by Ty Hardison

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 ( 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: 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 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. provides instant merchant Interchange rate quotes and merchant applications. 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