Skyzer Blog

How to Choose a Payments Provider and Structure Your Contract

14 Feb

An EFTPOS machine is your first step to integrating upgraded payment solutions into your business, but it’s not the only step on your journey. Behind every EFTPOS machine lies a payments provider, and between a payments provider and their client (you), is a contract.

Many businesses—start-ups and longstanding institutions alike—are caught off guard by the obscure world of payment provision contracts. This leaves business owners vulnerable to predatory clauses that could be detrimental to their enterprise, and we don’t think that’s right.

So, in today’s blog post, we’re laying out some tips for choosing a payments provider and how to structure your contract with them. We’ll touch on what a payments provider is, what you should look for in a contract, and how to know if a provider is right for your business. 

What is a payments provider?

A payments provider is the intermediary between all of the financial entities involved in a transaction. They facilitate the connection between your EFTPOS terminal, your bank account, your customer’s bank account, and your payment gateway.

Having a payments provider is essential to offering a smooth in-store experience to your customers, as these companies are the people behind the scenes that process the transaction quickly and efficiently. An example of a payments provider in New Zealand is Paymark—the leading provider in the country—a company we have partnered with to develop a range of payment solutions for Kiwi businesses.

How to know if a provider is right for your business 

Choosing the right payments provider comes down to knowing what your business requires to function at its best, and then finding a legitimate provider who can accomplish that for you.

Are you a small business in need of a mobile-optimised provider, or do you need a provider that can process hundreds of transactions a day? Do you have a hefty budget, or are you a bit more budget-wary? It all comes down to finding the right plan for you.

Begin by looking for legitimate payments providers that have been endorsed by other companies (especially if these companies are in similar industries to yours). Additionally, there are a few signs that a provider is a good fit:

  • Payment industry experience. Is the provider you are looking at an established entity in the payments industry? If they are, they will have the right expertise to cater to any kind of business and will have the connections needed to resolve any issues you have as quickly as possible.
  • Satisfied customers with similar requirements. Look for positive customer reviews from companies that mirror your own. This will show that your chosen payments provider can provide tailored solutions for your business and won’t take a cookie-cutter approach to the service.
  • A regional or national presence. If the payments provider has a wide customer-base in your region, or they’re recognised across New Zealand, then they are much more likely to know the ins and outs of the payments industry.

What to look for in a contract from a payments provider 

You want to be sure that your provider has thought of everything you need—from initial training to excellent customer service—and that they will protect you in the event of a malfunction. Furthermore, in the fast-moving world of technology, you want to be sure that your chosen company can keep up with constant evolution in payment solutions. That’s where casting a keen eye over your contract comes in.

It is always a good idea to give the contract a thorough read before signing. When doing so, make sure you see substantial mentions of the following:

PCI Compliance 

The EFTPOS terminals that you have in store needs to be in line with the latest software updates to stay PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant. Hardware can become obsolete if your provider is not on top of their updates and replacements, thereby reducing the lifespan of said hardware. This means that you have to pay more to replace it periodically. Therefore, any payments provider you sign a contract with must indicate that they will remain PCI compliant and help your business to do the same with minimal cost to you. For example, Skyzer includes a small terminal maintenance fee to ensure that all terminals are up to date with the latest compliant software.

24/7 Technical Support 

This is especially pertinent if your business operates outside of the normal 9 to 5 business hours. If your provider does not supply expert technical support (both on-site and over the phone), then they are unlikely to be the right fit for you.

Swap-Out Plans 

When your EFTPOS hardware reaches the end of its lifespan, it needs to be swapped out. Your provider’s contract should feature a clause that allows for on-site or courier swap-out plans, ensuring that you stay up to date and your business doesn’t fall behind.

Staff Training 

Finally, any payments provider should include a training programme for your staff that are new to the hardware or software. Giving them all the resources on how to manage and use the terminals correctly.

If any of the following points above are missing from your contract, or you have questions regarding your current contract feel free to get in touch with us today. You can either call us on 09 259 0321 or send in your inquiry click here