Category Archives: Merchant Services Feedback
According to AppScout’s article, “Retrevo Study Finds Mobile Shopping Taking Off,” 20% of consumers have purchased something from their retailer with a mobile phone. A staggering increase in just a few months. Another 27% of responders said that they had not purchased using a cell phone yet, but planned on it in the near future.
Businesses not accepting credit cards on their iPhones, Androids, or Blackberry’s can have cell phone processing added to their current merchant account quickly and easily. Opening up a whole new avenue for revenue! Customers are responding well to cell phone credit card processing.
Card associations have strict rules and regulations regarding merchant convenience fees. Surcharges are absolutely prohibited! Charging customers for using credit cards in a retail situation could have your merchant account terminated.
Here are the mandates for charging a convenience fee (in a non-card present situation).
1. Disclosure of fee to customers.
2. Non-face to face transaction. Retail businesses cannot charge a convenience fee.
3. Flat or fixed amount, regardless of bill amount.
4. Fee is applied to all forms of payment accepted in the alternative payment channel.
5. Convenience fees cannot be added to recurring transactions.
6. Third party’s are barred from charging a convenience fee.
7. Customer’s must be given a chance to cancel the transaction prior to completion of transaction.
8. Convenience fees cannot be advertised as an offset to the cost of processing credit cards.
Retail merchants are clearly prohibited from charging convenience fees to customers. However, they are allowed to offer a cash discount to those customers paying with cash. The discount would be given to those customers paying with cash, and would be clearly disclosed as a “discount” compared to the regular price. Merchants offering cash discounts must be sure they are obeying all applicable laws and regulations.
Business owners are all too familiar with merchant account downgrades. These downgraded transactions cost more money to process, and are typically referred to as mid-qualified, or non-qualified transactions.
Transaction downgrades can occur for a variety of reasons, like failure to batch on-time, use address verification (AVS) on card-not-present transactions, or keying in a card present transaction. While these downgrades are due to improper operations and can be controlled (for the most part), other downgrades cannot be avoided; these are card type downgrades.
Here are the credit cards that will process at a higher rate.
Strict card association rules prohibiting payment card discrimination prevent merchants from refusing these cards. Doing so could result in a terminated merchant account file (TMF). Merchants may not be able to control card type downgrades, but knowledge of their existence can help merchants understand their monthly processing statement better. An understanding that can be used to reduce controllable merchant account downgrades.
Illegible transaction copies can be a source of lost chargebacks disputes, simply because the original transaction receipt can not produce a legible copy.
When a copy request is initiated by a customer, the merchant must make a copy of the original transaction receipt. This copy must be mailed, or electronically sent to the acquirer. If the copy is to light, small, or on colored paper the copy may not be readable, defeating the purpose of the copy request. Illegible receipt copies could be returned as a chargeback.
Here are some tips for avoiding illegible receipts.
1. Change point-of-sale printer cartridges routinely. Ensure staff are properly trained on how (and when) to change POS printer cartridges. Faded, barely visible ink on sales receipts is the #1 cause of illegible receipt copies.
2. Change printer paper at the right time. Printer paper should be changed once the colored streak appears on the corners of the paper. This streak indicates the end of the paper roll, and can diminish the legibility of the receipt. Train employees on the proper time to change printer paper.
3. Merchants keep the white copy. Always give customers the yellow copy of the sales receipt, it does not copy as well.
4. Carbonless paper must be handled carefully. Carbonless paper that is not stored, or handled carefully can result in blotches, marks, and scratches on the paper. These marks appear black when photocopied, and could result in an illegible copy.
5. Ensure company information at the top the sales receipt does not interfere with the transaction information. Position company logos, and other information away from sales information.
6. Microfilm reduces the size of the original receipt. Reduced images can result in blurred, unreadable copies. Original receipts should be copied at the same time microfilm is taken.
Reduce copy requests and lost charge back disputes by maintaining point-of-sale equipment properly, and ensuring that all employees are trained on POS maintenance.
PaymentMax introduces today that it can now support the iPhone 4 for credit card processing. Big news out there for the iPhone 4 business owners out there. Here are 10 reasons why processing credit cards with your iPhone 4 will leave a big smile on your face.
1. Anywhere you are processing.
2. No Supplies to Buy.
3. Earth Friendly.
4. Low card present, swiped processing rates.
5. Higher average ticket.
6. PCI compliant.
7. Reporting and tracking capabilities.
8. No customer lines.
9. Cool, Easy, and Fast.
10. Never turn down a sale again…even to those with no cash!
Introducing the latest, and greatest point-of-sale device from First Data: the FD100 Ti.
This terminal is fast, making it a great solution for those businesses where speed of check-out is everything. Business such as, fast-serve restaurants, bars, grocery stores, convenience stores, dry cleaners, coffee houses, liquor stores, parking garages, clubs, and drug stores (just to name a few).
The FD100 Ti is super sleek, with a small titanium design. It is similar to the popular FD100 but with faster performance, and WiFi capabilities.
The Android Smartphone equipped with the ROAMpay application processes payment cards securely. According to ROAMdata, ROAM is PCI certified, and highly secure like a point-of-sale device.
Credit card information is double-encrypted and never stored on the phone, keeping sensitive data out of the wrong hands.
How to Identify a Counterfeit Check
By Emily Shap
Counterfeit check scams are on the rise. Counterfeit checks have become harder to detect with criminals producing high quality “look-alikes,” equipped with authentic watermarks and real bank account numbers. Some look so real that bank tellers have reported being fooled. Counterfeits make up the largest amount of bad checks passed each year, around 27%, followed by forged at 24%. Federal law requires banks to make funds available to their customers within a few days, whether the check has been authenticated, or not. This leaves unsuspecting merchants responsible for a counterfeit long after the check has been cashed.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, “Under Federal Law, banks must make funds available to you from U.S. Treasury checks, official bank checks (cashier checks, certified checks, and teller checks), and checks paid by governmental agencies at the opening of business the day after you deposit the check. For other checks, banks must similarly make $100 available the day after you deposit the check. Remaining funds must be made available on the second day, after the deposit, if payable by a local bank, and 5 days if drawn on distant banks.”
Forged checks can take weeks to be discovered. Merchants must remember that they are responsible for any funds withdrawn against counterfeits. Just because the funds are available, does not mean the check is good. Business owners can protect themselves against scams by following some check cashing guidelines.
Ask for Identification
Before accepting a check for payment, ask for proper identification. Compare the name and address imprinted on the check to the name and address on the I.D; they should match. Ensure that the driver’s license has not expired. 50% of forged checks are passed with an expired driver’s license. Make sure the check is signed, and the signature name matches the name on the I.D.
Establish Check Dollar Limits
Determine the largest dollar amount you will accept via check, and stick with it. Criminals passing a bad check will try to write it for as much as they can. Having a set check dollar amount reduces your risk. Always compare the written and numerical amounts on a check. The written amount always overrides the numerical amount.
Personal Checks Only
Limit your exposure to counterfeit checks by refusing to accept 2nd or 3rd party checks. Personal checks should come from a local bank, or a bank with a local branch. Call the bank directly if you have any questions about the validity of a check. Counterfeit payroll checks continue to be a favorite among criminals.
Look at the Check Numbers
Only accept checks with check numbers greater than 500. Even though banks can assign higher check numbers, 90% of all bad checks have check numbers less than 500.
Familiarize yourself with check routing numbers. The first two digits represent Federal Reserve Bank locations; take note of the numbers you see frequently. Many times, counterfeiters will change these first two routing numbers to elude banks. The alteration buys them additional time before the counterfeit is revealed.
Be Aware of Overpayment Scams
Never accept a check that is written for more than the purchase amount. Overpayment scams have become popular where merchandise is being sold on online auction sites and classified ads.
Take a close look at the check being presented. Never accept a check that appears to have been altered. Counterfeit checks may seem different, a little off, in their color, feel, perforation, and MICR line ink.
· Color: Counterfeit checks may have a slightly different color than the other checks in your drawer. Checks that have had original information removed, or “washed,” may have faded areas.
· Feel: Fake checks may have a lower-quality feel than authentic checks.
· Perforation: Checks should have at least 1 rough, or perforated edge.
· MICR line ink: The account and bank numbers printed on the bottom of the check should appear shiny or glossy. A glossy look is characteristic of the magnetic ink banks use. Many forgers lack the ability to encode with magnetic ink, substituting regular ink instead. Account and bank numbers printed in non-magnetic ink will appear dull and reflective.
Bad checks cost business owners and consumers approximately 12 billion dollars a year. Half of this is directly linked to fraud. Protect yourself and your business by following some check cashing guidelines: check appearance, overpayment amounts, check numbers, type of check, creating dollar limits, and requiring proper identification. Remember that you are always responsible for any funds you withdraw against a check, no matter what. Just because a check has cleared does not mean it is valid. It can take weeks for certain counterfeit or forged checks to be revealed. The bank will hold the person who deposited the counterfeit check accountable. If you suspect a check scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-Help.
Turn Your Cell Phone Into a “Sell” Phone
Now you can turn your cell phone into a wireless credit card terminal that processes credit card transactions with real-time authorizations and even instantly emails a receipt to your customer. Take credit card payments securely and easily wherever you are.
No Need to Buy a New Phone
ROAMpay works with virtually any mobile device (400 and counting) and on all major carriers.
No need to buy an expensive wireless terminal — your cell phone is your terminal
Customer service and tech support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Eliminate risky checks and manual credit card imprinting, while enjoying higher per-ticket sales than checks or cash
Enjoy the freedom to do business no matter where you and your customers are
Email receipts to customers and build your customer email list for future marketing
Log cash orders for reporting and receipts
Secure PCI-compliant double encryption of customer data — sensitive data is never stored on the phone
Easy setup — just click a link from an SMS once you are approved and the app loads in 15 seconds
Automatic software updates at no extra charge
Voice to text and reverse phone lookup to make inputting customer info easy
Check your transaction history from your phone
Virtual terminal for PC or MAC at no extra charge
Software automatically updates with no upgrade fees
Getting Started Is Easy
Call PaymentMax at (800) 979-0210 or click link below for more information.