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With so many credit card processing companies available to pick from, it can be a daunting task to find the one that is the perfect fit for your business. You want to make sure you find one that will have all the features and services you are looking for. Additionally, you want to make sure you pick a company that is solid and reputable
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Most customers have seen store signs, usually posted at checkout, that require a minimum purchase for credit card users. These signs are often found in convenience stores and small, locally-owned businesses, where a large number of purchases are below $10. Since merchants are forced to pay a minimum fee on each transaction, fees can easily cut into the profit on small-dollar items. But consumers often have questions about these minimums. Are they legal? Just how much are businesses losing by not having such a sign? Since businesses run the risk of losing the many customers who no longer carry cash, it’s obvious that they have a very good reason for enforcing such restrictions. Here are a few things you need to know about minimum purchase requirements at small businesses. Transaction Fees If rates were merely based on a percentage of each purchase, dollar amounts wouldn’t matter. A $1 purchase would incur the same fee percentage as a $10 purchase. It would all even out. Unfortunately, most credit card processing fees include a transaction… Read more

Near-field communication (NFC) has been in the news quite a bit lately, as the new iPhone 6 release has called attention to the benefits of the technology. Soon, experts say, the technology will be used to pay for items directly, securely and conveniently, without ever removing a credit card or dollar bill from our wallets. But what is this miracle technology? Is it really as secure as experts promise? Consumers and business owners have more questions than answers at this point. To help answer those questions, here is a comprehensive guide, providing everything you need to know about NFC technology. What is NFC? With near-field communication, a wireless signal is sent to a device from another device in close proximity. NFC itself is a standard for short-range radio communication, usually initiated through a small chip capable of acting as a transmitter. Most NFC chips can only communicate at a distance of a few centimeters, which limits the transmission to the intended device. One of the most promising uses of NFC technology is through the smartphones consumers use for everything else… Read more

Despite the popularity of online shopping, phone and mail order businesses are still thriving. Infomercials, print ads and catalogs are especially beneficial in generating sales through these two popular methods. While customers have gotten more comfortable providing credit card numbers by phone and mail, businesses still face the challenge of ensuring processing of that information is secure and reliable on their end. Phone and mail order processing is referred to as “card not present” transactions. Without the card being present, businesses face an increased risk, which is often reflected in the response they get from credit card processing services. Some will not cover these payments at all, while others charge a higher fee than they would for swiped cards. There are many leading payment processing services who provide these services to businesses at a great rate, while also providing the latest technology to ensure customer data is secure. Fraud Detection and Prevention One major challenge phone and mail order merchants face is fraud. Customers can only provide numbers, with no way for the merchant to verify that the signature on… Read more

Any business that accepts credit cards accepts a certain amount of risks. Chargebacks and fraudulent activity are a natural part of doing business. There are some things businesses can do to minimize those risks, but card issuers accept a small percentage of loss as one of the costs. For some businesses, though, those risks are higher. Labeled as “high risk,” these merchants can often be rejected or face higher fees. While this may put merchants at a disadvantage, it doesn’t take away their ability to negotiate the best rates possible. Fraud prevention technology has opened up processing possibilities for businesses of all types, including high risk. Types of Businesses Businesses that earn the “high risk” classification are those that are primarily known to be prone to a heavy level of chargebacks and fraudulent activity. Those include mail order and phone-based businesses, which are unable to verify the identity of the cardholder due to the nature of the transaction. Among the many business types commonly classified as high risk are: - Airlines - Pornographic merchants - Debt collectors - Weaponry retailers… Read more

Businesses are all too aware of the risk of working in a technology-enabled world, especially with so many data breaches having made recent news. One data breach can damage the reputations of a company and its payment processors, requiring a business to spend years rebuilding trust. In some cases, businesses never recover. According to data from IBM, there were 1.5 million monitored security breaches in the U.S. in 2013, with businesses suffering financially from reputation and brand damage, lost productivity, lost revenue and more. Despite this data, however, a large percentage of businesses are unprepared to respond to a data breach, even though there are many tools available now. Here are a few ways merchants can protect themselves against a data breach. Ensure PCI Compliance Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DDS) compliance is a prerequisite for card acceptance from all the major cardholders. Simply trusting that your solutions are compliant isn’t enough, however. To safeguard your business against potential data breaches, regular PC DDS self-assessments are a must. Education is available through the PCI Security Standards Council to… Read more