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Whether you’re just starting out as a business owner or have been doing this for years, the ability to accept credit cards is a must. That means that you’re going to need a credit card processor – but how can you be sure you’re choosing the right one for you? While there are lots of factors that go into choosing the right partner, these credit card processing basics will give you a solid foundation.

Know What You’re Paying and Why

Many credit card processors like to take advantage of unsuspecting business owners with hidden fees and rates that slowly creep up over time. Ask questions about your rate, and don’t accept vague answers about those little charges that start to really add up. Those are junk, and if your processor insists on charging them it’s time to shop around.

Know Your Worth

Although it may not always seem like it, your credit card processor is providing you with a service – you’re in charge here! One of the most important credit card processing basics to remember is that your business is important to your processor and that you deserve transparency, honesty, and respect. Your processor should treat you like an equal and focus on educating you about the credit card processing industry so you can make more informed decisions in the future. If they talk down to you or treat you like you’re nothing but a number, it’s time to move on.

Understand How Credit Card Processing Works

We wrote a great blog about the credit card processing process here. We encourage you to give it a read so you understand how money flows through the system, what factors can slow it down or make the process more expensive, and what role your credit card processor plays in all of this. We also encourage you to give your processor a Processor Polygraph. If they fail or refuse to answer these basic questions about how they do business, get out of there!

Never Sign a Contract

Contracts only serve to trap you in a bad situation once you’ve realized that the promises made by your sales rep are never coming true. Once processors have you hooked, they often disappear and leave you to fend for yourself when things go wrong. Remember one of the other credit card processing basics we discussed earlier – knowing your worth. You should always maintain your ability to walk away, and that’s a lot harder when you’re in a contract (but not impossible – read this).

Never Lease a Terminal

This is another way that credit card processors lock you into long-term deals that aren’t in your best interest. When you lease a terminal from your credit card processor, you end up paying double, triple, or even more that you would have paid had you purchased it outright. Plus, the credit card company ultimately owns that terminal – not you. This is a predatory trap that processors drag many unsuspecting business owners into – don’t be one of them.

Making Smart Decisions is Easy!

If all this has you stressed out about finding the right credit card processor, don’t be concerned. At 360 Payments, we understand the value of true partnership between business owners and their processors. We go out of our way to build and maintain those relationships so you can rest assured that we’re on your side. Give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. We’re ready to show you a different type of credit card processing experience.

PS – AVS can help reduce your credit card processing costs. Here’s how.

PPS – Wondering what credit card terminal is right for your business? Check out this guide.