It’s hard to do business these days without the ability to accept credit cards. But when it comes time to set up a credit card processing system, you’re faced with a lot of choices, and none more important than, “Which processor should I choose?” Well, lucky for you, we’re here to help.
We’ve put together a list of five important elements that should be included with your credit card processor. This is not an exhaustive list of considerations, of course, but it’s a good starting point for you as you suss out the best move for you and your company.
Spring for a built-in solution.
In the simplest of terms, there are two types of credit card processors: those that are built into your ERP (sometimes via an integration) and those that are not. Cost can be a major factor when deciding whether or not to pursue a built-in solution. Choosing a credit card processor that isn’t either integrated with your ERP or built right in might save money in the short term, but the long term hassles of maintaining two systems and requiring employees to transfer information from one system to the other will not be worthwhile.
Built-in solutions can be expensive to acquire and take a while to implement, but the advantages they bring make them worthwhile for many businesses. Your options for built-in credit card processors will vary depending on the ERP system you use and the credit card processor that you want, so it’ll take some digging on your end, but the benefits can really make it worth your time.
However, if you don’t think that a built-in solution is the right way to go, there are many credit card processing services, such as Leaders Merchant Services, Cayan, and Square, that offer simple integrations and provide a lot of options and support for most or all of your credit card processing needs.
Each credit card processing service has its pros and cons, so take some time to look into some of the more popular solutions to find out what’s right for you.
Open all the gates!
When investigating different credit card processors, consider the options that you need. What types of credit cards are you looking to process? Are you looking to make B2B and B2G sales (business-to-business and business-to-government), or only sell to walk-in customers? B2B and B2G sales typically involve a Level 2 or 3 corporate card, and not every credit card processing service supports transactions for those types of cards.
Can you get by with one gateway, or do you need more than that? Reasons you might need multiple gateways include needing to make international sales (gateways have geographic and currency restrictions), potentially saving money on fees and contract requirements by increasing conversion rates, or providing a backup/fail safe, should one of the gateways run into performance issues.
Keep in mind, too, that many payment gateways also provide you with a merchant account, which could save you money as you set up your credit card processing solution.
Get with the times — implement EMV chip support.
Security is the name of the game these days. Don’t be the next headline for a data breach.
EMV chips facilitate transactions that are infinitely more security than standard “strip” transactions. And while the world is quickly moving toward all EMV chip transactions all the time, we’re obviously not there yet, and some credit card processing systems don’t support EMV chip transactions. Don’t make the mistake of “saving money” by choosing a credit card processor that doesn’t allow you to take advantage of the security of an EMV chip. The repercussions of a data breach or of a customer’s identity being stolen will be far more costly, and could potentially put you out of business entirely, either through fines or a permanently damaged reputation.
Be PCI compliant or suffer the consequences.
This consideration ties in with the previous one, and is probably the most important when choosing a credit card processor. Having a credit card processor that utilizes EMV chips is not enough to ensure that you are PCI compliant, so make sure that you’ve got your bases covered.
If you are not PCI compliant and a customer’s credit card information is stolen, you are on the hook, and the consequences are severe. You are liable for any fraud that occurs due to a customer’s information being compromised, and you can face fines, penalties, legal costs, settlements, and more. Nothing good comes of failing to do all you can to protect your customers.
For information and resources on making sure that your company is PCI compliant, visit the PCI Security Standards Council’s official website.
Consider Level 3 processing.
This last consideration isn’t necessarily a must-have, but it’s absolutely an important element to consider if you require a credit card processing system that gives you access to Level 3 processing, and at the very least it should make your wish list.
Not sure what Level 3 processing is? Check out this blog post to learn more. Essentially, Level 3 processing can save you money if you make a lot of B2B or B2G sales. Not every credit card processor is able to offer Level 3 processing, so make sure that you keep that in mind as you shop around for the right fit for you and your business.
A short, shameless plug.
SalesPad offers integrations with PayFabric for all of our products. The PayFabric integration is built right in to our products — all you have to do is turn it on (and, you know, have a PayFabric account, etc.). For more information on PayFabric with SalesPad, check out this fact sheet.