No business can thrive on cash only. Businesses need to be equipped to accept debit and credit cards. But that means picking out a payment processor. Visa estimates that there are 1,300 different payment processors around the world. With so many options to choose from, how do you decide who to work with? This is where we discuss why ECS Payments credit card processing solutions might be right for you.
ECS Payments: More Than Credit or Debit Cards
One way is to assess what a payment processor has to offer. These days, a payment processor should do more than sell you a POS terminal for accepting credit cards. The payment landscape has rapidly changed within the last two decades and continues to evolve. Hardware and software need to be up to date so your business can keep up with the competition.
Payment Processing at ECS Payments is about more than just credit card processing. We offer a complete range of merchant services, including credit, debit, ACH, ATM, banking, lending, merchant cash advance, and remote deposit capture. We work with businesses of all types, including merchants who have been listed as high-risk.
At ECS Payments, we tailor our relationship to fit your business and your industry. Automotive, healthcare, non-profit, retail, beauty, hospitality, food, beverage, and public sector are just a few of the organizational types we’ve worked with.
Here at ECS, we pride ourselves on being the only US-based payment processor to provide in-house operations for all departments: customer service, tech support, and underwriting. We do not want our clients to have to go anywhere else for any aspect of merchant servicing.
What Industries Does ECS Serve?
Let’s look at some of the industries that ECS Payments credit card processing solutions work with, some of the unique challenges they face, and some of the solutions that credit card processing by ECS can provide. Keep in mind that the specific challenges we highlight in each industry are just some of many.
ECS has a number of product and service solutions for each industry, along with stellar stateside customer support to help you maintain them.
Car repairs are one expense that catches most consumers off-guard. Bankrate found that a $500 expense would put 57% of consumers in debt. With numbers like these, car repair shop owners may wonder how they’ll get paid.
ECS has a solution for that, with point-of-sale financing. These on-the-spot consumer loans will get you paid right away while creating a payment plan for your customers. It’s a unique form of pay-as-you-go financing, without you having to pay companies like Klarna, Affirm, or Afterpay an onerous 6% of the sale.
If your business is in another realm of the automotive industry, such as a dealership, oil change shop, parts supplier, or more, ECS has the industry experience to back you up with whatever your needs are including terminals, online portals, and financing.
Food & Beverage
Restaurant payment solutions are at the forefront of retail fintech. Many restaurants are shifting away from the paradigm of collecting plastic at the end of the meal. Instead, customers are scanning QR codes to access menus, place orders, pay, and tip. Text-to-pay or SMS payment links are allowing customers to drive up, pay for their order, pick up, and drive home.
Our software solutions can connect your diners and drinkers to credit card networks right from their seats, stool, or booth. Small business owners such as yourself can realize the benefits of new payment tech to reduce fraud and improve efficiency on the restaurant floor. With improved payment technology, you’ll find it easier to keep the tables moving, which means improved customer service and returning diners.
The backend billing landscape of healthcare is complicated. Sometimes you will collect payment from patients, and sometimes you will collect it from insurance companies. And sometimes, you will need to remit payments to patients or insurance companies for overpayments.
Most credit card processors cannot help with remittances or EOBs. ECS Payments is one credit card processing company that can help collect money, and send it back when you need to. We can also help with contactless point-of-sale POS terminals for health-conscious practices. For practices that collect payment in person, contactless payments can send a strong message to your patients that you take cleanliness seriously.
We also are well aware that healthcare services can be costly for most patients. But also necessary for the majority. This is why we offer medical financing options for you to implement at your point-of-sale to better assist patients with accepting treatment.
The hospitality industry experiences a high degree of fraud. Sometimes this fraud is initiated by a malicious outsider, taking advantage of a customer’s financial information, or stealing their loyalty points.
But 80% of merchants across all sectors are seeing an increase in friendly fraud. This type of fraud involves a customer booking a room, staying in the room, and then initiating a chargeback dispute with their bank.
Unfortunately, chargeback disputes often favor the customer. This is especially damaging in high-ticket industries like hospitality (hotel, airfare, cruise bookings). But with the right technology, you can limit your exposure to malicious fraud, and capture the right documentation to overturn attempts at friendly fraud as well. ECS Payments is at the forefront of anti-fraud measures that can protect your business.
Retail and Small Businesses
One of the biggest problems plaguing small businesses is a lack of cash. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recommends having 3-6 months of operating expenses on hand. But Chase Bank has found that most businesses actually have a 27-day buffer, or around $12,000. One of the great ironies of borrowing money is that you can get it when you don’t need it, and you can’t when you do.
Problem solved with ECS Payments. We can assist our retail clients with a merchant cash advance. If your payment methods include credit and debit card sales, this information can be used to underwrite a special type of cash advance.
This merchant cash advance is repaid from your right from your sales volume. For emergencies or even for just having reserves, the merchant cash advance is a great tool.
Beauty and Personal Care
The personal care business is one where customer experience is at the forefront. And one way of building a positive customer experience is through loyalty rewards programs. Your point-of-sale terminals and online payment gateways can integrate with points and rewards programs to bring customers back to your beauty salon.
Whether you are offering discounted services or free beauty products as a reward, keeping track of points with software beats using punch cards.
ECS Payments has you covered with integrations like this, in addition to other software integrations. Our credit card processing can connect with inventory, invoicing, and accounting software, saving you lots of time and/or money.
Business days for salon owners are busiest during lunch hour, evenings, and weekends. As these hours already eat into personal family time, you will want to minimize how much additional work we do. ECS can help minimize that.
For nonprofits, we know that every penny counts, and credit card processing fees can eat into donations. To sidestep transaction fees, nonprofits can leverage ACH payments, which draw directly from a customer’s checking account. These types of payments are also very good for recurring donations, which you may want to encourage among your donors.
Nonprofits are also one of the last business models relying on door-to-door sales. Volunteers (or employees) seeking in-person donations cannot carry POS terminals around with them. ECS can help your field reps with mobile terminals, which make it easy to collect payments on the go. Whether they’re going door to door or setting up a booth at a local fair or festival, our solutions can make it easier for your nonprofit to collect donations.
Government and Utilities
Local governments need processing solutions for everything from tickets to taxes. These days, most constituents prefer to make their payments online, rather than going to an office. Unfortunately, government organizations have a reputation among cybercriminals for weak defenses and easy exploitation via ransomware.
Not so with ECS Payment Processing. We partner with banks and card companies to be at the forefront of fraud detection and prevention. Using firewalls, encryption, and tokenization, we can assist your jurisdiction with securely collecting payment. If you are a utility company that needs to save payment information for recurring bills, we can help with that as well.
PCI compliance dictates the rules and regulations that issuing banks want your organization to follow. Unfortunately, saving financial information securely can be a sizable ongoing expense. Local budgets with a limited supply of income can save a lot of money by outsourcing this secure storage to us. This money can then be freed up for community development.
Introducing Our Products
As you see, ECS Payments credit card processing solutions provides more than, well, credit and debit card solutions to our clients. Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the products we offer.
Credit and Debit Card Payments
Although we offer a diverse range of merchant services, accepting plastic payments is a foundational part of your business model. However, we are different from a lot of the other payment processors, especially in the fees we charge our customers.
Payment Processing Fees and Pricing Structures
Let’s discuss the fees and pricing structures you may find with the payments industry.
Big companies like Square, Stripe, and PayPal tend to charge flat rates. This seems to keep things simple and create less headache. However, there is more to it than meets the eye. The actual cost of running a debit or credit card has several parts: assessment and interchange rates, plus the payment processor markup.
Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover all have different interchange fees. Some of them even have different networks for debit cards. This means that all transactions are not truly the same in terms of price. Wouldn’t you rather pay the true cost of a transaction, instead of having that padded into a flat fee?
Some payment processors have a fee structure called tiered pricing. In this model, each type of card falls into one of (usually) three categories: qualified, mid-qualified, and non-qualified. The downside to this structure is that some of the most common transactions (card-not-present, such as online) transitions are the most expensive.
Tiered pricing is good for payment processors to mitigate their risk since the most expensive transactions are also the most subject to fraud. And flat rate pricing makes it easier for behemoth payment aggregators to sign up as many merchants as they can. But the lack of nuance to these pricing structures is not good for you, the business owner.
Interchange Plus Pricing
Interchange plus pricing is often the best model for business owners. In this business model, you will pay the actual price of running a transaction, plus markup for the payment processor. Although the result is that each transaction has a different cost, you will not lose money to flat-rate padding, or paying for your bank to mitigate their risk.
ECS Payments credit card processing solutions can offer any of the above pricing structures. But our knowledgeable account representatives will explore your needs and help determine which is the best one for you and your goals.
Domestic Customer Service
Around 66% of American businesses with more than 50 employees outsource, and one of the most common areas to outsource is IT support. Large corporations are the biggest proponents of outsourcing. This means that almost 7 times out of 10, a payment processor will not be able to provide you with domestic tech support.
Generic customer service is extremely unhelpful in high-pressure situations, such as when a POS terminal needs troubleshooting. If this help is coming from a remote location, that can make matters worse. At ECS, we pride ourselves on having stateside, in-house support. We do not outsource our technical assistance to a third party but rather deal with it ourselves.
But wait…there’s more. We also offer in-person visits for setting up new accounts and periodic maintenance visits. We take a very personalized approach to our client relationships, which is something you will not get with companies like Square and Stripe.
We have already touched on the idea of integrations in reviewing some of the industries we cover. But accounting integrations that save time are not industry-specific. Around 70% of small business owners work more than 40 hours each week. These business owners are sacrificing time with family or friends, and engaging in personal hobbies.
Although 75% of small business owners are happy doing what they do, undoubtedly many of them would be even happier if work was easier. And of the tasks taking the most time, are things like accounting and inventory. These tasks tend to be manual, repetitive, and quite frankly…boring.
The reality is that these processes are necessary to keep your business running. But ECS can save the day once again. We can easily integrate our payment processing solutions with QuickBooks, along with ERP, and CRM.
Inventory, booking, scheduling, and cataloging can all be automated, right from the point-of-sale. What will you do with more free time?
In addition to merchant cash advances, we have other business loan solutions that can help your business expand into the next phase. Many business owners would like to scale their operations. They may want to open a second location, or satellite location, or start a new product line. But to make money, they need money.
That’s where a business loan comes into play. Unfortunately, banks and traditional lenders have become rather tight-fisted ever since the Great Recession. It can be difficult for an SMB to get the loan they need. Although the idea of business financing through your payment processor might surprise you, at ECS we view it as just another way we can serve our customers.
We Can Help You When Nobody Else Can
A significant number of SMBs are lumped into the high-risk merchant category. Some of the most exciting retail spaces, for instance, are inherently high-risk. Supplements, CBD, marijuana, eCigs, multi-level marketing, and subscription-based services are all often suspect to traditional payment processors and banks.
That’s because these businesses are on the cusp of legality and have a variegated reception from state to state. Similar businesses (in that regard) include alcohol, gun sales, and adult entertainment or adult products. ECS Payments has experience providing merchant services to so-called high-risk businesses.
But wait…other businesses are subject to this label as well. Businesses with bad credit, high chargebacks, or a young payment history may find it hard to secure payment processing and merchant services. At ECS Payments, we are not afraid to help businesses with merchant solutions, even if other companies won’t.
ACH and Remote Deposit Capture
ACH payments use the ACH network to move money from bank to bank. Since these transfers use account and routing numbers, they are not subject to interruption that can occur from lost or stolen cards.
ACH payments are a great solution for businesses that charge recurring or periodically bill their clients. Are you a landlord, utility company, or cloud-based services provider? ECS payments can help build your cash flow.
In a similar vein, we offer remote deposit capture. If your business still collects paper checks, you won’t have to take a trip to the bank (and worry about not losing the check in the meantime). Paper checks are also surprisingly expensive for a business to process.
You can eliminate all these time and money concerns with the remote deposit capture services we provide. You can make remote deposits 24/7, save check information, and have it integrated into your accounting software.
ECS Payments Credit Card Processing Solutions: We Are Here For You
The client relationship is first and foremost at ECS. If you don’t believe us, ask some of our biggest names..like Audi, Toyota, Arco, Hanna’s Steakhouse, and Classic Industries—not to mention the hundreds of other SMBs we work with.
As you can see from our testimonials, many of these business owners have worked directly with one of our account managers to create a personalized, tailored solution for their business. We are confident that once we get to know each other, your testimonial will be included among those glowing reviews for ECS Payments credit card processing solutions.