Industry Insights
top 5

Choosing the right merchant services provider for your financial institution is important for not only growing your revenue, but also to ensure that your business customers’ credit card acceptance needs are met with the right technology solutions and excellent service and support.

There are many merchant services provider options out there but knowing what to look for can make all the difference. To help you to make the right decision, use our top 5 tips for choosing a merchant services provider for your financial institution:


Consider a provider who offers more than just low pricing.

When choosing a provider, it’s important to look for more than low rates. Although tempting, low costs are not always commensurate with better value. Instead, seek a provider that offers more features, a wide spectrum of payment technologies, transparent pricing structures and a dedicated customer support team. While saving money can be a driving force, being well-versed in a prospective provider’s full catalog of product offerings and planned enhancements and having a clear understanding of their commitment to customer service excellence for their customers should be overarching factors in securing this meaningful working relationship.


Your provider should strive to optimize your merchants’ cost.

Optimizing a merchant’s processing costs ultimately facilitates a better value for your business customers and, in turn, a greater long-term increase to your bottom line. Inevitably, there are expenses associated with card acceptance; however, there are cost components that are more “flexible” than others. Seasoned merchant services providers are skilled in identifying these improvable costs and should work with your business customers to reach a fee structure that is based on the merchant’s actual needs. Understanding the ‘improvable’ cost components will help optimize merchants’ costs and provide the best value tailored specifically to their needs.


Look for a provider that prioritizes transparency and builds confidence and trust through experienced guidance.

Signing a merchant processing agreement can be a daunting task for a business without proper guidance from the merchant services provider, as unfamiliar industry terminology may create confusion. A provider who is willing to take the extra time to help guide your client in understanding terms and conditions is key to fostering a successful working relationship from the outset, while simultaneously strengthening the trust your business customers have in your financial institution.

Exceptional providers take initiative to assist your business customers throughout every facet of servicing and provide dependable, knowledgeable, and experienced staff to ensure each inquiry is addressed in a timely manner. This dynamic approach promotes the individualized attention that builds confidence in the process, the products, the provider and – most importantly – in you as the referring financial institution.


Find a provider that can design the RIGHT product solution to meet each of your business customer’s needs.

Over the years payment technology solutions have evolved dramatically, so it is important to have a provider who has a wide range of payment technologies available and is capable of offering a product solution that is RIGHT for each of your business customer’s unique needs.

Today, it is expected that a business should be able to accept credit card payments across multiple methods including online, mobile, in-person, pay-at-the-table, contactless and digital wallets. In addition, merchant services can be integrated into various business software solutions and ERP platforms, resulting in payment acceptance operating more efficiently.

Thus, it is vitally important that you choose a merchant services provider that offers a wide range of payment technology solutions, and one that does not lock you into staying with that provider or into a particular product in order to use the payment technology solution. This “lock-in” approach dramatically limits the merchant’s ability to obtain lower merchant services costs and/or requires them to convert to new payment systems if switching merchant services providers, which can be expensive and painful.


Choose a provider that values relationships and invests in service.

A provider that values the importance of relationship-building and providing excellent service makes a world of a difference in giving your customer the best experience and maintaining a long-lasting relationship.

Look for a merchant services provider that offers accessible, knowledgeable, and helpful service to your business customers. They should take time to walk your customer through the PCI-DSS compliance process, discuss ways to avoid chargebacks, continually look for ways to help optimize payment processing operations and most importantly, do all of that with a genuine, caring approach.

About Thrive Payments:

Thrive Payments is a full-service merchant services provider located in Wakefield, MA, providing merchant services partnerships across the U.S. since 1980. We pride ourselves on being open, honest, and client-centric, while providing best-in-class, personalized customer service. Thrive Payments provides competitive, transparent pricing and focuses on building solid partnerships to promote mutual growth and value grounded in a foundation propelled by knowledge and experience. With your financial institution in mind, we offer a wide array of payment technology solutions customized to meet the needs of each of your merchants.
T. K. Keith Company, Inc. dba Thrive Payments is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, CA.