Today, the ability to process credit cards is essential for the success of any business, regardless of size. According to a Javelin study, approximately 66% of all in-store purchases are made with credit or debit cards–and that percentage is only expected to grow as more and more people move towards EMV and mobile payment solutions.
For so long, small businesses have been plagued with not being able to afford the charges associated with accepting credit cards, but today, there’s really no way around it. And while it may be tempting for small businesses to try to save a few bucks by not using a merchant service provider (MSP), it could end up costing you much more in chargebacks (and headaches!) in the long run.
Here’s a look at why your small business may benefit from utilizing the services provided by a MSP.
MSPs provide value added services, so businesses are not technically required to work with one. However, the benefits of working with an MSP often outweigh the costs. A few of the major advantages include:
- Keeping You Connected – Merchants can’t legally have a “direct” relationship with providers like Visa or MasterCard. That’s where MSPs come in handy. They help businesses stay connected with the credit card associations and help to keep communication flowing.
- Your Advocate Against Chargebacks – Most small businesses have to deal with chargebacks at some point or another, which can cause a lot of stress and lost profits. In the event of a chargeback, it’s critical for the business to react quickly. MSPs actively monitor account activity so that no wrongful chargebacks or errors slip through the cracks.
- Providing the Support You Need – Let’s be honest: Credit card processing can be really confusing. MSPs provide your business with the expertise and resources you need to navigate through the complex world of changing compliance rules and new technology.
MSPs come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important for your business to select one that’s a good fit for your business. Here are a few things to consider:
- Longevity – Over the years, MSPs have gotten a bad rap for being rather “slimy,” but they’re not all bad guys. One of the best ways to be sure you’re working with a reputable company is to take a look at how long they’ve been in business. Frequent “restructuring” isn’t a good sign in this business.
- Accessibility – The only time you’ll probably need to call your MSP is when you run into a problem that needs to be fixed ASAP. A great MSP will have 24/7 live customer service available to walk you through the most frustrating credit card processing challenges.
- Top-of-the-Line Technology – In today’s super speed world, you’re going to want to work with an MSP that stays up-to-date on the latest payment processing technologies, especially with the EMV transition around the corner.
At the end of the day, merchant services providers can make credit card processing a whole lot easier for small businesses. They’re able to save you money by proactively managing chargebacks and fees, and keep the lines of communication open between the credit card companies and the businesses. As your small business grows and your credit card processing needs expand, an MSP can be there every step of the way to ensure a stress-free payment experience for you and your customers.