Four Questions To Ask When Switching Merchant Service Providers

In the world of Merchant Service Providers there is an overwhelming amount of options that can make your decision even tougher. With over a decade of experience in the payments industry, we have come up with a list of questions that will help you find the right choice for your business.

For Merchants

  1. Is Customer service handled in-house?

Customer service is important because it inspires customer loyalty. This, in turn, helps businesses grow. By providing great customer service, organizations can recover customer acquisition costs, retain talent, and foster brand loyalty. Don’t rely on a third party that knows nothing about your business to help you troubleshoot – choose a Merchant Service that handles customer service in-house to provide the best client care.

  1. How do you respond to card brand releases?

Twice a year card brands come out with releases that alert the sales offices and the acquirers that there will be increases in their rates. Some companies choose to absorb this increased cost, some choose to pass it on to the merchant and some take the opportunity to pass this fee along and increase other fees. By asking this question upfront you’re preventing surprises in the future.

  1. Ask for a sample merchant statement and explanation.

One of the best ways you can make an educated decision about choosing a new Merchant Service Provider is by asking for examples. Allow the providers to give you a first-hand look at what you and your customers will experience with that Provider.

  1. What level of real-time visibility do you have for your account

Most companies have a merchant portal that gives them access to sales, batch details, statements, and other details. What can you get from your merchant portal? Real-time information is invaluable.

For Referral Partners

  1. Are your buy rates on top of the ISO’s cost?

How do you know you are getting the lowest cost possible unless you ask?

At Salus, we pass through our cost to the merchant so there is no markup for referral partners.

  1. What is their level of comfort with high-risk merchants?

Referral partners tend to want to work with only one ISO. They may be strictly retail that go door-to-door selling in shopping centers; these are known as low-risk merchants. Every now and then they may come across someone who is a high risk, and it’s good to know what their experience and comfort is. 

  1. How far in the rears are your residuals paid?

Did you know that some ISO’s pay 2 months in arrears? Knowing when your commissions are coming in is crucial so you are able to plan ahead and forecast the budget easier.

  1. What does your agent support look like?

Do you have one person in charge of all partners or a whole team? How quickly can you get a response? Time is everything, and yours is valuable!

“When you are armed with these questions the ISO realizes that you know what you are talking about, allowing you to sound like an expert!” – Alexis Lichterman