Customers love the convenience of payment cards, and studies show patrons who use payment cards or mobile wallets usually spend more and visit more often. To give your customers the ability to use their preferred payment methods, you need the right credit card processing company to support your business and allow you provide to great customer experiences at the checkout.
Here are five questions to ask when you are evaluating a new credit card processing company that will help you ensure you are choosing the best option for your restaurant.
- Are there hidden fees?
No one likes to get hit with charges they didn’t anticipate. Read the fine print and ask questions before signing on the dotted line. Every time an employee swipes a card to accept a payment it costs you money, but the question is, how much?
These fees can be as high as 5 percent, so shop around and ask which ones are charged monthly, quarterly or annually. Rates are variable and are often complicated by the type of card being processed — credit card processors tend to highlight the lowest of the rates. They also like to add a slew of other special fees that may be hidden deep in the contract for actions like cancellations, withdrawals, and batch processing.
- How soon can I access my funds?
Money received via credit card purchases may be held to up to 72 hours before it’s released. Furthermore, it might take another couple days to actually transfer the funds to your bank account. Make access time a part of the conversation when evaluating a credit card processing company. Ask if the credit card processor has the power to freeze your funds for any reason, and make sure your business can handle the lag time until funds are available, if that situation should arise.
- Can I accept all payment types?
It’s important to provide customers with the convenience of using their preferred payment methods. In addition to accepting major card brands, evaluate trends at your restaurant to see if accepting mobile payments also makes sense for your business. Mobile payments allow customers to use their phones or other mobile devices to pay at the register using near field communication (NFC) or “tap and go” technology. Google Wallet and Apple Pay are the two most common mobile wallets that use NFC.
- Will security be my responsibility?
Security, fraud and privacy protection should be major determining factors in your choice of a credit card payment processing company. It is your responsibility to make sure that you are compliant with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), so don’t just assume the processor you picked has this covered. It could be worth your while to consider paying a slightly higher rate for better security.
- Does it integrate with my current systems?
Choosing a credit card processing company that offers integration with your current POS system is huge plus. This saves time by minimizing the number of keystrokes necessary to put a transaction through — which also minimizes the potential for errors. Also, reconciling card payments with the day’s sales can happen automatically, rather than through a time-consuming manual process.
Also ask the payment processor whether it offers integrated or semi-integrated EMV solutions, which can impact options for PIN pads and how you will need to handle firmware and software updates.
Whether you’re new to credit card processing or looking to replace your current processor, make sure to ask plenty of questions. There are many payment processors to choose from, so search until you find the best fit for your business. Contact us today if you need to speak with our team about your options.