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What Are the Most Important Factors for Choosing a Payment Processor?


Choosing a payment processor is an important decision for a business of any size to make. Selecting a great processing partner can make it easy for a business to accept payments online and in person at a very reasonable rate. On the other hand, going with the wrong company for this task can result in a business encountering technical problems, high fees and potentially compromising their security.

Given the impact that a payment processor can have on your business, this isn’t a decision you want to rush. To help with your evaluation process, we’ve put together a list of the five most important factors to compare:

Competitive Rates

While a specific processor may have a lot to offer, if they charge an excessive rate for their services, it’s not going to make financial sense to seriously consider them for your business. In terms of the general range for processing rates, 0.38% to 1.58% is standard for retail transactions, while competitive Internet rates fall in the range of 0.98% to 1.98%.


As of October of last year, merchants who don’t use EMV technology for retail transactions will be liable for fraud. That makes it an absolute must to choose a processor that has fully implemented EMV standards.


If you want to stay as informed as possible via payment reporting, it’s very useful to choose a payment processor that streamlines this process by allowing you to easily track transactions from inception to settlement.

PCI Compliance

Over the past few years, there have been examples ranging from small businesses to huge corporations that have been hit by substantial credit card fraud. Since payment security will only continue to increase in importance, choosing a PCI compliant processor is essential for knowing that financial information and other data related to credit card transactions is being handled in the most secure way possible.

Fraud Tools

One of the reasons EMV became an industry standard in a relatively short amount of time is it’s been very effective at reducing retail credit card fraud. One side effect of that effectiveness is fraudsters are focusing on new channels like the Internet. Protecting your business against online threats is why it’s important to choose a processor that offers fraud prevention tools like threshold and AVS filters.

The Best Place to Evaluate Payment Processors

While using the criteria above can help you focus on what matters most with potential processors, there are still a lot of companies in this field. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of options to evaluate and are looking for a way to narrow down your selection to a more manageable comparison list, be sure to take a look at our top five picks for 2016.

We’ve done the hard work of looking across the entire credit card processing industry and finding the five absolute best providers. That means you can take our list of five providers and use the criteria covered above to pick the processor that’s going to be the best fit for your specific business needs.