3 things to consider when switching card machine providers

If you’ve been locked in with the same card machine provider for several months, or even years, and aren’t happy with certain elements of the service, you’re within your rights to look elsewhere. Perhaps the monthly fees have amounted to a lot more than you were expecting, or maybe your current company has been lacking in the customer service department?

Whatever the reason, if you’re struggling, switching card machine providers can help your business make the most of card payments, as well as offer impressive, easy-to-use card machines that will delight your customers and help boost your profits.

But switching card machine providers can be a scary move for businesses that are used to a specific way of working and it presents numerous variables that need some clarification before making the move. If this all sounds familiar, keep reading – you may find the following useful.

What to consider when switching card machine provider

1. Involved fees

As any experienced business owner knows, to accept card payments, businesses need to pay the merchant and card company in question several fees. While many of these fees are unavoidable, it is important to take notice of precisely how much merchants and vendors are charging businesses before accepting a new contract.

If these figures aren’t clear on the vendor’s website, it is important to have a lengthy conversation with them and get everything out on the table – so you have complete clarity on how much you will be charged each month and aren’t hit with any unexpected hidden fees. Sadly, this is commonplace and many businesses end up paying more than they expect to accept card payments through certain vendors.

For example, transaction fees (the money you’ll pay the vendor to accept card payments per transaction) can vary between vendors. Then, there’s how much you’ll be paying to rent your new card machines (if you opt to rent – you also have the option to purchase them outright). But this is barely scratching the surface.

For the best and clearest answers, always speak with your new vendor directly and request information on precisely how much you’ll be paying per month, so you can compare vendors and make a decision that matches your needs and budget.

2. Customer service

Like all technologies, card machines can run into trouble from time to time. They may begin stagnating when accepting card payments, or fail entirely. When this happens, your first port of call will be the customer service department of your chosen card vendor. Unfortunately, not all customer service departments are given the same dedication or resources which, in turn, will affect your ability to serve your customers well in a time of crisis. Effective customer service agents, who can solve technical issues quickly and effectively, will help you continue to serve your customers well and reap the rewards.

Before aligning with a new card machine vendor, it pays to put some time into researching their reviews on sites like Google or Trustpilot. These reviews will offer some insight into the quality of products you’ll receive but also into the level of customer service you’ll receive. Companies with impressive customer service agents often benefit from very high customer scores in large volumes – if you’re looking for a new card machine provider, these companies are a great place to start.

With this in mind, it is important to note that, according to data from Hubspot, 68% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for products and services from a brand known to offer good customer service. So if you find a certain card machine vendor with excellent customer service reviews is slightly more expensive than a competitor, it may be worth paying the extra to side with the service that appears to be more reliable.

3. Modern payment methods

While chip and pin may have been the main way to accept credit and debit card payments, today, 9 out of 10 retail card payments are made with contactless, according to Lloyds Bank. Meaning the question is no longer whether businesses should accept contactless payments – it is why they don’t if they aren’t already.

But beyond contactless – which has been widely used for over a decade now – a newer payment method has emerged in recent years that stands to take over as the dominant payment form in the years to come – digital wallet payments. These payments allow users to link their bank account details to an app on their mobile device (most often a smartphone, but smartwatches are also used) and simply tap their phone to a contactless card machine, rather than their bank card.

While most contactless card machines and vendors can accept payments from digital wallets easily (they use the exact same technology as contactless card payments) you should double-check that a new provider can cater to this need, as the payment method is rising rapidly among the masses. According to research firm Juniper Research, the number of people using contactless mobile payments with digital wallets is expected to surpass 1 billion globally by 2024, meaning a huge percentage of retail shoppers will be utilising this technology daily.

It is also worth checking whether or not such payment methods carry fees that differ from payments made via traditional credit and debit cards. If your businesses will experience more contactless mobile payments in the coming years, you want to secure the most affordable deal possible for this specific payment method.

Choose a reliable and reputable card machine vendor for your business

If you’re considering switching card machine providers, by focusing on the above points – and using a little time, research and common sense – you will be able to find a card machine provider who can offer the machines and services you need at an affordable price, while also offering a good level of customer service you can rely on when trouble emerges.