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Merchant Services Deliver on Convenience and Security

Feb 13, 2020
Posted by: Stearns Bank

Merchant services offer convenient payment choices for your customers, with robust security and inventory management tools for your business.

The U.S. economy is turning away from cash and toward electronic payments. And businesses are turning to best-in-class merchant services.

Merchant services include payment systems for accepting credit and debit card payments, mobile wallet technologies such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, and automated clearing house (ACH) payments. They include “smart” terminals at the point of sale which take transactions and provide other key business services.

Thanks to broadband internet and integration with most business software, merchant services systems are easy to implement and maintain. A business can be up and running quickly to accept customer payments.

What Merchant Services Can Do For You

Besides processing transactions, merchant services provide valuable reporting for inventory management. Business owners can use data to identify sales trends, optimize product offerings, anticipate demand and plan for variations in the business cycle. Effective inventory management pays off with lower inventory carrying costs, maximizing unit sales and margins.

According to Troy Monson, product manager for merchant services at Stearns Bank, systems are essential for many types of businesses – those with high or low volume of transactions, high-ticket sales or lesser amounts.

“Any business that has customer interaction or takes customer payments is a potential user,” Monson said.

Point-of-sale (POS) systems commonly are seen in restaurants, retail stores, lawn care, chiropractors and trucking companies. Niche businesses also benefit such as pest control, roofers, gardeners and landscapers.

A startup business often will process payments with an entry-level system like Square, which uses Bluetooth technology to accept credit card payments with a mobile phone. However, as the business expands and sales grow, they need a more robust, secure and full-featured merchant services system such as that offered by Fitech.

Selecting Merchant Services

According to Monson, Fitech is good choice for most businesses because it offers easy implementation, 24/7 customer service, competitive pricing, reliable security and data management. Fitech partners with community banks, like Stearns Bank, to provide merchant services to business clients.

“Because they work with community banks, Fitech’s approach is personal and customized,” Monson says. “They take time to know their customers, the nature of their business, how they accept payments and the kind of equipment they need. Their solutions are centered around the customer.”

Installing a merchant services system with Fitech starts with a phone consultation. The Fitech account rep determines the equipment needed, walks through installation step by step, and conducts test transactions to ensure the system is working reliably.

Once installed, the Fitech system logs transaction data and provides sales and inventory reports. Business users log in to their account on the Fitech website to review daily sales revenue, inventory data and analytical tools.

For businesses that want to sell online, Fitech integrates with eCommerce software to accept credit card payments over a website.

Security and Fraud Protection

Because merchant services vendors hold data on customer accounts and transactions, data security is vital. Any breach of data would be devastating to the business and its customers. So Fitech, like other payment specialists, provides robust data security and fraud-protection features.

For businesses that have adopted merchant services, customer convenience is a key benefit. Modern payment processing makes the business look smart and tech savvy. A glitch-free, seamless experience at the point of sale results in happy customers who will generate repeat business and positive referrals.

With a provider like Fitech, businesses can be confident they are using the latest and most secure payments system. Since payments methods and technologies are rapidly evolving, Fitech helps the business stay current.

“Technology is always moving forward,” Monson says. “Fitech manages the technology, so you can manage your business.”

Another reason to consider implementing or upgrading your payments system: Fitech is offering a $500 incentive to compare features and cost with your current system. Simply provide two recent statements (minimum $2,500 monthly sales). Fitech will review your current services and determine if they can offer better pricing. If not, you may be eligible for a $500 gift card. Contact Stearns Bank to get started.

Contact us about merchant services