Utah Merchant Services for Business
Utah - Start Accepting Credit Cards - Merchant Services
If you own your own business, or if you are planning on setting one up, you have a huge number of things to deal with. Besides just the basic structure of your business, you have personnel issues, product supply issues, and not to mention the three most important things a business owner has to deal with; location, location, location. Once you have all of these things taken care of and you are ready to open your doors, then you have to think about how you get paid. It used to be as simple as whether or not to accept credit cards. If you decided that you wanted to accept them, you went to your local bank and set up a Merchant Account. Unfortunately, it's no longer that easy. Now it's not whether or not to accept credit cards, but which credit card processing company do you use? You can still go to your local bank, but they may or may not be the best choice. As I am sure you are aware, there are hundreds, if not thousands of credit card processing companies out there to choose from. You're probably inundated with telemarketing calls from these type companies on a daily basis, if not hourly.
So, whom do you choose when setting up your credit card merchant account? When making your selection, there are many things to consider. One obvious consideration is the rate. However, rates can be deceiving. Most merchant processing companies only give the rate on their least expensive transactions, charges made with vanilla credit cards there in the store, and with the credit/ATM card in hand. Just as important is what are the rates are for non-standard transactions. What is the rate if the magnetic strip isn't working, and the credit card number has to be input by hand? What about premium cards, such as the ones that offer travel mileage? What are the rates on those? Also, something that goes with that and most people never think of discussing is how readable is your monthly statement? Are the charges broken down and laid out in such a manner that it is easy to discern the different level of charges? Of course, this brings into account if there are things you don't understand or charges you dispute. How easily will you be able to speak to someone to resolve the issue? You want to make sure you know who it is that you need to call.
Another consideration is if you have an Internet presence, can your merchant processor provide you with an online merchant account? Again, at what rate? Or if you are the type of company that goes on the road to trade fairs and shows, does your merchant processor offer mobile credit card processing services? You also need to consider the credit card machines themselves, both for your in-store transactions, and if you provide them, for your mobile applications. Of course, you will need to consider the cost? Will the credit card machines be sold to you, or will they be on lease? If you have a problem with one of your machines, who will be responsible for its repair?
There are a few other considerations that won't be quite as apparent when you set up your credit card merchant account. For example, how quickly can the transaction be consummated? This has a lot to do with the payment gateway, which deals with how your merchant processor connects to the credit providers, e.g., Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc. This is something you should never be aware of, but it is significant. How close to the source is you merchant provider? In other words, how many layers are there between them and the Visa or MasterCard? For example, if you do choose to go through your small regional bank branch because of its convenience, there is a good chance that they actually run everything through another bank, or even through another merchant processing company. This creates layers, which means that there are more companies who have to make money off of your transactions.
As was said early on, there are many things for a business owner to consider when choosing a credit card merchant account. Since your merchant account deals directly with your livelihood, it is worth your careful consideration. If you are in the great state of Utah, one of the Utah merchant services that you should consider is Merchant Data Systems.