If you want to get me on a rant, just start talking to me about the dishonest people in the credit card processing (CCP) industry. These individuals give all of us honest CCPs a bad name. So, if you’re in the market for a CCP, and whether you go with my company or not, I want to arm you with the information you need to tell a good CCP from ones that may be unethical. Here are the important factors that define the type of CCP you may be dealing with:

The Sales Rep

It all starts with the person trying to get you to sign on the dotted line. Choosing a CCP doesn’t require high-pressure sales tactics. Here’s how it should be done: The sales rep sits down with you, goes over the pricing and terms of the contract, and then asks for your business. There’s nothing high-pressure about it. A reputable CCP expects a businessperson to take their time to make a decision. Don’t be pressured into signing before you’re ready.

Customer Reviews

A simple Google search can save you a lot of time and headaches when choosing a CCP, and provide you with a wealth of information on the company. Check with the Better Business Bureau for the company’s rating and whether there are any complaints against them. I’m happy to say Swypit has an A+ rating with the BBB. While it’s not unusual for a company to have one or two complaints, they shouldn’t be excessive.

The Contract

I cannot state this emphatically enough – do not sign a contract until you have read the entire document. I’m talking about every single line. Not only that, but some companies may reference the terms and conditions in the contract, but only post them online. That should be a cause for concern, but you only find it by reading the contract thoroughly.

Be cautious if you get a visit from a representative telling you that you have to sign something in order to get a quote. Along those same lines, according to the Federal Trade Commission, some merchants have complained about receiving a visit from a “new” sales rep from your current CCP who claims they just need you to update paperwork or something similar. The paperwork could actually be a contract for a different CCP. If something like this happens to you ask for the person’s name and contact information, the call your CCP using a phone number you trust to verify whether the paperwork is legit.

Security & Support

A CCP needs to take both of these items seriously to be trustworthy. You run a lot of personal information through your CCP, so it’s imperative that they adhere to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard to manage payments. Also, verify the CCP employs a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and end-to-end encryption when relaying payment information.

A trustworthy CCP should be easy to contact if you have problems with your system. The best CCPs provide 24-hr customer support to ensure your business runs smoothly.

Be Informed

Choosing a CCP can be a difficult decision, but if you’re armed with the right information, you can choose a CCP that you can feel confident has your best interests at heart.