What to Look For in a Payment Management System

Payment management system - woman using a credit card and digital tablet for buying on-lineQuick and efficient payment options benefit both small business owners and their customers.

Consumers are used to flexibility – cash, cheque or charge? – when buying from large retailers. If you’re a cash-or-cheque only operation, consider how many sales you may be losing. How much would your business grow if your customers could pay with debit or credit cards?

If one of your goals is to start selling online or on the road, an easy-to-use payment processing system is a must.

Read on to learn the most important features when searching for the right payment management system for your small business.

1. Cost considerations

Small business owners typically give cash flow as one of their biggest concerns. For this reason ROI is key when investing in any new system. Some companies like Stripe are tailored for small businesses in the service industries and offer a percentage transaction fee with no monthly fee. PayPal also offers flexible payment options at low rates and was designed with small businesses and start ups in mind.

2. Software compatibility

If you use online accounting software, start by looking into whether an affordable payment add-on is available. This option may make the most sense as you’ll greatly increase efficiency when payment processing, invoicing, customer data and financial reporting are part of an integrated all-in-one system.

3. Mobile compatibility

Forget card reader machines. A payment processing system that syncs up with your tablet or smartphone is a great fit for small business owners – especially when selling on the go. Just think how mobile payment processing will make your life easier when you’re making sales at trade shows or when travelling for business.

4. Security concerns

When you’re accessing your customer’s credit card data, you want to know with 100% certainty their financial information remains safe and secure. Inquire into how any payment solution option you’re considering protects sensitive client data. Some payment processing solutions let you accept credit card payments without storing data in your system.

5. Try it for free

Many companies who market payment processing systems to small business owners offer a free 30-day trial. Why not research a handful of the best solutions available? Give them a test drive before deciding on the right option for you.

Now that you’ve looked into the benefits of a payment processing system – and what to look for before you make the leap– it’s time to take action.

Start by shortlisting a few of the best contenders. Ask your colleagues for input on the payment processing system they use. Read online reviews to get some unbiased opinions. And also take the time to investigate whether an add-on is available for your online accounting software, or which third-party payment processing apps integrate with your current accounting system.