Growing pains are a part of doing business. As you get bigger, you may outgrow the systems and services that help you be successful. Your merchant payment processor is a perfect example. What you need from a payment processor changes over time as you expand. Having the wrong fit can cost you time and money. You need the flexibility to handle large payments as well numerous payments without delays. You also need adequate chargeback management and fraud protection. This four-question checklist can help you evaluate whether it's time to move on and what to do next.
Outgrowing your credit card processor typically means certain aspects of the product or service are hindering business growth or could be soon. Here are some common areas you may have outgrown.
When you first start making sales, variable payment structures or unclear rate agreements may not be that big of a deal. But as volume and profits increase, those rates may start to really hurt your bottom line. Have rates increased without explanation? Could you do better with a different processor?
Limited tech tools and payment methods could be slowing business growth without you realizing it. For example, flexible point of sale transactions, mobile terminals, and access to alternative payment methods may not be available with older processors. Are you be missing out on opportunities by not providing these options to customers?
Business growth and adaptability go hand in hand. Look at your business’s goals and projected growth over the next 1, 3, and 5 years. Do your credit card processor’s capabilities align with your plans for the business? Can it handle any adjustments or new services you plan to offer?
If you’re still unsure whether you’ve outgrown your credit card processor, asking a few more simple questions can help.
Does your credit card processor:
If your answer is “no” or “maybe” to some or all of these, your business likely needs a new credit card processing solution.
If it’s clear by now that you’ve outgrown your payment processor, the next step is to start looking for a vendor that can meet your needs.
As you research, ask questions like:
Switching credit card processors might be simple if you are using something like PayPal or Stripe. But can be more complicated if you have a signed agreement sheet contract with your current vendor. Your vendor may try to keep you from leaving, so make sure you really understand the terms of your agreement and penalties before letting them know you intend to switch.
Credit card processing services with contracts typically require a written document stating your desire to switch vendors. Line up the new services before your switch to ensure a seamless transition. Then, get the information you will need and make the call.