Choosing a Provider


1. Understand all fees: This is important because the last thing you want is for a company to bill you later with fees you never even knew you owed.

2. Compare companies, based on the fees they charge as well as their record of accomplishment in dealing with businesses similar to yours.  Evaluate companies rates as well as various terms and rules that may apply to your account. Look for companies that specialize in businesses like yours, not only in category, but also in sales volume, etc.

3. Ask how long it will take you to receive the funds.  Depending on the company, the time it takes to transfer funds into your account may vary the industry standard is two business days.  American Express has terms to deliver funds from 2 days to as long as 30 days.

4. Review the agreement and insure that you understand all the terms and conditions.  Some companies sign contracts that are not to their benefit because they didn’t ask questions about terms they didn’t understand. This mistake can cost you money in the end. Have your lawyer look over everything before you sign on the dotted line if you are uncertain.

5. Price should be just one of the factors you use when deciding which provider to use.  You also should consider the other features of a given merchant account provider.  Customer service also is an important part of choosing credit card merchant services since you will be contacting them frequently, especially in the beginning.  Moreover, any problems you run into with processing may need to be dealt with quickly; otherwise, you may risk losing sales.  The last thing you want is to lose money as a result of credit card processing.  Become familiar with the company you are dealing with and get names and specific contact numbers as often as possible.  Having names and numbers will offer you some options, in terms of customer service as well as the accessibility of the company's representatives.


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