There are a few things you need to be aware of when changing card processors:
Payment terminal encryption
Your payment terminal was likely encrypted for the specific payment processor you have been using. In many circumstances, if you're switching processors, the encryption also needs to be updated (though not all). If you're processing debit cards as pin-based debit, this is 100% required in all cases. If you're not, you may be able to get away without it. Here's what the risks are if you try it without - some pin based credit cards will decline in your system and you'll have to turn away customers. If you're not doing pin debit there's a 50-50 chance you don't need to be concerned with terminal encryption.
Getting your terminals re-encrypted can be simple or hard depending on who you're working with. Some processors will subsidize (at varying degrees) a payment terminal swap out. They'll replace your current units with new / used encrypted units.
In other cases, the encryption will require you to pack up and ship the units somewhere and wait for them to come back, which isn't typically practical. If RITE has used units available, we will trade yours to us for a fee of $180 per terminal plus encryption costs, and we'll send them to the encryption facility of the processors choosing. It's a time-consuming process.
Terminal encryption also typically provides some additional level of security as it relates to PCI Compliance.
Processor change fees
Changes to card processing have a cost of $90 per terminal for reconfiguration and testing. A minimum of 2 business days notice is required prior to the appointment.
If you are using the processor NAB through RITE there are no ongoing fees. If you are using any other processor, there is a $10 per month, per POS station fee for utilizing the credit card processing module of Cloud Retailer.
- North American Bancard (NAB)
- Heartland Payments
- First Data
NOTE: American Express and Discover Card
For whatever reason, when many processors set up new accounts they forget to set up the account to process with American Express and Discover. We're not sure why this happens, but it happens A LOT, and when it doesn't work the first response is that the POS system is the problem. Please make sure to let them know that you want them enabled (or not) and asked twice if they are sure it's set up properly :).
Be careful of processors selling services that are not their core competency
We've deployed it a number of times, and it can work great, but it can be very challenging to deploy a payment processor that is reselling services that are not their primary product. You could, for example, run into a Vantiv sales representative (Card Defender does not support Vantiv at this time) and they will attempt to board you to TSYS, which is actually their competitor - but they can sell that product. It's sort of like a Ford dealership selling you a Tesla - when something goes wrong it can be a nightmare.
Company 1 will tell us to talk to Company 2 and around the circle, we go. Neither of them has the whole picture of your transactions and since it's something they are not accustomed to dealing with, nobody knows what to do - and you end up suffering.