The Simpay Academy​

Restaurant Owners Guide to Choosing a Credit Card Processor

Are you thinking of switching from your current credit card processor to a better one? Or, is this the first time you are looking for a credit card processor for your restaurant business? If you have ever attempted to choose a credit card processor before now, you can agree that it is not an easy task. There seems to be a lot to consider, and hearing about businesses that are getting ripped off by their credit card processors is not making the task any less daunting.

The temptation might be to stay off credit card processors entirely and go about things the traditional way. At a time where everyone is all about getting things done fast, easy, and with less stress, how would your customers feel when you don’t make things easier for them? There are numerous benefits to accepting credit cards in your restaurant. Topping the list is the fact that it makes it easier for your customers to run transactions with your restaurant effortlessly and spend more.

So, how do you choose a credit card processor that keeps you and your customers happy without feeling ripped off?


Consider the Pricing, Understand the Processing Fees and Rates.

Choosing a credit card processor is a financial commitment that will last for as long as the partnership exists. Every payment you process via the credit card machine is likely to come with a charge. As a small business, you don’t want to be losing much money via exorbitant fees. So, your first step should be to look for processors that offer top-quality services at low rates. With that in mind, the standard processing and percentage fees you can expect are briefly described below.

  •       Interchange fees: Though mostly marked at 3% per transaction, this fee sometimes swings between 2% and 3% depending on the type of transactions you process. You should note that this fee goes to your bank—not your credit card processor. The variation in percentage charge is often dependent on the kind of card processed and the transaction type (online or in the restaurant).
  •       Standard monthly charges: Some processing companies may have as many as five monthly charges. At this point, it is best to go for companies that provide transparent rates on their services. Request all the monthly charges that may apply to your restaurant and ask that the terms be clarified. These charges may include –

        Monthly gateway access fee (ranges from $10 to $20): This is a fee charged by processors for the payment gateway services they provide. Payment gateways are encrypted applications that authorize and process transactions between your merchant account and card holder’s bank.

        Monthly statement fees: Your restaurant’s credit card processor may charge a monthly statement fee for mailing you a statement every month.

        Monthly minimum fee: Credit card processors stipulate a minimum amount their services would cost monthly. For example, a processing company’s minimum amount could be $20. If all the credit card transaction fees your company processes within the month totals $17, your processor will charge you $3 to get it up to the $20 threshold.

  •       Markup costs: Credit card processors charge markups per transaction you process. The cost varies across processors and could be negotiated to obtain lower rates.
  •       Setup fees: The processing company may charge a fee for processing your application and setting up the processing equipment in your restaurant. There is no fixed cost for a setup fee; hence, the charges may differ significantly from company to company.

Also, note that these payments can be aggregated into pricing plans, such as tiered pricing, interchange-plus pricing, and flat-rate pricing. Some providers may offer a flexible plan for your restaurant depending on the structure of your business.


The Accepted Payment Types

You want to be sure that you are not bringing a dummy payment system into your restaurant—a system that accepts a limited number of cards. Ensure that the system accepts all major debit and credit cards, as well as reward cards, prepaid cards, and gift cards that may apply to your restaurant’s operations. The aim is to ascertain that you never inconvenience or turn a customer away simply because you could not process their payments.


Features: Compatibility, Integration, and Applications

Apart from credit cards and reward cards, there are other payment technologies that your client base may find helpful, such as EMV chips and near-field communication (NFC) technology. Contactless payment is a common trend among tech-savvy folks, and its usage is growing popular across populations. It will benefit your restaurant business if your payment processing system is compatible with various contactless payment technologies.

Your credit card processing unit should be able to work as an integral part of your restaurant. And that means that it should be able to work in line with other restaurant management tools where possible or be integrated into a full-package POS system. This would make it easier for you to synchronize all your restaurant payment processes as much as you can – including rewards and loyalty programs.


24/7 Technical Support

You never want to be left in the dark when your credit card processing system fails. Choose a CC processor with first-class customer support that is always available whenever you need them. This is a crucial point to look out for because a system that is down can cost your restaurant a lot of money within an hour. So, it is best to have issues resolved as they occur so your customers don’t have to bear the inconvenience.


Payment Card Industry Compliance

Although PCI compliance is mandatory for credit card processors, not all the solutions provided by processing companies are up to standard. Where you are unable to confirm if a company is PCI compliant independently, you should be able to get a guarantee from them that they are indeed compliant.

Compliance is necessary, as it indicates that virtual security protocols have been integrated into the system to create a secure network that protects customers’ data as they use the equipment.


Go for the Best Credit Card Processor for Restaurants

There are many credit card processors out there, but very few provide tailored payment solutions for restaurants. Look out for companies that go beyond providing the basic services to offer more solutions that effectively boost your restaurant’s sales while integrating with other growth tools to make your restaurant run smoothly.

Simpay solutions provide the best credit card processing system for restaurants. Our systems are flexible and use the latest technologies, allowing for a wide range of compatibility and integration with other business tools that make your restaurant grow effortlessly.

More so, we do not impose pricing plans or contracts that box you in a corner. Our pricing plans and contracts are flexible, meaning that we work with you as a partner to fix the best rates that suit your business and offer contracts that don’t bring you to the point of termination.

As the best credit card processing company for restaurants, we have carried out extensive studies to understand the needs of restaurant owners and their customers. This is well reflected in the card processing solutions we offer and the custom gift and loyalty card program we help restaurants set up. Thus, we help you attract new customers, increase your brand’s awareness, and boost sales significantly.

With Simpay, managing your restaurant becomes a smooth-running, fast, easy, and much more profitable process. Contact us now to learn more about credit card processing for restaurants and how we can make it a fulfilling endeavor for you.

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