Part 1: About Merchant Services
We rounded up the most commonly asked questions regarding merchant service providers on Google to ensure small business owners are receiving reliable and accurate information about industry best practices.
Do I need to sign a contract?
This varies from company to company, but the simple answer is no. You do not NEED to sign a contract. If you’ve found a merchant service company that offers rates that seem too good to be true, we recommend that you double check the fine print. Contracts can often be used as a way to lock you in at an attractive limited-time rate and will surge as soon as you think your business is all set. This blog post details 3 reasons why you should avoid signing a merchant services contract.
What is PCI Compliance?
PCI Compliance refers to the global data security standard adopted by the payment card brands, which include 12 requirements that must be met:
- Build and maintain a secure network
- Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data
- Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters
- Protect cardholder data
- Protect stored cardholder data
- Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks
- Maintain a vulnerability management program
- Use and regularly update anti-virus software
- Develop and maintain secure systems and applications
- Implement strong access control measures
- Restrict access to cardholder data by business need-to-know
- Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access
- Restrict physical access to cardholder data
- Regularly monitor and test networks
- Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data
- Regularly test security systems and processes
- Maintain an information security policy
- Maintain a policy that addresses information security for all personnel
For an explanation on how to obtain PCI Compliance, visit “PCI Compliance Explained.”
Is my customer’s information secure?
The responsibility of ensuring your customer’s information is secure falls on the business, and one of the purposes of becoming PCI Compliant is to ensure that your customer’s information is safe from any potentially fraudulent activity. This blog post lays out the several steps you can take as a business owner to protect your customers online and in-store.
When will I get my money?
We suggest choosing a merchant service provider that offers Next Day Funding, a service that guarantees that your business will receive its funds the next business day. Without next day funding, a “Memo Post” will take the place of the funds until the typical 3-5 business days have passed. This can affect a business owners ability to purchase inventory or pay vendors and can slow the growth of a small business.
How will I get my money?
With Next Day Funding, money is electronically transferred to your bank account in batches via ACH (Automated Clearing House). Some merchant service providers require the use of a specific bank, whereas CynergyData Texas allows you to use the bank of your choice. There should be clear documentation of the purchases made and the money transferred to your account, we offer our clients 24/7 access via phone if there are ever questions or concerns regarding access to funds.
Check back soon for Part II, where we will answer the questions small business owners often have about credit card processing equipment!