In today’s technologically advanced society, things change rapidly. Can you remember, for example, the last time you used a pay phone? It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that when I would begin a new relationship with a merchant, I would have to physically go to their place of business, drag out the paperwork, get signatures and either fax or FedEx the application and additional forms, to the corporate office.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy meeting with merchants and building on long-term mutually rewarding relationships with them. All I’m saying here is that times are changing and as a merchant, or merchant services provider for that matter, you really need to stay on top of your game.
With the economy as tight as it is and spendable cash at greatly reduced levels, you really need to do all you can do to stay ahead of the competition. What are you doing to capture your share, and maybe more, of the available business out there? How has your business changed or how do you anticipate how you market your business, will change?
For example, let’s take the merchant services provider that handles your credit card processing needs. When you first got started with them, hopefully they spent time with you to thoroughly understand your business and it’s challenges. Did they simply quote you rates that were “better” than what you were paying or, did they come up with a comprehensive package to not only save you money on processing plastic but also would help you to drive sales?
Have you taken some time to sit and consider how your business has evolved since you signed up with your current processor. Do you have additional locations, developed a website possibly with a website to expand your market or are you considering taking advantage of mobile marketing? Possibly the credit card terminal you’ve been using for years isn’t the best fit for your business any longer. Would a pin pad be of benefit to you? How about taking advantage of the rapidly increasing use of NFC (Near Field Communication) technology to speed up checkout. Are you attending trade shows or does your business have an in-home service or remote aspect to it? Current mobile payment technology could really help you save on processing costs as well as add a convenience to your customers. There are numerous Mobile Apps that are available today so you really need someone that knows what they’re doing to consult with you to help to decide the most appropriate vehicle for you to use. With these mobile -equipped device and the recommended card reader, your mobile workforce is ready to process signature debit cards as well as Visa®, MasterCard®, Discover® and American Express® wherever and whenever the need arises.
Another thing to consider right now is how you are currently priced with your current provider. Have they offered you and educated you on the most transparent form of pricing which is Cost-Plus or Interchange-Plus pricing. If they haven’t, you’ve got to ask yourself why? I’m sure you can figure that one out. If you decide to contact me, or another provider for a current evaluation, make certain that if you consider making a switch, make certain that the new provider’s system is compatible with any existing hardware and software (especially if your business has an eCommerce component to it). Otherwise, any savings you may have gained from a pricing standpoint, could be eaten up in costs to update hardware or software. Ask the questions!
Let me finish with just a quick heads up. As I’m sure you’re already aware, undercutting on credit card processing rates is pretty commonplace in this industry. Unfortunately, many times what “appears” to be a better deal, turns out to not be the case at all. While keeping your monthly credit card processing fees manageable and within reason is important, what should be of equal concern is the relationship you have with the rep and the company providing the services. Remember to ask lots of questions and be cognizant of how thoroughly the rep tries to understand your business. You’ll want to be made aware of and take advantage of all the services available but not be signed up for those that are only an expense and not justified to increase sales for you. I’m here to help if you have any questions. Thanks for reading.