It’s important for everyone, from laymen to business experts, to familiarize themselves with the credit card processing industry to avoid racking up debt and earning a poor credit score. Never jump into this industry without doing your research or you could find yourself in over your head with hidden fees and serious liabilities.

Read on for a list of Do’s and Don’ts when incorporating a credit card processing account into your business model.

DO research merchant account providers to gain a basic understanding of the industry and familiarize yourself with your options.

DO spend time comparing different types of credit card payment solutions and find what works best for your business – whether it’s retail, mobile, ecommerce, or B2B.

DO listen to other vendors/business owners and see what solution worked best for them. (DON’T assume it’s best for you but hear what they have to say on the topic.)

DO scout out the best merchant account provider for your needs.

DO start your business with the support of larger credit card companies like VISA and Mastercard. It adds credibility to your services and improves customer satisfaction when you offer payment options with recognizable, multinational corporations.

DO set up the exact type of merchant account meant for your business and begin accepting payment transactions through that system, as soon as you feel ready. 

DO partner with an account provider that has dependable customer service and answers your questions without hesitation.

DO open a seasonal account if you plan to be in business for just a few months.

DO set up your PIN pad and PIN debit if you are a retail business owner.

DO set up a wireless terminal to increase your sales if you’re in the mobile business.

DON’T settle for a merchant account provider before seeing all the options, or you may end up losing sales and hurting your business operations.

 DON’T allow merchant account providers or financial professionals to pressure you into acting quickly. Take your time with this process.

DON’T accept credit card processors with hidden fees like free terminal or gateway systems. Only sign a lease when you feel 100% comfortable that you have all the information.

DON’T invest in contact-free payments or smart cards unless the majority of your customers require these new technologies for ease of transaction. Most consumers will be perfectly content paying with a regular credit card, and in fact, most are more trusting of traditional methods of payment than newer, flashier systems.

Now that you are familiar with the Do’s and Don’ts of the payment processing system, you’re free to begin development and implementation. Look for a first-rate bank or merchant account provider who can offer the best services to optimize the success of your business.