DO’S

 

  • Do research credit card processing and develop a basic understanding of how merchant accounts work.
  • Do compare providers, not accounts.
  • Do ask the processor for references and be sure to chat with them about their experiences.
  • Do ensure that you have a knowledgeable representative with a consultative approach to selling.
  • Do look for a processor with a proven track record of support and customer service.
  • Do apply and complete the setup process at least 2 weeks before you need to run a transaction.
  • Do read your contract fully and understand your rights before you sign.
  • Do ask your merchant processor questions regarding your account.
  • Do get everything in writing.
  • Do know what the cancellation fee is and understand the terms.
  • Do watch for hidden or conditional fees that can appear innocuous but can turn out to hurt you in the end.
  • Do watch out for deceptive pricing practices.
  • Do look out for rates that are too good to be true and bait-and-switch pricing.
  • Do understand what your processing limits are.
  • Do be very cautious of creative rates and different rate programs. Make sure you thoroughly understand them.
    Do become PCI Compliant no matter how small or large your business is.
  • Do look into other services that can help your business grow such as Gift and Loyalty Cards.
  • Do check your statement on a regular basis and make sure there is nothing unexpected on them. Processors can change fees by posting a notice on your monthly statement.
  • Do display your refund policy in your store and on the customers receipt.
  • Do refer colleagues to your processor if you are satisfied with your service. You can save your friend the trouble of finding a decent company to process with.
  • Do keep up with PCI compliance requirements for your business.
  • Do ask for all the rates and qualifications if you are on a tiered or bundled program.
  • Do ask for interchange qualifications if you are on a pass through program. You can go to Visa’s site to verify interchange.
  • Do keep your credit card terminal in a safe place away from liquid or heat. Always use a surge protector.
  • Do monitor returns vigilantly. A lot of fraud is committed by employees returning money to their own cards.
    Do keep your receipts locked up, allowing access only to privileged individuals.
  • Do clear your credit card batch daily. Failure to do so can result in increased fees.

Don’t’s

 

  • Don’t give into hard sales tactics.
  • Don’t fall for misleading advertisements such as: Cash Rewards if a better deal is found, low price guarantee, no setup fee, free merchant account, 99% approval rate, etc…
  • Don’t let processors push you around.
  • Don’t inherently think your local bank has the best service and lowest price just because you are already a customer.
  • Don’t take the lowest offer you find because it is the cheapest. Go with the business and representative you trust. Processing through a bad company can hurt your business.
  • Don’t confuse a debit rate with a credit rate. If it is below 1.6% it’s either a debit rate or you’re going to be charged somewhere else.
  • Don’t sign a lease unless you are 100% sure you want to, and you know how much more it costs than purchasing.
  • Don’t go with a free terminal program just because you don’t have to pay for the equipment. Processors typically make up for the lost revenue in other areas, such as monthly or yearly fees.
  • Don’t let anyone reprogram your credit card terminal unless you are absolutely sure the work for your processor.
  • Don’t wait to contact your processor or representative if something is wrong or you have questions.
  • Don’t neglect to pay your final bill with your processor. You can be put on a Match List preventing you from ever accepting credit cards again.
  • Don’t charge a service fee for credit card payments. You can discount for cash purchases, but you cannot charge extra for credit cards.
  • Don’t ever refund a credit card payment as cash or check. Only return to the card that was used to make the purchase. Otherwise, the customer can take the cash and still make a chargeback, so you lose twice.
  • Don’t underestimate the need for good customer service.