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6 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Merchant Processing Service

Need a merchant processing service to take credit card payments anywhere? Then be sure to avoid these six common mistakes!

5 min read

Being a local business owner doesn't mean you can forego using online payment methods. We find that roughly 59% of people are using mobile web browsers and apps to shop.

And a growing number of consumers are now using eWallets. These are online tools that allow customers to make a purchase online without inserting their credit card details.

It's even growing in popularity among local businesses.

If you're looking to take advantage of this trend, then it's best to find a merchant processing service that's right for you.

As you're searching around, be sure to avoid making the following mistakes.

Agreeing to a Merchant Processing Contract That's Restrictive

When you're new to the scene of payment gateways and online merchants, you'll feel forced into accepting deals that aren't all that great.

This is why it's crucial to do your due diligence. Browse through your available options and read the terms and conditions of each provider before signing a contract.

And once you do, be sure the merchant processing service is flexible. You need a gateway that's going to scale up as you grow and scale down when things get slow. It's also best to avoid limitations that prevent you from processing too many transactions per month.

You shouldn't be punished for having a great month!

Signing a Contract without Reading the Fine Print

You hear it all the time -- don't sign until you read the fine print of a contract. Not doing so could put you in a tight situation where you're stuck with a merchant processing service that's soul-sucking.

Some processors require long-term agreements and make it difficult and pricey to get out of them. This can become problematic if you're locked into a deal where you're restricted or being overcharged for fees you weren't aware of.

Don't expect sales agents to be upfront either -- they're called hidden fees for a reason!

So read the details of a contract to ensure you're not getting the short end of the stick.

Not Asking Enough (or the Right) Questions

When you're in the shopping phase of finding a merchant processing service, you need to speak to live salespeople to get your questions answered.

You'll need to find out the minute details regarding things like:

  • Transaction costs
  • Refund policies
  • Acceptable payment types (eWallets, credit card, etc.)
  • Cancellation fees for contract
  • Length of contract and what it takes to cancel
  • How long it takes to process payments (into your account)
  • What type of support is offered (24/7, live, online chat)
  • What fraud protection services are offered
  • Whether the payment system is PCI-compliant
  • What other fees will be charged

With the answers to these questions, you'll be able to make a sound decision about the merchant processor you want to do business with.

Choosing a Merchant Processing Service that's Not Cloud-Based

The merchant processing service you select should be based in the cloud.


Because it'll ensure you'll always have access to the service, no matter the device you use. For instance, some providers require you to use point-of-sale (POS) system terminals to process credit card payments.

This means you can only accept payments from a customer in person using their physical credit card. By opting for a cloud-based merchant, you'll be able to process payments from anywhere without the use of any equipment.

Your customers will be able to pay your business from their mobile device or desktop with their credit card details or eWallet.

Simple and convenient for everyone.

Selecting a Merchant Processing Service that Isn't Scalable

Local businesses face fluctuations in sales all the time. And if you're playing your cards right (using Google My Business and other local SEO methods), your company will witness growth.

When this happens, you don't want your merchant processing service to hold you back. Dealing with a processor with limits on how many transactions per month you can process isn't ideal.

You want a payment processor that'll allow you to collect as many payments as you need to in a given month. And you also don't want a merchant that'll require you to make a certain number of sales to be in good standing.

This is unnecessary stress and is unnatural for the ups and downs local businesses face in any given season.

merchant processing

Choosing a Merchant Processing Service that Requires Equipment

We touched on the idea of using a cloud-based merchant processing service because it helps you to avoid unnecessary equipment.

But why is this a bad thing?

Well, for one -- credit card terminals are outdated in today's digital commerce. It's great that you want to accept credit card payments from customers.

Why restrict yourself from doing so from anywhere? Depending on the type of business you have, you'll find that virtual payments are 10x more beneficial.

For instance, if you have a mobile catering service, you'll be able to accept bookings and deposits from clients online. Then you'll be able to process the final payment on your mobile device at the time you complete the service.

This flexibility is what makes virtual payment processors a must-have.

Finding the Best Merchant Processing Service for Your Local Business

Don't feel overwhelmed about finding the perfect merchant processing service. You may already have stumbled upon it.

contactless payment allows local business owners, mobile entrepreneurs, and other companies to accept credit cards anywhere. It's 100% cloud-based, secure, and comes with a flexible contract.

If you're ready to continue your education about payment processing, then download our free fact sheet today!

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