Saturday, June 9, 2012

What is the difference between credit card processing companies and sales agents?

Merchants need to know who they are dealing with when they select a merchant services credit card processing provider. It is more than simply selecting a vendor for another service that you need in order to operate your business. A good processor will help you optimize your sales cycle so that the costs associated with card acceptance are as low as they can possibly be. By optimizing I mean implementing a set of best practices that will ensure compliance with Visa and MasterCard regulations. These regulations were put in place to ensure that payments are processed securely and that consumers have a positive transaction experience.

Credit card processing companies are directly registered with the Associations (Visa and MasterCard) and have gone through an extensive selection process. They are allowed to sign up sales agents to represent them. Keep in mind that agents cannot advertise themselves as providers of credit card processing service, only entities authorized by the Associations can. Usually sales agents offer credit card payment processing as a complementary service to their main offering and are not very familiar with the service.

With that in mind, if you are looking for a large or small business merchant accounts provider, be sure to thoroughly examine each prospects' credentials. If they are a direct credit card processing service provider, they will have the name of their processing bank listed in the footer of every one of their web pages. An example you will find on our website and it reads as follows:

© 2008, UniBul Merchant Services LLC.
UniBul Merchant Services LLC is a registered ISO/MSP of JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.

I would recommend that you confine your search to registered processors. They are in the best position to provide the expertise that you will need to get the most out of your credit card processing account. Whether it is a virtual solution, a physical terminal or an old-fashioned manual credit card processing service, you will need your processing partner's help with and risk chargeback management, online reporting, additional products, such as gift cards, cash advance programs and a lot more. So, once you compose the list of prospects and after you receive their pricing proposals, it would be a good idea to call the ones who offered the lowest rates and evaluate first hand how their customer service handles inquiries and what their level of expertise is.

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