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Merchant Accounts
   
When you are entrusting the collection of your funds to other parties, you need to make sure you will be getting excellent service before and after the sale. You should be aware that many discount house Merchant Account Providers are hiring low salary or commission sales reps who know very little about banking or credit card processing. In many cases these inexperienced sales reps are not properly trained to understand your business. You should be aware of fast talking sales reps that don't take the time to learn about your business. Here are some of the things you can look for to rate the provider's service before and after the sale.

Service Before the Sale

When shopping for your Merchant Account Provider, you want to find a sales rep who will be your advocate through the sales process and beyond. This means answering all your questions and advising you during the application process. You should expect a prompt, accurate and professional response to your questions within 24 hours. If the sales rep is not asking you questions to learn about your business, he is less likely to be your advocate during the application process (this is typical of discount houses with low salary sales reps). The application should be fully prepared by the sales rep and delivered to you quickly, by hand delivery, e-mail or fax. When you read the application there should be no surprises on start-up fees & recurring fees. After your application is submitted, the provider will do a background & credit check on your company. This could take a matter of hours or 1-2 days. During this time, you should be able to call for a status on your application approval. If you are not getting this typ of service before the sale, this is not a good sign.

Service After the Sale

After you go live, you need the ability the process orders at any time. Your Merchant Account Provider must have the staffing and expertise to quickly help you with any of the following transaction roadblocks:

Chargebacks

Funds Not Transferred To Your Account

Orders Put on Hold by the Processor's Bank

Gateway Server Down

In addition to helping you with roadblocks, here are eight other things you should look for to assure good service after the sale:

8 Key Indicators for Good Service After the Sale

1. 24x7 tech support, toll free, multi lingual

2. 100% Money Back Guarantee on upfront costs (if any)

3. Members in Good Standing with the Better Business Bureau

4. No High Pressure Sales Reps (not commission driven)

5. Sale Rep takes the time to fully learn & understand your business

6. Free lifetime software upgrades for fraud control

7. Ability to call Sales Rep as your advocate if you are not satisfied with tech support

8. New storefront and internet marketing Ideas.

It's in your best interest to test the customer service response before you sign up with the Merchant Account Provider. Try calling tech support on a Saturday and see how quickly they respond. If you are not confident with their expertise and responsiveness before you sign up, you need to keep on shopping.

ABOUT THIS GUIDE
About the Author
A Word About Our Membership Community
Frank Merchant knows how to get the best price
The Internet Marketplace
   
UNDERSTANDING IT ALL
What are the advantages (and disadvantages) of accepting credit cards for your business?
6 Benefits of Accepting Credit Cards
Disadvantages of Accepting Credit and Debit Cards
Who are the players? How does the money get in your bank account?
Credit Card Transactions Step By Step
Should I go visit my banker for my merchant account?
How can I tell if I will get good customer service?
Be on the Lookout for Deceptive Sales Practices
How to Avoid Your Money Being Held By Your Non-Cash Transaction Processing Company
Banking Terms You Need To Know
Benefits of Debit as a Payment Option
What You Need To Know About Leasing a Credit Card Terminal
Fraud Protection 101
Cardholder Security: Avoid Monthly Fees, Fines, and Penalties What Is PCI Compliance (PCI DSS)?
   
THE PROCESSES
Four Key Components to Conduct eCommerce Successfully: What They Are, and How They Work
Web Site
Your Merchant Account
Secure Payment Gateway / Payment Transaction Software
Shopping Cart and Catalog
Should I use a third party processor like PayPal?
   
ANALYZING IT ALL
Quick Summary of Costs
Detailed Summary of Setup Fees, Recurring Fees, and Risk Estimate
Total Risk Estimate (TRE)
Total Risk Estimate Worksheet (Low-Medium-High)
   
THE DETAILS
Are you being stung with "Non-Qual" fees for keyed orders?
Have You Ever Felt Betrayed By Your Credit Card Processing Company?
Your Customers' Credit Card Numbers at Risk
Visa: Heartland, RBS WorldPay no longer PCI compliant
PayPal
Marketing 101: Gift and Loyalty Smart Card Technology Ensures Customer Loyalty
Check Warranty and Check Acceptance Policies
How Can I Prevent Credit Card Fraud?
Identity Theft
Merchant Account Comparison Worksheet
Glossary
 
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