Whether you have a small or medium business, you must provide many payment options to enhance the buying experience of your customers. In the end, this can mean a boost in sales and streamlined business processes.

If you have a brick and mortar store, you should rethink about accepting credit card payments. To accept credit cards, you need to choose a Merchant Account and purchase card payment machine. While this sounds complicated, the benefits of having credit card payments outweigh the trouble and the upfront costs.

Keep in mind that everything starts with a Merchant Account. By setting up a Merchant Account, it will enable you to accept, process and receive funds amassed from different card payments whether online or in-store. There are many Merchant Accounts you can consider but not all are created equal.

To narrow down your options, you have to ask the right questions. Here are some questions that can steer you to the right Merchant Account provider:

Do you offer customer support?

Most providers feature some level of customer support but you should consider a 24/7 support. This is important because issues can arise anytime and you do not want your customers to wait a long time just to settle the issue. It is not enough that customer support is 24/7. You should also look into the available communication platforms so you can reach them with ease.

How long have you been in this business?

It is recommended to check the track record of the Merchant Account provider before you settle. Remember that a provider with a solid reputation is a reliable one. As much as possible, you have to steer away from newcomers – no matter how enticing their offers may sound. Since this concerns payment, you should bank on their experience.

Do you process online transactions?

 When your business expands, you want the Merchant Account to remain because you are already used to it but if the provider does not offer the full range of processing services online, you will be forced to find another. Knowing this, it is better to look for a provider that will allow you to take your retail business online without the trouble of switching accounts.

Are the payment systems PCI-compliant?

A PCI-compliant Merchant Account provider means that they manage and secure credit card related personal data according to the set guidelines and standards. If you are looking for a solution, you must determine the provider’s compliance.

Do you have fraud protection services?

A data breach is common that is why you have to ensure that your customer data is protected at all times. The right Merchant Account provider will have different security methods to reduce the risk of compromising data. At the bare minimum, they should have encryption, tokenization and fraud management filters.

What is the contract length?

Finally, you can ask for the contract length. If you are just starting, it is ideal to choose a provider that has flexible packages. As soon as you feel comfortable, you can start to explore longer packages.