5 Important Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Payment Processing Company

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Choosing the right payment processor is crucial to the success of your business. Many sellers want to keep costs for running their business low, but not at the expense of efficiency or protection.

We understand that you have several options to choose from when it comes to payments. Whether you’re just starting out or looking at making a switch, you’ll need a framework to compare how each processor stacks up (hint: it’s about more than just processing fees). Consider the following questions when evaluating the total cost and value of different payment providers:

1) Are there any hidden fees in addition to payment processing?

Check the fine print for any fees on top of your standard processing rate. For some providers, fees can be charged regardless of your usage, including off-season months. Some of the most common fees to look out for are monthly fees, statement fees, gateway fees, authorization fees and batch fees. With Square you know exactly what you pay and you get paid fast.

2) Is there a long term contractual agreement with penalties for early termination?

Things change, we get it. Although Square doesn’t have any long term contracts or monthly fees for processing payments on its standard point of sale, some providers do. Be sure that you are comfortable with the long-term commitment before signing.

3) What type of support does your merchant service provide for data security and is there an associated cost?

If you accept credit card payments from your customers, you have to follow security standards that ensure you’re protecting your customers’ private data (like the name and billing address associated with the card). These standards are also referred to as “PCI compliance,” and require you to use up-to-date security technology and establish data handling policies for your business.

To stay compliant, you have to pay thousands of dollars to have a PCI auditor verify your safeguards. If you’re ever found to be non-compliant, you can face fines of up to $100,000. Square provides full PCI compliance for its merchants, but some processors charge expensive “regulatory” or “security” fees for PCI compliance, while only satisfying a portion of your requirements. You should make sure you’re not still on the hook.

At Square, we help you protect your business so you can focus on your next sale. That’s why Square Secure is included for free with every Square account and provides the support to help your business thrive.

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4) Is access to customer support there when you need it?

We work hard to make our products intuitive and reliable. But just in case you have an issue we provide complimentary live phone, email and web support. Unfortunately, for some providers access to support may be limited and/or cost extra so it is important to evaluate how comfortable you are troubleshooting on your own.

5) How much will I be charged and what is the experience like if my customer files a dispute with their bank?

Square is one of the only major payment providers that doesn’t charge chargeback fees. Additionally, Square will handle the process of managing your documentation and challenging the dispute with the bank for free. Most payment processors not only charge a non-refundable fee ranging from $10 to $25 the moment a customer initiates the chargeback but also expects you to spend hours on the phone with banks to pull together and submit the right kinds of documentation to challenge the dispute.

If you sell with Square, you can rest a little easier about chargebacks. We cover all eligible chargebacks, up to $250 a month—free. Learn more about Square’s Chargeback Protection.

We often get the question “what is included in my Square processing fee?”, the answer is all of the above + more at no additional cost to you. Learn more about Square Payments.

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