How to Choose a Merchant Service Provider

Picking a merchant service provider will allow you to begin accepting credit cards for your brick and mortar or online store. This can be a great way to bring in more customers, who prefer to make payments using cards, especially online. However, there are many options to choose from when it comes to merchant service providers, and some are better than others. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the factors that you should weigh before making a decision.

The company

One of the first areas of interest are the company itself. You want to find out how long they’ve been in business, in order to avoid potential issues due to the inexperience of the company and lack of a proven track record. It’s best if you can find a merchant service provider that has been in the business for quite some time and one which offers testimonials.  That way, you can make sure that the company will still be there for you after you sign up with them.


Next, you want to take into account all of the fees that might apply. Outside of the standard transaction fees that apply with each provider, you want to find out if there are any hidden fees. Some providers might offer a very low transaction fee, but make up for it with hidden costs. It’s best to ask early and get a clear understanding of any extra fees. You also want to ask about whether there are any cancellation or early termination fees, because these can be as high as $1,000 or more if you don’t choose the right provider.

Features and Functionality

This is where you ask about the nuts and bolts of the service. You want to know if the merchant service supports both online and offline transactions, because some providers might not have both options available. You also want to find out if the payment system is PCI-compliant, since companies are not legally obligated to follow these security standards. In a similar vein, it’s important to ask about any fraud protection features which might be on offer. Another important question would be in regards to compatibility if you already have a system in place.


Finally, you want to take into consideration what your post-purchase relationship will be with your provider. Do they offer 24/7 technical support? Do they offer live support via phone or only via live chat? These considerations will make your life much easier in case any issues arise or if you would like help with integrating with your website or activating a feature of your account. Some providers will only offer email support, which might be sufficient in some cases–but probably not when you are having trouble executing a large transaction! A company that is committed to a wide range of support options is much more likely to be a reliable partner when you need them most.

For more information about merchant service providers or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to

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