Entries tagged with “merchant”.
Did you find what you wanted?
Jan 15 2015
Posted by Sara Davis
Data Security, Industry News
In the world of merchandise processing, there are two different types of transaction processing: swiping and keying. With the constant accessibility to mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones, and laptops more and more merchants are using swiping, but why? In order to fully understand why more merchants are swiping cards versus keying them in, let’s take a look at the difference between swiping and keying credit cards.
Swiping vs. Keying Credit Cards
The difference between swiping credit cards and keying them in is pretty self explanatory, when swiping you have to have the card present and it typically requires either a mobile device with a swipe adapter such as ProPay’s JAK, or a computer/register with an internet connection. Whereas when you key a credit card in, merchants have to hand enter every card number and the credit card doesn’t actually have to be present. So, why are more merchants avoiding keying credit cards? Three reasons: fraud, savings, and convenience.
The biggest reason not to key in credit cards is plain and simple: fraud. Because merchants don’t actually have to have the credit card present with keyed payments, the chances of fraudulent transactions are a lot higher. Because most thieves steal credit card numbers instead of the card itself and then make by-phone or online orders, the card itself is never seen. Avoid these types of no-swipe fraudulent transactions altogether and only allow customers to pay for merchandise when they have the card present.
Because there is a higher fraud rate for credit cards that are being keyed in, credit card processors charge a higher rate for keyed transactions compared to swiped transactions, in order to protect themselves against any false transactions. How much more money do they charge? About .5% more per transaction. For example, credit card processors typically charge around 3.5% for keyed transactions, whereas ProPay only charges 2.29% for keyed transactions.
Have you ever had to hand enter someone’s credit card only to realize you misentered one number and you have to start all over? With swiping, you never have to worry about that problem again. Also, you can swipe anywhere, at anytime—giving you the freedom and mobility your business needs in order to stay prevalent in this economy.
To learn more about swiped rates visit ProPay online.
Nov 26 2014
Posted by Sara Davis
Customer Service, Small Businesses
One of the most difficult aspects of owning a small business is finding the best ways to take payments from customers. Here are a few small business financial success tips to help smooth the operation of your business by making your site more payment friendly.
Maximize Payment Options
The truth is that it’s nearly impossible to perfectly predict what payment options your clients are going to feel the most comfortable with using. As a result, the best approach is to add as many ways of receiving payment as you can.
Some customers will feel more comfortable with anonymous methods that make it impossible to trace the buyer. Others would rather pay with credit cards, or with standard electronic payment methods. If you can, you should also make payment processing possible over the phone as well as online.
Some may only feel comfortable giving you cash in person, so that would be a good thing to take into account if it’s an option for you. There’s also always the possibility of using mobile card readers for taking payments from people in person as well.
Integrate Payment and Tracking
You’re going to waste a lot of time if you try to track all of your payments by hand. That’s why it’s a good idea to look for an accounting system that can automatically add in all of the purchases customers make into a record that you can easily search through.
This is important not just because it keeps the finances of your business in order, but also because you can use this information to figure out what’s working for sales and what’s not.
Don’t Forget Mobile
Due to the rising number of people making purchases with their mobile phones, it’s important to make sure that you have at least one or two options that customers can use to easily make purchases through their phones and tablets.
For more information on payment processing for your business, please contact us.
Nov 19 2014
Posted by Sara Davis
Mobile Payments, ecommerce merchant
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.
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.
Dec 20 2012
Posted by hmark
New Harris Poll released last week led some insights into consumer views on mobile payments. Among the highlights of the poll is that more than 60% of respondents believe that smartphone payments will eventually replace cash and card payments. This number is very high when compared with the number of respondents that have actually made (4%), or even witnessed (8%), a smartphone payment. What’s more, far fewer respondents believe that this transition will occur within the next five years. Contrast this with the media “Year of Mobile” pronouncements (that have occurred for the last two years, at least) and one would rightly ask where the disconnect is. Media keeps saying mobile payments are imminent, while consumers seem to be hesitant.
One of the major variables for most consumers in using smartphone payments is the question of security. According to the Harris Poll, “Among those who indicate being either not very or not at all interested in being able to make smartphone payments, security is a clear, if predictable, factor: half (51%) say they don’t want to store sensitive information on their phone, and four in ten (40%) don’t want to transmit sensitive information to a merchant’s device.” (Here is should be noted that there are mobile payment products that allow payments to be made without (1) storing payment data on the consumers phone or (2) transmitting sensitive data to the merchant’s device.) Another significant portion weren’t interested in making smartphone payments simply because they did not own a smartphone.
So I put it to you, reader. What do you think about smartphone payments? Have you made one? Would you make one? What factors or criteria are necessary for you to adopt this new technology? Or are you just waiting for it to reach critical mass so that it’s available in places that you frequent?
Nov 13 2012
Posted by hmark
Data Breaches, PCI DSS
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.