Pros and Cons of the “Cheapest” Payment Processor

When you’re a small business, you’ll often feel a great deal of pressure to try and cut costs during your first year or so. There are several reasons for this:

  • Cutting costs means more operating capital for the year ahead.
  • Cutting costs means your business is running efficiently
  • Cutting costs helps you focus on only the most important components of your business

One area you don’t want to cut costs? Your payment processor. This advice should provide some insight into why that is.

Lack of Services

When you pay low rates, you tend to get the service that you pay for. When you need a tool just to accept credit card payments, a low-rate provider can seem attractive. You’ll miss out on things like support, additional features and add-ons you might be able to use in a brick and mortar store.

The trick is focusing on what you need to avoid paying for what you don’t. As you’re doing your research for a payment gateway, take note of the features you absolutely must have and look for plans that fit your needs. If you don’t see something, call and ask. You’d be surprised at the options available to you.

Affordability

You would think affordability would be the biggest pro in the column for affordable payment processors, but let’s examine this closer. Are these processors truly affordable? On the surface, their rates seem attractive but you end up paying for those affordable rates in fees. Some processors will even charge you monthly just to hold your money!

If you’re trying to go the affordable route, make sure you inquire about the fees you potentially face. Read documentation carefully. Remember, affordable or low rates aren’t bad. You just need to read into the documentation more to see what will fit your business.


Charge.com offers a low-cost alternative to merchant accounts, and has been voted the Web’s #1 merchant account provider for 6 consecutive years.