Let’s face it. No matter how much a business owner realizes the benefits of accepting credit cards, none of them are happy to pay the fees!



It can be quite tempting to look for a new credit card processor, whether it’s a new relationship or if you’ve been with the same processor for several years. What a processor says they can save a business today is not always the case later, not to mention there are many other factors a business should consider when selecting a processor. The first thing we highly recommend is using Google to search for reviews and ratings on the processor you are considering (for example, “XYZ Processor Reviews”).



Secondly, just like you would have a job applicant answer questions, you should have a processor answer some too. Lucky for you, we have done the work! Here are the questions you must ask your credit card processor to make sure you’re making the right choice. Don’t worry if you don’t understand what all the terms mean – your processor will know (or they should!).



If they can’t give you a good answer for each of these, take your business elsewhere!



You can always send them directly to this link as well if that’s easier! As always, we are here for you as a resource and have no problem filling one of these out for you too!



Basic Information Questions:


1. What is the name of your company?

2. What is the name and title of the sales rep who contacted me?

3. How long have they worked for you?

4. What is their direct phone number?

5. What is their email address?



Customer Service Questions:


1. Are you local? Can you provide local service if needed?

2. Do you provide continuing education for your customers?

3. How will you help me stay PCI compliant?

4. Are you able to help me with P.O.S. over authorizations, truncation requirements, PA DSS compliance, or any other issues that may arise?

5. How will you help me get up to speed with EMV technology?

6. How will you help me if I have a chargeback?

7. What is your company’s tech support phone number? Are they available 24/7?

8. Is your call center outsourced? Where are they located?

9. If there is an issue settling the daily transactions, can you recover my transactions remotely?



Pricing Questions: What Do You Charge For…



1. Transactions made by swiping a physical card?

2. Transactions made by keying in card data manually?

3. Rewards 1 transactions?

4. Rewards 2 transactions?

5. Transactions made with signature cards?

6. Transactions made with regulated debit cards?

7. Transactions made with unregulated debit cards?

8. Transactions made with small ticket debit cards?

9. Transaction fees?

10. PCI compliance fees?

11. PCI non-compliance fees? How will you help me avoid these?

12. Annual PCI fees?

13. Any other annual fees?

14. Statement fees?

15. Batch fees?

16. Setup/application/installation fees?

17. Terminal fees?

18. Chargeback fees?

19. Retrieval fees?

20. American Express fees?

21. If you use interchange-plus pricing, what is your current rate structure?



“What’s in It for Me?” Questions:


1. What are my monthly savings?

2. What profit margin do you plan to make on my business?

3. How long are my rates guaranteed not to change?

4. How long is your contract?

5. What is your cancellation fee?

6. What is your cancellation process?

7. What is your funding timeline?

8. Will you refund the interchange fees on refunds?

9. When do you debit your fees? Daily, monthly, or both?

10. Do I have a choice in when my fees can be debited?

11. Do you have an online portal? If so, what are the fees to use it?

12. Are all card types settled and deposited by your company, including American Express?



Equipment & Software Questions:


1. Will I need to lease or purchase new equipment? If so, please describe any costs.

2. What are the return and warranty policies for any new equipment?

3. Do you offer mobile solutions? If so, what are the costs?

4. Do you offer any virtual terminals? If so, what are the costs?

5. Do you offer any QuickBooks integration? If so, what are the costs?

6. Do you offer ecommerce? If so, what are the costs?

7. What is my backup plan in case my terminal goes down?



Miscellaneous Questions:


1. What are your chargeback and arbitration processes?

2. How does your company handle rate increases and decreases from V/MC/Discover/Amex?

3. Do you offer gift cards? If so, what are the costs?

4. Do you offer any check services? If so, what are the costs?

5. Can you provide sample copies of two consecutive monthly statements based on my SIC code?

6. Can you provide five local merchant references?

7. Can you provide a copy of your proposal in writing as well as the complete application and terms and conditions of your merchant agreement?



Remember, if your processor balks at answering these questions or doesn’t give you the answers you’re looking for, start looking for a different provider. As always, we’re here to help. Give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. We’d be happy to explain everything!


PS – Make sure you know how to read your monthly credit card statement! Here’s how.



PPS – If you’re not totally sure how the whole credit card transaction process works, check this out.