BEST OF CATEGORY REVIEWS CRITERIA
CREDIT CARD PROCESSING – MERCHANT SERVICE PROVIDERS
We honor companies in the Payment Industry by presenting them our Best of Category Award. You’ll find a list of the processors recommended in alphabetical order in Review Criteria sections that meet our Review Criteria . We want you to feel Review Criteria comfortable, make an educated decision and do your own research when selecting a merchant account for your business.
If you desire to read the individual reviews, click our Best of Category choices – Retail, Mobile, e-commerce, MOTO, High Risk, and Loyalty Programs where you can read reviews, visit sites, and get quotes. You can also skip right to the good stuff and crush your current rates with RATE CRUSHER Price Quotes.
Our Review Criteria is based on Honors, Awards, Referrals, Recommendations, and the following categories:
Products and Services
Does the CREDIT CARD PROCESSING company offer acceptance of all types of cards including: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, EBT, and HSA accounts? Is the equipment offered up to date with the new compliance regulations and do they offer a low or reasonable cost for such equipment? Do they offer free reprogramming for your existing POS or stand-alone terminal? Do they offer an array of different CREDIT CARD PROCESSING services for payments such as but not limited to credit cards, offline and pin debit, check services, ACH, gateway services, shopping cart or shopping cart integration, mobile options, Tablet POS, Gift & Loyalty card programs, e-statements, and small business loans or cash advance programs? Do they have any unique features that set them apart from other merchant service providers?
Rates and Fees
Number 1 on our list is does the (MSP) Merchant Service Provider offer interchange pricing? There are multiple pricing methods such as flat rate pricing, two tier rate, three tier rate, and yes even four tiered rate pricing. You will find many of the other review sites offering a low cost rate starting as low as 0.35% for example and this typically is the merchants cost for offline debit, not your credit rate or your mid-qualified and non-qualified rate. Although there are times when tiered pricing suits the merchants better or makes it easier to understand the merchant statement we highly recommend that you request interchange pricing as you will find the TER or Total Effective Rate to be lower when calculating your fees at the end of the month. To get your TER, simply divide your total monthly volume of Visa, MasterCard and Discover into the total charges for the month from your provider. Do they have a reasonable cost for PCI compliance? If your business processes a lot of transactions then it’s important to get a low cost and reasonable transaction fee.
Security and EMV
With all of the security breaches that happened lately, it’s more important than ever that your credit card processor has the latest up to date PCI Data Security Standard and other standards that increase payment data security. What is PCI DSS? The card associations (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Card) have developed security guidelines to protect cardholders, merchants and acquiring banks. Combined with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard was formed. After signing up with your choice of processors, don’t wait to get PCI compliant for your business. Put it in your calendar or have the representative help you set it up immediately to greatly reduce any chance of a security breach.
What is EMV? (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) and why is it important to your business? It’s an emerging chip technology in Review Criteria credit cards that enhances growth, security and fraud protection that makes it virtually impossible to duplicate. Card issuers have already started rolling out these cards to their customers and as many as 40%-60% are expected in 2015 and merchants are responsible for having an EMV compliant terminal. Many of your customers will expect you to have this new technology not only for convenience but more importantly for security. It’s important to mention that the liability shift from processors to the merchants starts October, 2015 which means you could be responsible for any breach from your location so we do advise Retail merchants to start looking for an EMV chip compliant terminal to avoid any unnecessary risks.
Does the Merchant Service Provider offer month to month contract with no cancel fees? Technology is ever changing so don’t get stuck in a long term contract. Make sure you ask for a no cancel fee agreement and get it in writing.
Customer Service and Technical Support
Are the customer service representatives courteous, knowledgeable and prompt? Is there a long wait period when calling in? Does the credit card processor offer 24/7 customer service?
Technical Support is equally if not more important. If your business can’t accept credit cards from customers you’re losing money. A good tech service not only sets up your POS or terminal electronically, but solves any issues that may arise regarding power outages, the terminal displaying error messages, proper settings, and integration on your POS, Gateway, e-commerce site, Mobile or Tablet device.
Are all the endorsements truthful and not misleading? Can they be verified? Do they reflect the typical experience of other customers who used the services?
Merchant Service Providers typically have complaints due to the sheer volume of business customers they have, however do they have a good record resolving complaints and do they make a good faith effort with all customers? We use trusted sources like the Better Business Bureau when considering any recommendation.
In 2015, Merchant Service Providers do so much more than just process credit cards and finding the right one for your business means increased sales, secure transactions, more loyal customers, better customer satisfaction and experience. We hope you enjoy and benefit from the information provided and although there are probably other companies deserving of being presented, the merchant account providers in each category are our choices for this year’s Best of Category Reviews edition.