Don’t Make These Payment Processing Mistakes

By Katie Sullivan of VentureApp

This originally appeared on the VentureApp blog.

Once you are in a position to make money, you have to figure out how to collect money. Payment processing is another item on your to-do list but making a hasty decision will only incur more time and potential costs down the road. We’ve counseled dozens of businesses now in regards to their payment options and in our own research and vetting of solutions & strategies, have come up with a list of potential mistakes that you do notwant to make.

If your gut feeling is to go with the cheapest solution, read on. Low costs upfront can cause headaches later if you’re not careful and considerate in your decisions.

Don’t be fooled on price
If you think you found the lowest rate, read the fine print. Qualified rates frequently only apply to specific card types. For example, your processor might alert you after the fact that you are processing business and reward cards considered non-qualified. Hidden fees can also accompany a withdrawal or batch processing. Sometimes a marketing or advertising tactic really can be good to be true, so dig into the details.

Don’t forget to ask for help
Some processors won’t provide the support or setup assistance that you likely need. When evaluating processors, determine if the setup is overly technical and whether you need assistance. Also, a processor that promises human support for any problems you’re having is really important.

Don’t alienate your customers
Omnichannel is not just a buzzword. Your customers are leveraging your services from multiple devices and want various options for payment. If they can’t find the payment option they want, they will abandon the purchase. Offer multiple forms of payment and you will satisfy a broader audience — it’s as simple as that.

Don’t neglect fraud protection and data security
In most cases, setting up your own fraud detection & protection system down the road is not on your wish list. Data privacy & security should be a top consideration when choosing the best processor for your business. What fraud services do they provide? Is your stored data encrypted? Are they PCI compliant? Do they flag transactions that look fishy? Do they help you out if fishy transactions go through? Make sure you have solid answers to these questions.

Don’t avoid EMV
If you are a small business/merchant, the executive order deadline for EMV is now behind us. Merchants are still lagging in migrating to EMV POS because it’s perceived as a hassle or costly. With chips creating unique codes with each transaction, hackers will be thwarted and fraud will naturally go down for card-present purchases. EMV is a solid safety consideration for small businesses, and the liability is shifted to them now that the deadline to switch has passed. For online businesses, more hacks and fraud will shift to online purchases. Inquire about any and all security options that are available to ecommerce transactions, such as such as tokenization.

Don’t forget about developer happiness.
Your developers have to put this technology in place so that it follows your customers’ expected user flow. Don’t introduce technology that makes their job incredibly difficult, or impossible. Ensure the API is RESTful, has great documentation, is reliable, and integrates well with various aspects of your site, such as user login, as part of your existing website design. The API should be mobile-friendly to capture customers in various channels.

Don’t forget about site performance.
It’s well known that a slowdown of one service that lives on your site (payment, site search, ad networks, etc.) can impact the performance for the entire site or app. You are entitled to know how they will rectify the situation should their service be the culprit for degraded performance. Ask the questions that will make you feel comfortable moving forward. Nothing is worse than lost traffic.

Most importantly, don’t forget to do your research. Or, have someone (like VentureApp) do it for you. Make sure the processor is used by companies like yours, in similar scenarios and for your typical customer use cases.

(We have a solid database of payment processors, some of which offer discounts to VentureApp members.)

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