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Merchant services

Taking cards has never been easier.

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Top 5 things… …to look for in a merchant service provider

If you’re looking to start taking credit and debit card payments, you’ll need to select a card processing provider that’s right for your business. This helpful guide will tell you exactly what to look for when choosing a provider.

1. Set up speed

If you’re new to taking cards, speed of set up is very important. Many providers will try to lure you in with the promise of rock-bottom rates or a few months’ free terminal rental, but don’t be fooled by these offers. It can take some providers four to six weeks to get you set up to take card payments, so always look for one that can get you ready to take cards in days, not weeks, that way you won’t have to turn down payments and turn away customers.

2. Card costs

Cost is obviously a crucial factor when it comes to choosing your card processing provider. The good news is that it’s a highly competitive market out there, so you can shop around in order to get the best possible price for your business. However, beware of being drawn into a contract based purely on the promise of incredibly low card transaction rates. Many card processing providers will ratchet up their rates once they’ve got you signed up and so it’s often best to play the long game and look for a provider that will fix or cap your rates over an extended period. Also, keep a close eye on the individual debit and credit card rates, and be sure you check which of these accounts for the majority of your sales before you agree on rates.

3. Round the clock support

Excellent technical support might seem like a bit of a bolt-on on benefit when settling on your card provider, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. When it comes to card payment processing you really can’t take any risks and should always feel completely confident that your provider is on hand day or night if you have any problems processing payments. If your machine dies and you have to send your customers on a cash machine quest, chances are most won’t come back. And don’t just settle for the usual standard of service you might expect from your bank. Go with a company that really makes you feel personally looked after and in safe hands at all times.

4. Product choice

Your business is always changing and how you take payments is likely to change as well. And so when weighing up card providers it’s a good idea to look for a company that has a wide range of payment products that your business can grow into. You may start out as a small business, but when you start to expand your provider should be right there with you offering you a card payment solution that can take your business to the next level, whether that be online, by smartphone or on the move.

5. Industry insight

Finding a provider that genuinely understands your business and your industry should always feature on your list. It takes a lot of hard work to get a business off the ground and keep it going, and so picking a provider that knows what it takes to succeed in your sector is important. All too often some of the bigger providers overlook the specific needs of smaller businesses, but there are providers out there who specialise in looking after the little guys. Seek them out and you’ll more than likely find you get much more than just good rates, you’ll get great guidance too.

Card machines

Low cost card machines that are perfect for small business.

Get a free card machine quote for your business in minutes. Order today and you could save up to 40% on your card costs.

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Online payments

Set up a card payment solution for your website today.

We offer website payments from just £9.95/month. Sign up today and you’ll be ready to take cards within 24 hours.

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Pay by phone

Accept card payments using your phone and computer.

Set up a phone payment system for just £9.95/month. There are no hardware costs and you can be set up within 24 hours.

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