates
Speaking of your merchant statement, does it look correct? Some credit card processing companies have been known to raise rates incrementally, and without notice. Over time, these small increases can lead to a much higher rate than originally agreed upon.
Another method some providers use to extract higher payments from customers is selling a tiered pricing structure, where the provider attracts merchants with a low rate on the first tier, knowing that the majority of transactions will instead qualify for higher, more expensive tiers.
MerchantPro Express never surprises its clients with unexpected rate increases, and analyzes all merchants with transparency to ensure merchants are always being charged the most appropriate rates for their businesses.
3. Poor Customer Service
Having questions and requiring support are natural parts of working with a credit card processing company. What matters is how that provider responds to your inquiries.
Many merchant service providers tend to be impersonal when dealing with customers, instead of treating them like they’re more than just another anonymous caller.
In addition to an unpleasant experience, this approach can also lead to less-effective outcomes, as reps are less familiar with the specifics of the business, and therefore, poorly positioned to deliver the best solution.
4. Outdated Equipment
Credit card processing protocols are always evolving, particularly regarding security. New EMV standards go into effect in October 2020 that require all outdoor gas pumps and convenience stores to include chip technology on their credit card machines, for example. As gas stations across the country transition to the required new equipment, many have elected to likewise switch processors, bundling new rules with guidance from a dedicated support team.
Even if your business is compliant with current or forthcoming mandates, it might still be time to upgrade your technology. This is an essential part of owning a business, because it can keep you operating efficiently. Not only does it make daily activities easier for you and your employees, but also improves your customers’ experiences by streamlining the checkout process and protecting their data.
Your merchant service provider should be helping you achieve these goals—not holding you back—by keeping you informed of the latest advances in technology and software.
5. Business Growth & Evolution
Credit card processing fees are based on a number of specific factors weighed carefully by a provider. As businesses changes, so too could these—such as the amount of credit card transactions, value of purchases, and online sales. Thus, while it’s possible your current processor was once the best option for your business at the time of signing, it might not be the best option now.
If your business has undergone significant developments since you and your provider last reviewed your account, you could benefit from an examination by another processor to identify options better suited for your current operations.