3 Things You Should Consider When Choosing a Payment Processor

April 10, 2019

When choosing a payment processor there’s a few things most business owners will automatically look for: what are the monthly fees, what are the upfront fees, and how long will it take to deposit money into my account. But there are many factors that should go into choosing a payment processor above and beyond the fee structure. A payment processor is a partner you’ll have as your business grows and develops, and it’s important they’re ready for this responsibility.

Consider the following three questions, and how they could be important considerations you make when choosing a payment processor.

What are your terminal options?

Above anything else, when most people think payment processing, they think payment terminals. Having a payment terminal isn’t an option for businesses anymore, as debit and credit cards have overwhelmingly become the go-to payment type for Canadians. With this in mind, it’s important to choose a payment processor that offers a variety of terminals that can meet the needs of your business today and in the future.

Payment terminals come in a few distinct categories, and not all payment processors offer them all. These include:

  • Countertop terminals, also known as stand alone terminals, which are wired-in to a computer or point of sale device.
  • Short range terminals, which are mobile devices that can be used within a short range of their docking station to process a payment wirelessly.
  • Long range terminals, which are similar in design to their short-range counterpart, but can be used at a further distance from the docking station.
  • Mobile terminals, which are a unique terminal type that connect to a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet to process payments from almost anywhere.

It’s important to look into your future processors options, and know that there’s one or more terminal type that would work for your business. In addition, it’s important to have an understanding of the options you have for buying, leasing or renting a terminal. Some processors ask that you buy a terminal outright, while others offer rental and leasing options to give you the ability to upgrade your device. If you’re not sure which is the best option for you, read more about that here.

What software and integrations do you have access to?

Most businesses rely on a number of different software-types to keep the business operating smoothly – from a point of sale system to booking tools and even accounting software. And while one overarching software may not exist, the software combination you do put together should integrate with one another to make operations easy. Research a payment processors partnerships and integration model to make sure that your terminals can communicate seamlessly with your POS and any other important programs. This could make day-to-day operations significantly easier on you and your staff, and help during peak periods throughout the year like the holiday rush and tax season. 

What is the payment processors backstory?   

Payment processing is a relatively new industry, and it’s important to choose a company that has been able to make their mark on the industry in this short amount of time. Like many businesses, a company that is just starting out with inevitably go through trials and tribulations that an older company will have already put past them. For example, while a brand new company may be a completely independent, what will their future look like if bought out by a large competitor and their operations merge? If you’re looking for a long term partner, it’s important to consider their long term future as well.

Similar to this, read into the “about us” section most processors have on their websites and get to know the company better. Who owns the business? Do they have stakeholders? What experience does their executive team have in the financial industry? These considerations should instill confidence in you about their abilities to help you grow your business.

Have more questions about payment processing and how to pick the right processor for your business? Check out our articles Should you buy, lease, or rent your payment terminal and How to Choose the Right Payment Terminal For Your Business.


The information in this article is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be legal, business or other professional advice or an endorsement of any of the websites or services listed. 

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