The best way for businesses large and small to keep their customers happy is by providing them with the services and conveniences they have come to expect. For restaurant owners, this means providing patrons with the ability to pay their tab using a credit card. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce notes that only 24% of all business transactions in the country are made using cash, and the percentage is even lower in other countries.
In the past, many restaurants balked at accepting credit card payments because of the difficulty in getting approved for a merchant account, and because they didn’t want credit card processing fees to cut into their profits. However, as the popularity of cash payments declines, it becomes easier and less expensive for restaurants and other small businesses to sign on with a credit card processing company.
The challenge now becomes finding the best credit card processing for restaurants out of the growing number and variety of companies that offer the service. Among the aspects for restaurants to consider when choosing a credit card processing service are the types of payments the business needs to accept, the level of support it will require, whether to adopt mobile payment devices and online payments, and whether the operation would benefit from features the services offer beyond credit card processing.
The Best Credit Card Processing Features for Restaurants
When choosing a credit card processing service, many restaurants and other small businesses take what an analyst cited by Inc. calls the “path of least resistance” and go with their existing bank. However, the fees charged by banks for credit card processing are among the highest in the industry and are rarely the best deal available.
Inc.’s survey of small-business owners found that funds availability is the primary consideration when choosing a credit card processing service, followed by ease of use, pricing, and low set-up costs. These are among the factors to consider when shopping for a credit card processing service:
- Transparent pricing
- Flexible terms
- Whether a contract is required
- Cancellation fees
- Terms of equipment leases
- Whether terminals are provided for free
- Whether existing terminals can be programmed for free
- Customer service
- High-risk accounts
- Mobile processing
- Support for contactless payments
- Fraud detection
The choice of a credit card processing service is more difficult for restaurant owners because of the specialized nature of the industry. CardPaymentOptions.com notes that there is more variation in the restaurant business than in other industries: some establishments will be served well by a single tablet POS, while others will require dozens of traditional countertop POS terminals.
How to Negotiate a Credit Card Processing Agreement
Accepting payments from the major credit card companies and supporting the PCI’s security standards are among the basic features all restaurant credit card processing services should offer. They should also provide credit card readers that comply with the EuroCard, MasterCard, Visa (EMV) standard to prevent payment fraud, and they should offer 24/7 customer support.
Beyond these basic necessities, Business.com explains the criteria to use when determining the best restaurant credit card processing for your restaurant:
- The pricing model used by the service to set processing rates and account fees must be as transparent as possible. The three common types are tiered pricing, interchange-plus pricing, and flat-rate pricing.
- The length of the processing contract and the amount of early termination charges; month-to-month services with no cancellation fees are preferred.
- Support for a range of processing methods, including PayPal and Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments.
- The terms of processing equipment leases and whether the services allow restaurants to purchase the equipment upfront. Countertop card terminals and mobile card readers should support chip cards, contactless cards, and mobile wallets.
- Support for third-party integrations with POS systems, accounting software, and other popular business applications.
- The amount of time the service takes to clear accounts and deposit payments in the restaurant’s bank account.
The fast pace of change in the credit card processing industry requires that restaurants and other small businesses keep close tabs on developments in the field so they can take advantage of the payment technologies their customers adopt, and the cost-savings that competition among services makes possible. As with many aspects of running a restaurant, the only constant in credit card payment processing is change.
Thankfully, you don’t have to navigate all of this on your own.
Learn more about how the talech POS system helps restaurants and other retailers optimize their transaction processing and other business processes to boost profits and improve the experience for their customers. We work with you to determine the best ways to meet the needs of your customers and employees so your business can thrive. We take the time to learn your business so we can balance your specific needs with your budget and comfort level in a custom POS system implementation. The result is a valued investment that will pay for itself in short order. Reach out to us today to sign up for a free demo and learn more about how talech can be your valued partner in the POS world.