All too often small business owners share their stories with us about situations where they’ve being overcharged and undeserved. They’re the most important parts of the community, but don’t get treated the way they should. Credit card processing companies often take advantage of small business owners by using scare tactics to pressure them into signing multi-year contracts, leasing equipment that isn’t necessary or right for their business, and giving them the “lowest rates” that get made up for and hidden in the fine print. We’ve even heard of situations where a credit card processing company has doctored up contracts and forged signatures.
The reason Gravity Payments exists is to eradicate these predatory practices by providing complete transparency, adding as much values as possible, doing business with integrity, and keeping prices low for our clients. We understand that every dollar counts.
Here are some tips on what to look out for when entering a relationship with a credit card processor:
- DO YOUR RESEARCH. Look up the credit card processor’s BBB score. If they have a terrible score, chances are there is a reason for it. You should ask other business owners you trust about what processors they are using and what they like or don’t like about them.
- NEVER LEASE A TERMINAL. It costs way more in the long run. You should either buy or rent the terminal.
- NEVER ACCEPT EQUIPMENT YOU DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR. Often times processors stop by and drop off extra equipment for you to use. Then they’ll charge you for the equipment you never agreed to it in their contract.
- ALWAYS REQUEST A COPY OF THE FINALIZED CONTRACT AT TIME OF SIGNING. This way you can avoid a processor adding on terms or forging signatures.
- LOOK OUT FOR “TOO-GOOD-TO-BE-TRUE” RATES. Often when a processor is offering a low rate, they’re adding on fees somewhere else.
- DON’T LET A PROCESSOR SCARE YOU INTO WORKING WITH THEM. A big scare tactic we’re hearing right now from our merchants is about the upcoming EMV liability switch. Other processors are trying to gain their business by saying they need to switch to EMV technology now otherwise they’ll be charged, or their equipment isn’t compliant, or their equipment is illegal. None of the above is true.
On October 2015, Visa/MC/Amex is switching liability over to the least-compliant party in a fraudulent transaction. If a business wasn’t EMV compliant at that time, the cost of fraud would now fall back on them. That’s still a few months away, but processors are trying to gain business with scare tactics and by trying to sell very expensive equipment. A SMB should do their research about topics like EMV to inform themselves and inform their decision. For more on EMV, check out this post.
Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions or concerns about entering into a relationship with a credit card processor. Please get in touch with us if you have any concerns about a situation you find yourself in with an existing processor. That’s what we’re here for!