Low-cost card processing

Product Information 16 March 2012

Whilst finding cheap card processing is important, it’s not the only thing you should be looking at when choosing an independent payment processing company to work with. There are a number of other factors that need to be considered, and if you don’t think about them, having the cheapest card processing won’t be much of a consolation.

What is cheap card processing anyway?

Cheap card processing is simply having a merchant account with an independent card processor that doesn’t cost you a fortune. It’s mainly down to the merchant fees when you identify a cheap card processor, but there are also set up costs to consider. Some companies charge to set up your merchant account, whereas some of the lowest cost card processing will set you up completely free of charge; they’re going to make enough money from your transactions anyway so it isn’t in their best interests to charge you the earth for setting up the account.

What else should I consider?

As well as cheap card processing there is customer service. You need to make sure that independent payment processor’s customer service team are there when you need them and that they can help you with any query or difficulty you have. Many companies (not just card processors) have overseas call centres that are manned by untrained employees who do not have English as their first language, and for many UK businesses, this presents an enormous problem. It’s bad enough trying to communicate with someone who struggles to understand you, but if they can’t help you with your problem anyway, there is little point.

This is why many UK businesses choose cheap card processing companies that have UK call centres. Not only this, some of these businesses also try to find UK card processors that operate a 24hr call centre too. These businesses are all 24hr operations that wouldn’t be able to continue trading without their card terminals, etc. For example, a 24hr UK call centre is vital to a convenience store should they experience difficulties with their card terminals during normal “out of office” hours.

Keep your eye out for offers

Many payment processors also have good offers for SMEs (small and medium enterprises). Low-cost card processing can often be obtained by getting a company that is prepared to cap your merchant fees. This basically means that your fees will stay the same for the duration of your contract. This isn’t a luxury that many payment processors can offer, and it isn’t something you are likely to find with the banks either; many are governed by interest rates and have no option other than to raise their merchant fees, sometimes more than once or twice a year.

In conclusion

So remember, whilst it’s clearly one of the biggest bonuses, it’s not all about the cheapest card processing; it’s also about customer service that can really help when you need them most. The best thing to do is to consider as many companies as you can before you begin to make your choice; remember, quotes don’t cost you anything at all.

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