When you walk to the check-out counter to buy your groceries, what do you pull out of your wallet? Paper cash and metal coins that can easily drop to the floor as you find the exact change? Not likely.
Today most consumers pull out a small plastic card or use their phone to make the transaction smooth and easy. With the increased use of payment cards, business owners don’t really have a choice to not accept credit cards. A merchant processer helps facilitate the exchange of funds from the use of payment cards. Merchant processors help make the process of running a payment card transaction smoother and ensure customers have options when it comes to paying for things.
Merchant processers all perform the basic need of processing payment card transactions. The following paragraphs will share some specific features of three merchant processors that our clients use.
Authorize.net is a great merchant processor for any business with a large volume of sales with custom invoices. This company will sum all of the transactions for a period and initiate a deposit for each transaction into one lump sum. This lump sum can then be reconciled in Xero with the custom invoices. Authorize charges a monthly fee as well as a fee per transaction. When reconciling the invoices against the deposit, the total dollar amount from the invoices minus whatever the deposit into your bank account was equals the fee Authorize.net charged your company for those transactions.
We recommend Authorize.net to customers that sell digital products and use Freshbooks (they have a good integration).
Square is a new merchant processor which many of our clients use. The reason our clients enjoy Square is because of the simple web portal and additional tools. For example, businesses which run off of a tablet can purchase a custom stand to create the feeling their customers are at a cash register. In addition, Square also offers contactless/chip readers and magstripe readers which can be attached to a tablet or computer. Since the equipment load is minimal, this helps businesses avoid bulky registers and provides a unique atmosphere to help customers have a fun experience.
We recommend using Square for mobile or established businesses that need a POS. It is fast and easy to take payment and integrates with Xero so your payments can be easily reconciled.
Stripe is a fun merchant processor that creates sales invoices as customers initiate a payment. This feature helps reduce the workload of creating custom invoices (this feature is still available, when needed) while ensuring accuracy. The sales invoices are then reconciled against the bank transaction in Xero with a reduction made for the transaction fee.
We recommend using Stripe for SaaS companies since they have an awesome API and integrate with financial systems. This means you can automate a lot of the revenue recognition problems that SaaS companies fall into (deferred revenue, partial payments, cancellations, etc)
Merchant processors help businesses reduce the time, effort, and costs of processing payment card transactions. As discussed above, a variety of merchant processors are available and suitable for any type of business. Each merchant processor provides features that can help a business succeed and ensure customers have a means of paying. So, which merchant processor will you choose?