Contents tagged with Guides

  • Email Phishing Scams Indicators and Best Practices

    Email “phishing” scams utilize fraudulent emails that appear to originate from legitimate financial institutions, transaction processors or other business entities that routinely conduct business with merchants.

    Please review the following indicators and be on guard for scams:

    Look closely at the sender’s email address – the “from” line in these fraudulent emails usually very closely resembles a legitimate address. Close inspection may reveal unusual characters or structure that may help confirm that the email is fraudulent.

    Check email images and graphics – often images and graphics in these fraudulent emails are out of place or incorrect. This results when a fraudulent message attempts to reference an image from a legitimate entity’s … more

  • Merchant Card Acceptance changes under the Dodd-Frank Act

    The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act contains two provisions that impact card acceptance by US merchants:

    Using discounts to incentivize preferred payment types

    Setting thresholds for the acceptance of credit cards for payment.

    These items do not have explicit “in force” dates, so should be effective now that the bill was signed into law on July 21, 2010.

    Under the law, payment card networks are restricted from limiting merchants’ ability to offer discounts to incentivize customers to use payment types preferred by the merchants. Merchants would have legal protection under the law to offer customers discounts to pay with cash, check, or debit instead of a credit card. Merchants would not be able to offer a discount for payment with one … more

  • Special PCI Alert

    A Special PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) Alert for Vantage clients.

    This week the number of reported solicitations by phone and fax to our merchant community, especially medical, dental and veterinary practices, has spiked.

    The common scare tactic involves being subject to fines if immediate action is not taken. Merchants are told that they have no option but to follow the instructions provided, which typically involves providing contact information, setting an appointment, or paying a fee.

    Many of the tactics used will try to make it sound as if they are calling on behalf of your service provider. Please be aware that these solicitations are NOT endorsed by Vantage. We do NOT release any information to any 3rd party.

    The PCI scare game has also become … more

  • Visa Easy Payment Service Goes Into Effect

    Effective October 17, 2010, Visa Easy Payment Service will provide a better framework for conducting certain low value transactions less than $25 without cardholder verification or the issuance of a transaction receipt (unless requested by the cardholder). Drawing on the best features of each of the current programs and research, the Visa Easy Payment Service provides a broadened and consistent base for low value and everyday spend expansion.  Visa Easy Payment Service transaction rules will apply to all card technologies including magnetic stripe, EMV chip and Proximity Payment (contactless chip) transactions.  In addition, Visa Easy Payment Service will generally replace existing program rules, creating a consistent set of Visa International operating regulations. Redundant … more

  • New Health Care Reform impacts both IIAS and IIAS Exempt Merchants

    Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and/or Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) cards can only be used at drug stores or pharmacies that have implemented an IIAS system.  The IRS requires merchants selling health care eligible products to support an Inventory Information Approval System (IIAS).  

    The Special Interest Group for IIAS Standardization (SIGIS) association is composed of a broad range of participants who manages an IIAS for the IRS requirements.  MasterCard and Visa requires merchant registration upon successful IIAS implementation.

    On March 23, 2010 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively "the Act") were signed into law by President Obama. The Act includes a number of … more

  • Senate Adopts Amendment to Regulate Interchange; What should merchants do now?

    The Interchange amendment to the financial reform bill, sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), was adopted Thursday night.  The measure gives the Federal Reserve authority to regulate Interchange fees, using a "reasonable and proportional" standard.   The amendment also allows merchants to discount lower costs payment options and allows minimum card purchases.  Once the Senate passes the financial reform measure, it will have to be reconciled with a House version that does not include the Interchange provision.

    What does this mean for U.S. merchants?  First, take a look at your most recent April merchant statement.  If you are not on a direct Interchange pass through pricing plan already then you need to take action.   Open your browser and … more

  • Should you consider a B2B Client Loyalty strategy?

    Studies show that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.  Loyal customers are more profitable, spending more and costing less to serve.   Loyal customers also provide authentic word-of-mouth referrals and serve as trustworthy advocates of a company’s brand.  No wonder consumer-driven businesses have embraced loyalty programs.  From travel and entertainment to gas and groceries, businesses have enrolled the average household in over 14 loyalty programs.  Customers enroll and participate because in addition to getting what they want, they are recognized for their value and contributions to the company.

    But what if you provide business-to-business (B2B) goods or services - is establishing and maintaining loyalty … more

  • Smarter Taxes


    With tax day almost here, it seems appropriate to consider what the federal tax system is costing taxpayers in addition to the taxes themselves. 

    Complying with the federal income tax code amounts to imposing a 22.2-cent tax-compliance surcharge for every dollar the income tax system collects.

    Corporations with assets of $1 million or less (more than 90 percent of all corporations) paid a minimum of $382 in compliance costs for every $100 they paid in income taxes. 

    A compliance burden of 6 billion hours per year represents a work force of over 2,884,000 people: Larger than the populations of Dallas (1,210,393), Detroit (900,198) and Washington, D.C. (553,523) combined; and more people than work in the auto, computer manufacturing, airline manufacturing and steel … more

  • Which is better for Mobile merchants? Touch Tone vs. iPhone

    We are often asked to suggest processing solutions for mobile merchants. Recently more and more of those conversations are focused on payment applications for the iPhone. Much of the buzz can be attributed to VeriFone’s recently launched PAYware Mobile iPhone application; the first payment app with a card reader available for the iPhone clearly distinguishes it from all others.

    In our experience, we have found accepting card payments on a smart phone to work best in a sales environment where a single user will operate the device, one customer at a time. And the PAYware Mobile solution has received positive client feedback from our early adopters. The thing about early adopters is that they want the latest technology regardless. But for others, they want to analyze their options. … more

  • Payment security compliance deadlines and revisions announced

    Merchants should be aware of the pending payment industry deadline of July 1, 2010 related to the Payment Application Data Security Standards (PA-DSS).

    Effective July 1, 2010, acquirers must ensure that merchants only use PA-DSS compliant applications.

    What does this mean to merchants?  If you are using old payment devices or software, you may need to upgrade.  Merchants using point of sale register systems should inquire with their point of sale vendor about their compliance status if they have not already done so. Merchants should also review the information posted on the PCI Security Standards Council website at or on the Visa website at

    PA- … more