Three Things Businesses Should Know When Choosing a Merchant Services Provider

When running a small or medium sized business, it can be overwhelming to manage day-to-day tasks, let alone find an effective merchant services provider. While most seek MSPs based on their proposed “low discount rate” or “turn-key” solutions, they often omit key components that often result in higher overall cost.

The lowest discount rate may be intriguing, but if it is not accompanied with a program based on your specific requirements, you may find your business in a very frustrating predicament.

Ask yourself the questions below to evaluate your current or future merchant service provider’s performance.

1. Are they meeting my specific payment processing needs?

Consider your technology requirements, demographics, payment scenarios and business model. If any of these topics were not discussed, there may be a costly consequence. Quality providers will take it further and ask additional questions, like…

  • How do you manage employees, payroll and inventory?
  • Are your transactions face-to-face, phone, online, or deliverables?
  • Are you utilizing tools that maximize customer loyalty?
  • What specialty needs do you have, such as waitlists or appointment schedulers?

When businesses consider these questions, they’re able to discover payment systems that make the most sense for their business, like the Clover Family. With a Clover™ terminal, you can schedule employee shifts, take customer appointments, manage inventory and get a hold on your customer loyalty program in one place, thanks to an immense app marketplace.

The Clover™ Family of products.

For example, a busy restaurant can utilize the Waitlist app. Not only does it turn the customers’ phone into a waitlist buzzer with custom texts and phone calls when their table is ready, it also tracks your wait times to give customers accurate estimates.

2. Have I been made aware of technology that actually improves my business functions?

While turnkey mobile solutions have become popular, their flat rates are often higher than the average 2%, processing rate, which means businesses with certain customer demographics and lower rate structures end up paying more. In addition, this solution may not adequately support your business model.

Just like large corporations, small businesses should understand and implement emerging high-tech payment method trends, like virtual terminals, ApplePay™ or EMV chip card acceptance. In addition, you should be aware of how current PCI compliance regulations impact your business.

Similar to simple turnkey solutions, Clover™ also offers mobile payment processing with customizable rates that could save your business thousands per year. A Clover™ station can process ApplePay, checks and cash using their cloud-based connection or an offline mode, so internet connectivity issues won’t affect your ability to do business.

3. Are they providing support and ensuring I have the best solutions as my business evolves?

Help desk calls can be a nightmare. Merchant service providers should stay involved until you feel comfortable and satisfied with your new system. In addition, a good MSP will offer direct access and if required, face-to-face support when unexpected complications arise. This service should be available for the duration of your business relationship.

Sit down with us to discuss your merchant service needs.

Merchant Concepts would love to discuss your current merchant processing solutions and how your business can become more efficient and cost-effective. Contact us at (503) 281-1460 or at to schedule a time to talk today.

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Merchant Concepts, Inc. is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, CA
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