If you’re the person responsible for making sure you’re getting a good deal and service on your payment processing, you”ve probably wondered if the company you’re working with is being truthful. I’ve been around lots of payment processing companies and agents in my career, working for the largest firms in the industry, and I want to set a few things straight so you don’t have to worry if your credit card processing is with a good company.

Payment processing is no fun to talk about, but since it’s a necessary component to our businesses, we might as well know the truth about it.

Can I get an Amen? Hallelujah? Roger That? Shonuff?

The training in the payment processing industry is paltry to say the least and there isn’t much of a barrier to entry, which is why you get so many phone calls from people pressuring you to see your statements. This lack of professional training has lead to a proliferation of untruths designed to persuade merchants to make decisions that aren’t always in their best interest. Here are 3 untruths that you will likely hear when meeting with a merchant services agent trying to persuade you to work with him or her:

We Give You A Better Deal Because We Are A Direct Processor

When I worked for one of the largest direct payment processors in the United States, the sales training primarily focused on how working with a direct payment processor was the most efficient from a cost perspective. It makes sense right? Well, that’s what I believed too. The reality is, over 80% of your fees are being controlled by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, & American Express. The direct payment processor or it’s resellers have zero control over what you pay to these card brands.

The only portion of your bill payment processors have control over is what they earn on your account. What a payment processor, or resellers’, goals are as it relates to profit are different for every organization and can vary regardless of whether they are a direct payment processor or not. There are dozens of businesses I’ve met with over the past several years that were paying less than the businesses working with direct payment processors. What you pay depends on what your account manager sets your business up with and the integrity of the company you and your account manager rely on to honor that pricing.

We Have Better Security Because We Are A Direct Processor

Agents working for direct payment processors like to tell merchants that many of the data breaches seen on the news are the result of working with a reseller instead of a direct credit card processor. This is misleading as resellers are typically only deploying services on behalf of a direct processor and often rely on the direct processor to handle the encryption of the devices, leaving the security component to the direct processor. In fact, the largest breach in the history of the payment processing industry happened with a direct processor, so it’s a myth that working with a direct processor will ensure you won’t be breached.

Most of the direct processors have a data encryption solution that will protect your business from having a data breach. You should be able to have this deployed regardless of whether you are working with a direct payment processor or a reseller, also referred to as an Independent Sales Organization. If you’re wondering if your provider has this technology available, you can contact us or search for their solution via the PCI Security Standards Council.

You Get A Better Price When You Bundle Our Payroll Service or Point-Of-Sale

As the payment processing industry continues to evolve, more credit card processors will focus on offering more services to increase margins and compete in the hypercompetitive environment. This has lead to payment processors offering payroll, and recently, acquiring point-of-sale solutions. This can be considered a good thing for your business, but remember, more services delivered by the same hand isn’t always better.

I previously worked for a direct payment processor, and they offered payroll, gift cards, loyalty programs, loans, point-of-sale solutions, and I.T. managed services. The challenge we had with providing multiple services, was that they weren’t considered one of the best in their specific category and the payroll people calling on my accounts were required to charge as much as they could earn, not provide the best deal because they were already using the credit card processing. What I found was it was better to refer my clients to a local payroll or point of sale provider that was an ethical expert rather than offering an “average” add-on.

At the Northwest Advisory Group, we interview, screen, and select the best business solutions for you so you not only secure excellent pricing on your payment processing, but also help you secure time saving solutions for your business that are best in class; instead of mediocre.

I hope this article was beneficial to you. If you’re curious about whether your account manager made the right choice in setting you up with your merchant account or point-of-sale, feel free to download our mini-book on how to get the best merchant account for your business or contact us on our website.