Insurance and Security

Choosing a provider to accept credit and debit card payments

Whether you're new to accepting credit and debit card payments or you're shopping for a new payment processor, keep in mind simplicity, speed, security, and support.

Published: June 26, 2015
Updated: February 22, 2017

When choosing a payment processor, you don't have to become overwhelmed by the number of providers, pricing options, and technical details. To pick the best payment processor for your business, consider simplicity, speed, security, and support.

Simplicity in a payment processor

Think of payment processing as a dependable utility, like electricity. Once set up, you shouldn't have to be an expert in how payments are handled. Rather, this vital business service should simply work.

Setting up your payment processing account and equipment should be simple. Naturally, you should expect this first step to go quickly and professionally, with minimal disruption during business hours.

An ideal payment processor will help make accepting credit and debit card payments from your customers easier, working to improve how you already do business.

Simplicity also refers to pricing. Choose a processor with straightforward fees and contracts, and flexible options to meet your specific needs.

Speed in payment processing

No matter how your customers wish to pay — cash, credit card, debit card, check, online, or mobile payments — their transactions should be fast and convenient. Likewise, look for a payment processing solution that makes it quick and easy to manage payments, with funding as soon as possible — as early as the next business day.

When you seek fast answers, you may need a processor that offers online, self-service tools so you can monitor and manage your own accounts.

Reporting and management tools may also include the following:

  • Email alerts to manage cash flow and transaction activity

  • Online reconciliation and dispute alerts

  • Online tools to track settlements and deposits, follow overall performance and sales trends, and review interchange rates

Security of payment processing

Your payment processor should show the highest commitment to payment security. Choose one that stays up to date with security requirements and technologies, and has protocols in place for how and when it alerts merchant customers about suspicious activity.

Look for processors that encourage and offer multiple layers of security including:

  • Chip card technology. Accept chip cards that use a chip instead of a magnetic stripe. EMV chip cards are more difficult to counterfeit and may reduce card-present counterfeit fraud.

  • Encryption of payment card data from the point of sale (POS) that relies on cryptographic algorithms to authenticate the card

  • Tokenization of sensitive data, whereby a non-related identifier, or a token, is used instead of card holder data

  • Compliance with the Payment Card Industry Security standard for e-commerce websites or value-added-resellers

Finally, look for a processor that offers online tools to investigate, track, and resolve card disputes.

Support from your payment processor

Insist on a payment processor with a dedicated, 24/7 customer support team, should problems arise.

Your payment processor should continually update its product offerings to ensure you can accept the latest payments.

Additional support services may include:

  • Guidance from payment experts

  • Newsletters and updates with valuable business advice and news

  • Special offers

A dependable, efficient payment processor is a key step to ensuring your business runs smoothly.

If you're interested in learning more about how Wells Fargo Merchant Services can benefit your business, contact your local Wells Fargo representative or request a complimentary review of your current payment processing solutions at