Finding the right Merchant service provider can be overwhelming. With technology and competition, it’s more than just processing payments. How can you differentiate between payment processors?

Choosing a partner to handle all of your sensitive payment data is no light decision. These five questions can help determine what company is the best fit for you.

What kind of support do you offer?

Is your only contact an 800 number that puts you in a queue to wait for a representative who is thousands of miles away? Work with a company that has local support.
When you need help, you usually don’t have time to waste.

Pay attention to support hours of operation. You need 24 hour availability. If you have a technical issue on a Sunday during a holiday weekend sale, the cost of silence from your merchant provider can be astronomical.

Will your services scale with my business?

Look for a merchant services provider that will offer you simple start-up packages with the option to add more complex solutions as your business grows.

How will you protect my business from security breach?

Are they well-versed in all areas payment processing including data security? Can they explain security requirements and procedures? Do they understand the needs of complex industries? Are they bringing up PCI Compliance requirements with you?

You are trusting your merchant services provider with important information, so make sure that you choose someone who can give you the best advice.

How do you keep my cardholder data secure?

It is difficult to run a business today without accepting credit cards. Consumers demand the convenience of paying with a credit card, debit card, or electronic check. However, those same consumers also worry about the security of their transactions and their credit card data.

Ask your merchant services provider to explain their security policies and procedures. Ask how they will help you stay PCI compliant. Choose a provider who has a robust fraud protection program.

How will you help me grow my business?

A good merchant services company will help you with much more than processing transactions. Your merchant account can be a source of marketing tools for raising brand awareness, increasing sales, and building customer loyalty. Look for a company who will support you with ideas and and materials for promoting and growing your business.

At the end of the day, you want a great business partner. A thorough interview will separate those who are only interested in today’s contract, and those who will be around to partner with your business over time. If you base your decision on these factors, you can establish a solid relationship that will help your business succeed.