How to find your perfect payment partner

Choosing a payment partner that fits your business is no simple task. With so many options out there, it’s not easy to find the right mix of features and terms at a suitable price.

Payment processing providers handle transactions between your customers’ cards and your bank account. For an e–commerce business, this functionality is vital for both day–to–day operations and long-term survivability, not to mention your customers’ experience of your website and service.

What every online business needs is a provider who can serve as a long–term partner, looking after you not just in the early stages, but also as your business grows and evolves. At Pin Payments, we’re experts in processing payments; here’s what we recommend looking for while searching for the right payment partner.

Study the contract terms and early termination fees

Did you know, some providers offer contracts that lock you in for 5 years? The decision you make today may be one you’re stuck with for a very long time.

Consider what might happen should you need to adapt to pivotal changes or disruptions in your industry and market, especially in a scenario where you may want to end your contract early. Before you sign, be sure to address the fees, penalties and termination clauses involved in the agreement.

Ideally, you would stick with a payment provider, not because you’re locked into a lengthy contract, but because they give you a positive experience and aid the growth of your business.

Assess the technology

E–commerce is a fast–paced discipline — you’ll need a payment system that can cater to your needs both today and in the future. Several major payment gateways were designed before smartphones and tablets, and — believe it or not — haven’t changed since.

If you want to offer a convenient and enjoyable shopping experience your customers will come back for, it’s important to find flexible and forward–facing technology support that can keep up with your developing platform.

Talk to the developer working on your payment processing. Their expertise and honest advice on a provider’s back–end can be what ultimately enables your competitive edge.

Demand excellent client support

Don’t settle for less when it comes to client support. Unexpected situations can arise at the most inopportune times, leading to downtime and loss of business if the matter can’t be resolved quickly. You could spend hours, or even days, working on problems that a payments expert could fix within minutes.

These are simple criteria for shortlisting payment providers — consider only the candidates who are always available to help, offering direct client support from a real person along with fast access to experts and technical specialists.

Consider currency options

Many payment providers in Australia only support AUD currency transactions. This is fine if you only ever sell within the country, but without international currency options, you may find it tricky to effectively advertise your products on the overseas market.

If you want to reach customers in their local currency, or if you’re considering a global expansion in the future, look for a payment partner who can accommodate broader currency needs. At the very least, ensure they have the flexibility to handle international transactions when you’re ready to make your move.

Weigh up the price (and the hidden costs)

It’s no secret - cost is a key decision-making factor when choosing a payment processor, particularly if you’re a fledgeling business that needs more time to realise sustainable bottom line. But don't fall into the trap of simply going for the lowest rate, as the true cost may be hidden in the fine print and additional fees.

Steer clear of the providers who charge a minimum monthly fee just for having an open account, or those who impose an exit fee when you need to upgrade to another provider. Look for a payment partner who’s interested in a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with you, who wants your business to succeed just as much as you do, and doesn’t charge extra for good service.

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