When conducting due diligence of prospective merchant service providers there are a few things to bear in mind. Find out these five things and it could save you some pain later.
1. How much is the termination fee? You might find that there is no fee. However the majority of merchant service providers will charge a fee of between £150 and £200 for termination of the contract. Investigate how long it will be before the fee is no longer applicable. It may be when your fixed term contract ends it no longer has to be paid, however if a rolling contract comes into place when the term ends this may also include a termination fee.
2. What customer support is available? It may be that you never need customer support. If you do, you need adequate customer service and support there to resolve any issues. If you need to replace a terminal what do you do and how quickly can you get a replacement? What are the opening hours for account support? It is worth checking out some forums for this info as well as asking the merchant services provider. Try: UK Business Forums
3. If you offer an e-commerce solution, is the merchant account compatible with your online shopping cart? This is one of those things that you don’t want to find out after the event. In the majority of cases you will be fine but it’s worth verifying all the software will work together beforehand.
4. What pricing options are available? You will be charged per transaction (along with the other fees). Will the pricing structure be tiered or intercharge plus? Are there variable rates for card not present and online transactions and will these charges appear separately on your bill? Knowing these things will help you get the best deal and some billing options are more transparent to check charges are correct.
5. What are all the fees? It goes without saying that you should be aware of all the fees you will incur with your merchant account. Fees to ask about include activation fees, the minimum monthly service charge, costs per transaction and monthly terminal rental. If you are a seasonal operator are there any annual fees?
If you have any items to add which may help someone else out feel free to leave them in the comments.
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