5 Features your Payment Processor Should Offer
Your business plan is almost finished. You’ve identified the reasons your product or service stands out in the marketplace and the best way to sell it. As a business owner, you’re also considering the different payment solutions that make sense for your business and your customers. Your focus is on finding a solution that offers your customers the choice demanded by today’s marketplace while also considering your business’ innovation, efficiency and cost needs. If payment processing is not your core competency, consider looking for a provider of payment services to process payments for you.
Here’s a short guide on what to look for when deciding on the right payment processing company for your business.
We can all see the growing popularity of the use of electronic payments vs. check payments. Knowing this, make sure you choose a company that provides multiple payment options, allowing you to offer your product or service to customers looking for convenience and security when making payments, while keeping your own cost levels in mind.
- Direct Payment via ACH – Getting paid electronically via ACH gives companies quicker access to funds, as customer payments for purchases of goods or services are debited directly from their bank account. The ACH solution also allows companies to collect recurring payments, further automating the payment process. Best of all, fees associated with ACH payments are lower compared to credit card fees.
- Card Payments – Opening your own merchant account to process prepaid cards, debit cards and credit card payments can be a complex and time-consuming process. Choose a payment processing company that offers these payment options to eliminate the need for your own merchant account. When making that choice, it is very important to select one that follows PCI security standards.
Many of today’s innovative business models require the ability to create stored value accounts or reserve accounts for customers. Some businesses choose to store funds in their corporate account, but this option is fraught with regulatory risks. Customers also face the risk of completely losing their funds if the company becomes insolvent. Integrating with a bank to create individual customer accounts is an option. But, not all companies have the time or the financial resources for bank integration, and those who successfully integrate may become dependent on bank technology limitations, the banking system and legal/underwriting hoops potentially hindering future innovation.
A payment processing company that offers this service is a viable option. In addition to looking for a provider that is experienced in trust/reserve account management, make sure they also have the infrastructure to support your company’s need for the creation and management of these accounts.
Depending on your business model, you may also need a way to disburse or distribute payments. This could include payments to an affiliate, a vendor, a retail company, another business entity or a consumer. Some companies make do with manual disbursements, but that process soon becomes expensive and ineffective as the company grows. Look for a payment processing company that can offer an automated solution and provide a variety of ways to disburse these payments. The provider should be able to offer the following services:
- Disburse funds by ACH, check and wire transfer
- Split and transfer funds without the need for bank integration
- Flexibility in accommodating any complex disbursements
Regulations involving payments have changed significantly, requiring business owners to determine if their business falls in categories requiring additional licenses to enter the marketplace or even remain in business. Significant changes include state money transmitter license requirements, as well as requirements surrounding registration with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Obtaining and maintaining these licenses is an arduous, expensive and time-consuming process. This is time and money that should be spent growing your business. A practical option is to consider working with a payment processing company that is registered with FinCEN as a Money Services Business and has money transmitter licenses, allowing them to compliantly receive, store and disburse payments for companies and consumers all over the United States.
If you’re convinced that working with a provider of payment services is the best decision for your company, make sure your choice of payment processor also has the ability to honor the brand you’ve built and the relationship you’ve nurtured with your customers. Choose a payment processing company that can offer API integration capabilities that work with your existing platform so it remains in the background, allowing you to continue to be the brand and the company your customers know.
Many providers of payment services offer one or two of these capabilities. However, a single payment processing company that offers a compliant and comprehensive payment solution is the best partner you can have as you grow your company.
Contact us today to find out how we can get your business set up for our payment processing services.