Credit Card Processing Blog
Is Your Merchant Services Provider Putting Your Profits At Risk?

Oct 14, 2015 11:00 AM / by Reliance Star

It’s hard enough keeping your small to mid-sized business profitable without your merchant services provider threatening your bottom line. The last thing you want as a business owner is to have a negligent or predatory payment processing company eating into your profits.

Unfortunately, many business owners believe that all merchant services providers are essentially the same. To these misinformed business owners, some providers promise lower rates than others, but other than that they’re all just a necessary evil that allows businesses to accept credit card payments.

This misconception puts these business owners at risk of losing money to incompetent or duplicitous credit card processing companies. In fact, the difference between working with an expert merchant services provider and an inadequate provider could mean the difference between success and failure for many businesses.

Here are some of the ways that poor merchant services companies could threaten your business’s profits.

Not Delivering On False Promises

“These are the lowest rates you could possibly pay.”

“The machine is totally free.”

“You’ll get a free computer and a free cruise.”

Some unscrupulous merchant services or payment processing providers promise just about anything to get you to sign on the dotted line. Unfortunately, buried in the fine print of these too-good-to-be-true deals lies the truth. Those “low rates” may go up at any time without warning and be accompanied by hidden fees you won’t be able to detect. The machine comes with an unbreakable lease that charges your business almost as much per month as it costs to buy the machine outright. You only get the free computer and free cruise when you run more credit card transactions than your business possibly could in 100 years.

Companies offering impossibly low rates often send transaction statements that make no sense. They do this in the hopes that merchants won’t dig deeper and discover that they’re paying higher rates than promised along with hidden fees. Paying more than promised and leasing machinery you thought was free could drain your business of its hard-earned profits.

Not Taking The Time To Understand Your Business

Indifferent or deceptive payment processing providers don’t take the time to understand your business. At the very least, this means that they don’t conduct a full review of your recent transaction history. When merchant services providers skip this step, they miss an opportunity to offer tips and advice for how your business could more cost-effectively run its credit card transactions, such as entering more customer information for mail orders or batching your transactions only once a day.

Misclassification is another financial risk you’re exposed to when providers don’t take the time to understand your business. This may cause your business to pay higher fees than necessary or accidentally commit fraud, which could result in your bank having to withhold your funds.

Not Offering Quality Customer Support

Low-quality merchant services companies don’t provide the level of customer support you need to protect your profits. For instance, if one of your POS terminals isn’t working and you’re unable to reach your merchant services company’s customer support, you could experience an extended service outage. That may hurt your business’s ability to process credit card transactions for days or even weeks, seriously damaging your profits.

Also, if important questions for your provider go unanswered, you could make errors that drain your profits.

Not Providing Important Payment Industry Compliance Information

Fines and other non-compliance-related costs could threaten your business’s profits. If your merchant services provider isn’t offering information and guidance on important payment industry standards such as PCI compliance or the EMV liability shift, you may have to cover the costs of credit card fraud that occurs at your business. You could even face fines of up to $100,000 per month.

High-Quality, Dedicated Merchant Services Protects Your Profits

Expert, attentive merchant services or payment processing providers are dedicated to your bottom line. They do not make empty promises of impossibly low rates; instead, they deliver the rates they promise. They work with you to find the best rate structure for your business. These credit card processing companies provide guidance on the best ways to run your transactions and the frequency at which you should batch them. They make recommendations for the right payment technology for your business.

Good providers ensure you understand every line item on your credit card transaction statement and even show you the rates they pay on your transactions. They also offer around-the-clock customer support in multiple languages so your questions are promptly answered. Finally, they ensure that your business is doing everything possible to avoid the costs of fraud and non-compliance.

To protect your profits, it’s important to thoroughly research and question your potential provider. Make sure you have all the facts before selecting a merchant services provider.

Are you looking for a payment processing and merchant services provider as dedicated to your bottom line as you are? Schedule your free 30-minute consultation with a certified payment processing expert today.