As a business owner, life is full of choices. It begins with the choice of what type of business to open. Then you must decide if you want to start your own business or buy a franchise. Then, how do you wish to form your business? And the list goes on and on. Some choices are less choices as they are conceding to the necessity of the product or service. Merchant services is this type of choice. Yes, you can choose not to accept any type of credit cards, however, in today’s world that is only hurting your own business. However, there are choices when choosing your merchant services that start with the company with whom you work and continue through the type of credit and debit cards you agree to accept. The benefit of these choices is that nothing is written in stone and everything is negotiable.
Choosing Your Merchant Services Provider
Merchant services providers are in business to make money. As with any other business necessity, accepting merchant services are not free. There is a fee that must be paid to the merchant services provider as well as the credit card companies of the cards you agree to accept. However, fees are always negotiable, especially when it is the difference of having your thousands of dollars of business a month.
Therefore, you must choose a merchant services provider who understands the art of negotiation. Your provider should be willing to detail every fee and expectation, in writing. If this is not something offered by your provider, move on to one who works in this manner. It is impossible to negotiate when you do not know the terms which you are negotiating. Discuss all of your options with your intended provider, as well as any business partners you may have and even your accountant to make sure you are addressing all of your concerns before singing any contract. Any merchant services provider who intends to hide information from you from the initial setup of the service will always hide information and is not negotiating under the same terms you are.
Never Settle for Less
Once you find a merchant services provider that is willing to help your business flourish, it is time to negotiate fees with the credit card companies. Credit card companies are also in business to make money. While they make some money from the interest their consumers pay on balances carried, the true profit comes from the fees charged to merchants when cards are accepted. As a result, many merchants will choose not to accept certain cards over others. Kroger Supermarkets made the bold choice to only accept one type of credit card to achieve the ultimate negotiating power. While this is not recommended for smaller merchants, the truth is, credit card companies want your business, and are willing to negotiate for it.
In order to obtain the best rates from the credit card companies, it is best to request your merchant services advocate negotiate on your behalf. This does not mean you must hire another trusted advisor. You already have when you agreed to work with your merchant services provider. Your provider should be your advocate to help you negotiate with the credit card companies for the best possible rates. He or she knows the business and how it works. As a result, he or she will be able to help broker and agreement that is beneficial for all.