Entries tagged with “tanner olsen”.


As information sharing and technology are updated at an increasingly rapid pace, it is critical to maintain a competitive edge by keeping customers informed of new solutions to their problems. 

 When rolling out new services or products, it is important to have a clear, straightforward message that can be shared quickly on what the benefits of your new services are.  Some of the more popular and important ways to stay in touch with your customers are through social media, blogs, newsletters, email and your website.  These tools can help a company reach many people more quickly and cost effectively than traditional marketing channels. 

 These marketing methods allow you to communicate effectively with a broad customer demographic in the way they choose to receive information.  In addition, they provide an opportunity for you to hear back from your customers quickly and candidly what they think about your products and services. In fact, many new product developments, improvements and advancements are a result of customer feedback or requests for a certain item or service.

 ProPay employs many of these resources to communicate to our customers what is new, what is coming and what solutions you may not already be using.   Checking our site, blog and subscribing to our newsletter are great ways to stay informed on what’s happening in credit card processing.  In addition, you may want to make sure you’re subscribed to receive updates and promotions via email, including our weekly 60 second tip.  You can edit your preferences by logging into your account and going to ‘my account’ then clicking on ‘my profile’ and then ‘change options’.

 Stay tuned for on-going updates on new products and services from ProPay.

Site: www.propay.com

The ProPay Perspective Blog: blog.propay.com

When considering merchant services, it is important to understand how provider pricing works to understand what you will pay.  Getting an overall picture with some providers can be a challenge, but a good idea is to compare your total fees for processing in a given month or year and compare that to your total dollar amount of processing.  This will give you an effective rate of processing.

An important thing to understand in choosing a merchant account provider is how card processing fees work.  The card brands have hundreds of different rates based on business type and card type.  For example, swiped transactions are usually less expensive than key-entered or e-commerce transactions.  Basic consumer credit and debit cards are generally less-expensive than business, government, or cards that have rewards and air miles programs.  The cost to process each type of card depends on its ‘interchange’ qualification.

With so many different qualifications, most providers lump similar cards into two or three tiers.  The quote will generally include a qualified rate and a non-qualified rate, and possibly a mid-qualified rate.  Alternately, they may pass on all interchange and brand ‘pass-through’ costs and then mark up the rate by some % and per item fee (‘interchange-plus’ pricing).  Other providers, like ProPay, simplify the complexity by absorbing the highs and lows and charging the business the same ‘blended’ rate for every transaction, regardless of card qualification.

Many providers have other fees, including for statements, account maintenance, minimums, support fees, AVS, PCI non-compliance, and online access.  It is important to understand how those affect your total cost of processing.  Be sure to read the fine print because the low, low advertised rate is frequently not very close to what you may actually pay.

In the end, if the company does not have straightforward pricing, it may be difficult to tell exactly what your total fees will be until you start processing, since only then will you see how many cards qualify as rewards, miles, debit and so on.   You may be able to simplify your accounting, avoid some expensive surprises, and focus your time on the most important things by choosing a straightforward, blended fee structure.

Today is a day of instant messages, real-time feedback and immediate gratification.  While there are a number of ways to complete a purchase online, the most prevalent (and probably easiest) way to checkout is via credit card.

 A few people may still send a check or money order.  Others may use a third-party payment account, real-time bank transfer, or store credit option.  Ultimately, online shoppers typically want to pay for their purchase quickly, receive an order confirmation, and not deal with getting redirected or working through a third-party process.

 Many consumers realize that if their card information is misused or stolen, they will typically have a very low threshold of liability for those fraudulent transactions, encouraging them further to use their card rather than a third-party method.

 If a buyer must be directed to a new website where they’ll enter sensitive bank or card information to complete their purchase, one can easily see how this could reduce the level of trust for the transaction and increase the rate of shopping cart abandonment.  While alternative payment providers have an important place in online transactions—especially when the buyer or seller is unknown—being able to simply pay by card and be done has a lot of power.

 There are a number of marketplaces online where individuals or businesses can sell their wares.  However, many of those venues lack a coherent or consistent way for sellers to accept payment.   Without a unifying process, buyers may not as easily trust that their purchase is safe. 

 To attract customers, improve trust and bolster their legitimacy, online marketplaces and sellers can offer a seamless, straightforward option for buyers to pay by credit or debit card and complete the purchase.  Sellers and the marketplaces can use new technologies like data tokenization to reduce their own liabilities, safeguard the customers’ payment information, and maintain a high level of trust.

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.

As businesses expand, especially online, companies may extend their reach to international customers.  Modern technology enables companies to have customers half a world away.  However, that same technology can mask the identity of criminals.  Here are a few things to watch for when conducting international transactions.

A business’s potential for loss increases substantially when processing payments from international customers because it does not have the same protections as when products are sold to domestic buyers.  If there is a dispute, the company may find it hard to prove that products were delivered or that authorization to charge the card was given.  Without taking some precautions, a company may lose the products and the money.

Be aware of some common indicators of potential fraud:

  • The order is for a large number of the same item.
  • The transaction is for an unusually large amount.
  • The person says it is his or her credit card, but wants the product shipped overseas to a friend or family member.
  • The buyer is unwilling to provide you with additional contact information.
  • The buyer is very anxious for their order to be processed.

What can a company do to protect itself?

  • Gather as much information as possible (name, address, phone number, etc…).
  • Collect the card security code (eg. CVV2 or CID) to verify the payment.
  • Obtain a signed invoice/authorization from the cardholder.
  • Require a delivery confirmation signature when the product is received.

If there is anything suspicious about a particular transaction, you may choose to obtain additional verification from the cardholder, or to simply not process the card.  Merchants are more likely to win transaction disputes when they have well-documented transactions.  The ability to sell internationally can be a great way to grow a business, but these procedures will help ensure that growth is stable.

Tanner Olsen