The best merchant accounts are not necessarily the cheapest merchant accounts; although this certainly does help. There are several things you should be considering when you browse the plethora of merchant accounts available these days. Each of them seem to offer different features, but not all of them will be offering what you need. We’ve put together a simple checklist for you in order to ask the right questions when you call the various payment processors offering merchant accounts.
How much are your merchant fees?
- This is the first, and arguably the most important question to ask about merchant accounts. You need to pay attention to what they tell you on the phone and write it down. There are two types of fees primarily and these are: fixed-rate fees and percentage fees. It really depends on what type of sales you will be making as to which one will work better for you. For example, if you consider paying a percentage of the sale price when you sell expensive items it may be better to go with the fixed rate merchant accounts.
What is the application process and how long does it take?
You don’t want to have to wait around forever waiting to set up your merchant account; especially if you’re a new business waiting to get going.
Are there any setup costs?
- This is an important question because there are merchant accounts out there that can be set up free of charge and they are arguably better.
What are the contract lengths?
- This is important if you are considering using a different payment processor or you may want to get out of an agreement quickly. It’s also a good idea to find out the length of the contracts if the merchant accounts provider is offering something like capped fees for the duration of your contract.
What customer support do you have?
- If the merchant accounts provider doesn’t have a very good customer service team, then you may come up against some difficulty if something should go wrong. This is important in the event of a terminal breakdown.
Are your call centres 24 hours and are they in the UK?
- Depending on your type of business you may need customer service support 24 hours a day. This is especially true of convenience stores or restaurants that operate outside of the normal office hours. UK call centres are also very important if you have trouble speaking with advisors that don’t necessarily have English as a first language.
We’re sure that when you’re choosing a merchant account that you’ll have many more questions, but the ones above should start you off well. Make plenty of calls however before you make a firm decision. It’s best to have as much information as you can before choosing.