Entries tagged with “Merchant Services”.

With so many payment processing solutions out in the market today, it can be hard to find the right payment processor that supplies the best service possible for your business. It can be tedious comparing costs and finding the processor that’s right for your type and size of business. Here are some tips for finding the right payment processor for your small business.

Shop around.

You don’t have to sign up for processing from your bank. There are many other options that are far less expensive and provide a better service that is customized to your business’ needs. Today, payment systems have moved from being bank owned to technology providers that can vary in size, depth and trust. Always be aware of hard costs that you really can’t get away from, and be wary of hidden fees, and surcharges that some payment processing companies will tack on. Make the choice to go with a price that will fit your budget and is manageable for you.

Only consider payment processing services from companies that explain their contracts, use plain language, and have no hidden or confusing fees. Small business owners need to be able to understand the terms of a contract, so it is important to find service providers that openly communicate contract terms and obligations. Look up reviews online, check out blogs and even go as far as speaking with a company rep armed with questions.

Look for dedicated support.

Look for a service with a dedicated support team. The payment processor should handle all of your service inquiries regarding problems or issues 24 hours a day. Full service is essential because you never really know when a terminal might suddenly stop working, making you unable to process any transactions. Make sure the company you choose is one that provides real customer support and matches you with a payment service that you can depend on when the worst happens.

Look for security.

The processor you choose should be fully compliant with all industry security standards. Payment Card Industry (or PCI) compliance is a requirement of all businesses that interact with credit or debit cards. PCI compliance ensures that you are up to date on the latest best practices to protect your business and your customers from card payment fraud. A breach of security can result in the loss of existing customers and have an impact on how many new customers choose to do business with your organization. Business owners that take the time to do research will have no difficulty finding a reliable and secure processor that offers a wide variety of payment options and offers secure, dependable service.

Evaluate the impact of growth.

Always take a look at how growth will impact the affordability of any service you’re considering. If growth will make a certain contract relatively less affordable in 2 years than it is now, and changing or getting out of the contract will be costly, then you will want to consider other options. Ideally, payment processing partnerships are long-term relationships, therefore it is critical to find a processor that suits your business’ needs today and has options that will allow for making adjustments as the company and industry change and grow.

Finding a payment processor that meets your specific business needs is vital, so it is a good idea to thoroughly investigate and compare all options and value-added services available. With these tips in mind you will be able to find the right solution for your business, one that will scale and support your business’ growth.

For more information, or if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us.

If you have ever bought anything using a credit or debit card, chances are there were some extra fees added on.  It’s not uncommon for extra transaction fees to be added onto a purchase, especially when done online, but one thing to watch out for are hidden fees that you are unaware of and which are sometimes undisclosed.

Recently, there have been a couple well known entertainment based companies that have been identified as charging its customers hidden fees during the course of transactions. According to reports, one of the companies was not including these hidden fees in the total price of tickets purchased. Thus, when consumers reached the final confirmation page, it displayed a total that was significantly less than what they were actually being charged.

A few of their undisclosed fees were as follows:

-A payment and processing fee if a costumer used a debit or credit card amounting to 1.95% of the total price.

-Randomly-priced service/delivery fees which were based on each individual event that the ticket was being purchased for.

-A handling fee which was charged solely based on the number of tickets purchased.

In sum, these hidden fees could rack up almost 10% of your total ticket price which you would simply be unaware of. What can you do to prevent being charged hidden fees?

-Be Vigilant! Check your online transactions via your bank’s or credit card’s online account management. Recent transactions show up within minutes – days after the transaction goes through. Do not wait for your monthly statement – this will only slow any recourses you may have of getting a refund on unfair fees.

-If there are any hidden fees charged which were undisclosed, contact the payment processor and dispute them. If you don’t agree with their explanation, contact the Better Business Bureau.

A great payment processor you can trust is ProPay. We have been a trusted, steadfast payment solutions company since 1997 and have never charged our customers hidden fees.  Contact us today for more information.

Recent reports indicate that small businesses tend to overlook the threat of a data security breach.  Controlscan, a company that specializes in assisting small and medium sized businesses with PCI compliance issues, recently completed a study in cooperation with Merchant Warehouse.  The findings indicate that close to 80% of the surveyed merchants felt that they had little to no risk of a breach.  What’s more, according to ControlScan’s CEO Joan Herbig, close to half of the merchants surveyed hadn’t even heard of the PCI DSS.  These findings indicate a serious lack of communication between ISOs and Acquirers and their small merchants.

Since 2006, all organizations that store, process, or transmit cardholder data have been required to comply with the data security requirements contained within the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.  In fact, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council has even created a microsite dedicated to educating small merchants on the PCI DSS and their obligations under that standard.  The ramifications of non-compliance are many and can be overwhelming even for large merchants.  Should a breach occur, the fines, fees, and penalties can quickly add up and in many cases have put companies out of business.

This post could easily take on an alarmist tone.  Some might say that it already has.  Regardless, though, small merchants must comply with the same set of standards to which large companies are beholden.  How can one do that with comparatively limited resources?  By trying to limit the places in the merchant system that store, process, and transmit cardholder data.  Using a solution that processes payment card transactions using point to point encryption (P2PE) and tokenization can serve two objectives – making the data more secure, and reducing the burden of complying with the PCI DSS.

If you are a small merchant and you haven’t heard about PCI DSS or aren’t sure what you should do, reach out to your ISO or Acquirer.  They can explain what the standard requires and how you can achieve compliance.

eBay Logo

This post is a bit of a departure from our normal tone.  While we generally try to avoid blatant sales and marketing on our blog, we do want to take the opportunity to help businesses when their processor is no longer available.  We understand the disruption this represents for businesses and to the extent that we can, we’d like to help minimize the hassle.

It was recently announced that Paymate would no longer offer payment processing for eBay sellers after July 31, 2012.  For many eBay sellers this news offers some significant challenges.  Many sellers prefer to offer their customers alternatives to the PayPal payment option.  This is true for a variety of reasons, chief among them simply providing choices and flexibility for their customers.  While Paymate is not closing and is still solvent, it has chosen to focus its efforts elsewhere, primarily on mobile payments.  In fact, according to the company, Paymate has chosen to stop offering payment processing services altogether.

For eBay sellers, though, there are still options if they’d like to accept payments through a company other than PayPal.  For the last three years, ProPay has offered eBay sellers an alternative.  ProPay offers a variety of benefits for both sellers and buyers.  Here are some of the benefits ProPay can offer:

No hidden fees Running a successful business can be hard enough, without wondering how much you’re going to pay on each transaction.  ProPay offers a consistent rate so that you always know how much you’re going to pay.  And there are no hidden compliance fees or gateway fees.

High levels of security – ProPay is validated against the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) on an annual basis.  This ensures that we are securing your payment data, and your customers’ data, according to industry standards.

Easy check-out process - Your buyers are not required to set-up an account or go through a lengthy registration process in order to complete a transaction.  This removes friction from the buying process and helps you convert browsers to buyers.

Live, friendly customer service – Our multi-lingual, US-based call center is staffed with friendly, knowledgeable agents who are excited to help you.

Dedicated risk professionals – ProPay’s risk team consists of experienced risk professionals who are dedicated to helping  protect you, the merchant, from fraudulent transactions.

If you would like to talk to one of our customer service representatives about our eBay services, please call us at 866.573.0951.  You can also learn more about our services by visiting our website.

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.