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Understanding the Payment Industry is a tough task. Merchants are faced with confusing statements, hundreds of various payment processing fees, and numerous processing options offered by Merchant Service Providers, Payment Gateways, and other payment processing entities. The PAYMENTINSIDER provides articles, posts, and whitepapers on the Payment Industry, including this article, Who is the Best Merchant Services Provider?, with the goal of creating transparency in this marketplace.

Who is the Best Merchant Services Provider?

There is no single merchant service provider that can be considered the best. A merchant needs to evaluate several options, but before even researching merchant service providers, they should have a grasp on their specific needs and limitations, and understand the basics of merchant services.

A merchant who only needs to run a limited number of transactions through a virtual terminal or payment gateway may find a better fit with one merchant service provider versus the merchant that operates several brick and mortar storefronts with a tight integration to a custom point-of-sale system. The merchant service provider that is a good fit for the virtual terminal merchant may not be the best option for the storefront merchant.

Oftentimes, smaller merchant service providers or ISOs (Independent Sales Organizations, registered with an acquiring bank), will find a niche market or industry and target those merchants. These providers become familiar with the merchant’s industry and associated risk, as well as the overall needs of the merchant. Again, this provider may be a good fit for a merchant in that particular industry, but not elsewhere. That provider may not even be the best option within that particular industry.

Payment processing is complex. Not only must a merchant understand their own requirements for accepting credit card payments, but they often have to rely on a sales person eager for their business to look out for their best interests, in a confusing market. Most sales reps for merchant service providers are paid on commission – meaning the higher fees they charge you puts more money in their pocket. Competition for business is high though, working in the merchant’s favor, but the use of various account plan types and numerous fee types, make it tough for a merchant to really know if they’re getting the best deal. VeriProcess can help navigate the confusing payment industry. At VeriProcess, our focus is looking out for your best interests. We are not a merchant service provider or payment processor; we are a consultancy and advisory firm working on behalf of merchants.

When determining which merchant service provider is the best – for your business – you should consider:

  • Internal business requirements
  • Products, programs, and tools being offered by a merchant service provider
  • Ability to support your business
  • Merchant service account plan type
  • Merchant service provider fees – the fees above interchange and card association assessments

As requirements and needs will vary from one business to the next, there is no single merchant service provider that should be considered the best. Even within a reputable merchant service provider organization, sales tactics and pricing may vary from one rep to the next. Also, be very careful of websites that provide merchant service account reviews – these sites are usually either affiliated with a particular provider, or compensated in some manner for their reviews.

There are thousands of merchant service providers to choose from – with some effort, you can find the best merchant account for your business.


Payment Topic: Merchant Services
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