Most people instantly associate Merchant Account Providers with fees, but they often overlook how providers help businesses. Fees are a nonnegotiable when it comes to using a provider, so why not capitalize on the perks?
Here are five ways Merchant Account Providers can help your business:
You gain a payment processing liaison.
With a cash-only business, you’re essentially on your own when it comes to managing transactions. Sure your bank can help to a degree, but it isn’t involved in or even aware of your everyday payment activity. Merchant Account Providers enable your business to accept credit cards and take care of the hard, technical work of processing credit cards.
Providers are your go-to point of contact for issues, advice and guidance. It’s their job to keep your payments running smoothly, resolve any problems and be informative. With a payment liaison you can focus on acquiring sales, increasing your customer base and maintaining customer loyalty.
They automate and streamline manual work.
Even when your business’s doors close for the day, there is still work to be done after hours. Certain Merchant Account Providers have the ability to streamline and automate work you’d otherwise do manually.
Instead of manually settling transactions and reconciling your bank account deposits by reviewing printed batch reports from old-school terminals, modern Merchant Account Providers can automate this entire process. Schedule batches of transactions to settle at the same time every day and use automated, digital deposit reports to turn your reconciliation process into a task that takes mere minutes.
Do you offer payment plans, subscriptions or memberships to your customers? Sophisticated Merchant Account Providers can automate those, too. Set a custom schedule to charge the card on file and see the money deposited into your account — it’s that simple.
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You gain better business oversight.
Whether you run a cash-only business or are still using an old-school terminal to accept credit cards, you have to maintain sales records manually. This means regularly putting your head-down to crunch numbers and knock out paperwork. With the right provider, you can gain better business oversight without putting a pencil to paper or a keystroke to Excel. Sales totals are calculated for you, plus you can create custom reports to see specific time periods and uncover trends in your organization.
Of course, keeping tabs on your hard-earned dollars is a necessity, but Merchant Account Providers can also give you peace of mind by providing more oversight of your staff, too. Certain providers offer sleek technology, like Virtual Terminals, that can account for each user’s activity and limit access, if necessary.
They prevent and screen for fraud.
It’s hard to constantly be on your toes when it comes to fraudulent transactions. Counterfeit and stolen credit cards are hard to spot nowadays, but Merchant Account Providers have preventative and screening technology to help weed them out.
Some processing technologies have security settings like AVS and CVV that can be required for card-not-present transactions, which are typically riskier than in-person transactions. They also can recognize bounced checks faster than traditional deposits and provide detailed reasons why.
You can grow your business.
Merchant Account Providers expand your business’s payment acceptance options to not only credit cards, but also ACH e-checks and NFC payments like Apple Pay. This opens the door to more consumers that prefer a variety of payment methods.
Providers also enable your business to make sales remotely or online, while maintaining a secure transaction environment for you and your customers. A plus? Most Merchant Account Providers offer free tools to help expand your business safely.
Remote signature capture is a highly useful tool for businesses taking card-not-present transactions. It allows for a business to capture a signature verifying the purchase despite the customer being remote. Some providers also offer hosted checkout, which allows your business to quickly build an online store and accept payments on a secure webpage hosted by the provider.
Remember, your provider can – and should – do more than just process credit card transactions for your business. If you aren’t getting more than that from your current provider, it may be time to consider new options. Don’t miss out on these resources, use Merchant Account Providers to their maximum potential and benefit your business.
Does your current provider help your business in any of the ways listed above? Tell us about it below!
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in July 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.