by Ty Hardison

How to choose the right merchant service provider for your small business

Here are some tips for knowing what card payment processor is best for your small business.

One of the more vital and difficult decisions a business can make is what provider it will utilize for payment processing.

To find the best provider for your specific business needs, consider a vendor's rates, service, terms, solutions and incentives before making any decision. In a Vantage's Merchant Poll Survey, we found that rate, meaning interchange and price structure, is the most important consideration for many businesses, followed by payment solutions and then merchant service considerations. However we always caution merchants with advice to not ignore the fine print.  Being too focused on flashy marketing can lead to a bad decision.  Always read the fine print legalese to avoid hidden fees and early termination fees.  

"The best credit card processor is one … more

Study shows many small businesses unprepared for EMV Chip Card acceptance

New survey shows many small businesses are not aware of the EMV switch or don't know the benefits it can have for their business. Many small business owners are behind on EMV adoption. However a new survey by Manta, an online small business community site, shows that more than 28 percent of owners that accept credit cards do not know how the new EMV chip card payment technology affects their business or even know about the new form of payment at all, according to The Washington Post.

This survey consisted of 1,609 small business owners and covered the lack of awareness about EMV chip cards.  The Los Angeles Times reports that 40 percent of the owners surveyed are not affected by this switch to chip card readers because they currently do not accept credit cards.  Also, card-not-present merchant types, such as ecommerce or recurring payments and those that manually key phone orders are not impacted by … more

Missouri-based retailer accepts Apple Pay in all stores

Missouri -based retailer issues Apple Pay at all its locations.

A St. Louis, Missouri-based retailer has now opted to let its customers pay in a "simple, secure and private way" with Apple Pay, according to the company's press release. Schnucks, which has 98 locations in five different states, has evaluated its business model and clientele to determine that shoppers at all its grocery stores can leave their wallets at home and utilize their iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch to pay in an easy and secure way. Payments Leader reports that Apple Pay uses tokenization, technology that replaces the 16 digit card number with a randomly generated 16-digit number.

"Credit card industry executives believe that tokenization is a new standard that is going to 'shift fraud patterns' in the future, successfully preventing retail hacking incidents that have … more

Retail enterprises need flexible payment processing solutions

Now is the time to explore payment processing options that will continue to meet your needs down the road.

The process of starting a brick and mortar retail business has changed over the last several years, particularly when it comes to point of sale systems. Today, many customers expect a variety of payment channels and entrepreneurs want systems that include inventory and reporting functions. 

"What it comes down to is this: In a well-run business, the point of sale is more than just the place where the money comes in," writes Steven Aldrich in Entrepreneur Magazine. "With the right equipment, it becomes your strategic service center, the place that will help you grow your business and keep your customers coming back."

With the rise of tablet technology, more devices than ever can be used as point-of-sale systems. The Verifone CLOUD POS, for example, is a cloud-based point of … more

What kind of payment technology does your retail business need?

Choosing the right card payment processor can help boost efficiency in your retail business.

Knowing what type of card payment processor your retail business needs can be a long process of weighing various options and considering your customers' needs. However, implementing a modern payment technology module in your store may be just what it needs to boost profitability and day-to-day efficiency. 

If your retail business wishes to operate at a fixed location, be sure that you have the most updated payment terminal. With the landscape of credit card terminals changing drastically due to new regulations and forms of payment, you need to make sure your business is ready to handle whatever comes your way. Try choosing a terminal that not only runs off of Wi-Fi, but also accepts EMV chip cards and contactless forms of payment. 

For … more

Pushing your restaurant into the future with a new tablet POS system

Many restaurants are seeing the benefits of switching to a cloud-based POS solution.

As technology drastically changes from year to year, it may be overwhelming to keep up with the latest trends or advances. However, with an efficient cloud-based, tablet point-of-sale (POS) solution, you will not only streamline your restaurant's business practices, but also see a boost in revenue through an improved way of interacting with your customers. 

Many smaller restaurants and businesses have been reluctant thus far to adopt cloud-based solutions due to concerns about the security of their data and information. However, Tim Harmon, a principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc., explained to The Wall Street Journal that these concerns will lessen as many owners realize their information may be safer on a vendor's servers than "on a hard drive in the back of … more

Chargeback reason codes to be aware of with the EMV liability shift

Make sure that your business is EMV-compliant.

Retail Dive reports that of the businesses surveyed by Randstad Technologies, only 58 percent stated they are actively preparing or making the EMV chip transition. Despite this resistance, the same survey reported that two-thirds of IT professionals said that chip cards are needed to enhance fraud security for businesses.

Each year, card fraud costs the U.S. economy around $8 billion, however, many experts have stated that if there is not increased adoption of EMV technology, this number will rise to over $10 billion. One of the major efforts behind this EMV transition is to lessen the chances of card fraud, yet through businesses delaying the transition, they are instead facing an even greater liability. 

This October deadline, is not truly a deadline, as it is … more

How to reduce payment acceptance risks

Here are a few ways to minimize risk associated with payment fraud or customer payment disputes.

In your daily business practices, it is important to know that though card payments make paying easier for you and the consumer, they do not ensure that payment will occur. In order to protect your business against fraud, customer disputes and charge-backs, there are a few risks and suggestions for protecting against them you should keep in mind. 

Always be wary of customers who wish to pay with numerous cards from the same bank. You can know that the cards were all issued from the same bank if they have posses the same first six digits. Though it is common for buyers to have multiple cards, they are usually issued from different banks as it would not be wise to have numerous credit cards open from a single bank. 

Furthermore, when dealing with customer … more

Google launches Eddystone, an open-source Bluetooth LE beacon

Google is launching a new, open-source Bluetooth Low Energy beacon format.

The world of beacons has just gotten more convenient. Ars Technica reports that Google will now be launching a new, cross platform, open-source format for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons, called Eddystone. It was created to combat the problems in existing beacon services and unlike its predecessors, it is easily compatible with both iOS and Android devices.  

This new beacon technology will be able to support multiple frame types, which will perform a wide array of functions. Google stated that existing beacons can be tailored to fit the Eddystone format, which will mean that different beacon vendors will be able to use the same system for varying purposes. NFC World reports that Bluetooth beacons are one-way communications, where the goal is to provide a means … more

Government fees demand flexible payment option

Managing a city, town or county is no small task, particularly when it comes to collecting fees.

Managing a city, town or county is no small task, particularly when it comes to collecting fees. Residents may accrue traffic violations, parking tickets and other debts that penalize irresponsible conduct and help maintain the efficiency of the community's revenue cycle. This is to say nothing of taxes, license fees and other sources of revenue. Having the ability to collect on these payments effectively is critical to keeping the community's finances healthy. 

However, this is easier said than done in places where paper systems are still dominant. The long lines and red tape that many consider synonymous with government can make it challenging for administrators to manage the volume of payments they're due to receive. One of the best ways to accelerate the revenue cycle for a … more