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Archives / 2010
  • Analyst Speculate on Impact of Fed's Debit Card Proposal

    On Thursday, the Fed issued a proposal to set a price cap on debit card Interchange fees under new powers from the Dodd-Frank Act. Since then there has been much speculation on its impact.

    Interchange fees are paid to the banks that issue debit cards when they are accepted for payment. The fees that Visa and MasterCard charge are excluded from this regulation. Yet in question is their business model. Are the card brands value-added service providers or has their success turned them into just another type of utility company that should be regulated by the government?

    Visa and MasterCard made headlines on the news with both experiencing major stock price declines. Merrill Lynch speculated that banks will seek financial concessions from Visa and MasterCard to make up for lost debit … more

  • Debit Card Chaos on Fed announcement

    clip_image001 Breaking Payment Industry News – Fed announces Debit Card Rates and Rules for Comment

    In a history making live webcast, the Federal Reserve Board announced proposed debit card Interchange rates and rules under the controversial Durbin amendment of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act. Noting the short time frame provided by the bill to undertake such an important and complex issue, the Fed voted unanimously to submit proposed debit rule recommendations for public comment.

    In the debate over fees, the Fed is looking for input on the provision requiring debit Interchange to be “reasonable and proportional” to the cost that card issuers incur. The Fed is proposing to two alternatives: a $0.07 safe harbor price along with a $0.12 cap or a $0.12 cap for all transactions. … more

  • The Paperless Check Emerges in 2011

    paperless_check_on_iphone I envision a better ACH. One that lets me pay anyone from any personal or business checking account I choose without having to give up my sensitive account information or authorization to withdraw funds. It would be very secure and I would control both the access and the timing of when I choose to make a payment. And it would be convenient. It would work with my existing bank so I wouldn't have to deal with the hassle of moving funds in and out of a 3rd party "holding account" like PayPal.

    My mobile device would become my digital checkbook and registry. At my business I would write digitally originated checks straight from my accounting, CRM or ERP system. For proof of payment and for my own record keeping I would get the cancelled check image returned with my bank statement.

    Anyone who … more

  • Substituting Debit with Prepaid

    If you subscribe to the Vantage Viewpoint blog, you know that The Wall Street Journal article this week “Banks Pin Revenue Hopes on Prepaid Cards” confirms the prediction put forth in our analysis of the Durbin Interchange amendment back in June of this year.

    As reported in the WSJ, mega banks are “exploring prepaid cards as a way to make up revenue that will likely be lost from federal restrictions on debt cards.” In our blog post under the section “Exemptions for government administered cards & reloadable prepaid cards” we envisioned the compromise exempting reloadable prepaid debit cards from Interchange regulation under the Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul bill would result in “banks moving more and more consumers to exempt prepaid card … more

  • Extreme Makeover in Savannah

    It was an awesome week for everyone involved with the Extreme Makeover Project in Savannah that will air on ABC sometime in January.  Our partner, First Chatham Bank (FCB) in Savannah was selected as the bank and set up a Vantage merchant account for the week long fundraising event.  FCB was part of the last volunteer team on site while “Move that Bus” was filmed and finished the week with an Extravaganza hosted by Paula Deen.  The Simpson Family was so deserving of the new home, and we believe that funds collected will pay off the Simpson’s mortgage.   Congratulations to all on another successful Extreme Makeover Project! more

  • First ever Small Business Saturday

    First came Black Friday, then came Cyber Monday, and now, American Express is launching the first ever “Small Business Saturday SM” on November 27th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Small Business Saturday is a national movement to support and celebrate small businesses across the U.S.  While Black Friday and Cyber Monday drive sales to national chains and online retailers, Small Business Saturday recognizes the importance of small, independently owned businesses to the overall economy and local communities.

    Small Business Saturday Initiatives include:

    A major social media campaign to spread the word about Small Business Saturday and encourage people to give shout-outs for their favorite local shops and restaurants via Facebook and Twitter.

    The 1st ten … more

  • US Firms Battle Late Invoices

    According to the "Atradius Payment Practices Barometer" survey (http://www.atradius.com) cash flow management remains critical for businesses. 

    Key U.S. survey findings:

    Approximately 39 percent of American invoices were paid "late"

    Fifty-two percent of U.S. respondents reported customers had asked for extended payment terms over the last six months. Forty-eight percent had delayed payment without prior agreement.

    U.S. respondents' main criteria for selling on credit terms are: "credit check," "track record" and "reputation"

    Average domestic payment term: 28 days Average domestic payment duration: 28 days Average foreign payment term: 36 days Average foreign payment duration: 32 days

    The most likely impact of overdue invoices was the need to "take specific measures to correct … more

  • VeriFone and PayPal team up

    According to a TechCrunch post, VeriFone has announced that its PAYware Mobile App will be enhanced to support PayPal’s merchant acceptance application using VeriFone’s encrypted card reader for the iPhone.  Also, the PAYware Mobile App will be enhanced to support PayPal Bump technology that enables iPhone users to bump their phones together to transfer money between them.  In addition, PAYware Mobile will offer integrated transaction reports for PayPal and traditional card payments. 

    For more on PAYware Mobile, the iPhone reader and service plan pricing visit: http://verifone.merchantrates.com/verifone.aspx more

  • Bank Challenges Constitutionality of Interchange Regulation

    As part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, the Durbin Amendment mandates the Fed to regulate debit card Interchange. TCF National Bank filed a federal lawsuit alleging the Durbin Amendment is unconstitutional in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    The Fed is to release a draft of its Interchange rules by January 2011, and issue final rules no later than March 20, 2011. The bank is seeking to stop enforcement of any Interchange rules until the case can be heard. Once the rules are established, others may also initiate lawsuits against the validity of the Amendment.

    This litigation may go on for years; with an ultimate decision likely being made in the U.S. Supreme Court. Until then, we may not see … more

  • MerchantRates wins 2010 Small Business WebAward

    WebAwards Competition

    Vantage Card Services was awarded the 2010 Small Business Standard of Excellence WebAward for its MerchantRates.com site. 

    The Web Marketing Association is the producer of the WebAward Competition.  Now in its 14th year, the WebAwards is the premier annual website award competition that names the best Web sites in 96 industries while setting the standard of excellence for all website development.  Entries were judged on design, copy writing, innovation, content, interactivity, navigation, and use of technology.

    MerchantRates.com provides instant merchant Interchange rate quotes and merchant applications.  MerchantRates.com also provides educational resources, best practice guides and helpful frequently asked questions and answers.  more

  • MasterCard and Visa Settle Antitrust Case

    Visa and MasterCard have agreed to new changes that will allow merchants greater flexibility to steer their customer’s payment choice.

    The Dodd-Frank financial regulations signed into law in July allow merchants to set a $10 minimum card purchase. Now, announced in a Justice Department consent decree, Visa and MasterCard have agreed that merchants can:

    Offer consumers an immediate discount or rebate or a free or discounted product or service for using a particular credit card network, low-cost card within that network or other form of payment;

    Express a preference for the use of a particular credit card network, low-cost card within that network or other form of payment;

    Promote a particular credit card network, low-cost card within that network or other form of payment … more

  • Visa Adds Merchants Eligible for Small Ticket Interchange

    Visa will implement changes to expand the CPS/Small Ticket program to all MCCs, except those noted below. This expansion is intended to facilitate growth for Visa and its members through increased issuance, acceptance, and innovation.  The extension of the CPS/Small Ticket Interchange program is intended to encourage faster transaction speed and enhance cardholder satisfaction at the point of sale, providing benefits to all.

    Currently, only transactions from a specific group of merchant segments are eligible to qualify for the CPS/Small Ticket program. With this change, the CPS/Small Ticket program will be available to consumer card and commercial card transactions submitted with almost all merchant category codes (MCCs).   Current CPS/Small Ticket Interchange applies to … more

  • The Benefits of Paperless Pay

    The recently signed financial regulatory overhaul bill named the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is expected to reduce the debit card Interchange fees used to support free consumer check accounts. This is on top of the loss of overdraft fee income. As a result, big banks are requiring higher minimum balances to qualify for a free checking and adding other service fees.

    What will this mean for employers?  For one, employees may opt to close their traditional bank accounts. And if your employees move from banked to unbanked status, this will impact their participation in direct deposit.  Fortunately, the Dodd-Frank act offered an exemption for reloadable prepaid and government-administered debit card programs. This compromise is an attempt to protect the … 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

  • Merchant Alert: Debit Interchange Regulation continues move forward

    Update:   It's Official.  The financial regulatory overhaul bill finally became law when President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

    Interchange regulation makes the cut as the House and Senate reconciled their differences on Senator Durbin’s amendment to the proposed Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010. The proposed Interchange amendment compromise must still survive a bipartisan conference committee.

    If the bill is passed, the Federal Reserve Board would gain the authority to establish rules and regulations related to the Interchange fees that issuers could earn with respect to debit card transactions. The Federal Reserve would have nine months to set Interchange fees and one would expect that they … more

  • Durbin's Interchange gets more complicated

    Senator Durbin's original Interchange amendment, inserted into the financial reform bill working its way through Congress now, would limit the amount of debit-card Interchange fees that Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. charge banks to what's considered "reasonable and proportional" to the processing costs involved. These Interchange fees are then passed on to merchants when they accept card payments. But as Durbin learns more about the payment system intricacies, his Interchange plan is developing on the fly and becoming more complicated.

    Durbin now wants to keep Interchange 'as is' for debit cards used by the government by carving out an exemption to his own amendment. As reported in Digital Transactions, Durbin said he would write language to exempt transactions on "government cards so … more

  • Why Visa and MasterCard Should Voluntarily Lower Interchange

    Lately I’ve read many articles about Contactless and Near Field Communication (NFC) payments, the prospects for merchant and consumer adoption, bridge technologies and market trials. Contactless payments, which feature speed, convenience, security and more functionality that leverages the mobile network, can outperform legacy mag-stripe payment technology. NFC promises smart phones as payment devices, which in turn promise to change consumer expectations about buying everything from mass transit, fast food and concert tickets, to the retail brands themselves.

    At the same time, U.S. cardholders increasingly find it difficult to use mag-stripe cards outside the U.S.  As we discussed here, the U.S. EMV strategy hinges on contactless / NFC adoption.  Some believe EMV 2.0 in … more

  • Vantage provides wireless card processing at the Taste of Alpharetta

    ToA_booth Steve Duby and Christina Pietro at the 2010 Taste of Alpharetta

    Last week was the 20th Annual Taste of Alpharetta outdoor street festival.   The Taste of Alpharetta is the largest “Taste of” festival in the South with over 60 restaurants sampling delicious appetizers, entrees and desserts, plus a chef’s competition, cooking demonstrations and a Culinary Arts & Music Stage.

    While admission, parking and shuttles are free, participating restaurants charge $1-3 per food sample.  For the 3rd consecutive year, Vantage set up a wireless payment card system for the City of Alpharetta to quickly handle food ticketing for 57,400 foodies and festival-goers in five hours. 

    We set up two VeriFone Vx510IP terminals connected to a Verizon wireless router to … 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

  • Digital currency: trends, innovation and regulation

    Discussion on Digital Money  

    The shift from paper base to digital currency has been quietly transformative.   A panel of financial experts discuss digital currency, trends, innovation and regulatory policies to consider and avoid.  

    To start, digital money trends show favorable growth.  Between 2003 and 2008, card-based transactions grew by 13% worldwide.  And government use is part of this growth.  For example, the U.S. federal government is using purchasing cards for procurement to save $1.7 billion a year according to a GAO study.  Beyond cards, consumers have embraced new technologies that facilitate convenient and secure electronic payments across a wide range of platforms.

    While banks are regulated, what about a host of non-bank participants who provide … more

  • Smarter Taxes

    fairtax_campaign

    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

  • Visa Payroll Debit Cards Speed Tax Refunds

    Another big benefit of having your pay direct deposited onto a Visa payroll debit card is that you can use the same routing and account number to also file your tax return electronically and get your refund directly deposited to your pay card in weeks instead of months!

    According the IRS.gov, you can get your refund faster by telling the IRS to direct deposit your federal income tax refund on up to three different accounts.  If you want the IRS to deposit your refund into just one account, use the direct deposit line on your tax form.  However you also have a choice to direct deposit your refund to more than one account.  With split refunds (use IRS’ Form 8888), you have a convenient option for managing your money.  For example, if you use two paycards within … more

  • Credit Scoring, not just for banks

    Financial institutions use technology and credit scoring strategies to manage lending activity. Now businesses lending to their customers by extending trade credit are learning the value of adopting credit monitoring solutions as an integral part of account receivable best practices.

    The credit health of customers is top of mind for many CFOs today. Slow pays, delinquencies and credit losses have a major impact on companies of all sizes but are particularly harmful to small businesses that, in the past, have not had affordable credit scoring and monitoring solutions available.

    As businesses emerge from the recession and sales pick up, the best practice is to determine those buyers with a higher probability of payment before extending credit. Like banks, businesses need processes in … 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 https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/security_standards/vpa/ or on the Visa website at http://usa.visa.com/merchants/risk_management/cisp.html?ep=v_sym_cisp.

    PA- … more

  • New Merchant Services to lower costs and earn rewards

    Merchant Rates

    MerchantRates.com, where ALL merchants large and small can get an Interchange rate price structure to lower their costs, has been redesigned with a new look for 2010.

    MerchantRates.com has also added new content. In addition to providing an instant, detailed merchant interchange rate quote calculator and guide, MerchantRates.com has created a Frequently Asked Questions resource, covering topics including:

    Merchant Interchange Q&A

    Merchant Rates Quote Q&A

    Payment Technology Q&A

    General Merchant Account Q&A

    Card Payment Rules Q&A

     

    Vantage Points Rewards, a client loyalty rewards and corporate giving program where a portion of the value of each award is donated to the Food Bank, has also been redesigned.

    If you are not earning rewards processing … more

  • From Imaged to Paperless Checks

    Paper checks don’t remain as paper very long. In today’s digital age, they are quickly imaged so they can be electronically cleared and settled.

    Converting paper to digital images became law in 2003 with the passage of the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (Check21) and the initial implementation meant large companies and banks didn’t have to ship paper all around the country.

    Today, more and more of the paper check imaging is being done by merchants and businesses that accept them. Community banks led the way in deploying remote-deposit check scanners as a way to offset the competitive advantage mega banks had with their branch network. By scanning and electronically depositing check images, community banks were able to attract business customers and businesses … more

  • No Interchange reform legislation in 2010

    House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank announced his committee would not take up Interchange legislation this year.   However there are steps that small businesses, family-owned restaurants, local retailers and service providers can take to help themselves without waiting on the government.

    Immediately switch to an Interchange pass-through pricing plan.  For example, effective October 2010, Visa will extend Small Ticket Interchange to most merchants.  This is an effective reduction in the overall Interchange costs for most merchants.  However, few merchants will benefit since there is no difference between a transaction over or under $15 in their current merchant account contract.  In fact this is just one example.  Most merchants are … more

  • Strategy to Advance Contactless

    In an article on Digital Transactions “Could Visa’s New No-Signature Rule Hurt Contactless Payments?” it was argued that Visa’s expansion of its policy to no longer require signatures for transactions less than $25 for most U.S. merchants would undermine contactless payments.

    In our blog post Visa Changes Debit Debate, Backs Contactless, we suggested that extending Visa's No Signature Required (NSR) program (on transactions <$25) to most merchants (along with converging signature and PIN debit rates and expanding small ticket Interchange on transactions <$15) were policies that supported contactless payments.

    Changing ingrained behavior takes time and doing it in steps makes sense.  Step one, training merchants and … more

  • Visa Changes Debit Debate, Backs Contactless

    Visa changes the signature vs. PIN debit debate with policies to support contactless payments. 

    In an interview in the June/July 2009 issue of Cards&Payments magazine, Ellen Richey, global head of enterprise risk for Visa, discussed the adoption of chip technology to make purchases more secure. Richey said “the U.S is not going to be adopting a chip-and-PIN credit card or debit card any time in the very near future” suggesting that in the U.S., the deployment of a contactless-chip card network may not include a PIN component.

    In October 2009, Best Buy announced that it would discontinue it’s acceptance of Visa contactless payment cards. Why?  Best Buy reportedly took issue that Visa contactless lacked the option of PIN acceptance, while payment industry … more

  • Visa's Debit Rates Converge

    Visa has announced additional changes for April 2010.  Visa will adjust the following U.S. Visa Debit Interchange reimbursement fees.  The significance here is that for many merchants the underlying Interchange costs for accepting a Visa signature debit (check card) will be the same as accepting a PIN debit transaction. 

    Visa Signature Debit

    Fee Program Current Fee April 2010 Fee

    CPS Retail Debit 1.03% + $0.15  0.95% + $0.20

    CPS Supermarket Debit 1.03% + $0.15 ($0.35 max) 0.95% + $0.20 ($0.35 max)

    CPS Service Station Debit 0.70% + $0.17 ($0.95 max) 0.75% + $0.17 ($0.95 max)

    CPS Automated Fuel Dispenser Debit 0.70% + $0.17 ($0.95 max) 0.75% + $0.17 ($0.95 max)

    Interlink PIN Debit

    Visa has announced changes in the pricing for Interlink debit transactions.

    Fee … more

  • 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

  • The Fifth Anniversary of Reward Card Interchange

    Reward credit cards are used by card companies to compete with one another for the business of affluent consumers. Card issuers attempt to influence the purchase behaviors of cardholders with higher spending limits by rewarding them to spend more at merchant locations. And by most accounts they have been successful.

    This spring marks the 5th anniversary of rewards Interchange. The decision to implement a higher rate for a rewards card verses a non-rewards card was introduced in response to a growing American Express market share. The competitive landscape in 2005 found MasterCard and Visa card issuers increasingly using rewards as a key component of their cardholder acquisition strategies in order to compete with AmEx for affluent consumers.

    So in April 2005, both MasterCard and Visa … more

  • Debit Network Fee Updates

    NYCE and CU24 PIN debit networks have announced modifications to the current rates. 

    Effective February 1, 2010 NYCE will implement the following changes:

    The switch fee will be decreased from $0.05 to $0.0425.

    Retail merchants will be billed at 0.75% + $0.2125 per transaction. The minimum transaction fee will be decreased to $0.3025.

    Quick Service Restaurant merchants will be billed at 0.55% + $0.1075 per transaction with a maximum fee of $0.5425. The minimum transaction fee will be decreased to $0.2275.

    Supermarket merchants will be decreased to $0.3025.

    Petroleum merchants will be billed at 0.85% + $0.1925 per transaction. The minimum transaction fee will be decreased to $0.3025.

    Returns will be decreased to $0.0425 per transaction.

    PINless … more

  • April 2010 Interchange Adjustments

    MasterCard and Visa have announced New April 2010 Interchange adjustments. 

    MasterCard

    Currently, MasterCard's Assessment fee is 0.095%. MasterCard will increase the Assessment fee to 0.110%.

    While new rates have not yet been announced, MasterCard is introducing new Interregional Interchange programs for:

    MasterCard World Card

    MasterCard World Elite

    World MasterCard for Business

    MasterCard Corporate World

    World Elite MasterCard Business

    MasterCard Corporate World Elite

    Effective April 2010, MasterCard is revising the qualification criteria for Commercial Face to Face and Commercial Data Rate II.  Zero will no longer be accepted as a valid tax value to qualify for these Interchange rate categories.  If a commercial transaction has no sales tax, the … more

by Ty Hardison

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