3 Ways the Right Merchant Services Help You Keep a Positive Cash Flow

NY Merchant Services concept. Young startup entrepreneur small business owner working at home, packaging and delivery situation.

Merchant services play a large role in your business. They help you collect revenue, but they also impact your expenses. Find the right company that doesn’t disrupt your cash flow.

1. Reliable services let you know future merchant service rates.

Every business needs a forecasted budget. A great deal of effort in the business world is focused on how to record and predict revenue. But expenses are just as important. Fixed expenses are the best type of expenses for a business, but merchant services don’t fall under that category. The total grows along with your revenue, and additional fees can add up.

So make sure you merchant services provider is as transparent as possible. You need to know the rates down to the last decimal point, and they need to be numbers you can rely on without having to anticipate surprise rate changes.

2. You get the money in your account faster.

Different merchant services have different processes. Some companies send you back the funds after a few days, and it can take even longer for purchases that were processed after their office hours. Look for a merchant service that offers tight turnaround for purchases during work hours, late at night, and on the weekends. If your company has bills you need to pay, you need to have the cash on hand to do it.

3. You don’t receive unexpected chargebacks.

Credit card companies protect their customers, not merchants and stores. That means customers have an increasing number of ways to get their money back after a credit card purchase. Sometimes it’s a legitimate return, and other times it’s a sincere complaint about an unwanted charge. But sometimes it’s less than honest. No matter what the motivation behind the chargeback, you need to know about it so you can respond quickly. Chargebacks are becoming more frequent, and they can quickly eat into your cash flow.

Go to BAMS to find merchant services that are predictable, process funds quickly, and keep you updated.

Don’t Have Dangerous Gaps in PCI Compliance

Stack of multicolored credit cards close-up view with selective focus.

When you’re looking for a payment processing site so you can make personal online transactions, you might just use the first thing you come across. But when it comes to your business, you want to back up your choice with some research. Different payment processing tools, like PayPal, Stripe, and BAMS, offer a wide array of benefits and supplemental features. The most important thing for your business, however, is PCI compliance.

How does PCI compliance apply to your business?

PCI DSS, or the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a list of standards for securing payment processing details. If your company even touches payment information, whether you’re storing the information or just accepting, processing, or transmitting it, then you’re responsible for maintaining a secure environment for that data. That’s why more and more companies are using third-party providers to handle payment processing. If payments are routed through another site entirely, your liabilities are limited.

How do you know which processing service provides the best PCI compliance?

The best way to know which service is for you is to start studying your own business. How do you usually get paid? Online stores will have a lot of individual transactions. Subscription service providers, whether they provide online services or something physical like landscaping, may have automatic payments. If your company provides freelance services, you may need to invoice clients for monthly services or varying amounts.

Once you know how your company sends requests for payment and receives payment, start looking for exceptions. Stripe, for example, doesn’t have an inbuilt invoicing tool so you will need to check your additional third-party services for PCI compliance. PayPal does offer more PCI compliance, but only at certain levels of subscription.

Most e-commerce payment processing platforms are all but required to have PCI compliance, but your company may be liable for any gaps. So look for those gaps before finalizing your choice. Browse our blog for more ways to choose the best platform for your business.

3 Ways Payment Processing Reports Can Help Your Marketing Team

Payment Processing reports. Numbers graph

Marketing strategies rely on having information. You need to know as much about your prospective customers as possible so you can reach out to them effectively. A lot of that information comes from your website traffic. What your visitors do, how they interact with the site, and what items they buy form a large part of your understanding. But the information you can gather through Google Analytics and lead generation isn’t the end of your information-gathering abilities. Payment processing reports can tell you a lot about your customers and your store. Here are some tips:

What three things can you learn from your payment processing reports?

1. What’s the average sales total?

It’s not just enough to know how much money your store is making every day or each month. It’s also important to know how much each customer is spending each time they come into your store. This gives you a lot of information about buyer behavior. Unless your store is specifically designed for small frequent purchases, like a convenience store, then larger purchases are better. Reports can let you know if your marketing and store arrangement efforts are working.

2. Which credit card types are your customers using?

Credit card type also tells you a lot about different customer personas or hypothetical characters built around the standard behaviors and interests of your target markets. But card types also matter based on the agreements you have for different types of merchant services. If you have a lot of transactions through one card type, you can negotiate for a lower percentage. If you have few transactions through credit cards, you can decide if a surcharge for small payments is right for your company.

3. How many transactions are happening at different terminals?

Different terminals at your store get different amounts of traffic. This data can let you know if one point of sale is too out of the way or is left unmanned. It can also let you know when the primary terminal is too busy and your store needs a new arrangement.

For more ways to use payment processing reports, go to BAMS.