What is a Merchant Services Provider?
Your Merchant Services Provider is a vital partner that can help you operate and grow your business. They facilitate credit card processing and provide other important services for your business. Essential services offered by a merchant services provider include:
Accepting payments from your customers via credit, debit, and electronic payments allowing for seamless transactions.
Securely managing PCI compliance when processing and storing payment information for your business, making your customer data safe.
Providing your business with technology to track payments, understand business data, and collect outstanding invoices.
What Is a Merchant?
“Merchant” is a term used by payment processors to refer to their customers. Customers, or merchants, are businesses that accept credit card payments from their clients in-person, online, or over the phone. A Merchant Services Provider offers products and systems to help those businesses run smoothly.
These products and services often integrate with the business tools you already have. For instance, your payment provider may connect to a POS system for your retail store or to your QuickBooks Online for reconciliation. Merchant Service Providers can also provide customer management, inventory systems, and payment reporting.
How Does Merchant Services Work?
A Merchant Services Provider functions as the intermediary between banks, your business, and your customers. This allows you to confidently accept your customers’ preferred form of payment. With a Merchant Services Provider, you can depend on this payment arriving securely in your bank account.
When a customer swipes a card, the Merchant Services Provider moves the customer’s funds to your bank account. The funds will typically appear in your bank account within 48 hours. Many businesses do qualify for next-day funding and can get paid even faster.
Your Merchant Services Provider is where you will purchase or rent credit card terminals and mobile swipers. If you have an online business, they will seamlessly integrate with your eCommerce store. Virtual terminals let you accept payments online or key in payments over the phone. Your Merchant Services Provider will help you find the right payment processing services for your business.
Payment Security is vital for businesses processing credit card transactions, online payments, and maintaining card number storage. There can potentially be a lot of risks involved when accepting payments today. According to one report, almost $25 billion was lost to credit card fraud in 2020. Through Payment Security, a Merchant Service Provider can help you and your clients conduct business transactions safely and securely.
Your Merchant Services Provider can help you ensure PCI compliance. This means that cardholder data stored by your business, including names and card numbers, is secure. Businesses can be proactive in protecting data by using strong passwords and updating their antivirus software regularly.
Meanwhile, your Merchant Services Provider will maintain PCI compliance on the payment end of your business. This includes tokenizing payment information and protecting your business by putting fraud prevention measures in place.
Which Merchant Service Provider Is Best?
Every cent counts towards improving your business operations. This is why finding the best merchant service provider is so important. If you need to grow your business and serve your target market, then you need to have proper merchant services in place. There are over 1000 payment processing companies in the U.S. Here are a few things to consider while choosing payment processing platforms for your business.
With all the changes occurring in the economy, it’s imperative to provide a myriad of payment options to your customers. Payment processing solutions such as mobile payments, virtual terminals, and touch-free or contactless payment solutions expand revenue generation opportunities and give your customers a more seamless experience.
In some cases, it also makes sense to partner with a company that offers payment services beyond credit cards. Payments types like ACH and Text2Pay are quickly gaining steam, so it makes sense to use a provider that supports these modes of payment. Merchant services providers like Diversified Payments offer a variety of products and services and can connect with many third party applications.
Be sure to vet the customer support offerings of a merchant services provider. Payment processing has several moving parts, and tech issues may arise. In these instances, you want a knowledgeable partner who has your back and can ensure that everything runs smoothly.
When selecting a provider, look into their customer service capabilities. Is support available 24/7? What platforms or channels can you use to access the info you need? What are other merchants saying?
The answers to these questions will help you gauge a provider’s reliability when it comes to customer support.