Here at Paragon Application Systems, we are seeing an increasing number of businesses who are approaching us for help in changing their credit card processor relationship.
In some cases, the change may be associated with the end of a contract term and a decision not to renew with the current processor. In other cases, the processor may have decided to terminate or not renew a relationship for its own reasons.
In any event, finding and changing processors can be a complicated and time-consuming exercise.
3 things to consider when switching credit card processors
#1 - Identify and select your new processor as early as possible
When choosing a new credit card processor, your businesses will need to undertake the market research necessary to evaluate a number of variables from prospective vendors, including fee structure and rates, services provided, conversion timelines and the overall cost to the business.
And because the actual conversation process can take many months, even years in some cases, it is important that your selection process be completed with plenty of runway left for the actual work to be completed in the required time frame. It is important to establish a project plan that makes sense for both organizations and leaves enough time for complete and accurate testing.
#2 - Are you talking to me?
You are going to be communicating with your new processor using a different message specification than what you used with the outgoing provider. This will almost certainly be a variation of the venerable ISO 8583 standard (although ISO 20022 might come into play soon).
Getting this part of the conversation right is a critical factor in the overall success of the conversation process and necessary to ensure that all transactions get processed correctly. Sorting this aspect of the project conversion can require a significant amount of time and effort on both sides.
Working with a vendor like Paragon on this facet of the conversion process can provide a real benefit. We offer flexible, out of the box and easy to implement solutions for testing a wide variety of message specifications from established processors and networks.
#3 - Testing, testing and more testing
Once you have identified your new processor and agreed on the message specification (including any customizations) it is important to start testing as quickly as possible.
Converting to a new processor can be a long and complicated exercise, with many twists and turns. It is critical that you build in adequate time for testing.
Automation can help speed up your testing processes, expanding test coverage, maximizing the productivity of your resources and ensuring that your conversion project is completed on time and on budget.