A merchant’s guide to switching payment processors


In the ever-evolving world of commerce, having a reliable and efficient payment processing system is crucial for any merchant. 

However, there comes a time when your current payment processor may no longer meet your business needs. Whether it’s due to high processing rates, poor customer service or outdated technology, switching to a new payment processor can offer a fresh start and numerous benefits.

But choosing a new partner? That’s easier said than done. Fortunately, we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll help you understand when switching might be your best option and what to consider when making the transition. 

Why make a switch?

Before diving into the process of switching, it’s important to recognize the signs you’re ready for a change:

  • High processing rates and hidden fees: If you’re noticing an increase in transaction fees or unexpected costs, it’s worth exploring other options. Hidden fees undercut your profitability and restrict long-term business growth. 
  • Poor customer service: Long wait times and unhelpful support can hinder your ability to resolve issues quickly. Worse yet, if your point of sale (POS) system isn’t working properly, you might have to turn away customers when you can’t accept their payment. So, how quickly you can get things back on track could make or break your business. 
  • Outdated hardware or software: Simply put, dated solutions don’t have the same capabilities as modern equivalents, which means you’re missing out on easy ways to improve operations and serve your customers. Plus, cashless payments are on the rise. Experts anticipate non-cash transactions to double by 2030, meaning you’ll soon need to support a much wider variety of payment options.

That’s what you could leave in the rearview mirror if you switch to a new processor. But what could you gain? The right choice can bring several benefits:

  • Payment variety: Offering multiple payment methods can enhance the customer experience and potentially increase sales.
  • Cost savings: A more competitive processor can reduce your fees and boost your bottom line.
  • Business continuity: Access to responsive and knowledgeable customer service can save you headaches while keeping your business operational.
  • Essential merchant services: Modern processors often provide additional services like analytics, fraud protection and more. 
  • Flexible contracts: Avoid being locked into long-term agreements that don’t suit your business needs.

Key considerations for choosing a new payment processor

When selecting a new payment processing partner, keep the following factors in mind:

1. Fees and pricing

Credit card processing fees depend on a lot of factors, such as the type of card used and what card network it’s associated with. Ideally, your new processor will offer a fee structure that makes sense for what types of transactions you accept. There are three main pricing models to choose from:

  • Flat-rate pricing: This is a simple, straightforward structure where a fixed percentage and/or a flat fee is charged per transaction, regardless of the card type.
  • Tiered pricing: In this model, transactions are categorized into different tiers (e.g., qualified, mid-qualified, non-qualified), each with its own rate. The classification depends on factors such as if it’s a card-not-present transaction, a rewards card, etc.
  • Interchange plus pricing: This structure offers more transparency, as it separates the interchange fees set by the card networks from the processor’s markup. You pay a fixed markup on top of the interchange rate for each transaction.

Additionally, merchants should be aware of early termination fees (ETFs) that may be charged if they exit a contract prematurely. Other costs involved in switching may include paying the remainder of an equipment lease. Understanding these fees and costs is essential to make an informed decision.

2. Security and compliance

Security is a top priority when choosing a payment processor. The processor should be PCI compliant, adhering to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) to protect cardholder data. A secure POS system should provide encryption to safeguard transaction data, reducing the risk of fraud and data breaches. By ensuring robust security measures, merchants can build trust with their customers and maintain a reputable business.

3. Compatibility

Compatibility with existing business tools and technologies is crucial for streamlining operations and boosting profits. Look for a payment processor that supports key business capabilities, such as:

  • Real-time inventory management
  • Customer loyalty programs
  • Sales tracking
  • Marketing platform integration

Critically, check that the vendor’s solutions are compatible with other technologies, such as gateways and virtual terminals. This ensures you won’t have any problems accepting the key payment methods your business relies on. 

4. Ease of installation

The transition to a new payment processing system should be smooth, with minimal disruption to your business operations. Ensure that the installation process is straightforward and that the provider offers support throughout the setup. This will help you maintain business continuity and avoid any interruptions in accepting payments.

5. Customer support

Having access to reliable customer support is invaluable. A processor with in-house support staff ensures that you’re dealing with knowledgeable representatives who are directly connected to the company. 

Round-the-clock availability is crucial, as payment processing issues can arise at any time. A responsive customer service team can quickly address and resolve problems, minimizing any impact on your business operations.

Simplifying the switch with Sekure Payment Experts

Transitioning to a new payment processor can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Sekure Payment Experts specializes in helping merchants navigate the complexities of payment processing. Here’s how we can assist in making your switch as easy as possible:

  • Personalized consultation: Our team will assess your current setup, review your statements and identify your specific needs to find the best-suited payment processor.
  • Expert recommendations: Based on their extensive knowledge of the industry, our Payment Experts recommend processors that offer competitive rates, excellent customer service, and the right technology for your business.
  • Hassle-free setup: We guide you through the installation process, ensuring a smooth transition with minimal downtime.
  • Ongoing support: After the switch, Sekure remains a partner, offering ongoing assistance to address any future payment processing needs.

Changing credit card processors can be a strategic move to enhance your business’s efficiency and profitability. With the help of Sekure Payment Experts, the transition can be a quick and rewarding process, allowing you to focus on what matters most — growing your business.

If you’re ready to lower your rates and find a new solution, contact Sekure today to kick-start the process. 

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