Why every business should have a payments professional/provider.
By Tami Bream
In today’s world, acceptance of electronic payments (merchant processing) has become one of the most significant business functions, while remaining the least understood and confusing.
A payments professional/provider should be part of your trusted business team and provide a level of professional service to the same degree as your lawyer, CPA or insurance broker. Payments professionals/providers should have experience in the payments industry along with fundamental business knowledge. Most importantly, they should respect that they have a fiduciary duty.
While many businesses take a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude with their processing, having a trusted payments professional/provider can positively impact an owner’s bottom line in several ways.
What can an effective qualified person do for the business?
- The professional/provider can help streamline the flow of electronic funds, in some cases increasing sales by expanding avenues to accept payments.
- Introduce new technologies such as Point of Sale (POS) systems to lower costs of handling funds.
- Analyze and optimize pricing/rates for the business type.
- Be the business’s advocate, especially when deposits are missing or have been held by the bank.
- Provide guidance to “win” more charge-backs.
- Know the PCI DSS (security standards) and educate the business on how to prevent fraud or at least mitigate it.
What is the top skill required of a payments professional/provider?
- Effective support of a business is the most important skill a payments professional/provider can provide.
- Great support should offer live humans answering the phone without having to navigate endless menus or being directed to YouTube videos or online chats for resolution.
- Being available 24/7 with a response time within 24 hours.
- Knowing there is a sense of urgency when a problem arises that impacts the business’s money and responding with that same sense of urgency.
- Under promising and over delivering in the support provided.
What tools should be in the payments professional/provider’s tool bag?
- Ability to scale payment acceptance for any size business by using Point of Sale (POS) systems, standalone terminals, cash registers, mobile, contactless, etc.
- Recommend to a business other avenues of revenue that are congruous, whether brick and mortar, e-commerce, mobile, etc.
- Navigate and remain current with the ever-changing Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express Card brand regulations.
- Help navigate acceptance of cryptocurrency and cash apps that are disrupting traditional banking.
- Improve your consumer’s payment experience.
- Respect the financial position of the business and do not sell equipment that is not needed.
- Provide individual payment terms whether purchase or lease.
Keeping all of these in mind, use a professional “to fix what ain’t broke” and put money back into your pocket.
Contactless, online and in-store payments
No business wants to lose a sale, which means you need to be able to transact anywhere, and you need to offer your customers a safe and secure way to do business with you. There are a number of payment systems that a payments professional/provider can present to you, and explain the benefits and fit for your business and industry. One of the most popular point-of-sale systems is the Clover system, an all-in-one management tool that takes care of business from accepting payments, to increasing sales to offering gift cards to managing inventory.
Tami Bream, COO, Equity Payment Merchant Service Provider. Equity Payment Merchant Services is South Carolina based, offering essential credit card payment solutions with fair pricing and fully transparent practices for businesses and individuals on Hilton Head Island.