Why just looking at fees is the wrong way to evaluate a payment processor

March 31, 2017 Payments
John Rampton
By John Rampton, Founder, Due
John Rampton
By John Rampton, Founder, Due

Payment transaction

Choosing the right payment processor for your business is no easy task. With so many things to take into account, business owners often overlook some of the most important elements of a complete payments solution. Generally, business owners look to save money wherever they can. When it comes to your payment processor however, it’s important to look well beyond the fees. Here are four other elements you need to look for in your payments provider aside from processing fees.

When it comes to your payment processor however, it’s important to look well beyond the fees.

Security

Whether it’s your money or your customer’s, payments security comes first. The majority of small businesses won’t be able to bounce back from a data breach, so make sure you do everything in your power to avoid them. First and foremost, you should make sure your provider adheres to the latest Payments Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS). If your provider fails to clearly provide information in regards to these standards, it’s probably best to look elsewhere.

In addition to PCI compliance, inquire about how customer data is stored. Make sure customer card data is stored on a third party server and encrypted. That way, even if an intruder was able to access it, the data would be useless to them.

It’s estimated that about 95% of credit card breaches are at small businesses. That’s because fraudsters assume they won’t be able to afford proper security measures. Now that you know, it’s definitely worth it to spend a bit extra on fees for improved security.

User Experience

The payments process is two sided. First, you want to make sure your bases are covered as the business owner. Second, you want to make sure you can optimize the payments experience for your customers. User experience can make or break any business, and this is especially true when it comes to payments. As a business owner, you want to create a virtually frictionless checkout experience.

User experience can make or break any business, and this is especially true when it comes to payments.

Many of the top payments companies will provide you with tools to customize your payment flow. In order for these companies to offer these kinds of solutions, they need to cover their costs. For example, many companies are offering one-click payments incentivizing customers to shop at their stores again. This requires your payments processor to securely store the customer card data for reuse at a later time. If this is easily doable, customers will be more willing to come shop at your store again. Repeat customers mean increased revenues. If increased fees means getting customizable UX, it may be well worth the investment.

Support

One of the best ways you can ensure your customers are taken care of is by providing multiple means of customer support. This is especially important when it comes to payments. Your payments provider should provide you with an easy way to track and manage all your payments in a single platform. Whether you need to check the status of a payment or issue a refund, it needs to be readily available. When it comes to their money, you can assume your customers will have little patience. If your payments solution doesn’t provide the infrastructure to easily take care of these support requests then you’re in big trouble.

Additionally, make sure you inquire about how chargebacks are handled by your provider. Chargebacks can occur at anytime and are can potentially create major cash flow problems for any business. Again, these support packages come at a price. Many companies will offer tiered support structures that scale with your business. It’s not a bad idea to spend a little extra on support now so you can avoid expensive issues down the road.

Partnership

When looking at payment processors it’s important to look for a partnership. This is where it’s very important to set the fees aside when identifying a proper solution. Many payment processors who are offering reduced fees are simply looking for a one-way transaction. They’ll process your payments for a fee, and that’s about it.

You want to look for a payments partner who will provide you with much more than just a means of accepting payment. A payments partner will typically provide many of the elements listed above. They provide you with multiple payment options and packages catered specifically to your business. Whether it’s customized UX or a dedicated account manager, a payments partner is a valuable asset to your business.

Final Thoughts

It’s not easy to identify the right payments solution for your business. Every business has different needs which makes it difficult to identify a universal solution for all. However, there are definitely strategies you can use that will help you choose the right processor. Remember, it’s very important to look beyond processing fees when trying to evaluate the right payments provider for your business.

About the author

John Rampton

John Rampton, Founder, Due

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru, and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the online payments company Due. John is best known as an entrepreneur and connector. He was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine and a Blogging Expert by Time. He currently advises several companies in the SF Bay area.

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