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Over the past couple of decades, payment via credit card has become the preferred method of payment for many people all over the world. Things are not the way they used to be and technology has given us many different ways of accepting payment. Because payment with plastic is a much more secure method of payment than cash, if your business is not accepting credit card payments, then chances are you are losing out on a lot of business. Offering credit card processing is very important if you truly want your business to grow. Comparing credit card processing services and costs can seem quite difficult at first, so here are some things that you will need to review in order to make a smart decision.
Before choosing a credit card processing company, you want to know exactly how much money you are going to be spending on hardware and how much money you are going to be spending on processing fees. The cost of the hardware will be the most expensive upfront investment you will have to make. You will need to pay for these credit card processing terminals for your business.
Depending on your business needs, they can cost anywhere from $100 all the way to $1000. Advanced features such as wireless technology or and upgraded security features are factors that determine the cost of your terminal. Know before even speaking with any credit card processing agencies whether or not you will need these extra features as this will help to decide how much that you are going to be paying for each terminal. There is also the option to lease these pieces of equipment for about $20 per month for each terminal. All the reviews I have read in regards to leasing these are negative mainly because the costs add up over time. So, unless you do not have a long term plan for your business yet, I suggest you purchase these terminals.
The cost of processing fees is something else that you will want to compare when choosing credit card processing agencies for your business. You’ll be paying for fees such as transaction fees, discount fees, monthly statement fees, as well as any application fees and cancellation fees that may apply. The discount fee is the fee that is charged by the credit card processing agency so that they can make money for the services they provide to you (validating and processing credit card information). This fee will be around 1.5 to 2% of each transaction. That is a fair amount as most average around that amount. Beware of unusually low discount fees as the company may be pulling a bait-and-switch in which they end up charging much higher discount fees for “certain” transactions. You also want to avoid any credit card processing agencies that charge you an upfront-inflated fee in order to start service with them. These fees are unnecessary and are often not charged by larger and more reputable credit card processing agencies.
You will find that when comparing credit card processing services and costs, it can be quite difficult to determine exactly which credit card processing agency would be best for your business. The best advice I can provide is to read all the small print. Don’t be turned off by a credit card processing company with slightly higher processing fees as they may be more consistent with the fees they charge in general. Also, get a feel for the quality of their customer service since you may be on the phone with them more than you think. Lastly, don’t get left behind with the newer forms of credit card processing; online and mobile. Accepting payments online is easy and inexpensive and, so far, this form of credit card processing has some of the most positive reviews from both consumers and business owners.
About the Author: Claudia Salinas is a web marketing specialist who advises clients on everything from ways to increase traffic and sales to finding the right Credit Card Processing for their online marketing campaign.