5 Things to Look Out for When Choosing a Digital Payment Processor

Editorial Team

Choosing a Digital Payment Processor

Searching for the right payment processor can feel like an overwhelming chore when you’d rather be focused on growing your thriving business. But here’s the thing, choosing the wrong provider can end up costing you big time in expensive fees, security risks, and frustrated customers.

While you’re likely eager to just pick a processor and move on, making a rash decision could saddle you with an unreliable partner that hampers your success.

In this article, we will walk you through the top five most crucial factors to look for when evaluating payment processors. With the right intel, you can feel confident you’re choosing a payment partner that has your back and will enable you to grow and scale your business effectively.

What is a Payment Processor?

Let’s start by getting clear on what exactly a payment processor is. In simple terms, a payment processor is a company that handles the secure transfer of payments from customers to your business bank account.

When a customer pays for your products or services, the payment processor authorizes the transaction, makes sure the funds are available, completes the transfer, and deposits the money into your account. Essentially, it’s the middleman that facilitates the financial exchange.

The processor provides the technology to accept and process payments from credit cards, debit cards, online wallets – whatever digital payment methods you want to offer your customers. Accepting varied payment types is crucial to give customers options and boost sales.

5 Things to Look Out for When Choosing a Payment Processor

Now that you’ve got the gist of what payment processors do, let’s get into the nitty gritty of how to pick the right one for your unique business needs.

Step 1 – Fees and Pricing Structure

The first big factor to evaluate is the fees and pricing structure. Payment processing isn’t free – you’ll pay fees for each transaction. Interchange fees, assessment charges, monthly costs – it adds up. You want simple, transparent pricing without hidden surprises.

Check if pricing is tiered based on your volume too. Steer clear of complex fee structures that are hard to decipher. The right processor won’t nickel and dime you at every turn. Make sure you understand exactly what you’re paying for so excessive fees don’t eat into your revenue.

Step 2 – Data Security and Compliance

Next up is data security and compliance. Your customers’ sensitive financial information must be protected. Make sure any processor you consider is PCI-DSS compliant. This means they adhere to rigorous data security standards.

In addition, look for features like end-to-end encryption and tokenization that safeguard card details. Don’t leave data vulnerabilities up to chance. Do your homework to ensure they have all the security provisions in place. You and your customers will have peace of mind knowing their payments are securely processed.

Step 3 – Integration and Compatibility

Integration and compatibility should also factor into your decision making. Choose a processor that seamlessly integrates with your sales channels, POS system, accounting software, and other platforms you use to run your business. Look for one with APIs that allow easy connections and custom integrations. You will thank yourself for it later.

Make sure they support integration with the payment gateways and banks you want to work with too. You want to avoid cobbling together a clumsy patchwork of systems. Not only will that create a headache for you, but it could affect the customer experience when purchasing your products and services. The right payment provider should slot right into your tech stack, creating a unified infrastructure that optimizes operations.

Step 4 – Reliability and Uptime

Reliability and uptime is critical – you can’t afford transactions failing when you have customers waiting. Research the uptime track record and guarantees provided. Look for processors with redundancy measures and solid disaster recovery provisions in place. Read third-party reviews to get unbiased insight into real uptime experiences from existing users.

Anything less than 99% uptime is risky business. Because payment processing is at the core of your order fulfillment, it must perform consistently and smoothly day in and day out. Don’t take chances on providers with subpar reliability. Choose one with proven stability you can count on 24/7.

Step 5 – Customer Service and Support

Last but certainly not least, assess the level of customer service and support. Look for 24/7 assistance via phone, email and live chat. Check their response times and support ratings on review sites. Having knowledgeable reps available around the clock provides peace of mind. US-based support can also be beneficial for quick communication without hassles (if that’s where your business is based).

For the most part, how a processor handles your questions and concerns says a lot about how much they value customers. With this in mind, you want a partner who views your success as central to their mission rather than treating you as just another paying customer.

Final Word

Choosing a payment processor doesn’t have to be an aggravating process that drags on. By narrowing your search to providers that meet the five criteria we just covered, you can feel confident you’ve found a partner invested in your success.

Don’t settle for less than you and your customers deserve. Do your due diligence – it will pay off big time through long-term savings and smoother operations.

Above all, trust your judgment, weigh all these factors carefully, and go with the payment processor that best fits your business needs. With the right partner in place, you can get back to doing what you love – running and growing your business.