Choosing your Merchant Services Provider should be at the top of the list when opening a business

Banks try to “simplify” the task for you by offering their in-house services. However, is the bank really better for your company than a Local Merchant Service Provider? The answer is no; the bank itself is just a large-scale Merchant Service Provider.

While banks offer some of the same services that a Local Merchant Provider does like their own POS System and credit card readers, your Local Merchant Provider typically carries a larger variety of POS Systems. They make sure you never feel lost in the sea of merchants and almost always provide better service over the phone or in person. It is their core business to service your processing needs.

Bank of America Merchant Services and most Banks are just resellers that outsource customer service, leaving the merchant without immediate help if a problem occurs because the technology doesn’t typically belong to them. They are just reselling merchant processing along with their other bank services.

Technology is Key

The technology doesn’t always belong to the Local Merchant Provider either, but they take the time to learn the products that they are selling. For example, Card Systems has teamed up with business solutions merchants like Clover and Sound Payments, and others to help businesses directly and never leave you without support. In fact, last year they purchased an ownership interest in Edgeserv POS  to help local restaurants provide a better overall dining experience.

Fees can be difficult to determine

In addition to the customer service not reaching the public’s standards, bank reviews reflected that banks can be deceptive in claiming lower rates. They try to say their rates cannot be beaten, but they just waive certain bank fees while raising prices on other services.

Pricing seems to even out or be more favorable from your Local Merchant Service Provider when unexpected fees begin showing up on the bank’s merchant statements.  Businesses also ran into undisclosed contracts and high termination fees when the services were no longer needed.

3 main takeaways:

  1. Do your research before choosing your Merchant Service Provider
  2. Know what your business really needs
  3. Make sure your Merchant Service Provider is available when you need them (not just 9-5)

A 200-seat restaurant and a 7-table coffee shop do not need the same processing services, but they both need quality services. You want your customers to feel safe when making payments while at the same time make maximum profit from the transactions. Don’t overpay for services and technology you don’t need and make sure your provider is always available to help when you need it.

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