by Ty Hardison

Vantage Card Services Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Trusted since 1996, Vantage Card Services celebrates its 15th year providing payment processing and payment systems to merchants, businesses and community banks.

Today Vantage is honored to service clients in all 50 states. Our philosophy of building a business one merchant at a time, with a focus on service and education - not contracts and gimmicks – is a growth strategy that has served us well over the years.

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. Our passion is providing you with high quality payment processing solutions that exceed your expectations and we are continuously working on improving our programs, technology and service offerings.

In … more

Recommended Reading for anyone looking to buy or sell Merchant Services

Wow! This post on titled 5 Deceitful Tactics Credit Card Processors Use To Get More Of Your Money really captures the very points Vantage has been making now for 15 years! Everyday we work with merchants being aggressively pursued by both fly-by-night organizations and big-name-mega banks who use all 5 Deceitful Tactics.

Tactic #1: The “Rate Game”

Tactic #2: The Binding Contract

Tactic #3: Early Termination Fees

Tactic #4: New PCI Fees

Tactic #5: The Bewildering Statement

This post does an excellent job of explaining the pitfalls of these tactics and recommending solutions. Of course you MUST pay attention, ask questions and read the fine print for yourself to identify these tactics. You can NOT rely on “knowing the rep” or the “ … more

Email Phishing Scams Indicators and Best Practices

Email “phishing” scams utilize fraudulent emails that appear to originate from legitimate financial institutions, transaction processors or other business entities that routinely conduct business with merchants.

Please review the following indicators and be on guard for scams:

Look closely at the sender’s email address – the “from” line in these fraudulent emails usually very closely resembles a legitimate address. Close inspection may reveal unusual characters or structure that may help confirm that the email is fraudulent.

Check email images and graphics – often images and graphics in these fraudulent emails are out of place or incorrect. This results when a fraudulent message attempts to reference an image from a legitimate entity’s … more

New Fees a Result of Regulation

According to The Wall Street Journal, banks are planning to introduce new fees on basic products like debit cards, ATMs and checking accounts in attempt to recoup revenue lost as a result of regulatory changes.

The Fed has proposed capping debit-card merchant fees, known as interchange. I’ve been concerned about the unintended consequences for small businesses and community banks. The proposed caps on debit Interchange fees will increase the cost of debit cards for consumers and potentially curtail debit card use (resulting in either lower sales volume or use of higher cost card types). On the drawing board are annual debit card fees of $25 or $30 and limits on the number of debit-card transactions that a customer can make each month or limiting the size of a purchase that a … more

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