Searching for the Right Payment Processor? Here’s What You Should Know

Being modern, unlimited in scale and available on any channel unlocks an entirely new dimension to your business.

As a merchant, working with the wrong fit in a payment processing partner can run completely counter to your identity and how you operate as a business.

There are plenty of ways that merchants have fallen into this trap. Negative consumer feedback and debilitating fees and costs stemming from predatory and incapable payment processors can set merchants back by damaging their brand’s bottom line and goodwill. Working with an older legacy payment processor, especially relative to your competitors, can leave them better suited to attract and keep the same customers that your business is after. Even a highly-touted payment processor can be a bad fit if you are not completely sure what it is that you are looking for in a partner.

An understanding of the importance of finding the right fit when it comes to payment processing is crucial, and you may not even know what you’re missing out on if you continue to rely on a payment processing partner that is underperforming or simply isn’t the right fit. Whether your current system is outdated, you settled for a one-size fits all option that has left you jaded, or are just left wondering if you’re leaving money on the table, AFS can guide you to some answers with some basic things you should know going forward.

Let’s break it down:

How do I know when to upgrade my payment processing system?

Efficient payment processing is more important to businesses than ever before. Naturally, upgrading an older payment processing system should be a high priority for any merchant that wants to be ready for the new payment demands of consumers. Whether a merchant wants to monetize their payments or offer more inclusive pricing options, it is all about moving money in a way that meets (or ideally exceeds) customer expectations, all while making full use of inventive API tools and features without sacrificing more funding than your business has access to.

It can be a tough pill to swallow for merchants to have to go through the considerable steps and hassles that come with making an upgrade from their current payment processor, but “ripping and replacing” can be well worth it in the long run for both merchants and consumers (that is, if you’re replacing it with the right option). In fact, the search-and-replace process does not have to be as hard or expensive as some processors lead merchants to believe.

Merchants may understandably feel hesitant to make such a dramatic wholesale shift due to the friction it can temporarily cause in the short term. However, an underperforming platform that does not take full advantage of the new technology and rich features that consumers in the modern payment landscape have come to expect for businesses can spell big trouble for customer retention, an essential factor for financial longevity.

What should I look for in a payment processor to fit the best interests of my business, regardless of size?

Regardless of the size of your business, you want to pick a competitive processing option that reduces your overall rates without compromising on any of the features that will not only streamline your operations but also make your business stand out within your industry.

So how do you start?

Ideally, by partnering with a specialized payments partner that can work with you directly to not only offer customized systems and pricing options that make for a seamless fit but can also offer easy integration that can unlock a host of features and tools through APIs that can change the way your customers interact with and experience your business.

There are several factors at play here. Pricing variations are very pronounced within the payments industry and can depend on a large number of factors. This can sometimes impact and limit the way your business operates because you’re constantly having to keep the costs of scalability and volume in mind. Legacy platforms are limited in this sense, so an omnichannel and cloud-based solution with unlimited scalability can end up saving your business a considerable amount of money in the long run, especially if you’re working with an inclusive processor that is willing to meet you at your price range.

Additionally, keep in mind that the specific needs of any business, including yours, can be in constant flux and that needs to be accounted for before you invest in any payment processing option. With a cloud-based solution, you can account for anything thrown your way all while maximizing your profitability and ensuring that you are making the savviest choice for your business’s projected growth.

Finally, a substantial omnichannel component, along with the ability to leverage that is essential. Agility and scalability are important within any industry but as a higher percentage of transactions and profit percentages are observed beyond in-store purchases, handling the volume and scale capabilities that come with this new reality is necessary. Merchants need to be assured that their payment processor can handle any percentage of sales that come from any platform or channel: online, in-store, or anywhere at the point of sale. Being unlimited in scale on any channel unlocks an entirely new dimension for your business.

Now that I know what to look for, how do I know that I’m making the right choice?

Flexibility and low-cost processing should be the major points of emphasis for businesses. Merchants of any size should feel empowered to choose the right option for them if they can find the upgrade in a gateway or payment processor that caters to their needs. The most important thing, however, is to find a processor that is designed and operates based on the future needs of your business and stays ahead of the curve.

Luckily, agility is the cornerstone of everything that we do at AFS.

We built our APEX platform with an emphasis on our ability to remain agile, creating custom solutions for merchants across a multitude of demographics. Our APEX platform offers innovative financial solutions that fit the payments landscape of today and tomorrow, providing efficiency and an improved payments experience across the board, We know it is critical that merchants meet their customers at their preferred point of purchase, without sacrificing efficiency, customer experience, customer conversion rates, or other merchant processes in general.

Go to to learn more about how we can set your business on the path to success today.