Owning and operating a successful business is more competitive now than ever before. E-commerce has added another level of competition where it once was only local area retailers competing for consumer dollars. This cut-throat environment has placed greater emphasis on management to have greater control over inventory, employees, overhead, and other aspects that allow businesses to operate in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible. In many cases, new technologies have made it easier to handle day-to-day operations. Many of these technologies are tied to the sales process, specifically the purchase transactions. Because of this there has been explosive growth in payment processing technologies in order to tie as much of the business as possible to the sales process. With payment processing at the forefront of business management, who merchants use to process payments with is incredibly important. So how does a merchant know when it’s time to switch their merchant service provider? Let’s explore.


Why Switch Payment Processors?

Merchant service providers charge you a discount rate plus other fees to utilize their payment processing services. Because they are taking a percentage of each transaction, you should perceive the relationship to be more like a partnership than a service provider. With many partnerships, each member brings something unique to the table that is perceived as a beneficial contribution to the success of the business. Your merchant service provider is no different in that they need to bring something to the table that benefits your business. Sometimes it’s something as simple as accepting your business model, billing model, product, service, or any combination of the aforementioned. Other times it needs to be one or more of the following reasons:


* Cost – The majority of decision makers will switch their merchant service provider if another provider can save them money. It doesn’t get more straight-forward that this. If you spend less you make more.


* Technology – It seems like new technology spawns on a daily basis. Some of these technologies are proprietary while others are available to the masses. In either case, your business may need the upgrades but your merchant services provider doesn’t offer them.


* Service – The number payment processing needs, issues, or circumstances that can arise whether they are technical or administrative knows no limit. A merchant service provider’s responsiveness can make a huge difference between profits and losses. There have been one too many stories that start with “What I would have paid to have the help when I needed it most”.


When Should You Switch Your Merchant Services?

Every merchant has different circumstances or reasoning as to when to make such a move. You have to do what is best for your business. Being able to cut costs in order to save or make more money is always a good reason to switch. Merchants that need new technology must first find it and then may need to time things out to best align with their objectives with minimal disruption to daily operations. Service issues need to be sought after in the same way as technology. The new merchant services provider needs to be interviewed in order to make sure they can meet your needs adequately. Otherwise, you can be stuck in the same place or worse with unfamiliar people.


Don’t let contracts hold you back either. You need to evaluate if the costs of a cancellation fee are worth sticking around. Your new service provider may have some helpful tips on how to get out of that contract without have to pay for the cancellation fee or may even help with offsetting those costs if it means adding your business to their portfolio.


Which Merchant Service Provider Is Best?

The best merchant service provider is the one who meets your needs. It’s that simple. Whether its cost, technology, service, or some other reason; you need a payment processor that can gives you what you need in order to make operating your business a more pleasant experience. Look for providers that cater to your industry. If it seems like everyone caters to your industry, then let it come down who can give you the most for the least. Or, whoever provides the best service. As long as the move you make benefits your business, you can’t lose.


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