How to Pick the Right Credit Card Processor for Your Business Type

by on July 12, 2012

Small business credit card processingThis is a guest post from David Rodwell of

Small business owners are faced with a thousand small decisions, any one of which can have long-term financial consequences. Even something seemingly as straightforward and picking a credit card processor can be a decision that has a long-term financial impact. If you’re not careful, you’ll wind up using a service that costs you more than it should.

Follow these steps to choose the right credit card processor for your business type:

1. Understand how credit card processors see different business types.

There are a number of factors that credit card processors take into account when developing their fee and rate structures. The first factor has to do with the volume of credit card transactions your small business is likely to submit in a given month. If you’re going to have thousands of transactions, you’re going to have a different rate structure (and probably a different credit card processor) than if you have only a few dozen.

The second factor is closely related to the first. It has to do with the average amount of your credit card transactions. Companies that primarily handle transactions in the $5-$10 range have a very different profile than companies that primarily handle transactions in the $200-$500 range.

If your small business has many low-dollar transactions a month, you’re looking for a processor that provides a substantial rate discount for large numbers of transactions. Likewise, if your business has primarily high-dollar transactions then you want a company whose fees scale well up through the purchase price ranges.

2. Know what kinds of options you’ll need for accepting credit cards.

There are some credit card processors that are ideal for brick-and-mortar stores that will be swiping cards and collecting signatures. On the other hand, those processors might not be ideal for a company who will primarily be accepting online transactions.

Credit card processors can vary greatly in terms of the technology they offer, such as the capability to integrate seamlessly into your website or the ability to provide a point-of-sale terminal. You need to choose the company that offers the methods you need for acceptance, whether that’s as simple as a payment gateway that works well with your store software or whether it’s a whole suite of acceptance options.

3. Dig into the issue of reputation.

Some credit card processors – even some of the most popular – have a sordid past when it comes to customer service. There are horror stories of customers whose accounts have been frozen for as long as six months, effectively shutting that business down.

Do some research and see how others have felt about a credit card company before you jump in. You want one whose level of customer service will insure continual operation of your business. Social media is a great place to start your sleuthing.

Choosing the right credit card processor is critical. Follow these three steps and you’ll be better able to decide which option fits your business type.

David Rodwell is a seasoned writer in business and personal finance, taking a particular interest in payment processing. You can find more of his articles located at

Comments, likes and tweets are always appreciated! Did I mention that I LOVE your feedback?


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

BarryCrow July 26, 2012 at 1:42 am

Thank you for sharing this information. I find it very useful though I have never tried picking one.


Martina July 30, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Good to hear Barry! Thanks


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