by Ty Hardison

New April 2012 Interchange and Card Industry Fee Changes

April 2012 Interchange and Card Industry Fee Changes As you know, Vantage provides the most transparent, direct pass-through of the payment industry’s universally established Interchange, Assessment and Access fee schedules.

This April, a whole new set of card fees are being introduced. Vantage reports on and tracks these industry fee changes as they occur on our web site and this resource is often use by reporters and market analyst as well as merchants, businesses and banks. We also post about the payments industry and card Interchange on our blog. In July 2011 we first alerted merchants to the Visa announcement to charge a new location fee.

Vantage passed through all the Fed regulated debit rates to our clients. We posted a Vantage Study Revealing the Results of Fed Regulated Debit in October. And while Vantage clients took … more

Global Payments Reports “Unauthorized Access”

Global Payments identifies and self-reports unauthorized access into a small portion of its processing system limited to track 2 card data only (no track 1 card data, no names, no social security numbers and no bank account information was compromised).

Global Payments reports incident does not involve our merchants or their relationships with their customers. Global Payments continues to provide uninterrupted processing services.

ATLANTA March 30, 2012 – Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN), a leader in payment processing services, announced it identified and self-reported unauthorized access into a portion of its processing system. In early March 2012, the company determined card data may have been accessed. It immediately engaged external experts in information technology … more

Don’t Let Your Bank Hide Fees

PayView Like his previous article discussing the merchant services industry, Michael Conticelli has done it again with a must read insightful report in the Ft. Myers Small Business Examiner titled “New trend in merchant statements hides rates and fees”.

Michael specifically calls out SunTrust for purposely redesigning their merchant statements to eliminate all rate and fee detail, leaving merchants no clue as to how charges are calculated. SunTrust made the decision to keep merchants in the dark about their “surcharge fees, bill backs, annual fees, PCI fees, etc.” because when merchants “don’t actually see the rates and fees month after month” they can’t ask questions.

Michael warns “Merchants need to be vigilant in monitoring their merchant … more

Vantage Launches New Merchant Services Portal

Vantage Card Services Vantage Card Services [+] is a new merchant services portal for our valued clients to track and redeem their Vantage Points Rewards, explore PayView reporting and trends and access Support Center resources.

Vantage is home to world-class payment solutions and features the best value package of price, terms, service, solutions and incentives available in the payments industry. This new merchant service [+] portal complements our Interchange [+] merchant rate pricing with PayView reporting.

PayView is a monthly reporting tool that has been developed to provide even greater transparency into your card payment acceptance. Use PayView to explore stats and trends, chart your sales, manage your Interchange qualifications and track your effective "real rate" calculations over time. We welcome … more

April 2012 Interchange Modifications Impact B2B and Small Ticket

Interchange

Update 3/3/2011: MasterCard is creating new small ticket Interchange charge types as discussed below but NOT introducing new rates. MasterCard is implementing these new buckets for small ticket likely so they can track the volume separately from other regulated debit transactions. We expect that companies like USA Tech will continue to opt out of accepting MasterCard debit until they lower the small ticket debit Interchange rate.

Vantage Card Services specializes in providing card payment processing services at direct and transparent Interchange pricing to merchants and businesses of all sizes.

For our B2B and B2G clients, VantageB2B.com is a resource focused on the payment acceptance policies, strategies and best practices to lower cost, increase productivity and enhance security. An … more

MasterCard changes registration policy on limiting acceptance by card type

Effective immediately, registration is no longer required for merchants that accept MasterCard who choose to accept Debit MasterCard Cards only, Other Cards only, or both Debit MasterCard Cards and Other Cards. At this time, Visa still requires registration of merchants who wish to limit acceptance to debit or credit only. more

Small Businesses are Missing Out on Debit Interchange Savings

Small Businesses are Missing Out on Debit Interchange Savings In an examiner.com article yesterday titled “Merchant service providers are the real winners under new debit fee caps”, Michael Conticelli highlights that processors are not required to pass on the lower Fed regulated debit Interchange rates – and because of this small businesses are not realizing the benefits of this legislation.

Thanks Michael for helping call attention to this small business issue. Ever since this debit Interchange debate started we have been advocating for small businesses because we knew that while they were held up as the face of this legislation by mega retailer lobbyist, that the system was rigged against them.

In October 2011 when the Fed debit rules went into effect, we posted "Durbin’s Debit a Trick or Treat for Small Merchants". … more

Paycards better for unbanked than prepaid, traditional checking

Paycards better for unbanked than prepaid, traditional checking A recent article “Why Banks Shun 30 Million Americans” makes the case that banks are uninterested in the unbanked and underbanked customer and that mega-retailers don’t offer much long-term value.

New federal regulations have impacted the banking industry’s business model of subsidizing once “free” services, driving banks to focus on “profitable” customers while discouraging others with higher fees on basic banking services.

Big retailers have stepped in to profit on the unbanked by charging fees to cash checks and by selling prepaid debit cards. Retail fees charged for these services, when added up over time, can be just as high as maintaining a checking account.

Yet one of the best solutions for the unbanked and underbanked was not … more

Searching for the Best Merchant Rates?

Best Merchant Rates It’s what all merchants are looking for; who doesn't want the “best merchant rates”? The real question for merchants is how to go about achieving this while avoiding the pitfalls of selecting a poor service provider.

To be the best, can you just claim it or buy the best domain name? The Best Merchant Rates may be an SEO search term, but a company name? Isn't that like naming your company “the best cola” instead of Coke or Pepsi? Do you trust a financial services company with a generic company name like “Merchant Services” or do you go with brand names like Bank of America or Costco?

For small businesses looking for the best merchant rates, turning to mega-banks and mega-retailers is not their best choice. For example, Bank of America Merchant … more

Happy New Year!

As we head into 2012 we want to once again take this opportunity to Thank You for choosing Vantage.

This year we blogged about some of the most pressing issues in the payments industry impacting merchants accepting card payments. 2011 saw major industry changes enacted, including new PCI security, IRS reporting, and the Durbin Debit regulations.

Thank you again for the privilege of being your payment solutions partner and for the opportunity to earn your trust, loyalty, and business every day. It is very exciting to be able to work with so many great entrepreneurs! We would like to extend a special thank you and our sincere gratitude for all your referrals and testimonials. We pledge to continue to build upon and maintain the Vantage reputation for the high level of personal service you … more