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The days of customers paying cash is ending in most retail stores. Most customers shopping at pool and spa retail outlets have the expectation that all major credit cards are accepted. If you don’t accept credit cards, you may want to consider how much business may be lost. For those that are accepting credit cards, how do you know which credit card processing company to use, and what should you look out for when changing processors?
- Great Customer Service
This is among the top priorities when looking for a credit card processor. If you don’t get a returned phone call before they have your business, what are the chances they are going to return your call once they get your business and you have a problem? Customer service satisfaction is imperative when your business is not able to process credit cards and the situation needs resolved immediately. Working with processors that have a relationship with your Point of Sale Company makes for a unified support team.
- Cancellation Fees
Many times you can negotiate these cancellation fees in your contract, but first you need to be aware if they exist. Some companies lock businesses into a contract then six months down the road, rates greatly increase. Choose a processor who doesn’t have a contract or one that doesn’t have cancellation fees for early termination. Being stuck in a contract with high rates could be crippling to your business.
- Equipment Cost
Changing from processor to processor requires all of the hardware be updated or in many cases, replaced. Find out if new terminals are needed or if existing ones can be reprogrammed. If new hardware is needed, will the new processor cover any of the costs?
- Point of Sale (POS)
Does the new processing company work with your Point of Sale software? If so, how does it work? In some cases, additional software services will need to be purchased. Many times, those fees are charged to you and not the new processor. Sometimes, functionality in your POS is lost with the new processor because it is not directly interfaced. Call your POS provider and ensure everything will remain the same when moving to a new processor.
Pricing from each processor is different and it’s not always easy to compare apples to apples. You can always take a new rate quote to your current processor and ask why it appears you’re being offered better rates elsewhere. Your current processor can provide you with an explanation of the quote and if feasible, may be able to reduce your rate.
Don’t sign any contracts until you have all the facts!