Contents tagged with Guides

  • Visa extends Small Ticket Interchange to more Merchants

    Visa has announced additions to the CPS/Small Ticket Interchange Program, currently available to Local Commuter Transport, Taxicabs and Limousine, Restaurants, Fast Food Restaurants, Parking Lots and Garages, Motion Picture Theaters, Video Rental Stores, Bus Lines, Tolls and Bridge Fees, News Dealers, Laundries, Dry Cleaners, Quick Copy, Car Wash and Service Stations.

    Effective October 2010, Small Ticket Interchange will be extended to most merchant category codes (MCCs).  Current Small Ticket Interchange applies to transactions less than $15.  The current Visa Small Ticket Credit Interchange is 1.65% + $0.04 and the Visa Small Ticket Debit Interchange is 1.55% + $0.04.

    This is an effective reduction in the overall Interchange costs for most merchant categories.  However, … more

  • The Essential Merchant Guide to Card Payment Refunds

    Buyers need not only an understanding of the benefits and value of what you are selling, they also need clearly stated billing, return, shipping and other policies important in their decision making process. This guide will focus on the essentials of a card payment refund policy:

    Setting a Return Policy

    Refund Best Practices

    Handling Refund related Chargebacks

    Beware of Refund Scams

    Lower costs with Credit Voucher Interchange

    Setting a Return Policy

    A good return policy can help close sales. Your return policy or lack thereof can justify higher or lower cost as reflected by higher or lower risk of buying from you in the mind of your customer. Your return policy can even define your brand - think Nordstrom.

    Handling refund requests in a way that makes good business sense and … more

  • MasterCard requires support for Partial Approval, Real-Time Reversal, and Balance Response

    Recently, MasterCard announced rule changes and supporting requirements for acquirers and their merchants in the U.S. region to support partial approvals, authorization reversals, and balance response in order to improve debit card (including prepaid cards) purchase experience at the point of sale (POS).  Support for these transaction types is required for all Debit MasterCard and Maestro card programs in the U.S. region.  While Issuer support for these requirements was effective November 2008, MasterCard intends to implement this mandate for merchants and acquirers in three phases beginning May, 1 2010.

    MasterCard decided to move forward with these requirements after extensive discussions with issuers, processors, program managers, acquirers, and merchants, where high decline … more

  • Keys to a Level 3 Merchant Account

    Accepting Commercial Cards

    Commercial credit cards are being used to replace inefficient and expensive paper purchase order processes by businesses, corporations and government agencies with payments estimated to reach $185 Billion by 2010. Accepting commercial credit cards like Corporate, Business, Purchasing and GSA cards are an important component of a company’s payment policies.  Optimize your commercial card acceptance with a Level 3 merchant account. 

    Keys to a Level 3 Merchant Account

    Insist on an Interchange pricing structure Interchange is the largest cost component of delivering merchant services and for merchants accepting commercial cards, eliminating non-qualified surcharges are especially important. Direct Interchange pass through pricing is the most … more

  • An Inconvenient Tax

    An Inconvenient Tax - Official Trailer from Life Is My Movie Entertainment on Vimeo.

    An Inconvenient Tax sheds light on one of America’s messiest problems — a fundamentally broken tax code that affects every part of people’s lives. With the U.S. Congress making over 16,000 changes to the tax code in the last two decades alone, many Americans want something better, but few know where to start. This feature-length documentary film reveals the many ways Congress uses the tax code to achieve political goals that have nothing to do with raising revenue. It also tackles the controversial issue of tax reform through a non-partisan presentation of U.S. tax history and current proposals to fix the code. In a time when America faces fiscal crisis, An Inconvenient Tax brings a … more

  • Establishing Payment Acceptance Policies

    Does your business have policies in place for each of payment method you accept? Payment policies are critical in protecting the financial health of a business. Small businesses without payment acceptance policies are vulnerable to fraud.

    We strongly advise that the best practice before accepting any form of payment is to know your customer.  Be mindful, watch for any red flags and take action to delay delivery until you gain a comfort level with the validity of your customer and their payment method.

    It is especially important for merchants to understand that card payments are a convenience form of payment, not a guaranteed form of payment. Since the rules and regulations are written in favor of the cardholder, merchants must be diligent in protecting their business against … more

  • Prepaid Visa Payroll Cards Replace Expensive Paper Checks

    PlatinumPay Thousands of employers currently offer Visa payroll cards to employees and for companies looking to go green, streamline payroll operations and lower costs, paycards are only gaining in popularity. The Visa paycard is designed as a financial tool; providing employees a way to participate in their company’s direct deposit program. U.S. employers are realizing significant savings while helping their employees avoid the escalating costs associated with check cashing fees and delays in receiving their checks via mail or pick-up.


    The benefits of direct deposit have been well documented for years. Payroll professionals all tend to agree that increasing direct deposit and reducing, or even better, eliminating the antiquated paper check creates a positive impact to employer … more

  • Tabs, Tips and Chargebacks -- Best Practices for Restaurants, Bars and Night Clubs

    A common problem in F&B industry is dealing with payment card issues related to running tabs and adjusting tips. Recent developments require F&B establishments (F&B) to evaluate their current procedures.

    New Fees Two new card company fees (effective October 2009) to consider:

    Misuse of Authorization System fee -- a merchant obtains an approval code and doesn't use it. Visa will assess a $0.045 per occurrence.  

    Zero Floor Limit Fee -- a merchant settles a transaction without a valid approval code (invents an approval code, approval code typo), Visa will assess a $0.10 per occurrence.

    With these new fees, F&B will need to research how their POS systems operate and how their merchant provider bills. Issues to be addressed include any pre-authorization strategies, … more

  • Don't Be Afraid of Accounts Receivable

    Many small and midsize businesses (SMB) we consult with are afraid of implementing policies and procedures to better manage their accounts receivable (A/R) because they are scared of losing customers. The thought is that if they enforce the credit terms established during contract negotiations that their buyers will simply find someone else to do the job.

    Are you scared of your customers? Is this fear preventing you from achieving A/R best practices? Don’t be afraid of making sure your customers pay you on time. The strength of your A/R processes sets the tone of your ongoing working relationship. If you allow buyers to explore how far they can push their payables and get away with it then what are you teaching your customers? Are you broadcasting that you are not good at managing … more

  • B2B suppliers accepting commercial card payments

    As reported in a recent U.S. Banker article titled P-Cards Have Promise, approximately 16 percent of B2B suppliers accept commercial cards for U.S. B2B payments citing Interchange fees as a factor limiting p-card growth.  

    We have found through our extensive work in the B2B payments space that many businesses who are accepting commercial card payments are not qualifying for the lowest Interchange rates available.  For those businesses who don't accept commercial cards, a misunderstanding of costs is often the reason. Two of the most common problems business face is not having the proper merchant account pricing structure and using the wrong payment processing technology. 

    For many small businesses, they started accepting commercial cards because a large customer … more