Best Payment GatewayWhen it comes to determining the best payment gateway for your business, consistency and transparency are very important. As you are probably aware of by now, the pricing scheme for payment gateways can vary significantly from one service to the next. The best thing to look for is a consistent pricing plan. If the company doesn’t have all of their fees displayed for you to find easily, chances are they are hiding certain fees. If you don’t see all of the pricing information on their website, try giving them a call and comparing the information they give you with the information you found on their site. Maybe call a few different representatives while you’re at it. You should get a consistent response. If you don’t, and one shares something another does not, beware. They probably have some hidden fees they aren’t sharing with you.
Another thing to be aware of if the setup fees, monthly service fees, interchange fees, and cancellation of service fees.There are some very good services out there which charge nominal fees and no cancellation fees, but beware of the level of customer service and security they provide, as it is sometimes lacking as a result. As unfortunate as this fact is, it is most definitely a common occurrence in the world of credit card processing companies. Sometimes you’ll ding two companies with similar pricing but one of them offers more for less. The downside is the customer service aspect of the deal usually suffers the most. And then whom does this affect the most? You and your business! You need a payment gateway provider who will not only offer the most competitive wages available, but also one who backs up with product with great customer support. Of course “price” is always the most important factor on every business owner’s mind. Each company has its own pricing plans and some are more flexible than others. But basically, each one charges you a percentage above the interchange rate set by your bank or the credit card companies you accept. Some companies will negotiate those rates and fees by taking the size, type, and scope of your business into account. Some offer tiered pricing, which is helpful for small businesses because the rates for qualified debit and credit cards are typically lower than with interchange-plus pricing. The interchange rate is the rate set by the credit card company or bank. The gateway service charges a percentage on top of the interchange rate per transaction. Usually there’s a nominal fee added to this, too. These rates vary from company to company. And guess what… these little charges? They’re to help pay for the cost of fraud and theft.
The best companies out there are the ones who list all of the costs involved in using their payment gateways, and also are consistent in backing up those costs.There are some very good gateway options which don’t require long-term contracts to sign up and some will even provide you their services on a month-to-month basis. This is great for small businesses because you don’t have to pay a massive cancellation fee if you find a better service. When you set up your payment gateway, most services will assign you your own account representative. Setup should be quick and easy and the funds should show in your account within the industry average of 1-2 days. There are some more cost-effective gateway options out there for businesses who process $3,000/month or less. Companies like PayPal and Square to name just a few. Some gateway companies charge a membership fee for their service. Most of them allow you to disperse the payment throughout the term of service, and some offer a more cost-effective option of paying for an entire year of service up front. This option, if you can afford to pay it up front, usually saves you money in the end. So what is the best payment gateway to use? It’s the one which has:
- superior, preferably dedicated, customer support
- complete transparency in pricing and business practice
- low processing rates
- data breach insurance
- your own dedicated PCI compliance consultant to walk you through the maze
- additional perks and benefits