Accepting credit cards for your business may seem like the simplest decision you’ll make as a business owner, but that’s just the first step. When you’re looking at things from the perspective of one of your customers, it’s easy. After all, you just swipe the card and you’re done. But from your point of view as a business owner, there’s more involved. To process credit cards, you need an electronic card reader or software, and you also need a merchant processor.
These are third party companies that form a link between your bank, your customer’s bank, and the credit card network (e.g. Visa, MasterCard, or American Express). For online business, your merchant processor is even more important, because customers can’t just swipe their cards. They have to enter their card details at your website, which is one of the most sensitive actions in our fraud-conscious world.
One of the first ways to keep your online buyers happy is to make the process easy for them. Consider trying to create a quick-loading online store with high-quality pictures, clear descriptions, and accurate pricing. Making it nearly effortless to order, purchase, and pay for what they want can only increase the likelihood that they will buy from you. The right virtual shopping cart can be a big part of this. It should be seamless and offer a smooth, direct transition to the payment page (with no glitches, of course). Rather than designing a dedicated shopping cart for your website, see if you can find a merchant processor that offers one along with your merchant account. This will ensure maximum compatibility with your payment processing.
Once your customer arrives at the checkout page and enters their payment details, their transaction should go through as quickly as possible. Any delays can lead to customer unease or even panic. They could end up cancelling the transaction, because they’re afraid of interception or double billing. Some credit card processors offer instant verification, so consider looking for that. In addition to fast service, you’ll probably want a payment processor that is PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant and has verifiable encryption levels. A card processor that uses military-grade security is the gold standard.
There are lots of ways to confirm whether the credit card processor you’ve selected is credible. Look at their published testimonials. The focus shouldn’t just be on big names. Instead, check for security-conscious clients like financial institutions or tech firms. You can also see if your merchant processor has won any awards in the field, and the exact comments that former clients make. Detailed reviews are generally more reliable than multiple star ratings.
Probably the most important factor is pricing. The best credit card processing service in the world won’t do you much good if you can’t afford it. Review the payment processor’s rates, looking for any hidden surcharges. Free tools and features are a great way to enhance value while staying on budget.
For more information on choosing the right merchant credit card processing service, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.