Choosing the Best Processing Partner

Payment terminal

Checklist for Choosing a Payment Processing Services Partner

Choosing the right payment processing partner is a merchant services provider business’s most important decision. That partnership will lay the foundation for digital payments functionality for your clients. However, your partner’s payment processing services will be closely associated with your business and reflect your brand.

This partnership decision isn’t one you should take lightly, nor should you base it only on one factor. This checklist will help you thoroughly evaluate potential payment processing partners and help you find the best fit and position your business for the greatest success.

Margin on Payment Processing Services

You’re in business to make money. Any partnership you form should benefit your business and your partner’s financially. Your role shouldn’t only be an extension of the payment processing partner’s workforce. The company should value your partnership, compensate you fairly, and support you so that you can achieve the best success.

At a minimum, you want a fair split on processing fees; however, evaluate all sources of income, including bonuses and buyouts, and compare them to other companies in the industry. SPS, for example, offers an industry-leading 50x residual buyout.

Also, look at other terms of the agreement that the payment processing company offers, such as reasonable claw-back periods for repayment if a merchant decides not to go through with the contract. Additionally, insist on total transparency with the terms of your agreement, clarify any fine print, and don’t settle for less than what you need from the partnership.

Payment Processing Technology

Cash use is declining. Research by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco for its 2022 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice found that cash payments account for only 20% of all payments. But that’s not the whole story. Payments innovation continues at a rapid pace, and consumer behaviors and payment preferences are evolving. Ensure that the payment processing services you choose will give your clients the capabilities they need and that your partner’s technology can keep up with trends and consumer demands.

If your business focuses on providing merchant services to a specific vertical market or niche, ensure the partner you choose has experience providing payment processing services to the types of merchants you serve. A full-service restaurant will require different payment technology than an online retailer or a home repair company. Make sure your partner has expertise in your market.

Additionally, research whether your prospective partner’s payment technology is Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant and ask about security and compliance solutions to keep payment data and your client’s businesses secure.

The Company’s Channel-Focus

A payment processing company with a solid commitment to its channel will be the most beneficial partner for your business. In addition to considering margin, also look at other elements of the company’s channel program.

Partner program benefits that will help you successfully sell payment processing services start with professional training and support and include providing you with professional marketing assets. The best partners will also offer value-added services that give you an edge in the market, such as competitive quotes, flexible terms, 24-hour funding, and fast account setup.

Also, do your due diligence to understand how the payment processing company registers deals or divides its market to minimize competition from its own sales team or other partners.

Alignment with the Payment Processing Partner

This item on the checklist is specific to your business. For example, does your prospective payment processing partner have the same goals for your partnership?

Ensure you and your partners are on the same page with expectations for sales quotas, involvement in the sales process, and whether you’ll have a dedicated contact to reach out to when you need help.

Quality of Service and Support

You want a partner that provides your clients with excellent service and support, preferably U.S.-based support available around the clock. Your clients’ service technicians should address merchants with the same degree of respect and care that you do – and help you build long-lasting relationships.

Your prospective partner should be willing to answer questions and provide information. However, you may find more valuable information by talking to other partners and customers to get their impression of the company’s service.

The Payment Processing Partner’s Reputation

Before making a final decision about entering into a partnership, research the company’s history and brand reputation. Research the company online, read reviews and speak to your industry contacts to get their impressions of the company.

It’s essential to enter the partnership with your eyes wide open, and if you encounter a red flag, don’t proceed. Your business could be at stake.

The Benefits of a Payment Processing Services Provider That’s the Right Fit

When you carefully evaluate options and find the best fit for your company, you’ll lay the foundation for business growth. You’ll be able to provide your clients with the payment processing services they need – and grow your business with a healthy revenue stream. Your payment processing partner will also help you elevate your brand and reputation and develop your payments expertise.

Insist on a partnership that works. SPS can help.

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