Top 5 Payment Processing Challenges for Small Businesses
By Kristen Gramigna
Making money is supposed to be enjoyable, but actually collecting that money isn’t always easy. In fact, the payment processing landscape can be confusing and expensive. There are so many vendors from which to choose. And within each service, there are often way too many options.
How do you make sense of it all?
Below are five of the biggest payment processing hurdles you’ll likely encounter — and how to overcome them.
1. Fraud Protection
Credit card fraud is on the rise worldwide. In the U.S. alone, fraudulent losses exceeded $8 billion in 2015. To fight this growing trend, trusted payment providers follow a set of data security guidelines published by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) to protect their clients.
However, PCI compliance isn’t enough — even if your payment processor follows the latest guidelines. That’s because thieves continue to develop ways to exploit secure payment environments.
Your processor can provide additional protection through security methods like:
- Point-to-point encryption (P2PE)
- Fraud management filters
With real-time protection in place, your business will have a much easier time remaining ahead of the curve.
2. Payment Integration
Many small businesses treat payment processing as an isolated component of their operations. As new transactions come in, these businesses must input the payment data in whatever tools and software they use.
However, all of this manual data entry is time-consuming. It’s also prone to human error.
But with the right set up, it’s possible to automate this entire process with payment integration solutions that can seamlessly sync incoming transactions with the accounting, CRM and other software platforms you currently use to run your business.
3. Omni-Channel Payments
You need the ability to capture sales — no matter where your customers are. Having a POS terminal is a great start, but …
- What if your brick-and-mortar business eventually goes online?
- What if you attend an off-site event like a conference or trade show?
Does your current payment provider support these scenarios? If not, you’ll likely miss out on sales at some time in the future.
- The right processor will support every merchant type, whether you’re:
- An online merchant who needs a secure payment gateway.
- A home-based freelancer who wants a virtual terminal.
- A retailer looking for an EMV credit card reader.
- A traveling salesperson who wants mobile payment processing.
By working with one processor for all of your payment processing needs, you reduce vendors and costs, while saving time reconciling transactions with centralized reporting.
4. Processing Fees
Not everyone views processing fees as a “challenge” — it’s simply the cost of doing business.
There is a lot of variance in processing fees and how they are calculated. Significant factors include type of business, type of card used, methods you use to accept payments, average transaction size, etc. In fact, many charges may be negotiable, and some are even avoidable.
This is why it’s crucial that you sit down with your provider and discuss how each fee actually works.
5. Payment Support
Transaction issues can crop up any time, even in the dead of night. So, is your payment processor available after business hours?
If not, it’s time to shop for another provider.
It’s important to have a processor that never leaves you hanging and is ready to help troubleshoot any problems you might be facing. Having accessible resources and video tutorials is also a plus.