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5 Questions Merchants Should Ask Potential Payment Processors

merchant payment gateway

Online payment processing is not limited to accepting digital payments from customers. It involves much more, such as accelerating the payments, making them more secure, removing friction, and entering a cashless world. When handled properly, an online payment processor becomes a driving force for business success, removing friction and reducing headaches for customers and merchants alike. 

Businesses switching to the digital payment platform must carefully investigate and select a potential payment processor. It must address all business requirements and challenges to help accomplish goals and gain a competitive edge. While considering the switch, these are the five questions a merchant should ask a potential payment processor to get the maximum value.

1. What Are The Payment Methods They Support?

A business would never want to turn a customer away just because it does not accept the payment method they prefer. Everyone does not have a Visa card. Even if they do, they may not want to use it for a particular payment. Consumers may wish to use different payment methods depending on their available credit or rewards program. Some may want to use other methods or cards for personal and business expenses, etc. Therefore, rather than manipulating them to use the payment method offered, the better technique is to provide them with their preferred modes of payment.

Ask about the payment methods the processor supports. Also, look for ways to accept the options it doesn’t provide.

2. How Will They Protect The Business Against Fraud?

A robust merchant payment gateway with advanced security features is the best line of defence against fraud. A business might implement plenty of in-house fraud-prevention tactics. However, digital transactions have to run through the payment gateway, and it should be able to identify fraud immediately. 

Ask if the payment processor can detect fraud. If yes, how? The best payment gateway will use the latest technology, coupled with its expertise, to secure a company against fraudulent transactions. Otherwise, the business may get into trouble with hefty chargeback fees and credit card networks. Ensuring that the payment processor has the client’s back in this field is crucial.

3. How Soon Will They Release The Payment?

A customer swiping, clicking, or tapping the checkout button does not release the payment instantly. There are a lot of things happening behind the scenes. It may take a while before the funds reflect in the bank account. 

First, the payment goes through the approval process. The processor may approve or decline the transaction within seconds. However, the seller still needs to close the batch at the end of the day to get paid. Depending on the online payment processor, payment may take 24 to 72 hours to complete. If the processor takes more than that, it could be a problem. Ask about the processor’s payment cycle and enquire about the circumstances that may cause the payment to withhold.

4. What Are The Charges Involved?

Payment gateways are notorious for charging merchants with different charges, fees, and hidden costs. The merchant pays the processor for each transaction that the business processes. So, there is no reason why they have to pay anything else. Setup fees, installation charges, and other initiation fees are bogus, and the processor should not charge them. The payment processor who charges these is a red flag.

Once the setup is complete, the processor must not hit the merchant with a random one-off or recurring fees. Request transparency from the very beginning to avoid any unnecessary charges. Beware of other heavily-worded costs like authorisation fees, software fees, cancellation fees, discount rates, statement fees, PCI compliance fees, etc. 

5. Are There Any Processing /limits?

Some payment processors limit the merchant’s transaction volume. Enquire about these limits, as a small number is a red flag. The business may grow quickly, and the merchant should not be punished for doing good business. Processing limit is something a merchant must avoid at all costs. If the processor has these limits, ask how one can raise them significantly.

A merchant must ask dozens of questions before selecting an online payment processor. Ask some questions before signing up and others down the road. The questions mentioned above show how crucial having a conversation with the processor is and how it can impact the merchant. Clearing any doubts will make the business more manageable and save money on payment processing.

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