Pro Finance Blog | Personal Finance and Money Management Tips

Here’s the Right Credit Card Processor for Your Business

Sometimes it seems that there are so many tools to help a business succeed that it is impossible to choose amongst them. Indeed, the amount of free and affordable solutions for marketing, accounting, and sales is staggering, and investing time and energy into the wrong tool could have devastating effects on your business. Even merchant services, including credit card processing, offers so many providers with so many different features and rates that business leaders can be paralyzed by opportunity.

Fortunately, that doesn’t have to happen to you. Instead of using trial and error to find the right credit card processing service for your business, you can use this handy guide to the best processors of 2017.

High Volume

Most businesses that are just starting out don’t expect a high volume of sales. However, if you are certain that you will need high volume capabilities, you should consider Flagship Merchant Services. Unlike other credit card processors, Flagship doesn’t offer a single pricing structure; instead, it offers rates based on type of business, expected sales, and desired payment methods. What results is a customized merchant services plan that is especially good for businesses that handle a large number of transactions.

Flagship’s optimal plan for high-volume clients is called Interchange-plus and promises rates as low as .30 percent plus 10 cents per transaction. Additionally, the company charges monthly service fees amounting to about $15 as well as a few annual fees relating to device rental, compliance, and sales analysis services.

Low Volume

PayPal is a credit card processor that most entrepreneurs encounter exceedingly early in their career — and it is hardly difficult to understand why. PayPal requires no technical skill to set up and use; you begin accepting credit card payments today, right now, after setting up a merchant account online. You can also subscribe to PayPal Here, which is a mobile reader and point-of-sale (POS) system that lets you accept credit card payments in person.

PayPal should  only be relied upon when you have an exceedingly low volume of card sales. For both online processing and their mobile POS, rates are upwards of 2.9 percent plus 30 cents per transaction, which could eviscerate medium- and high-volume businesses. Unless your business has other considerations (like that it is high-risk or online only), it is wise to use PayPal initially and then migrate to another card processor once business starts booming.

High Risk

All business is inherently risky, but some businesses are simply riskier than others. For example, businesses in industries that typically carry social stigmas, like gambling halls, marijuana dispensaries, gentlemen’s clubs, and others, often have more trouble finding reliable merchant services. Further, if you have a history of bad relationships with credit card processors, you are likely labelled “high risk” and will find it more difficult to find a merchant services provider.

If you fall into the high-risk category, you should consider seeking services through Humboldt Merchant Services. Fees and rates are calculated dependent on your precise situation — i.e. why you are considered high risk. Therefore, you should consider contacting a representative today to discover what pricing is available to you.

Online

There are as many credit card processors available for ecommerce businesses as there are for brick-and-mortars, which means even if you limit yourself to online payments, you have plenty of opportunity to make a credit card processing mistake. As mentioned above, payment giant, PayPal, might be useful when you are just beginning your business, but eventually you should transition to a more affordable and more flexible online processor, like Stripe.

Like PayPal, Stripe is exceedingly easy to use: After registering for an account using pertinent banking information, you can begin accepting card transactions almost immediately. Unlike PayPal, which adjusts its rates reliant on your sales volume, Stripe only charges 2.9 percent plus 30 cents per transaction — no monthly or annual fees whatsoever. Many small ecommerce businesses find Stripe to be the best of the best for online processors.

No matter what kind of credit card processor you need, you should always research your options before making a decision. Talking with processor representatives, comparing fees and features, and weighing the comfort and ease of their customer service are all essential steps in determining how you will handle card transactions. Ultimately, the success of your business is at stake, so you should never choose your processor lightly.