What to Know Before Getting Started
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Selecting a credit card processor is often more complicated than most people expect. How much should you be paying in fees? Should you lease or buy equipment? Should you be locked into a service agreement for anything length of time? These considerations and several others are imporant to understand before signing up with any merchant account provider. Mistakes are easily made and can be very costly to your business. Along with seeing our top choices for payment services below, be sure to checkout this post to avoid common traps in the merchant services industry.
Considerations For Current Business Owners
Changing merchant accounts can be an expensive, complicated, and time consuming process. Are you really going to save as much as promised? Do you need to buy to new equipment or sign new lease agreements? Will there be other less accountable costs such as those associated with employee retraining? Before selecting one of our choices below, you may want to consider renegotiating your fees with your current payment processing vendors using the help of a contingency-compensated consultant. It can result in a dramatic decrease in costs without the pains of switching. In some cases business owner have also obtained substantial refunds of prior overcharges along with saving thousands in future processing costs. See this post to learn more about this little-known alternative to changing merchant account provider.
To most of us, the pet supplies industry might seem relatively tame. To payment processors, though, it can be classified as extremely high risk—even to the point of turning away pet stores and suppliers who are interesting in accepting credit cards. There are a number of reasons why a pet supply store might be labeled high risk, including the nature of the pet supplies sold, whether they are sold online or in-person, and whether the store sells live animals in addition to pet food and pet toys. Generally speaking, a business that conducts most of its transactions over the Internet or that sells live animals will be classified as high risk. Even if an online pet shop operates in the most humane, secure way possible, it may be unable to circumvent the strict underwriting protocols of the major banks.
Fortunately, there are a few merchant account providers that focus on serving high risk businesses, and some of these providers can process payments for pet suppliers. To help you find an online pet store merchant account, we have compiled the following list of the top processors for e-commerce pet supply vendors. Most of these companies have restrictions on what types of businesses they can accept, but all of them are accustomed to boarding high risk merchants. As a rule, high risk merchants should anticipate paying slightly higher processing fees in addition to one-time setup fees due to the risk absorbed by the processor. Merchants are encouraged to click through each provider’s page below before choosing one in order to find the right fit for their business type.
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Why These Merchant Account Providers
Based in Woodland Hills, California, PaymentCloud is a merchant account provider that specializes in serving high risk business types. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions, mobile phone swipers, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, EMV-compatible terminals, and merchant cash advances. PaymentCloud is a good option for pet suppliers selling online or at a physical storefront.
PaymentCloud provides a dedicated account rep to all new merchants for the life of the account. The company has not received any negative complaints on consumer forums, and it customizes its pricing according to each merchant’s business type and processing history. The BBB does not maintain a profile for PaymentCloud at this time, but CPO gives the company an “A.”
eMerchantBroker.com is a Los Angeles, California-based company that offers high risk e-commerce processing solutions including pet supply merchant accounts. The company’s products include ACH processing, an online payment gateway, merchant cash advance, and a chargeback management system to help merchants dispute and resolve chargeback claims. eMerchantBroker.com places an emphasis on providing check processing solutions for pet suppliers.
eMerchantBroker.com offers custom pricing for each merchant and maintains a low complaint rate relative to its size and merchant portfolio. Our review of eMerchantBroker gives the company an “A” rating overall and the BBB assigns the company a rating of “A+.”
Host Merchant Services
Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is able to provide merchant accounts for some online pet supply businesses. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions, online marketing tools, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, mobile credit card processing, gift and loyalty programs, merchant cash advance, and offshore merchant accounts. Host Merchant Services specializes in e-commerce businesses and provides a free website and email address to interested merchants. Host is a good fit for online pet supply merchants that have an established credit card processing history.
Host Merchant Services has received only positive feedback on public forums, with most reviewers singling out the company’s customer service for praise. Host offers custom pricing to all of its merchants, but most merchants will enjoy transparent pricing and the ability to cancel service without penalty. The Better Business Bureau gives Host an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives the company an “A+.”
Other Merchant Account Options
The providers in this section may not have been researched as thoroughly or may lack a quality that prevented them from being listed above. We have listed them here to provide a broader view of potential merchant account options. Are you a decision maker with your company and believe that you should be listed below? Tell us here.
Durango Merchant Services
Based in Durango, Colorado, Durango Merchant Services specializes in traditional credit card processing and offshore payment processing for high risk businesses like online pet stores. The company, which was founded in 1999, provides credit and debit payments, e-commerce solutions, payment gateways, and eCheck processing services to high risk and TMF merchants. Durango is a good option for nearly all card-not-present pet supply stores, but its ability to place a given business will depend on that business’s volume, time in business, and processing history.
Durango Merchant Services offers custom pricing to its merchants, and its sales and support staff routinely receive positive reviews on this website and elsewhere. Our review of Durango Merchant Services awards the company an “A+” rating at this time, and the BBB is also currently granting Durango an “A+” grade.
Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Vantage Payments is a merchant account provider that can provide both domestic and offshore merchant accounts for high risk merchant types, including online pet supply businesses. The company’s products and services include remote deposit capture, European direct debit, call center services, multi-currency support, web design, and SEO assistance. Vantage can easily place both brick-and-mortar and Internet-based pet supply stores.
Vantage Payments currently has a clean complaint record across all review websites, which is an impressive feat for a company that serves high risk business sectors. Our review of Vantage gives the company an “A” rating at this time, while the BBB gives Vantage an “A+.”
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Payline Data has consistently rated as one of the best merchant account providers on CPO since we first reviewed the company. Payline is capable of serving merchants of all sizes and types, including some pet stores. Payline offers traditional retail credit card terminals, mobile phone credit card processing, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, QuickBooks integration, third-party shopping cart integration, API integration for websites, and various point-of-sale solutions. Payline Data is a great option for pet stores with solid business credit that have been operating for a long time and would simply like to start selling their products online.
In addition to its wide array of services, Payline Data offers custom pricing to most of its high risk merchants. As a result, the company enjoys a large number of positive testimonials from its clients on this website and in other consumer protection forums. The Better Business Bureau currently assigns Payline Data an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives Payline an “A+.”
If your business offers merchant accounts and payment solutions to pet suppliers, please leave a comment in the comment section below or contact us through our contact page in order to get listed in this article.