Being your own boss is awesome, but you’ve got a lot decisions to make. One of those may be how you accept payment for your product or service. What about all those fees? Yuck – do you have to pay them? You probably do, but it will be worth it. One of the best ways to find the right merchant solutions for your business is with a little research and shopping.

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Why do you need merchant solutions for your business?

People aren’t using a lot of cash these days. If they were, you may be able to go without a merchant solutions service. But because you need to get paid, and accept payment, you need a way to do it. Your merchant solutions services will help in this realm – everything from credit cards to debit cards to gift cards, and no matter your company, be it retail or e-commerce, there is a merchants solutions team for you.

Different forms of credit card acceptance

One thing to think about is how you want (or how you need) to accept credit cards. Not all businesses are the same, so not all credit card acceptance and merchant solutions are the same. Think about what would work best for you:

  • Point of sale – This is great for a business with a brick and mortar location. If you have a store front or an office where customers come, this may be the best form of a merchant solution for you. This also helps connect your locations and accounts. Think about those touch screens and credit card swipers -that’s what these are.
  • Mobile credit card processors – If your business often takes you off site, from a pet groomer to a contractor to an ice cream guy, you may want a mobile credit processor. This will allow your smart phone, mobile device or tablet to accept payment.
  • Credit card terminal – If all you need to do is accept credit card payment – this may be for you. It’s pretty basic but will do its job.
  • Online payments – As it sounds, if you do any sales online, you’ll need some form of payment acceptance. Even if you do have a physical location, if you have a website or blog where you do transactions, or you sell your product on eBay or Etsy, you’ll need some form of mobile payment solution.

What to look for

Maybe you know what type of credit card acceptance you need, now it’s about finding the best service for your business. When looking around, you’ll want to consider different features and fees to get the most specific and beneficial solution. As far as features go, consider these things:

  • month to month service
  • rate plans
  • size of business
  • how much revenue you do

As far as fees go, consider these:

  • statement fees
  • application fees
  • minimum fees
  • termination fees

You’re probably not going to get away with having a solutions service without fees, but do make sure you know what you’re paying for.

Other things to think about

In your search, there’s even more to consider. One thing most merchants want is great customer support. A company with strong customer support will be there to help when needed. At some point, most businesses will need some help with their merchant solutions, and a company that will back you at this time is a big plus. When you are happy, your customers are happy. When you’re feeling frustrated, well, that can roll over into your customers. Go for someone with strong support.

Another thing to check is the ease of set up and that it takes all forms of major credit cards. It’s nice to be able to set up and manage this solution with ease, and it’s also nice to not have to turn a customer down because you don’t accept her form of payment. Make it easy on everyone involved.

So think about it. Think about what kind of merchant solution service you need. What kind of payment solution is best – mobile, point of sale, online? A combination? Think about what services you need and what fees you can pay. Remember, sometimes you have to pay something to make some money. If you don’t pay for this solution, you may end up losing money in the long run from customers who can’t pay with credit cards.

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