Entries tagged with “merchant accounts”.


Sometimes it is the small things that make a difference.  I had a conversation with a friend last week about the pros and cons of using a payment aggregator for processing, as opposed to a traditional merchant account.  While we had a pretty lengthy discussion ranging over a variety of topics, there was one detail that stuck in my colleague’s mind.  I had asked how her merchant name shows up on receipts.  She hadn’t thought about that before and said she was going to go back and check it out.  Sure enough, she said, the merchant name showed up as something that even she would have found difficult to recognize as her business.  Why does that matter?  One word – chargebacks.

Often when customers don’t recognize the name on their statement, they will call their issuing bank and chargeback the purchase. If your merchant name is not immediately recognizable to customers on their statements, you run the risk of getting hit with unnecessary chargebacks.  Not only does this result in one-time charges and fees to the merchant, but repeated chargebacks can result in increased fees and may even cause processors, whether traditional processors or aggregators, to suspend the merchant’s ability to process payments.

This is a fairly easy thing to check, and to fix.  If you are unable to change your merchant name, and there are some legitimate reasons why that might be the case, then make sure your customers know what to look for on their statements.  This can be done either as a message on the receipt or on your website.  If you have a storefront, you may place a sign next to the register.  Anything that might reduce the likelihood of confusion on your customers’ part can help you reduce the likelihood of chargebacks.

With the end of summer closing in on us and the fast approach of the holiday months, seasonal sales are on the rise and many merchants will be collecting card payments in larger amounts. Generally, larger volumes of card payments can mean increased chances for encountering fraud and customer disputes. One way that you can reduce these risks is by using the latest in mobile processing technology to ensure higher levels of payment security and create greater ease for both you and your customer. In line with the latest trends in Smartphone technology, ProPay offers several types of mobile solutions, such as the JAK, FLASH or Verifone’s PayWare Mobile which can facilitate your business efforts and offer increased security while you are transacting payments over these busier months.

Besides the added touch of sleek professionalism one of these devices can give to you business or even the possibility for less costly card-present rates, they also offer key security features which are increasingly important in this information-age where data is easily stolen and abused:

The most important of these features is encryption and tokenization of security-sensitive data. Each of these processes makes it more difficult for hackers to steal information, and ProPay’s mobile devices encrypt and tokenize card information at the point of the swipe. Some devices on the market will load the information and then encrypt, which leaves a brief window where data can be hacked or stolen. ProPay’s encryption and tokenization strategies do not allow for any such window. That means that the risk of the card information being fully viewed and compromised is greatly reduced.

Another feature of these devices that can reduce risks for card fraud is the possibility to receive an instantaneous approval or decline message as long as the device is receiving data service or is connected to the Internet. Receiving an instant authorization reduces the need to write down and carry sensitive information in an unsecure environment, and it gives you peace of mind that you have received valid payment for your goods or services.

Swiping the card to any of these devices also verifies that the card was present at the time of the transaction, and with some of the devices offered by ProPay, the customer can even sign electronically. Likewise, the device can collect the card number, name on the card, expiration date and billing zip code automatically by reading the information store on the card’s magnetic strip. Together, proof of card presence, customer signatures and collecting accurate card information act as supplementary proof of authorization if the need arises to reply to a dispute with a customer’s bank. To learn more on the importance of correct address information, see this post.

Finally, a major concern in the risk management of card payments is that the customer may not recognize the transaction you have processed and will sometimes question the charge with their bank. A situation such as this may lead to a loss of funds on your account and create additional hassles. One way to deal with this risk is to make sure that the customer is aware of the charge. The features on some of ProPay’s mobile devices allow you to send an email notification to your customer alerting them of the charge, avoiding an unnecessary confusion or disputes.

Keep in mind, though, that a mobile payments device cannot entirely eliminate the risks associated with card processing. Maintaining good records and communicating effectively with your customers and your merchant processing service company, hand-in-hand with any of these devices, can greatly reduce those risks to the lowest degree possible. For additional tips on reducing fraud, whether you are using a mobile swipe device or entering transactions manually, please read this post. And remember, ProPay risk management and customer service staff are always willing to respond to any questions or concerns as you prepare for handling card payments this busy season.

We have heard a lot lately about consumers tightening purse strings, saving more and spending less.  This means more competition for each dollar.  While finding new customers is important, you may find significant value in retaining those you already have.  Promotions and price cuts erode profitability, so here are some other ways to enhance the customer experience and entice customers back.

 Reach Out.

Let customers know their business is appreciated and you would like to see them again.  An easy way to do this is through a small business email marketing service.  Keep the communication brief, relevant and not too frequent.  You might also send a physical card to announce an event or a hand-written note to tell a customer thank you.

 Interact.

Open a dialogue with your customers.  Let them know you are listening and that their feedback is important.  In his recent book, The Thank You Economy, Gary Vaynerchuk argues that getting involved in the social media discussion in particular with your customers is critical to a business’s success.  It allows a business to discover ways to improve and builds relationships, which drives customer loyalty.

 Incentivize.

Finding ways to give more benefits without cutting costs can give you an edge on the competition. Some insurance companies provide time-based extra benefits for loyal customers, making them think twice about switching.  Likewise, some credit card companies can charge higher fees because of the extra benefits they offer cardholders. 

 Be Extraordinary.

Happy employees help make happy customers.  Do you know people who will drive past several other mechanic shops to go to the one they like because the service is outstanding and the experience enjoyable?    Creating trust and having above-average customer service keeps people coming back and can generate a healthy stream of referrals.

 Make Buying Easy.

Encouraging repeat business may be as simple as offering gift cards, bounce back coupons, or scheduling the next appointment right away.  You might consider securely storing their payment information so they don’t have to provide it next time.  Enabling your website to accept payments allows your customers to buy whenever they want.  If it fits your business, offering a monthly subscription or auto-ship makes repeat buying a breeze.

 For more ideas, check out www.customerloyalty.org, an informative resource for keeping your customers coming back.

Is the upcoming holiday season the busiest time for your business? ProPay recognizes the holiday season rings in an increased number of sales! As you work harder to complete more sales, it is also important for you to work smarter. Anything that will help you process orders more efficiently and securely will enable you to spend more time with family and friends during the upcoming holiday season! ProPay provides a few different ways to help you conduct your business more efficiently and securely.

The MicroSecure™ Card Reader is a small device enabling you to capture card data with a single swipe. No writing down or keying in credit card numbers. When the card is swiped, the card data is immediately encrypted ensuring the data is secure. If you have an internet connection available, you can connect the card reader to your computer and receive a real-time authorization on the transaction. If you are offline, simply swipe the card and when you are able to connect to your computer, the stored transaction will automatically be processed. As you process these transactions, you can choose to store your customer’s information with ProPay in a secure environment for repeat purchases.

Fall promotional pricing exists for the card reader, which can be purchased for $60 off the normal retail price of $149.95. To learn more please visit: http://www.propay.com/products-services/accept-payments/microsecure-card-reader/. Accepting cards with the card reader is a simple, secure, and affordable way to accept payments during the busy holiday season.

ProPay recently announced ProPay Mobile—a web interface enabling credit and debit card payment processing on any smartphone with an active data plan. With ProPay Mobile, merchants with a smartphone and a ProPay Account can process credit and debit card transactions virtually anytime, anyplace. ProPay Mobile is automatically available to all ProPay merchants. To access ProPay Mobile, go to http://m.propay.com, and login with your ProPay credentials, and begin processing payments, check account balances, or move funds.

Both the MicroSecure™ Card Reader and ProPay Mobile provides simple and secure ways for you to increase you business during this holiday season!

Scott Nelson, VP Marketing