June 07, 2021

10 Key Questions to Ask Your Merchant Services Provider

Samantha Hubay
Written by:

Samantha Hubay

10 Key Questions to Ask Your Merchant Services Provider

What Should You Ask Your Merchant Services Provider?

Partnering with a reliable Merchant Services Provider is an important part of running your business. Your provider works as a liaison between your business, banks, and your customers to make sure you get paid and all data is kept secure.

When a customer swipes their credit card at your business, your Merchant Services Provider moves their funds into your bank account. It’s a very important role, and not a decision on your part to be taken lightly.

If you’re not familiar with the merchant services industry, it can be difficult to choose the best provider for your business on your own. Electronic Merchant Systems can help! We know this business inside and out, thanks to more than 30 years’ experience serving businesses like yours.

We know you have questions, and maybe you aren’t sure where to turn for the answers. That’s why we created this post, which explains ten things you should ask a Merchant Services Provider before signing a contract.

And, since we know ourselves best, we provided answers based on the services and solutions EMS provides. Check it out!

Find Out How EMS Can Serve Your Business


1. What exactly is a Merchant Account?

A merchant account is a type of bank account that allows you to accept payments via credit or debit card. It is an agreement between your business, the bank, and a payment processor for the settlement of card transactions.

At Electronic Merchant Systems, we believe in the phrase “No Good Merchant Left Behind”. That means even if your credit score is below average, we will work hard to find a way to approve your account. 


2. What do I do if I have issues with my service or products?

Your Merchant Services Provider should provide you with excellent customer service. The EMS customer support team is available 24/7/365 to assist our merchants. Whether you have a question at 3pm or 3am, send us an email or give us a call – we’ll be here!


3. How secure are your services?

Partner with a Merchant Services Provider who cares just as much about security as you do! EMS has been a certified Level 1 PCI Service Provider for more than 10 years, which means we hold our services and solutions to the most stringent industry security standards.

We are as serious about your transactions and the health of your business as you are, so we always ensure the services and solutions we provide are secure.


4. Do I have to sign a contract?

The relationship between you and your Merchant Services Provider should be considered a partnership. While EMS does utilize a Merchant Agreement, we believe that transparency is the key to keeping this partnership healthy.

You won’t find any hidden fees or contract clauses when you work with us!

What should you be asking your payment processing company

5. Can I read reviews on your Merchant Services Company?

A merchant services company may sound competent, but how can you be sure? Check their reviews. EMS has been around for 30 years, has gathered more than 950 Google Customer reviews, and maintains a 4.7/5 star average. We have not found a competitor that comes close to our review count and ranking.


6. How do merchants typically get burned by their payment processing provider?

Unfortunately, some providers take advantage of their customers by imposing:

    • Hidden fees
    • Poor customer service
    • Lack of security
    • Solutions that don't fit your business model

Watch for these red flags when choosing your provider. If you sense something is off, start looking elsewhere.


7. How can you help me compete with big companies?

Competing against other small businesses is one thing, but your merchant services provider should offer tools to build you up against the big boys as well.

EMS helps you build your brand by offering services beyond payment processing. Ask about our gift and loyalty card programs and custom options such as web hosting and design.


8. How important is mobile-friendliness?

It is almost impossible to pry people away from their smartphones! To stay competitive, it's important to have equipment that accepts virtual payments, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. When you partner with EMS, you’ll be ready to accept virtually any payment type, as all our terminals are equipped to handle NFC and EMV payments.

It's also important to make sure your website is responsive and mobile-friendly. If you need to optimize your website for mobile or aren't sure if your site is mobile-friendly, contact us! Our creative team would be happy to help you get your website on track. 


9. What if I need help with funding?

The best companies can help with that. EMS offers a funding program called BizFunds. For applicable businesses, we will purchase a pre-determined amount of your future credit card sales volume to help raise capital.

The best part is, instead of a fixed monthly payment, you pay an agreed-upon percentage of your daily credit card sales until the amount has been paid in full.


10. Do you have options for service-based businesses?

Not all businesses have brick-and-mortar locations for point of sale systems, but you of course still need to process payments. EMS' Virtual Terminal & Payment Gateway solutions make email invoicing, recurring payments, and collecting repeat payments simple.


We hope you found this information helpful. For more tips on accepting payments and growing your business, check out these articles on our blog!

The Beginner’s Guide to Accepting Mobile Payments

Start Accepting Credit Cards for Your Small Business

Your Complete Guide to Restaurant Business Success

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