When it comes to choosing a merchant processor to handle your small business transactions, the decision can be confusing.
Not all merchant account providers are created equal. If you search for a list, you will see names such as: PayPal,
2checkout.com, ProPay, Authorize.net, and Cardservice International (now FDIS) (Of course). All of
these companies can provide you with credit card processing, but which one is right for you? Continue reading for a comparison.
Merchant Account Providers Comparison
If you have been searching the internet for a list of merchant account providers, you will not find one that is reliable or that does not sell positions. The only way for you to determine a trustworthy list of top merchant account providers is to create one yourself. The rest of this page is dedicated to helping you understand what is important when making your comparison.
What is the difference between PayPal and a regular Merchant Account?
PayPal is referred to as a 3rd party payment processor. This means that PayPal uses their Merchant Account, and will process your credit
card transactions for a fee slightly more than what they are paying. Last we checked, paypal charges 2.9% + $.30 per transaction Vs. our
charge of 2.39% + $.25 per transaction (Cards swiped with a terminal have a lower rate with us of 1.69% + $.20 per transaction). One of
the advantages to PayPal is that there are no credit checks, no monthly minimums, no monthly service fees, no contract, and their shopping cart is free. For a small business venture who is just staring out, this is an attractive cost-effective method of conducting online
business. Currently there are other processors such as ProPay and 2checkout.com which are based along this same concept; however some
competitors charge setup or monthly fees in addition to per transaction fees that can run as much as 5%. You must also consider how 3rd
party processing looks to your customer.
Some things to beware of if you use PayPal. In exchange for the freedoms from contract periods and monthly fees,
you are consenting to process your transactions through a Merchant Account that does not belong to you. This becomes important when you are dealing with issues of charge backs or fraudulent transactions. At some point a fraudulent purchase may be made from your website. PayPal’s Terms of Service agreement gives them unrestricted rights to freeze and remove all funds from your PayPal and checking accounts
in the event of a dispute or fraudulent transaction. Your best bet is to read the entire agreement cover to cover and be prepared to ask
questions if you are uncomfortable with anything listed.
With a traditional merchant account from Cardservice International (now FDIS), you
have total control over your bank account and how transactions are conducted.
Do you want to accept Visa®, MasterCard®, Discover® and American Express® or perhaps just Visa® and MasterCard®?
hat is your monthly budget for card processing fees?
Are you comfortable paying signup or annual fees?
Would you prefer to apply online, via mail or fax?
Consider a handful of merchants who meet your initial criteria:
Create a spread sheet to track merchant fees and assess your overall costs at zero transactions and 100 transactions.
Assess the merchant:
Are they available to answer your questions promptly?
What is their track record?
What do customers say about their service and support?
Are there any "hidden" fees? These may be listed in the merchant contract but not provided up-front and online for
Do they require a contracted commitment...1, 2, or 3 years?
How do they handle charge backs and fraud?
Investigate Fraud Detection Services:
Request information from the merchant processor on methods which reduce fraud and charge backs. These may be security measures such as
Address Verification Service (AVS) or Credit Verification Value (CVV).
Call the toll-free number and speak to a customer service representative about any contract/fee concerns or
questions you have. It's better to inquire about all fees now than to find out on your next monthly bank statement!
Read the ENTIRE Merchant contract.This means cover to cover! The full details are sometimes buried in the very fine print. These contracts can be intimidating; go slow and highlight areas which may be of concern.
Merchant Accounts generally require a credit check. Be picky about which companies you allow to access your
personal and business information.
The decision to allow "offline" payments is an important option.
Not all customers will be open to paying online. There are many who feel that it is not safe to place personal credit card information on
the Internet, and no amount of security or encryption notices will convince them otherwise. Does that mean you simply cannot do business
with them? Absolutely not! Cardservice International (now FDIS) is uniquely setup to accept "offline" payments?
The main idea behind selecting a good merchant processor is to assess your needs closely prior to selecting a merchant and read the fine
print to be sure you completely understand your commitments as a merchant. This ensures that you are equally matched with a merchant
processor and hopefully starts your business relationship off on the right foot.
You will have a good experience when you do business with Cardservice International (now FDIS). As you can see from our website, we make
every effort possible to encourage you to contact us and ask questions. On the left side of every page you see a "Quick E-Mail Answers"
form and a live chat button. At the bottom of each page you see an option to e-mail a question and at the top of every page you will
see our toll free phone number.
We are totally confident that there is no competition when it comes to credit card processing. Our contracts are fair and honest. We
encourage you to ask questions and examine every little detail along the way. We look forward to talking (and working) with you.
*All claims and offers made on this website are made by the WBS agent office and not by Cardservice
International. Please contact the WBS independent Agent Office at: (801) 794-3275 for details concerning all offers made on this website.
*All equipment offers are being made by Western Business Services (WBS). Restrictions apply. Call for details.*
Copyright Western Business Services 2013
All Rights Reserved. All trademarks, service marks and trade names referenced in this material are the property of their respective owners. First Data Independent Sales (FDIS) is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, CA. American Express requires separate approval. FDIS Agent #16560 is an independent agent for FDIS.