Choosing a new credit card processor is a big decision. Before you make a final call, there are a few questions you absolutely must ask to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible for your business. Your processing company will be an active part of your business’s life, so make sure you do your due diligence. Here are the top three questions to ask before signing up.



What Are Your Fees?



You will of course want to know what you’ll be paying for your credit card processing, but it also helps to drill down a bit deeper and figure out what those fees are really for. Many processors hide high markups in their pricing structure, counting on the fact that most merchants don’t know much about the process and won’t think to ask questions. If you want to really sound in the know, ask your processor for interchange plus pricing. The interchange part of this kind of pricing structure is the part paid to Visa or American Express to process the transaction. The plus part is the markup the credit card processor puts on top and is how they make their money. If you ask your processor to separate out the interchange fees, you’ll be able to easily see how much money they are making off of your account.



Do I Have to Sign a Contract?



The last thing your business needs is another multi-year contract that locks you in and ties you down. When shopping around for a new processor, make sure you choose one with the shortest contract length possible – or none at all like 360 Payments. In our experience, processors with shorter contracts work harder for your business because they know they have to impress you to get you to stay. Agree to a two-year contract, and you’ll likely often find yourself forgotten and ignored. This can be a serious problem if something goes wrong and you need immediate help. Short or non-existent contracts also give you a chance to try out a new processor and make sure they will meet your needs, with no pressure to stick around if you don’t click.



What Can I Expect from Your Customer Service Department?



It’s important to know what level of support you can count on from your credit card processing partner before you actually need it. Speak to current customers if you can, and find out how happy they were with their support experiences. Look for a processor that lets you talk to a real person right away without complicated phone trees or hours of hold music. Support representatives must be knowledgeable, pleasant, and able to solve your problem the first time you call. Set high standards and stick to them. If you’re not completely pleased with the vibe you’re getting, look elsewhere. The time to figure out you’re not getting any help is well before it’s an emergency.



A Processor You Trust is Worth Every Penny



If you find a processor who gives you amazing answers to all three of these questions, hold on tight and never let them go! At 360 Payments, we think we stack up pretty darn well against the competition. Give us a call at 408-295-8360 or drop us a line on our website. We’d love to answer these three questions and any others you may have.



PS – Plan your best year yet with our five tips for 2018.



PPS – Give your customers a smooth payment process – learn how here.