Common Payment Processing Concerns and What to Look For
What we cover in this article:
Payment processing is arguably one of the most important services that a merchant can sign up for. Your payment provider gives you the ability to accept payments, essentially powering your business. A provider is responsible for granting a merchant access to the card brand networks, allowing the business to accept payments. It’s a payment provider's job to payout merchants and give them the ability to refund customers. The reality is that every part of a business involves payment processing. This is why it's necessary for all business owners to make sure their payment provider meets their expectations. In order for a business to expand, a payment provider needs to keep up. If they can't, you might want to consider switching to someone more experienced.
Common Payment Concerns for Merchants
Customer service should be one of the most important deciding factors when it comes to selecting a payment processor. After all, all providers are responsible for providing a service. That means, at a bare minimum, customer service should be their top priority. It might seem a little obvious, but a payment provider should have a customer service phone number for all their customers to call.
The trend lately of removing customer service numbers is well-received in certain industries. But any service that determines when a business will be paid should offer immediate access through either a phone line or a chat function. In addition, providers should have a customer support email where an attentive team member can assist them 24/7. Some of the largest providers force their customers to contact them through social media only, like Twitter. If your provider does this, your current relationship and agreement should be assessed further. It’s very simple, customer service should be a prime concern for your payment provider. Customers should never have to result in a long ticketing system with anything related to their businesses core operation.
A business can assess a payment processor’s performance in many different ways. When it comes to outages, a business owner needs to understand that technology can fail with any provider, no matter what service they sell. However, the way your provider responds to such circumstances is what a business owner should keep an eye out for. If there is no communication or if the provider claims it’s only on your end and there’s not much they can do - this should be a red flag. All service providers are responsible for keeping their customers informed and updated. When it comes to outages, a business owner should consider the provider's reaction rather than the outage itself.
Pricing is often one of the most common reasons that merchants end up switching away from their current provider. Many providers are motivated based on income rather than their customers, which can easily lead to greed and a lack of transparency. However, if merchants are informed about pricing and fees, they can make a more educated decision when it comes to how much they pay. For example, most providers charge hidden fees like account-on-file fees, statement fees, administration fees, annual fees, cancellation fees and sometimes even other made-up fees. These fees should be analyzed and brought to the attention of your provider. Most of the time, they aren’t willing to lose a merchant over a small fee. They should be willing to work with you and offer a solution. If you have a provider that isn’t willing to budge, send your statement to a new provider and ask them for an analysis. Most of the time, that’s when you’ll find out how much you were actually paying in the first place. Look for a provider who is transparent, honest and is willing to explain all fees immediately rather than after the first bill goes out.
Having your funds withheld can sometimes be a necessary evil in the payments industry. Merchants should understand that when a provider holds funds it’s to cover financial exposure. This can be from future or incoming chargebacks, ACH rejects or potential fines from either a PCI breach or violation of standards. The problem arises when a provider keeps its customers in the dark as to why the hold has taken place. Sometimes providers will add holds for lack of documentation but not request what items are needed from the merchant. Unfortunately, oftentimes providers add holds without relaying the reason to the merchant. Merchants should consider the policies of the payment provider prior to signing up. If a provider can’t give you a definitive answer about circumstances in which a hold would occur, you might want to consider an alternative processor.
Merchants should understand how payment providers work and what value they might add to their existing business. Each provider specializes in different verticals and solutions, so understanding what's important to your business can help you make the best decision. Teaming up with a payment provider that's transparent can help make the process of comparing different solutions easier. At the end of the day, payment providers should give you everything you need to understand if a partnership with them is beneficial. Asking all the right questions upfront is important to avoid any problems down the road.
Avoid bad partnerships and join a payment provider that's truly transparent. You can find our pricing right on our homepage and all of our applications are online. That way you can read through all the terms prior to signing! We are happy to guide all our customers through the process and you are welcome to ask us anything - we're an open book. Click 'Get Started' to join the Redde team!
Related Article: Hidden Fees that Payment Processors Charge Their Merchants