Access to quick funds mean flexibility for business owners. However, trying to juggle multiple accounts and cards can be a real pain. This is why many merchants choose to open a merchant account with the bank they already do business with. If you can trust them with personal finances, logically speaking you should be able to trust them with your business credit card processing, right? Maybe, maybe not.
Many merchants are drawn to companies like Bank of America and Wells Fargo because they promise next-day funding and value-added services. The added convenience of having all accounts in one place adds to the attractiveness of this offer. What merchants often fail to realize, however, is that this convenience is accompanied with higher cost.
According to merchantmaverick.com, “It often feels like banks that offer merchant services (three we’re specifically interested in are Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Chase Paymentech) get into the game solely to keep customers and obtain more of their business. And that doesn’t always equate to industry-leading practices or the best deals for merchants.”
In addition to the convenience of centralized accounts, banks often offer value-added services to merchant account holders. These services include: dispute managers, payroll and scheduling services, POS systems, e-commerce support and payment gateways, virtual terminal, mobile processing, loans and lines of credit, etc. But here’s what merchants often don’t know: none of the services listed above are bank-exclusives. These value-added services can be found with any decent credit card processor.
Many merchants also are unaware of who is really doing the busy work behind their contract. For example, while Chase processes payments directly for its clients, Wells Fargo and Bank of America do not; they process through First Data. While this is pretty common, as a business owner, you really need to be aware of who you are really choosing, and whether or not they are willing to go the distance for you.
So, is the Bank Your Best Option for Credit Card Processing?
The best thing you can do for your business is to stay informed about the payments industry. Banks are not necessarily your best option when it comes to securing a merchant account; it is neither the most convenient, nor the best suited option for your business. You can actually find the same services your bank is offering you – in some cases, even more – from a different payment processor.
Consider EMerchantBroker, for example. Even merchants that struggle to secure a merchant account due to being categorized as “high risk” with banks can obtain high risk credit card processing. Merchants also have access to our industry leading business funding options and electronic check processing (iCheck) services. Through partnerships with Verifi and Ethoca, we also offer merchants the very best in chargeback prevention and protection programs. In addition, funds are deposited into a business’ merchant account in as little as 2-3 days.
The moral of the story: research all of your options before you apply for a merchant account with your bank. You may find better services and options elsewhere. Go ahead and hear what your bank has to say, but then do your research. Consider your alternatives, and secure the merchant account that best fits your business’ unique needs.