Wherever you’re at on your payment processing journey—whether you’re a startup looking to accept credit card payments for the first time, or a large corporation with years of processing history—you need to know about all-in-one merchant services providers.

A merchant services provider supplies your business with a merchant account and the ability to accept credit card payments from your customers. If you plan to take credit card payments online, in person, over the phone, through a mobile app, or any other method, your business needs a merchant services provider.

However, in many cases, merchant services providers offer only the bare bones of credit card processing. They provide a merchant account—and that’s it. But what if your business wants to start accepting payments online through your eCommerce store? What if you want the ability to run payments on the go with a mobile app? What if you want a payment integration for your accounting software?

Suddenly, to cover all your bases, your business is using several different services for several different problems. You have a merchant services provider, plus a payment gateway for your eCommerce store, plus a card reader for your mobile device, plus a third-party payment integration for your accounting software…

Over time, in response to your unique business needs, your business might cobble together a cluster of varied payment solutions. They keep things running, but they certainly don’t work together, and if you experience a problem, you have to hunt down a different contact person for each service provider.

What if all of these separate services and solutions could be brought together under one roof? What if all of your payment needs were handled by a single merchant services provider?

What is an all-in-one merchant services provider?

An all-in-one merchant services provider brings that vision to life. Instead of dealing with multiple providers and multiple solutions, you get a single contact that handles every aspect of your payment acceptance process. Whatever method you use to accept payments, an all-in-one merchant services provider has got you covered.

What you need to get started

To get started with credit card processing, your business really only needs two things:

  • Merchant account: A type of business bank account that allows your business to accept credit card payments.
  • Payment gateway: The backend engine that fuels the credit card processing.

If your business has a merchant account and a payment gateway, you have the basic elements in place to accept credit card payments from your customers. Not every merchant services provider offers a payment gateway, but at the very least, they can usually recommend a few good options for your business.

Once you have your merchant account and payment gateway, you can begin to take advantage of additional features and solutions, like:

  • Accounting integration: Accept credit card payments directly in your accounting software.
  • eCommerce integration: Accept credit card payments directly in your eCommerce store.
  • Virtual terminal: Accept credit card payments from your desktop computer.
  • EMV terminals: Accept in-person EMV payments with terminals that sync payment data back to your accounting software and eliminate double data entry.
  • Mobile app: Accept payments on the go with a mobile app.
  • Payment collection tools:
    • Email payment links: Create an invoice in your accounting software and automatically send an email payment link to customers.
    • Customer payment portal: An online portal where customers can log in and manage their payments.
    • Recurring billing: Create custom recurring billing schedules for repeat customers.

However your business decides to take payments, there are solutions for you that can streamline and improve the process. And when they all work together, your business will begin to see the positive effects.

Benefits of all-in-one merchant services providers

The true benefits of choosing an all-in-one merchant services provider are revealed when you start to see all the seemingly disparate parts work together. Instead of multiple solutions struggling to work alongside one another, you’ll have a single payments ecosystem where everything works together seamlessly.

1. Smoother operations

When all your payments are connected, your business has more control, more visibility, and more confidence to move forward. By reducing friction between your different payment solutions, you’ll achieve smoother overall operations. You’ll have access to real-time data from all your sales channels and the ability to build custom reports with the data that matters most. When you have access to that level of detail on all your payments, you can make better strategic decisions to guide the future of the business.

2. More efficiency

A single payments platform gives you more efficiency as a business. You’ll spend less time switching between programs and less time on manual data entry. Automation will cut down on unnecessary tasks and free your team for more complex projects.

3. A single point of contact

When something goes wrong with your payments, you don’t want to sit on hold with multiple support departments. An all-in-one merchant services provider offers support for all their solutions, so if anything goes wrong with any part of the ecosystem, you only have to call one number. And since everything works together, the support team will have a much more comprehensive view of your payment system as a whole and can quickly pinpoint any issues.

4. Scalability

If your business is just starting out, choosing an all-in-one merchant services provider gives you the assurance that when your business grows, your merchant services provider will be right there with you, ready to supply the next piece in the payments puzzle. Maybe you don’t need an eCommerce solution just yet, but once your business expands and you decide to open an online store, your all-in-one merchant services provider will be able to support your growth.

Conclusion

Accepting credit card payments doesn’t have to be complicated. When you partner with a merchant services provider that can help your business grow and flourish, your business will reap the benefits. Don’t bog your business down with multiple products and solutions when you can experience the simplicity, ease, and convenience of an all-in-one merchant services provider.

Niki Blois Administrator
Digital Marketing Specialist | Century Business Solutions
Niki is a writer for Century Business Solutions covering integrated payments, credit card processing, and how to increase payment efficiency.
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