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4 questions you need to ask when choosing a merchant services provider

With customers now expecting businesses to have in-person payment options that offer alternatives to cash transactions, it’s more important than ever for businesses to have the right cashless payment solution to support their business.

Business owners and managers are seeing the benefits too, with the majority of BOI payment Acceptance (BOIPA) supported merchants claiming the general increase in cashless payments has made running their business easier. Accepting card payments is more secure / safer than having to handle cash, can make administrative tasks simpler and can be more cost effective, as well as making payments quicker and more seamless.

While the advantages for businesses taking card payments are clear, it can be difficult to choose a merchant services provider that best suits and will support your business. We’ve detailed 4 key questions you should consider if you’re new to cards or changing provider.


What payment solution best suits my business needs?

Your profession and business environment dictates the right type of card terminal for you. Whether you run a café, manage a retail store, own a taxi or operate a market stall, there is a card terminal option to compliment your business’ setting. Be sure to check with the merchant provider that the card terminal they offer matches your business needs.

All the best card terminals are supported by full encryption of your POS card payment terminals with continuous enhancement of security technologies, and are fully compliant with PCI (a set of minimum security requirements to help handle payment information securely). This is something you should check that comes as standard.

It’s important to also ensure that the card terminal can accept all major cards including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, UPI, JCB & Discover Global Network cards and are compliant with their scheme rules, as well as being compatible for contactless and digital wallet transactions with Google Pay and Apple Pay. This opens up your business to a world of opportunity by giving your customers the freedom to pay in the way that works best for them.


What will I be charged for?

It’s important to understand the terms and conditions attached to the agreement you enter with a payment provider and seek clarification on the how they charge based on your transactions.

While BOIPA prides itself on its transparent pricing and no hidden fees approach, other providers may include additional costs on top of the fee for your card terminal and monthly transactions like PCI. There could also be joining and authentication fees, as well as a potential minimal monthly fee added to the initial price you are quoted.

For new businesses or businesses new to accepting cards and unsure of what the value of their monthly card transactions will be, it can be costly to commit to inflexible contract terms that does not evolve as your business grows. Flat, pay per transaction percentage rates offered by some providers can become expensive as the volume of your card transactions increases over time. Partnering with a provider that will adapt to your business needs is crucial

BOIPA’s Ready Made bundle option offers this flexibility to change your plan as your business grows.

Do they guarantee next day settlement?

The average time it takes for your card transactions to be processed and lodged into your bank account is another key question you should ask a merchant services provider as, in some cases, this could take over 3 working days. Given that cash flow and finance has been consistently cited as a concern for businesses in our annual surveys, BOIPA guarantees next day settlement regardless of who you’re bank account is with, ensuring stable cash flow for your business.


What customer support do they offer?

The level of service, support, and maintenance can vary depending on your merchant services provider. While BOIPA, for example, offer in-person installation and maintenance support from an experienced field engineer as well as responsive customer support, not all providers offer this as standard. It’s important to query, if you need assistance, what a potential provider can offer your business as in-life support.

A provider offering 24/7 support can be crucial in ensuring you can concentrate on what you do best.

With customers now expecting all businesses to accept card or contactless payments, card terminals have become part of the furniture. While they offer a frictionless and invisible exchange for customers, the same should be true for business owners and their staff. Asking these questions before entering an agreement with a merchant services provider will help you avoid any unnecessary surprises and get you the support your business deserves.


Ready to start or switch? Put these questions to the test with our Sales Team today.


In good company. Take a look at how BOI Payment Acceptance has supported Irish businesses across a range of sectors.

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