Searching for the right credit card processing deal in 2020 is not easy for any business. This is especially true for restaurants and food service businesses. Virtually every restaurant needs to accept credit and debit card payments because it’s often the most convenient payment method for your customers. It is also true that restaurants that don’t accept newer payment methods are losing out on customers.
It’s common knowledge that paying by credit card is more convenient for your customers, even if it’s more expensive for the business owner. Processors gain a small percentage with each sale and at times also charge monthly or even annual fees on top of that. But with a so many payment options, deciding which company to choose is difficult. Moreover, it can be impossible to keep track of which company is offering you the best deal. Especially if you’re only quoted a “teaser rate” that applies to one type of payment method.
You will also have to browse through the many card readers and hardware offers. You will unquestionably ask yourself if “free equipment” really means that it’s totally free? And, what does “free placement” include? Or the classic concern, is leasing equipment a good way of spreading out the cost?
Before you sign anything, consider these 3 major keys to finding the right merchant processor.
If you plan on accepting less than $36,000 a year, or $3,000 per month in credit card payments, a mobile credit card processing company (sometimes called a payment facilitator) that charges a flat rate and no monthly or annual fees is a good starting point. While the rate that you pay for each sale is higher, there are no regular fees, so your costs remain low. This is ideal for a small-scale operation with no real plans of growing. In contrast, if you process anything over $3,000 in sales each month, working with a full-service credit card processor that has lower rates may save you money, even though it charges regular fees.
Reliable Hardware Options
Standard processing equipment is becoming more affordable and buying it upfront can save you the headache of a leasing contract. An NFC-enabled, EMV-compliant terminal that lets you accept chip cards and NFC payments usually costs a few hundred dollars. Most EMV-compliant mobile card readers cost around $100. Leasing isn’t always a good idea because you may pay several times over what the equipment is worth, and at the end of the lease, you don’t own any of it. Also, the contracts cannot be cancelled, so if you sell or close your business and return the equipment, you’re still liable to pay for it until the end of the agreement. The best choice usually is an option that is easy to update, affordable to replace, and can work cross-platforms.
Support When you Need it Most
A merchant partner should provide a reliable system with support resources available around the clock. While some offer chat support or over the phone support, some may have technicians that can provide in-person support if requested. It’s important to choose the processor that provides support services that match your needs. The best choices usually have 24 hour support every single day of the year. Another way a processor can shine during a crisis is if their system doesn’t rely on an internet connection. Some systems can continue taking payments even if the power goes off. When power is restored, data syncs and payments are completed.
While choosing the right processor will never be easy, we hope that by following these 3 simple tips you can make the right decision for your business and its future.
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– Sam Lamba, CEO of Gong Cha USA