Choosing the Right Credit Card Processor for Your Business
Payment processing is one of the most important aspects of any business. Without the ability to process payments, companies can’t make sales or generate the revenue needed to sustain operations. Choosing the right credit card processor for your business is an important decision.
Even though there are many modern payment processing methods, it’s clear that credit card processing remains one of the most popular.
With credit card processing, businesses can accept credit card networks like Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express as customer payment methods. They can also accommodate mobile wallets and offer convenient options like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Businesses must sign up with a provider to use credit card processing. However, the broad array of credit card processing providers and what they provide, in terms of fees, features, services and customer support, makes it hard to choose the right one.
Finding a suitable credit card processor ensures that your business has the payment processing options it needs to thrive.
Credit Card Processing for High-Risk Businesses
If you run a high-risk business, you may have trouble finding a credit card processor willing to work with you. Many processors view high-risk companies as having too high a potential for chargebacks and fraud. As a result, you often have to pay higher fees or may even be denied service altogether for your in-person or online payments.
However, some credit card processors are willing to work with high-risk businesses. Doing some research, you can find a processor willing to take on the extra risk in exchange for a higher fee. You might even negotiate a lower rate by showing the processor that your business actively works to reduce the chances of chargebacks and fraud.
Zenti specializes in working with high-risk businesses. They have years of experience in the industry and offer credit card processing to different businesses, including startups, credit repair companies, online pharmacies and CBD retailers.
What are the Pros and Cons of Different Credit Card Processing Providers?
There are a lot of credit card processing providers out there, and it can be tough to decide which one is right for your business. Understanding the pros and cons of each type can set you on the correct path.
The main advantage of these providers, such as PayPal, Square, Stripe, Helcim and Stax, is that they’re easy to set up and don’t require a merchant account. However, while credit card processors like PayPal, Stripe and Square offer convenience and flexibility, they also have disadvantages. For example, they typically charge higher fees than other providers and may hesitate to work with high-risk businesses.
- PayPal charges a transaction fee of 2.60% + a fixed fee (30¢ if the transaction is in USD).
- Stripe charges 2.9% + 30¢ per successful card charge.
- Square has varying fees. Before using Square to process your business’s financial transactions, it’s essential to understand their fee structure:
- For contactless payments, swiped or inserted chip cards and swiped magstripe cards, Square charges a standard processing fee of 2.6% + 10¢.
- If you use the Card on File feature or manually enter the payment information with or without using Virtual Terminal, the processing fee is 3.5% + 15¢.
- For invoices through Square, the fees are 2.9% + 30¢ or 3.5% + 15¢, depending on whether you use the Card on File feature.
Credit card processing fees can add up quickly for businesses with a high transaction volume. Additionally, these processors may hold funds for several business days before payout, potentially causing problems for companies that rely on a steady cash flow.
Third-party processors may also limit the amount of money you can process daily or weekly. Limitations like these can be frustrating if your business experiences a spike in sales or needs to process large orders.
A merchant account with your bank or financial institution usually comes with lower transaction and interchange fees. However, it can be more challenging to set up, and you may need to maintain a minimum balance in your account.
Service provided by payment processer
A credit card processing service may be provided by your payment processor. Typically, this option has the lowest fees. But, it may not be available for all types of businesses, especially high-risk businesses.
What’s the Difference: Credit Card Processing Company vs. Merchant Service Provider?
Credit card processing providers come in two main types: credit card processing companies and merchant service providers.
Credit card processing companies are typically smaller businesses that process credit card payments for other companies.
On the other hand, merchant service providers are usually larger organizations that provide a full suite of payment processing services, including credit card processing, debit card processing, ACH processing and more.
While both types can offer competitive rates and terms, merchant service providers typically have more experience and resources for businesses of all sizes. In addition, merchant service providers often feature value-added services, such as fraud protection and data security, that can help businesses protect their bottom line.
What’s the Difference: Payment Processing vs. Credit Card Processing?
A payment processor is a company that helps businesses accept credit card payments. They provide the hardware and software to process transactions and manage security and compliance.
A credit card processor is a company that processes credit card payments. In many cases, these two companies are the same.
How Do I Choose a Credit Card Processing Company?
As a business owner, you have enough to worry about without stressing over credit card processing, especially when you have a high-risk business type. But with so many options, you may not know whom to trust with your hard-earned money.
So, use this list of seven things to look for when choosing the best credit card processing company for your needs.
You shouldn’t have to choose between feeding your family and accepting credit cards. That’s why you want to look for a provider with reasonable fees that won’t eat into your profits. Before making it official, ensure you understand the markup fee structure and costs associated with the service, such as interchange-plus pricing, interchange fees, transaction fees, monthly fees, cancellation fees and early termination fees. Some processors charge flat-rate pricing, while others have monthly subscription fees.
Nobody likes waiting around, especially when trying to run a small business. So, choose a provider that can approve your application quickly. You want to get back to what you do best.
Reliable customer service and support
Things happen, and when they do, you want someone you can rely on to help you sort it out. By choosing a provider with a reputation for excellent customer service, you can rest easy knowing help is a phone call away. Although availability during standard business hours is essential, a company with 24/7 customer support has more capacity to assist if something goes wrong.
Running a business is hard enough without struggling with complicated software. Instead, look for a provider whose platform is intuitive and easy to use. You deserve to focus on the essential things, not waste valuable time with complex software.
This one is important. Reputation matters, so selecting a company with a record of good experiences ensures you’re in good hands. Talk to other business owners, and check out numerous options before deciding.
With data breaches in the news, security is more important than ever. Also, because credit card processing comes with a lot of sensitive information, you want the provider to have industry-leading security measures and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard PCI-DSS compliance to protect your data. Don’t forget that you need PCI compliance for online e-commerce purchases and in-store sales.
Your credit card processor should integrate with your POS software and other apps, such as Quickbooks or Shopify. Third-party providers like PayPal, Square and Stripe have pre-built integrations that make it easy to start processing payments.
Some companies offer add-ons like loyalty programs or fraud protection. At a minimum, the chosen provider must have the features and services your business needs. For example, if you run a large business, you’ll need a provider to handle high-volume transactions.
How Do I Choose the Right Merchant Service Provider?
Merchant service providers and credit card processing companies often have similar services. That’s why the seven factors above can help you narrow your options.
Online reviews can also help you understand what other business owners think of the various providers. Then, you could contact each provider and ask questions about their service before deciding.
Which Credit Card Processing Is Best for High-Risk Businesses?
High-risk businesses have specific needs. Therefore, consider the following four factors when choosing the best credit card processing company for your high-risk business.
The right experience
First, the company must have experience working with businesses in your industry, ensuring they understand your company’s unique challenges and can provide tailored solutions.
Zenti works with diverse businesses considered high risk, from nutraceuticals and debt collection to adult, e-cig and bad credit businesses.
Fair fees for high-risk businesses
Second, processing fees for high-risk businesses are often higher than for other businesses. The company you choose should have affordable fees that won’t affect your profits.
Third, security is vital when processing credit card payments or online payments for high-risk businesses. Your selected company must have industry-leading security measures to protect your data.
Excellent customer service
Finally, you’ll want a processing company with excellent customer service. You’ll likely have more questions and need more support than businesses in other industries. Make sure the provider you choose offers 24/7 customer support.
How Do I Choose the Right Payment Processor?
The ideal payment processor for your business supports the type of credit card transactions you’ll be making.
For example, if you run a retail business, you’ll need a processor that can work with point-of-sale POS systems. Do you want a physical terminal or a mobile credit card reader? A physical terminal is ideal if you have an in-person brick-and-mortar location, but a mobile processor may be better if most of your business involves online payments.
You’ll also need to decide whether you want an all-in-one solution that includes a merchant account, payment gateway and e-commerce shopping cart or if you’re comfortable using multiple providers.
What Are the Best Credit Card Processing Providers?
The best credit card processing companies offer the latest features and technologies to help you run your business more efficiently. Ask about tracking tools, mobile payment options and fraud protection measures.
How Do I Choose the Right Credit Card Processing Company?
Choosing the right credit card processor is vital to the success of your business. Use the following three questions as your guide.
What are your processing volumes and average ticket size?
Your processing volume is the number of transactions you process in a month, and your average ticket size is the average amount per transaction. Knowing these numbers will help determine which pricing model is best for your business.
What features do you need?
Does your business require online reporting? Do you need an in-store point-of-sale terminal or a mobile card reader? Make sure the company you’re considering can provide the features you need.
What are the fees?
Credit card processing companies make their money by charging fees. Some charge monthly fees, some charge per-transaction fees and others charge a mixture. Understand all the costs before you sign up with a company, and check for hidden fees.
Choose Zenti for Your Credit Card Processing Needs
Choosing the right credit card processor is essential for any business, especially for high-risk businesses. Unfortunately, traditional processors often reject high-risk companies, making it difficult to find a provider that meets their needs.
Zenti is a leading credit card processor for high-risk businesses. We’re experts in handling high-risk merchant payment processing and work with various high-risk industries, both big and small.
For high-risk merchant payment processing, nobody does it better than Zenti. Contact us today.