As a specialty business, offering your clients a chance to make convenient payments is important. Providing options like credit card processing is essential, as most Americans prefer using this payment method.
Hence, you may need specialty merchant services to solve the issues of how to provide a convenient payment service for clients and still meet the needs of your business.
Whether you run an auto repair shop, golf course, beauty salon, spa parlor, or other service, getting your payment system right is vital for customer trust. This article offers relevant information on apopular option – credit cards – and how they can help you scale your business.
We will start with the basics, which means introducing you to the concept of specialty stores. This will help you know if your business falls in this category.
Specialty stores are businesses that offer specialized services or unique products without a merchant card acceptor code (MCC). Companies that fall under the specialty category have particular needs. Top examples of specialty businesses include:
For a number of stores that satisfy customers with special needs, there’s a need to have a payment solution that allows them to provide multiple payment methods. Besides, since the number of customers can be lower than other businesses, it’s essential to match modern payment tools that make purchases convenient.
Security is also a key issue for most American businesses. With the increasing number of businesses that fall victim to cyberattacks, protecting customers’ financial information is a modern priority.
With the right specialty merchant services, it is possible to find payment processing that takes care of your business needs. Not only that, but having a specialty merchant services provider allows you to exceed your customers’ expectations.
Among the several specialty merchant services that are beneficial are diverse payment methods like debit cards, NFC contactless payments, gift cards, and credit cards. However, with more Americans settling for credit cards, we will base our discussion on why this payment method should be a part of your business.
Using credit cards for payments may sound convenient for customers, but it is a tad complicated for you as a business owner.
There are two sides to specialty credit card processing; one part is your customer and their issuing bank. On the other side, you, as the merchant, and your bank receive payment. The transaction needs to pass through the credit card network, while the payment processor is responsible as the middleman.
So, while your customers view the payments as a button tap and get a confirmation in seconds, it’s a different scenario on the backend. Here are the stakeholders involved:
Reputable processors like PaymentUSA help you to manage merchants’ transactions with banks and credit card networks. Besides serving as a middleman, we also offer software and hardware components to ensure merchants receive payments comfortably.
Provides services and/or products to support secure and diverse payment methods.
Covers the merchant’s account and receives payments from credit card transactions.
The customer’s bank which issues credit cards and authorizes or declines transaction requests.
The cardholder requests the special product or service and presents a credit card to complete payment.
For specialty businesses, credit card processing takes place in three basic steps – authorization, settlement, and funding. Authorization goes like this:
Here’s how the settlement and funding phases work:
Such payments take up to three business days. However, with experienced payment service providers like PaymentUSA, this process takes just 24 hours – after which, merchants can access the funds in their accounts.
Since specialty businesses are divided into walk-in stores and online e-commerce sites, the mode of payment differs. This also determines the tools that the specialty merchant services provider offers. After setting up a system, overseeing the operations and maintenance is fairly straightforward.
Receiving specialty credit card payments can happen in several ways:
As a small business, a particular concern may be receiving payments online. Whichever option you settle for, offering customers the ability to settle for convenient payment options, like a credit card, helps build your branding and sales.
For this to work, you’ll need a payment gateway. Again, you don’t have to worry about this. With the right specialty merchant services, finding the right plan is not difficult. You’ll also need a digital store, which you can do by signing up on an eCommerce platform.
Remember that there are fees for these options. Discussing your choices with your specialty merchant services provider is essential so you know what you’re paying for.
You don’t need much for an in-store credit card payment tool. Simple hardware like a card reader that connects to a smartphone, a device with particular features for this, like a virtual terminal, or a POS system. Your customer only needs to swipe or tap their card, and the details travel via an encrypted payment gateway to the payment processor.
Specialty credit card fees include services like the hardware or online tools you use and the fees of the different parties involved. Usually, charges range between 1.5% to 3.5% for a single transaction.
Some standard fees come with specialty merchant services, including the following.
The interchange fees come from the card networks and are received by the issuing bank. They constitute the largest share of the transaction charges and are usually non-negotiable.
The assessment fees go to the card network. Usually, this payment is also included in the interchange fees. Again, they are non-negotiable.
This is reserved for the payment processor, which mediates as the middleman between all the stakeholders. This is negotiable and varies from one processor to another.
Depending on which payment processor you choose, there may be additional fees. For instance, some providers charge an extra fee for PCI DSS compliance, and others do not. This is why taking the time to select the right specialty merchant services provider is essential.
Regarding specialty businesses, meeting your customers’ expectations is critical. This includes providing an airtight payment system that stands the test of time. For this, you need the right specialty merchant services provider. Here’s what to look out for.
Having access to technical support anytime you need it is essential to your business’s survival. Simple and swift payments drive up a business’s reputation, and you can make all the difference with a top provider that has your back 24/7.
When checking out the provider, confirm if support is available, when it is active, and if there is a fee. Besides just finding out if it is available, confirming the modes you can use to reach an agent is essential. Confirm if they also guide your business on the perfect payment solution.
As a specialty business, your customers’ information safety should be a priority. A data breach of your business can bring dire consequences. This is why you should look for a merchant service provider that provides guidance on PCI DSS compliance.
Check out what security programs are in place and what is involved. Is there monitoring provided to the merchants and reporting to prevent security breaches? Is there training on common payment issues and how to combat them? These questions are necessary, especially if you’re looking to avoid lawsuits in the future.
Specialty merchant services providers create a contract to protect you and your establishment. Before putting your pen to paper though, there are questions you should answer.
Find out the contract period, especially if it is suggested you sign a multi-year agreement. Are there termination fees if you decide to switch providers? What are the processing fees, and is there room for negotiation? As a small business, sales may not be stable, and you’ll need a provider that considers this and offers you flexibility.
It’s important to take time and read through the fine print. If there are clauses you do not understand, ask questions!
Your business has unique needs, so you can’t find the best specialty merchant services provider without experience. Getting suggestions from third-party references is essential to help you make an informed decision.
Searching for a provider with a proven success record with other merchants with specialty businesses is a great idea. Then you can be sure that you have a merchant services provider that has your best interests at heart
At PaymentUSA, we ensure that you have access to the best specialty merchant services that cover your business’s needs. Do you operate in a specialty market? That’s no problem. We have a number of solutions to help you provide your customers with secure and fast payment options.
If you’re looking for answers to questions, book a consultation with our representatives today. Let’s get you clarification on what you need to get started.