That’s a question that looms for many a small business owner. Finding the best merchant service provider isn’t always easy. It would be worthwhile investing some time finding a provider that’s right for you. There’s a lot of misleading information out there, and some merchants end up rashly signing up with a provider just based on advertised fees, but there’s just a lot of unknown variables that could end up causing some trouble down the road. Before you start looking at price you should take a look what providers can offer you and how.
For you to be able to accept credit card payments you’ll need two things: a merchant account and a gateway. First the merchant account needs to be approved. The gateway is the software that links with financial institutions issuing the cards you’re using. Afterwards you’ll want to make sure you have remote credit card storage, recurring billing, and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. There are some providers out there that bundle all that and offer it in a package, while others only offer some of them in which case you’ll need to fill in the rest by looking to other venders. Try to limit the amount of venders you get because managing the relationships between them could get unwieldy.
Once you’ve picked out a few candidates start looking at price–but there’s another topic.