Contents tagged with Vantage Card

  • Visa Implements U.S. List of Registered Independent Sales Organizations

    Vantage Card Services, Inc. is a registered Visa ISO.  Merchants can now verify compliance status on Visa’s U.S. List of Registered Independent Sales Organizations, available at

    Many Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs) are unregistered.  The public nature of Visa’s new U.S. List of Registered Independent Sales Organizations will encourage banks and merchants to obtain information on ISOs to ensure a better understanding of their business partnerships.  Now that listing information is readily available to merchants, the hope is that fewer unregistered ISOs will be allowed to solicit merchants. 

    In addition, the payment applications that merchants use and that ISOs sell, implement and support should also be on Visa’s list … more

  • Healthcare Merchant Account Scam Alert

    Medical professionals should be aware of a scam currently being perpetrated by unethical merchant account providers. Outbound calls are being placed to medical practices accepting credit cards claiming that they must reprogram their credit card terminal to be HIPAA compliant.

    Vantage has received numerous calls over the last few days from our healthcare clients inquiring about these calls and asking, “Are credit card transactions covered under HIPAA?”

    According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, transactions conducted between subscribers or patients and health plans or health care providers are not transactions for which the Secretary of Health and Human Services has adopted standards.

    If an individual (i.e., a subscriber or a patient) uses his or … more

  • Not all merchant service providers are created equal

    We receive calls daily from agents inquiring about the Vantage program. Many of these calls have the same common theme. They go something like this recent paraphrased email exchange…

    Prospective Agent

    I have recently been recruited by a merchant services provider to become a sales person for them. 

    I'm writing to you because this provider does everything you tell your customers on your web site not to do...we lease our equipment to merchants; we have qualified and non-qualified rates and we charge fees to get everything set up. 

    I want to be sure that I'm with the "right" company.  I would appreciate your guidance.

    Vantage Card Services

    Thanks for writing. We applaud your research. 

    The leasing commitment, monthly payments and buy-out clause means … more

  • Open Letter from Ted Hardison, CEO, Vantage Card Services

    As a merchant in these difficult economic times, you are looking for every way possible to cut costs and survive.  And there seems to be no shortage of merchant account providers soliciting your business, offering to lower your rates for accepting credit cards and promising the big savings you are looking for.  However, now more than ever, merchants must use caution when selecting financial firms to process their payments.

    Primarily a commission only sales force, many of the representatives walking through your door selling merchant accounts today will likely not be in the industry in a few months.  A good number of the organizations they represent may not be either.  With these challenging market conditions: lower payment card transaction volume, fewer new merchants … more

  • A Leading Merchant Services Provider

    Just about every company today call themselves the “leading” provider of something (read almost any press release).  Many of the brochures and sales people you talk to promote their company’s size.  Formal rankings tend to use metrics like sales, profits, assets and market share.  But does this equal leadership? 

    Missing from this “leading” definition are things like marketplace ethics, management practices, commitment to fair and honest conduct and business integrity.  Take for example the big brand name bank on the corner who is selling credit card terminals on four year lease plans that overcharge merchants by thousands of dollars.  Or the rep who tells you there is no contract while hiding the terms and conditions fine print. … more

  • Before Merchant Rates, Negotiate Definitions First

    Time and again we see a complex payments industry being made more confusing for merchants accepting credit and debit cards.  Examine the following examples.

    As a consumer it is better not to get trapped in a long-term contracts and cancellation penalties.  A sales rep may tell you they don't have an "early termination fee" and may be technically right because the company they work for has changed the definition and called it a "de-conversion fee".   The contract states that price changes can be made with 30 days prior written notice, yet if you terminate the agreement within the first 3 years following the date of your execution of the agreement, "you agree to pay de-conversion fees of an amount equal to" the transaction fees incurred by you during the calendar month … more

  • Don’t Overlook Merchant Rate Savings from Cardholder Returns

    Does your business provide a generous return policy?  If you do, one way to lower your bottom line costs of accepting credit and debit card payments is to look at your costs to process cardholder credits.

    When your customer pays by card, merchants pay a discount rate to process the sale transaction.  For example, if during the month, you make $1,000 in sales that ultimately result in the cardholder making a return and you issue offsetting credits for $1,000, what has it cost you?  Assuming a 2% discount rate in our example, that’s $20 in fees. 

    From our daily analysis of merchant statements, the most common thing we see is that merchants pay for processing the sales and on cardholder credits no discount rate is applied.  This is the case above; the … more

  • Do you display credit card signage?

    Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express – some of the most recognized brands in the world - spend hundreds of millions on advertising every year to get cardholders to use their card to buy from you.  Reviewing POS signage trends, we find the practice at low levels and declining. 

    Is displaying POS signage an effective way incent card use to increase sales?  more

  • Fall 2008 Interchange Announcements

    MasterCard, Visa and Discover have all announced changes to Interchange to take effect October and November 2008. 

    Visa has announced a new Government-to-Government (G2G) program for government services merchants and a new Tax Payment program for eligible government taxing authorities, or parties acting on their behalf.  Both of these new programs require merchant registration.  Vantage government clients will automatically be enrolled. 

    Since 2005, Vantage has monitored, recorded and reported on Interchange changes impacting merchants.   Read more about the Fall 2008 Merchant Interchange Rates. 


  • Merchant Survey Reveals Purchase Behavior

    Survey results show merchants least concerned about contract terms

    Merchants have sales people contact them almost every day offering "lower rates" and often switch only to find out they unknowingly signed a long-term contract with an early termination fee. Merchants have shared their experiences and report in the Vantage Card Survey that many do not properly consider the impact of contract terms and cancellation fees in the face of promised savings. Many merchants don't stop to think about cancellation fees before they sign, only after they try to get out of a contract because what was promised was not delivered.

    With over 11,000 merchants polled, contract terms ranked at the bottom with only 16.7% of merchants considering it an important factor when shopping for merchant services. … more