What to Know Before Getting Started
Starting a New Business?
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.
Credit card processing for auto shops might seem fairly straightforward to most observers. There’s usually only one or two registers, a single cashier, and one approved transaction for each customer. However, the needs of an automotive merchant can be incredibly diverse. The large average ticket size of car repairs and parts can expose auto merchants to fund holds or devastatingly large chargebacks. Per-transaction rates and monthly fees can also pile up depending on whether a shop is doing lots of business or is in a slow time of the year. As an additional consideration, auto shops can usually benefit from some kind of customer engagement platform in order to inspire loyalty and encourage repeat business.
All of these factors mean that some providers are better than others when it comes to automotive merchant accounts. But how to choose? We’ve compiled the following list of the top five best merchant account providers for auto shops and card dealers. This list includes providers that offer low, transparent pricing, quality customer service, and products that are ideal for meeting the needs of the automotive industry. These providers can offer in-store payment solutions as well as e-commerce processing for auto suppliers. We recommend that you contact a few of these providers and compare quotes in order to find the best pricing and service package for your auto shop.
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Why These Merchant Account Providers
Host Merchant Services
Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is well-suited for automotive parts and repair shops. 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, and merchant cash advance. Host Merchant Services can also offer a wide variety of e-commerce solutions for auto merchants who would like to establish a web presence.
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 interchange-plus pricing with no early termination fees to all of its merchants, meaning that users will enjoy the most transparent pricing model and can cancel service without penalty. The BBB gives Host an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives the company an “A+.”
Based in Woodland Hills, California, PaymentCloud is a merchant account provider that specializes in serving standard to 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. These features allow low to high volume auto shops to accurately track their extensive inventory to keep track of parts as well as facilitate payments following repairs or routine service appointments for something as simple as an oil change. For those reasons, PaymentCloud is a good option for auto shops.
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.”
Active since early 2014, Fattmerchant is a merchant account provider leading the industry’s move toward flat-rate, subscription-style pricing. The company’s products and services include EMV-compatible countertop terminals, a virtual terminal, an online payment gateway, an online shopping cart, mobile phone processing, QuickBooks integration, online invoicing, and recurring billing. Fattmerchant is capable of serving all standard-risk auto shops and offers a comprehensive dashboard for tracking all payments and customers.
Fattmerchant offers multiple pricing plans with different rates. Merchants can select either a plan that charges a flat fee on all transactions or a plan that charges a fixed monthly fee plus a fixed per-transaction dollar amount above interchange. In other words, merchants can choose whether or not they are charged a percentage markup on each transaction. Fattmerchant currently has an “A” rating on CPO and an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau.