With so many options, how can I best choose
a merchant service provider???
Do an online search for "Merchant Services", and you'll find THOUSANDS of companies offering "low rates" to try to earn your business. When it's all said and done, there are only a handful of companies in the United States that have the network services to provide the following:
The major processing networks (acquirers) are below (note that Global Payments has acquired both Heartland and TSYS):
The way they make their profit varies from company to company, and from account to account. Here's the bottom line: merchant services providers often compete on their ability to "lower your rate"... but given that you realize MORE savings by reducing the cost of interchange, what gets forgotten in the discussion is:
What processing network will you actually be on?
What can they do to increase data security and protect your company?
What services you will receive for the money you are charged each month.
Otherwise, how comfortable do you feel walking across the bridge built by the lowest bidder?
(formerly First Data)