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transparency is the color of trust

Everyone Will Believe What They Can See

Trust is a key factor in any business relationship but as history has proven many times, there can be no trust if the parties involved aren't open with each other. Transparency truly is what can make or break a relationship between an SMB and their payment-processing partner, which is why SMBs should always insist on it. 

What to Look For

When it comes to costs and various fees, merchants, big and small, want to know exactly what they are paying for, when, and why. A quick way for a merchant payment service provider to lose clients, especially small and medium businesses, is to saddle them with hidden fees or respond with a robot when clients request technical support.

Here is what SMBs should be looking for if they want transparency from their merchant payments providers. Hidden fees should be a deal breaker, while early cancellation charges should at least provoke a raised eyebrow.

Checking their monthly statements is a good way of discovering hidden fees, about which an SMB should then confront their payment processor. When making POS terminal rental agreements, SMBs should always keep an eye open for deceptive wording, and they should always request their payment providers to specifically state which revenue streams they'll have access to.

Security is paramount not only for an SMBs operation but also for their customers, which is why smart SMBs insist on their payment providers being upfront and timely with reports on any breaches and potential issues, as well as measures being taken.

And of course, if there are any updates to be made to software or hardware, SMBs should be made aware of it before said updates are performed.

Online Intermediaries

Steps are being taken in the EU  to ensure that small and medium businesses are provided with a safety net in the booming digital economy, with transparency as a significant feature not only with regards to payments but also online presence.

Any SMB with online presence - which most SMBs have, mostly in the form of an online store - relies on its payment providers for a 24/7 availability to its customers, but another online venue needs to be taken into consideration: online intermediation platforms.

These platforms offer SMBs a place to sell their products and services, promote themselves, and reach new customers who may come to the platform looking for one thing and, while browsing or searching, come across their offerings. 

Merchant portals and tracking apps are a great way for merchants to manage their business because they show all the minute detail about the transactions, settlements, developments in card turnover. They also generate reports and collect data that can be used for getting a better insight into what customers need so merchants can boost their business.

Trust is a Two-way Street

Of course, transparency cuts both ways. SMBs who pursue a policy of financial and operational transparency towards clients are themselves more likely to attract investors. Providing relevant information on SMB operations as well as a report on its financial health can often be the factor that brings in venture capital as well as engender goodwill and increase customer trust.