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.
Let Customers Swipe to Pay for Their Big Day
Customers love to pay for catered events with credit cards. It not only gives them more financial flexibility to pay for a nicer event, but it also lets them accrue a large number of reward points with a single transaction. In order to capitalize on this preference among your clients, you will need to open a merchant account for your catering business. Merchant accounts are notorious for hidden fees, long-term contracts, and high termination penalties, but they can also help you improve your day-to-day operations through services like online billing, client management software integration, and mobile card swipers.
Best Catering Payment Processors
To help you avoid unsavory contract terms and find the right features for a low cost, we’ve put together the following list of the best merchant accounts for caterers. The companies on this list offer invoicing tools, mobile payment apps, virtual terminals, and other features that can make it more convenient for your customers to pay you and for you to get paid. More importantly, these companies are also known to provide low-commitment contracts with transparent pricing and quality customer service. To find the best provider for your event planning business, be sure to research each processor’s products and features and compare pricing and terms.
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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 individual caterers as well as larger catering businesses. Host’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions, online marketing tools, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, custom third-party software integrations, mobile credit card processing, and merchant cash advance. Host Merchant Services specializes in e-commerce businesses and provides a free website and business-class email address to interested new merchants. For this reason, Host is an especially good choice for event planners who would like to advertise and accept payments over the internet.
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 available and can cancel service without penalty. The Better Business Bureau 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. PaymentCloud’s virtual terminal is invaluable for catering companies as it allowed merchants to generate and send invoices that can be paid online via a secure hyperlink.
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 catering companies 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.