How often do you use cash in your everyday life?
I don’t know about you, but it’s not uncommon for me to go a week or more without touching so much as a nickel. Rather, much like the rest of society, the transactions of my daily life have transitioned to credit cards.
Credit cards have revolutionized the way we make purchases, making our wallets thinner and our linty pockets less jingly and metallic.
The statistics below from SpendMeNot.com do a good job of describing the current payment landscape:
- 80% of consumers prefer using credit cards
- 80% of all cash transactions are for payments under $25
- Consumers are willing to spend up to 100% more when using a credit card
So not only are credit cards our society’s preferred payment method, people are also more likely to spend MORE when using their cards.
Given the above, it’s no mystery that as business owners who are motivated to reduce friction and increase revenue, we MUST be able to process card payments.
But what provider should we use? Credit cards aren’t exactly new to the scene and there are a number of vendors we can turn to for help enabling this critical functionality.
PayPal? Square? Stripe? A smaller boutique firm? What information should we take into account when weighing our options?
I was lucky enough to sit down with Vishal Sharma and Paul Coleman, the founders of Merchant Support Network Inc. (MSNI).
MSNI is a boutique credit card acceptance company. Since 1997, they have helped 3,000+ businesses process over $2 billion in transactions. So who better to point us in the right direction about what really matters when making this key decision?
You can check out some of my key takeaways from our conversation in the video below:
For those looking for a cheat sheet, the chart below summarizes some of the key features Vishal and Paul highlighted for choosing the best credit card processing company for your business:
No matter who you decide to go with, it’s important to get as much detail as you can about any potential hidden fees. Much like banks, some processing companies have more fees than others so it’s important to go into any relationship with your eyes wide open.
Also, if you’re adopting any on-site equipment (card swipers, tablet integrators, etc.), are you buying the equipment or renting it? Is the equipment proprietary to a particular company or is it “open-source,” meaning it could be used within other systems if you change providers?
In addition to the factors above, some other things to consider would be…
- What kind of customer service do I expect?
Do I want one point of contact or am I okay with a general chat feature to ask questions? If you prefer the former, a company like MSNI might be better for you as one of their main focuses is being accessible to their customers and building lasting relationships. Alternatively, if the service aspect is less important to you, you may be happy enough with the customer service of some of the bigger names.
- What kind of reporting is available? Is it customizable?
If, for example, you have multiple locations, can their system handle that and distinguish between them?
- What will the costs be? How much will I be processing each month?
Again, calculating this will require understanding any hidden fees on top of the general transaction rates that each company observes. MSNI openly spurns hidden fees, but they do say that users generally need to pass the $15,000 per month mark to see cost savings with their solutions.
- What do other businesses like mine use? Do they like it?
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times – There’s no need to reinvent the wheel! People are successfully implementing these technologies and have been for years. Read reviews and user experiences. If you’re a brick and mortar operation, go to locations similar to yours and see what they’re using. How smooth was the process from the customer side? Ask the manager what they do and don’t like about using a particular system.
All in all, picking your card processor should be an exciting thing because it means you’re earning money (or are about to be)! So go into this decision armed with the right questions, but also with the proper enthusiasm. Get excited to hear that cash register dinging!
If you’d like to learn more about MSNI and how they could potentially partner with you and your business, send them a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. They regularly conduct free exploratory sessions so you can learn more about their solutions and the industry in general.
Additionally, if you’d like to discuss credit card processors or how to grow your business so you’re processing credit cards more often, don’t forget that I offer complimentary diagnostic sessions! The application process for a session is quick and easy.