Learn all about merchant processing and the fees your business pays.
PCI compliance is a topic which most merchants do not like, because they feel that it is hard work for them. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) has laid down certain guidelines, known as the Data Security Standard (DSS), which is used to ensure that all merchants who process credit card transactions provide adequate security to the credit card holders’ data, so that the data cannot be misused. The need for this standard arose when there were many fraudulent transactions reported by merchants who had no clue how the data had leaked out from their machines. To make sure that such fraudulent transactions do not take place often, the PCI DSS came into being, and the credit card companies have issued all merchants a notice that if they do not take the guidelines seriously to become PCI compliant, they will be levied a fine.
Now that sounds like a scary thing, and no doubt many merchants are nervous about the whole PCI compliance concept. But in reality there is nothing to be scared of, since PCI compliance is a very easy topic to deal with. It doesn’t take you a lot of while to make your business PCI compliant. You just need to follow some easy guidelines.
The main motive of the guidelines is to ensure that you have provided enough security for the sensitive credit card data which you process at your store. You can do this by getting the latest equipment to process credit card data, and by not depending on the old machinery, which provide a risk these days because they are very easy to hack into. By getting the latest machinery you will be able to ensure greater security for your customers’ data. So keep this in mind when you are about to start accepting cards from your customers.
Another thing that you should take care of is that your computer network should remain secure. Most merchants link their computer networks to the machine which processes credit cards, so if the computer network itself is weak. then the machine will be left exposed as well. To avoid this, it is recommended that you take the required precautions to provide adequate security for your computer network. This will make it strong and unbreakable, so no cyber criminals will be able to hack into your network and try to tamper with your machine, since it is now fool-proof.
It is that simple to follow the PCI guidelines. Sure, it will take up a little of your time to follow all the guidelines and set up all the machinery, but once it has been done, you will be able to provide a safer platform for your customers to use their credit cards at, which means that they will be more confident about purchasing from you. This is a good sign for returning customers as well. So all things considered, you should definitely give PCI compliance a serious thought, and take the required steps to become PCI compliant as soon as you can.
While PCI Compliance Fees may be an unavoidable part of using a credit card processing account, that does not mean you have to overpay for it. Find the best credit card processing providers in the industry with the lowest PCI and overall costs for your company by checking out CheapestMerchantAccounts.com.
We all know that a revolution is a drastic change. So what change does the Revolution Card bring in the credit card industry? Well, the most significant change is eminent in the very first glance at this revolutionary credit card. You will see not a single personal detail written on it, not even the name, not even a number and not even a signature. As they claim, it looks different and it is different.
Countless measures have been taken in recent years, in order to fight fraud and data theft. Many standards are formed, many policies are followed, yet no one has ever thought about changing the credit card completely. Apparently, the Revolution Card did, but does that really make a difference?
This is true that there is not a single bit of personal information imprinted on the card. The card is completely PIN -protected, which means no one will ever be able to use it without the pin. This automatically lowers the risk of identity and information theft. This is the major reason why so many people now prefer the Revolution card over other credit cards. This makes it more important for merchants to accept these Revolution Cards.
The increasing interest of consumers in the Revolution card explains the need of accepting these cards for merchants. However, other than increased sales and prospects, the Revolution card can offer various other benefits for merchants. With revolution cards the merchants won’t have to pay any interchange payments between the banks. Also, the Revolution card offers a flat fixed rate pricing with a cost of 0.5% for transaction processing and settlement. This helps the merchants save up to 80% per transaction in comparison to other credit cards they accept.
This isn’t the only place merchants are saving costs with Revolution Cards. Due to their extremely secure nature, fraud and theft are almost eliminated with Revolution cards. This results in a lower chargeback rate probability and minimum transaction disputes. As the risks are decreased as low as 90%, the cost is automatically minimized.
Accepting Revolution cards is easy, just like accepting other payment cards. Some people think that it might need an equally revolutionary method. Yet, for accepting Revolution cards, you only need to be able to accept PIN based transactions. These cards can be accepted online or over the phone. All the consumer needs to do is to enter their card number and card authorization code.
Although there are plenty of loyalty, rewards and points programs available that you can tie to the usage of card on your store, you can also create and control programs of your own. You can also add the card to your existing reward or loyalty program.
In response to the number of consumers preferring Revolution cards, a number of businesses are accepting these cards as well. Many merchant service providers now offer merchant accounts with the ability to accept these Revolution cards. With this ability you are not only looking at countless benefits of a flat fixed rate and flexible reward programs, but also a crowd of consumers who want more security and advantages.
As a merchant, if you want to have a merchant account, you need to comply with PCI DSS. Before we get into explaining why it is necessary to do so, let us first explain what it stands for. PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.
The increasing usage of credit cards is no more a breaking story. A rapidly growing upsurge in the credit card industry was seen in the very start of the nineties. By the early 2000s, almost every other citizen in the US had a credit card and credit card purchases were a norm. In the mid 2000s, the amount of credit card payments started to exceed the number of payments made in cash. Taking advantage of this situation, an army of credit card hackers attacked and took over, and many of the big companies fell victim to their fraud.
People were so used to the convenience of using plastic that there was no way of turning back to cash. To deal with such fraud and to make credit card usage safer for consumers, PCI DSS were introduced. All businesses, no matter the size, which accept credit card payments, need to comply with these strict security standards. These security standards, PCI DSS, are drawn by the major players in the credit card industry including MasterCard and Visa.
Complying with PCI DSS means you must follow the strict standards set by these companies. These standards require the merchant to build and maintain a secure network, protect the card holder data, maintain vulnerability management measures, monitor and test networks and maintain an information security Policy.
PCI DSS is a standard that is mandated, but many small businesses avoid it completely. The truth is that smaller businesses are equally as vulnerable to frauds as bigger businesses are. It is also not a nerve wrecking procedure as you might think it is. Moreover, it has several benefits as well.
Compliance with PCI DSS makes your system more secure regarding the card information. Not only does it protect your business, it also gives a sense of trust and security in your customers. The importance of building trust in business is no secret to merchants anymore.
Being PCI DSS compliant helps you in being a partner in a constant war against data theft and security threats. PCI keeps updating and evolving their rules and policies as new threats keep arising everyday. Once you are compliant with PCI DSS, it becomes easier to stay abreast to the always changing security threats.
Some merchants are of the opinion that data security breaches are not their headache. On the contrary, they can equally be as dangerous for you as they are for the card bearer. Failure to comply with PCI Compliance can result in heavy fines and penalties can and have put many businesses out of business for good. Not adhering to these standards can leave you vulnerable to data theft and as a consequence you might more than fines and penalties such as face lawsuits, insurance claims, and the loss of the ability to accept credit cards. More than anything, you lose your potential customers and their trust. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Many merchants believe if they process with a credit card terminal that they are in PCI compliance. However, that is not the case. Merchants need to complete a SAQ (Self Assessment Questionnaire) which is a form containing a series of questions pertaining to how the merchant secures paperwork and who has access to this sensitive information. Employee theft is rampant and merchants usually do not realize the extent of employee theft until it is too late and the losses have occurred.
The importance of taking the time to ensure your business is in PCI Compliance can be the difference in being in or out of business. It does not take long and if you need assistance, we provide easy to follow step by step instructions and guide on how to complete the paperwork. The paperwork takes about ten minutes and most processors attach a $19.95 monthly fee to your merchant statement if your business has not completed the compliance requirements within 90 days of annual notification.
Banks are big financial institutions that are ready to offer their sincere financial help to businesses. Reality check- ‘big’ businesses! If you are small business owner looking for some capital to invest in your business’ future growth, how many times have you been rejected for bank loans?
Most banks won’t approve the of lending money to small businesses. It seems like there is no chance for small businesses to get their hands on a little working capital when they need it. Apparently, there is a savior- the Merchant Cash Advance. With a merchant cash advance, small business merchants can borrow money against their anticipated credit card sales in the future. That generally requires no collateral, credit checks, personal guarantees, or equity, plus, no upfront cost or hidden charges.
As the rate of disapproval from banks is growing, more and more businesses are opting to borrowing against their credit card receivables. Now, many will say that there are many glitches in such offers, but it greatly depends on the service you are using. In most trustworthy legitimate Merchant Cash Advance services, only a fixed percentage is deducted from your credit card receivables. Repayment is automatic and in accordance to your business revenue flow. There is usually no tiring procedure to go through or strict qualification standards to meet.
Due to their high approval rate and hassle free terms and procedures, Merchant Cash Advances are now becoming a highly preferable method of lending capital. A small business with a steady stream of credit card sales can get from 2500 to 100,000 dollars to use for whatever their needs may be. Can you imagine the possibilities and opportunities your business could endevor upon with this capital?
One of the most recognized merchant cash advance providers is AdvanceMe, Inc. AdvanceMe offers cash advance to small businesses in four simple steps.
Most business simply renew their agreement so they have a continous line of revolving business credit. So, is there still any glitch you find here? Apparently, there isn’t. In fact, what you get from merchant cash advance is a substantial amount of capital that can help you in expanding your business further. Not only is the application is easy, you also won’t have to worry about paying it back as a lump sum amount.
ATMs have brought a great amount of convenience in our lives. It is so convenient that we have all become addicted to ease and convenience of the ATM machine. It is quite hard to think of a life without these money machines now. These are not speculations; the numbers reveal that more than 60% of adult use ATMs eight times a month. Now, that’s not all, it has also been found that a customer with an ATM card tends to spend 25% more than other customers. Perhaps, it is because they don’t fear about running out of cash at hand.
There are many other reasons why people tend to spend more when they have an ATM card and an ATM nearby. Due to all these reasons, it literally pays to have an ATM in your store. ATM benefits your business in many ways. Let’s take a look at few of them.
Consequently, with an ATM in your store, you offer your customers convenience and better customer service. Also, it will increase your sales and income in many ways including increasing foot traffic into your store.. So, if you haven’t thought of having an ATM in your store, it is time to give it a second thought.
Fleet cards are also known as fuel cards in some regions. Both the terms are hardly new for anyone now as most automotive businesses now accept such cards for a number of related services. These services might include fuel-purchases, car washes and other automobile related services and products. People deem these cards as credit cards, yet there is substantial difference.
As a matter of fact, the automotive industry is undoubtedly one of the fastest growing and highest grossing industries around. From a showroom to a workshop, it has brought a plethora of employment opportunities. However, one cannot deny that in automotive industries the competition is also one of the toughest as compared to other businesses. Due to this competition, businesses related to automotive industries always strive to offer the best to their customers. They try to lure the majority of customers through quality and excellent customer services.
When it comes to customer services, the benefit of accepting credit cards is undeni
able. Yet, not every business can expect the same amount of benefits from a credit card unless they get one that suits the nature of their business. Fleet cards can be considered as credit cards for the automotive industry. By accepting fleet cards, businesses can enjoy several benefits that credit cards alone won’t be able to offer. Let’s have a look at a few of them.
First of all, the major benefit of accepting fleet cards is the same as accepting credit cards for any other business. You are offering your customers benefits from your product or service without having to pay cash.
When driving a car, many unexpected situations can occur. Your customers will have the convenience of driving straight to your place of business before dropping home to pick up some cash. Not to mention, such unexpected situations can bring you new customers every single day.
Many organizations, both government and private, are now offering fleet cards to their employees. This means, there is a huge wave of potential customers already waiting for you to accept their business.
Fleet cards are more secure as they require a PIN based authorization along with other information to verify the validity of the charge. This reduces the risk of fraudulent transactions.
Also, in most automotive businesses, the customers are usually present during a transaction. This reduces the risk of fraud. That is why the discount rate is often lower than credit cards.
The payment terms of fleet cards are shorter than credit cards.
Fleet cards usually offer discount prices to the customers. Customer do not have to pay cash out of their pockets and wait for reimbursements are more inclined towards businesses that accept fleet cards rather than just cash or standard credit card or check payments. The customers, essentially, love the idea of making payments on the go. Therefore, you must also prepare your business to be able to accept payments on the go.
Credit card processing has become a crucial necessity for businesses, but does that always guarantee profits and benefits?
In case of large businesses, the chances of making profits through credit card processing are better because 45%-60% of their transactions are credit card transactions. This may sound quite unfair but larger businesses tend to get good discounts from credit card companies. This is mainly because large businesses have a bigger number of transactions and this means more profits for the bank and Credit Card Company.
Simply not having a merchant account is not the right solution for small businesses. It may keep a lot of potential customers away from doing business with you. After all, you can’t deny the importance of convenient customer services. Yet, for small business, a merchant account sometimes seems to be working only for the good of customers and the banks, but not the business itself. However, what you can do to gain more profits is lower your business expense by lowering your merchant fee. Never thought it was possible? It is.
There are several ways to avoid high merchant process expenses while benefiting from the merchant services at the same time. Let’s take a look at what you need to do in order to make your merchant account work for your profits.
Some people eat to live and some people live to eat. In any case, people can’t possibly stop eating, and that is regardless of economical conditions. Not just that it’s a necessity of life, it is also a nice leisure activity for those who love to dine out. That is why restaurants always seem to be filled with customers.
Sometimes, trips to restaurants may not be planned. People get out running some errands and decide to drop by a restaurant for a delicious meal. Due to frequency of unplanned visits, customers tend to pay their restaurant bills with their credit cards. That is why it has now become essential for restaurants to be able to process credit card transactions.
The reason why wireless and credit card processing is preferred for restaurants is that some of the customers might feel too lazy to drop by and dine in. According to a study, the number of home delivery orders per day is almost equal to the dine-in orders in a restaurant. This means roughly half of the customers won’t be able to come to your restaurant for payments either. Wireless and mobile credit card allows you to swipe a card even if you are delivering your order in the most remote area of the town.
Portability, however, is not the only benefit you get from wireless and mobile credit card processing. Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent benefits that restaurants get from wireless and mobile credit card processing.
In the hospitality business, you understand how important it is to delight the senses of your customers. With your excellent food and wonderful customer service, the benefits of wireless and mobile credit card processing is like a cherry on the top. All you need to do is to make sure that you get a flat fixed rate merchant account that is specifically designed to answer unique needs and requirements of your restaurant business. This can turn out to be a highly cost effective and profitable venture.
Merchant providers offer their merchant services usually at a fixed percentage of the merchant’s total sales. There are different pricing structures I will be addressing soon in other articles, but this one will address “Bill Back pricing structure.” Bill Back pricing is the most popular and the most profitable for merchant providers, some providers may call it “ERR”, but the names are interchangeable.
Your merchant fees are always charged a month in arrears to add even more confusion. If you take a look at look at your merchant processing statement last couple of pages and you see a Financial Advice area stating “Fees Incurred, but not Charged.” Those are the fees incurred for the current month and will be deducted the following month from your account. The fees on the front page do not necessarily reflect the actual fees you paid that month. Another item to look for on your statement is “BB” listed anywhere on your statement as it stands for Bill back.
However, no matter what the interchange fees charged by Visa and MasterCard and they are published on their web sites are fees that the merchant provider must pay to Visa and MasterCard along with a per transaction fee. There are several different fees based upon the type of credit card, the manner in witch it was taken (swiped or manually entered), was it batched out within Visa and MasterCard’s time frames? All of the criteria are posted on Visa and MasterCard’s web sites. I will be addressing how Interchange works soon as well.
This is where your business sense and logic should come into play. If a customer purchases an item or service from your business with their Visa corporate Credit Card, Visa is going to charge your merchant service provider their published interchange rate of 2.20% and $.10 per transaction. Now here is the big question. Does your merchant service provider think you are so special that they gave your business such a “special low rate of 1.59%” and will pay the disparity of .61%?
I am sorry to have to break the news, but in order to keep this rated “G” my response is a flat out NO! I am sorry and I know how it feels when coming to terms with the fact that you are not special and the World does not revolve around you, it can’t because it revolves around me. Did I mention our support group meets on the second Tuesday of every week for those of us in need of a safe and supportive environment to get you through this difficult time period in your life? Remember, the second Tuesday of every week. Mark it on your calendars.
With that being said that low, low rate of 1.59% is not really that low because if you grab your contract, it will show somewhere on there a “Downgrade Surcharge Fee.” So not only will YOU (this is the part when it is all about you and nobody else and you will not longer need services of the support group) pay the difference of $.61%, but you will also pay a downgrade surcharge designated on your contract. Remember when YOU agreed to the contract and that portion was swiftly passed in order to get to the signature page for YOU to sign.
This “Discount Surcharge Fee” can range from .25% to 1.39%, but I will use $.86% as an average for my calculations as it seems to be the norm. That low rate of 1.59% just turned into your business paying 2.96% for that credit card transaction. My calculations included the difference in the amount your merchant provider charged you and Visa charged them which is $.61% and the downgrade surcharge of $.86, plus let’s not forget your low, low rate of 1.59% totaling 2.96%.
It is important to understand the pricing structure of your merchant account. Interchange pass through pricing is the most cost effective because it takes exactly what Visa and MasterCard charge and pass it straight through to the customer. The merchant service provider then adds a pre negotiated “Discount Fee” to your credit card transactions and that can range anywhere from .10% to 1.00% along with a per transactions fee, monthly statement fee, and batch fees. The industry is trending towards a flat rate where businesses pay interchange pass through because there is no getting around those fees and one flat rate that includes all fees and a per transaction fee. If your volume increases your fees do not, but it is only logical that if you have more transactions you will pay more in transaction fees. However, it is the most transparent and accountable pricing structure to enter the merchant services industry.
After a painful sitting at their dentist’s clinic, what adds to the patients’ misery is their dentist flashing a smile at them and telling them credit cards are not accepted here. ‘Sparkle’!
When we say that credit card processing is becoming an essential for businesses nowadays, medical professionals in the past have considered them an exception. It is true that your profession is very different from businesses such as retail, but you do need to keep pace with time. It’s not just that your business doesn’t need merchant processing; it’s that most customers now prefer credit card payments. In fact paying with a credit can sometimes be a patients only option in receiving medical treatment.
However, you must understand that being in a different kind of business; you need a different kind of merchant service provider. That is why we introduced our Clearview credit card processing for medical professionals. It is a special package that is designed specifically for the medical profession and keeping in mind, cost benefits and special requirements.
Clearview is based on a fixed flat rate pricing structure. Experts and clients deem the flat rate pricing as the best and most beneficial structure ever introduced. It has many apparent advantages over other structures used commonly in the merchant services industry. Clearview ensures that you get fast processing, online real time reporting and the lowest price available to help offset decreasing insurance payments.
If you think it as just another scheme luring you into merchant account trap, consider following advantages of fixed flat rate credit card processing. Not to mention we guarantee our savings and if we do not provide what the rates we have promised, we will gladly relieve you from our services.
With so many advantages a flat rate merchant account is providing many medical professionals, it certainly explains why flat rate pricing is the latest trend in the Payment Card Industry.