Select a Merchant Processing Service That’s Right for Your Business

August 20, 2014

Whether switching or choosing a merchant processing service for the first time, selecting a company is an important decision that can be crucial to the bottom line of a business. Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers six tips on selecting the right merchant processing service.

While an unknown, smooth-talking individual may drop by your business offering greatly discounted rates for merchant processing services, don’t be quick to agree. So far this year, BBB Serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona has received more than 32 complaints against credit card merchant and processing services. Common complaints include unauthorized charges, misrepresentation of services or equipment offered, and/or failure to disclose charges or fees.

“To avoid paying for substandard merchant processing services, research your options first to avoid extra fees and headaches later,” said Mary Hawkes, BBB Yavapai County Director.

BBB recommends the following tips when selecting a merchant processing service:

  • Do your research. As with any important business decision, obtain at least three written estimates and check the merchant processing service’s BBB Business Review® by visiting Ask other local businesses what service they use and if they are satisfied. Ask for references and contact them.

  • Don’t give in to a high pressure sales pitch. If you receive a cold call or unexpected visit from an unknown company, do your homework before providing credit card or bank account information. Take the time to review the company’s materials and written contract before making a decision.

  • Understand the fees. Ask about monthly fees, fixed fees per transaction, refund fees and chargeback fees. Also ask about additional fees for account set up or cancellation.

  • Choose the appropriate equipment. Consider your company’s needs. Determine if you will be purchasing or leasing any equipment, hardware or software from the merchant processor. Make sure the terms and costs are clearly indicated on the written contract.

  • Ask about customer service and technical support. Make sure the merchant processing service has a solid support team. Can you contact them 24 hours a day? This may be essential to business owners who process card payments outside normal business hours.

  • Get everything in writing. Review the contract carefully before signing. Be aware of the length of the contract, monthly fees, service fees, equipment costs, cancellation fees, and any other charges associated with the merchant processing service. Make sure all verbal promises are in writing.

About BBB of Central, Northern & Western Arizona 
BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews® on more than 4.7 million businesses and 11,000 charities, all available free at  Incorporated locally in 1938, BBB Serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona is supported by over 11,400 BBB Accredited Businesses. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free business reviews and charity reports, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.