A Guide to Merchant Services for Small Businesses

Whether you have just decided to make the leap into accepting credit cards for your small business, or are still on the fence about it, this short guide can help you find the right direction. We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to equip you with all the tools and information you need to find the best merchant services for your business.

Do you need a merchant account?

Payment processors do not always require that a merchant have their own merchant account. However, there are vast benefits of choosing to create a merchant account with a payment processor. Providers that offer merchant accounts can be ISO/MSPs (independent sales organizations and merchant service providers) or direct processors.

What do merchant services offer for small businesses?

  1. Equipment

With a merchant account, you may be provided with a variety of equipment for accepting credit and debit cards. Depending upon your needs, this can include POS (point-of-sale) systems, terminals, mobile card readers, software, or an online payment gateway. If you will be swiping credit cards face-to-face, then make sure to choose a merchant account provider who supplies card reading devices that can accept EMV chip cards as well as magnetic strip cards.

  1. Higher security

Security is another integral service that is included in a merchant account. Your merchant account provider should adhere to the PCI DSS, or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. These standards regulate how credit card information should be handled, used and stored, and merchants who accept credit card payments need to be PCI compliant. Merchants who comply with the PCI DSS are less likely to suffer data breaches, and you should make sure that your merchant account provider will be there to guide you through the compliance process.

  1. Better merchant support

Merchant service providers usually provide a dedicated representative for your account for constant support and assistance. With 24/7/365 live support by both phone and email, you never have to worry about complications interfering with the running of your business, so make sure your provider offers that.

  1. More affordable pricing

Merchant service providers offer lower rates, especially for high-volume merchants or merchants with a well-established credit history. Many merchant account providers will also be willing to lower your rates as your business grows.

Small businesses can increase their sales and growth potential with a merchant account from a reputable merchant account provider.

For more information about essential merchant services for small businesses or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.

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