1) Research, research
Spend time researching your preferred payment providers.
This doesn't mean just reading forums, comments, blogs
etc (these could have hidden agendas or be written by
unknowledgeable people) but also by speaking to companies
that use the PSP you are looking at. Check
testimonials and visit websites using
the payment company you are interested in. Even
contact the owner of the website that uses your preferred
company and learn about them that way.
2) Costs and fees
Yes getting a good a transaction rate is important
(what about reliability too?) however if someone promises
a rate less than what they are buying it at (Interchange
rate), you can be pretty sure that the payment company
are up to something. Like with us - all transaction
rates, fees and
other costs should be revealed upfront.
3) Recommendations and advice
If you ask any bank who has the best payment solution,
you can guarantee they will answer by saying "we
do". However when you ask a non bank owned merchant
account provider (like us) who they recommend, you will
get a different answer. An independent PSP often represents
numerous banks and should recommend a solution that’s
right for your business.
4) Integrations and customer management
Every payment provider offers a different customer
management system when it comes to the day to day running
of your online business. As this is how you run the
back-end of your business, it's a good idea to see what
each payment company offers and also how easy the systems
are to use. The same must be said for the different
integration methods and
shopping cart plug-ins.
5) Are they reliable?
We don't just mean their payment systems either (ours
have a 99.99% uptime record). Is their customer service
up to scratch? Do they have reliable UK based tech support,
and can you get through to someone every time? Do they
raise their rates very often (if at all)?
6) Don't fall for their sudden niceties
When it's time to leave your current provider and tell
them that you're leaving, they may offer you new and
exciting services and promotions. Ask yourself why now?
Why have they only told you about these when you are
7) Don't be blackmailed or held
Some companies may act difficult
when you decide to leave. Therefore get as much done
as you can before finally pulling the plug on your old
provider. Integrate your new gateway as soon as you
can and test, test and test again.
For the sake of paying 2 monthly
fees for a while it may be worth considering keeping
both payment systems up running together. That way,
once ready, you can simply switch over.