In my last post I provided some tips on how to save money on credit card processing fees with merchant providers. Now I’d like to add to that post by providing some additional information that might help in the decision making process for a payment system. This is such a hot topic in the business, yet not everyone really wants to talk about it. I think that’s because no one wants to feel like they got burned by a smooth talking sales person or taken for a ride by a company. Also, someone might not want their colleagues to know they got screwed on their payment processing. But it’s good to talk about it because if you know what someone else is paying, this gives you leverage when you’re looking to get out of a bad contract and/or maybe you just want save money on your processing overall.
One thing for sure is there is a gazillion merchant providers out there. So asking a friend or colleague in the business is a great way to get a referral for a reputable company. Think about it. The last time you bought a car, you didn’t just run out and buy the first one you saw on the lot. Maybe you did, but hopefully you didn’t. Hopefully you did a bunch of research on price, reliability, negotiating points, and maybe even took it for a test drive. That’s what I’m suggesting you do with your merchant services provider.
So here’s what you do:
- Find local providers in your area. Work with someone local. As an example, one of the companies I work with is in Houston. So we contacted multiple companies in the Houston, Texas area and got several rate quotes. We had each company provide us with a merchant rate quote and went through each line item to discover any hidden fees or shenanigans, as I like to call them. During this time, we’re also rating them on promptness, professionalism, attitude…in other words, do I want to do business with this company. If I have to pay a little extra to receive exceptional service, you bet I’m going to. We ended up going with a company called Houston Merchant Services. They are providers for another large company, and I don’t even know who that company is, and that’s ok because I know HMS has got us covered with great service and rates.
- How do I know I got great rates? Research and talking to other people in the business. Here’s a few sites I like that will help to get you up to speed on the rate structures of merchant providers and how to save some moolah:
- Like that new car, take it for a test drive. Find a provider that will let you use their service for a certain amount of time before you have to either sign a contract or purchase a bunch of equipment. That way you know the product is solid, it works, and you have good support. In fact, if you negotiated properly, hopefully you didn’t have to pay for any terminal equipment, got a great rate, and have a great business relationship in the process. If you’re just starting out in the process, don’t get discouraged, there are good companies and people out there that will help you. So best of luck in your quest for the best merchant services and rates!