Last editedJul 20233 min read
From lower fees to better customer service, there are many reasons to consider switching merchant payment providers. Are you on the best possible plan for your business? The only way to know is to shop around and see. The hardest part of switching payment processing providers is finding the right fit, so here’s how to get started.
What is a payment service provider?
A payment service provider is any third-party company that allows your customers to make payment. This includes online payment processing providers like PayPal, Adyen, Stripe, Amazon Pay, and others. They provide a merchant account and payment gateway, ensuring that you can collect payments efficiently.
Payment service providers enable businesses to accept credit and debit card payments by connecting them to the appropriate financial infrastructure. Essentially, they act as a middleman between your business, the customer’s card network, and the banks. Many also enable additional payment methods like bank transfers and mobile wallets.
When should you consider switching merchant payment providers?
If you’re completely happy with your current provider, there’s probably no need to switch. But many businesses stick with their current merchant payment providers simply out of habit. There are potential benefits to switching:
More payment methods for your customers
Lower transaction fees
Better customer service
Wider range of services for your business
The first step is to ask yourself whether your current provider offers the payment options and services your business needs. Have customers asked you about additional payment methods? Which services do your competitors use? Is there a dedicated customer service team to help your business with payment issues?
You should also look carefully at your contract and fees. Are you paying exorbitant costs for international payment processing? Are there monthly fees on top of per-transaction rates? Some payment service providers hook you with low introductory rates and then raise this over time.
How to switch your payment processing provider
Ready to make the switch? Here’s how to get started.
Step 1: Review your contract.
Find out if you’re locked into a minimum term and whether there are any cancellation fees. Identify gaps so that you can choose a provider that fills these in. If you have processing equipment, determine whether this will continue working during the handover between providers.
Step 2: Choose a new payment processor.
Shop around using online comparisons to find the best payment processor for your business. Look at fees, flexibility, payment methods, and customer service ratings.
Step 3: Close your old account.
Once you’ve selected a new payment processing provider, contact your old one to shut down your accounts and ask about the handover process. Ideally, you will enjoy a seamless switch without the need to shut down your online store at any point.
Step 4: Set up your new account.
Payment providers all have their own protocols to follow when it comes to setup and onboarding. This should be relatively simple when you give the provider a few key pieces of information about your business needs.
Step 5: Onboarding and training
Setting up new hardware will depend on whether you have online operations or operate from a brick-and-mortar location. The setup process takes longer if you use a variety of different terminals and locations, but your new provider should guide you through the onboarding process. Once hardware’s implemented, train your employees to use the new payment system.
The onboarding process for online payment processing providers
There are a few details you should have at the ready when switching providers:
Details about your existing provider and contract
Information about your business’s industry or niche
Information about your business turnover
Transaction statements (monthly and/or annual)
Legal business document
Your business’s website and contact information
The full onboarding process might take a week or more if the new provider runs a credit check. Once approved, you’ll receive a contract to sign and get started.
Of course, some payment processing providers make it even easier to switch – particularly for small online businesses. As you compare your options, factor the onboarding and approvals process into your decision.
If you plan to take Direct Debit payments from your customers, GoCardless makes it easy and cost-effective to get started. We handle the set-up process with the banks, making sure your payment pages are compliant and secure. Hosted checkout flows take the guesswork out of signing up new customers, or you can use the GoCardless API to customise your payment page. Take payments directly from customer bank accounts – both recurring and one-off. We also integrate with over 300 partners, including major invoicing software to fit right into your existing payment processing systems.
We can help
GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.