What To Ask Credit Card Processors

Florence Carpenter

While credit card processors may appear identical on the surface, a closer look reveals that each processor has their own nuances. Therefore, if you're in the market for a new credit card processor, it's critical to consider all areas of your partnership, from processing terminals to security and monthly reporting. 

Employ a new credit card processor only after you’ve addressed these critical questions:

  1. Do you offer tokenization and EMV?
  2. How do you help with PCI compliance and fraud protection?
  3. Are statements and reporting transparent?
  4. Can I purchase terminals?
  5. Is a long-term contract available?

Payment is crucial for any business — whether big or small — and you should not hurry into a new payment processing partnership without carefully analyzing the facts. Let’s dive into why you should ask these questions below.

Do you offer tokenization and EMV?

EMV security chips advanced from relative obscurity to the industry’s standard for card-present transactions in the United States. So when selecting a new credit card processor, ensure that they support tokenized and chip-enabled transactions. 

How do you help with PCI compliance and fraud protection?

In addition to solutions like tokenization and EMV that safeguard your consumers against fraud, make sure your new payment processor can protect you against it as well. With that said, your payment processor should enable end-to-end encryption and full PCI compliance. 

Encryption stops criminals from viewing any data they may have intercepted when payment data travels via different payment networks. PCI is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which establishes baseline security standards for payment card transactions. 

Are statements and reporting transparent?

While payment processing entails many figures, reading your monthly statements should not feel as hard as reading a medical bill. All statements and reports should provide a breakdown of all payments processed and a breakdown of all fees to demonstrate how your charges were calculated. 

Can I purchase terminals?

If you operate a brick-and-mortar business and need to handle card-present payments, you will require a payment processing terminal. While some card readers are integrated into larger POS (point of sale) systems, it is frequently more cost-effective to maintain a dedicated terminal for card transactions. 

Certain payment processors may ask that you rent the terminal or pay a monthly lease fee for it. However, leading payment processors allow you to rent or own your preferred terminal. With this, the savings associated with owning your own terminals may accumulate over time.

Is a long-term contract available?

Certain payment service providers attempt to keep their consumers by tying them down to long-term contracts. Even a single year in a contract may be excessive. Your business's demands and the payment landscape as a whole may change, necessitating a shift away from your existing payment solution. You do not want to be tied to a processor that is unable to scale with your business. 

Have you been turned down by a credit card processor? Check out Processing Card’s blog to know what to do if credit processors turn you down.

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