Are you serious about a retail store? Do you want to open one, or have opened it already? It means you must look for a merchant service provider to provide you merchant services. It is because the merchant services providers work as your gatekeepers between the payment cards and the cash register.

The relationship between a merchant service provider and you is also significant, because:

• They assist you in maintaining security standards

• They allow you to accept debit and credit cards

Who Is a Merchant Service Provider?

The Payment Card Industry has the authority over payment-related things all over the world. They set best practices and standards that service providers, merchants, card issuers, and banks have to follow. As per the PCI, the merchant services provider is not involved in the payment processing, payment brand, transmission, or storage of cardholder data for another entity. It also includes that the companies provide services to impact or control the cardholder data security.

To understand the merchant services provider role in a card transaction is to understand this process when the card transaction takes place and is in the process:

• A consumer initiates by inserting or swiping his credit or debit card transaction. He initiates it at a point of sale system at a merchant’s place.

• The transaction information includes the card number, amount, issuing bank details, etc. It is sent from the payment software of the merchant to their Merchant service provider.

• The merchant’s Merchant services provider sends the transaction details to the card association such as MasterCard, Discover, Visa, etc.

• The card association sends the information of the transaction to the consumer’s bank.

• The bank of the consumer checks the available funds, their limit of credit and then approves the transaction. The payment approval is sent to the card association.

• The card association approves the transaction with the MSP of the merchant.

• A merchant completes the issues and transaction with a purchase receipt.

The payment rendering that takes place between merchants and consumers happens automatically with payment approval. It takes place at the business day end or whenever the merchant closes their transactions, it may be daily, biweekly, or weekly.

The Merchant service provider is the key to complete the transactions of the merchants taking place. Even the retailers need the support and assistance of the merchant service provider, and so must select an appropriate merchant services provider.

How to select a merchant services provider?

It is important for merchants to partner with a reliable, trustworthy, and consistent merchant services provider. However, it is not a pick-and-choose scenario and sometimes it is not compatible with the pos system. 

There are a few best practices that the merchants or retailers can follow to ascertain they have the best MSP. Here are a few tips to follow to get the best Merchant Services Provider.

• Go to the selection process understanding what you require for your business. Only then you can find and match the merchant services provider as per the requirements.

• Understand the costs and fees associated with the merchant services provider. Some providers may push in some hike in rates after hitting certain sales figures. It will be like the more is your sales, the more you pay.

• Read reviews online and ask about the customer support for merchant services providers. What is the support that is written in the contract? Will there be additional costs? Bear in mind how you can troubleshoot the issues effectively on your own and how you should contact customer support.

• The MSPs variations make it ideal for retailers to consider POS multiple options if they plan to switch. Some POS system needs to work with one merchant services provider or some allow MSP partners. Even others are offering free reign to choose from.

By the day end, there is no need to sacrifice the functionality of the Point Of Sale, but assure to consider the services and fees type that the best merchant services provider offers.

At the end of the day, don’t sacrifice POS functionality just to get the ideal MSP, but be sure to consider what type of fees and services your MSP offers. Also, ensure they allow mobile credit card processing. It is a must as most people now prefer online shopping and pay online through their mobile or on the go. Thus, determining for your business the best system is essential before switching to any POS new system. Confirm the payment processors and the time it takes for payment to appear in your account.