Credit Card Processing Blog

Square Card Readers Now Available at Retail Locations Nationwide

If official: The person-to-person credit card processing revolution has started. Square, the mobile processing dongle is being sold for a paltry $9.95 in Walgreens, Staples, FedEx, Best Buy and Apple stores across the nation and is being paired with a $10 rebate after a user signs up for the service, making the hardware essentially free to consumers.

Though the processing fees are a little higher than traditional payment processors, users embrace the convenience of being able to conduct transactions on the go. Some businesses rely solely on Square for their transactions, opting for mobility over clunky terminals. Though security concerns persist, Square has proven itself to be a reliable service which seems to be prioritized over fees for businesses that only conduct a handful of card transactions each month.

Square is a leader in mobile processing, having rolled out their device in May of 2010, the company quickly captured the imagination of credit card processors around the world as the future of transactions. More…

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Sets Its Sights on the Prepaid Card Industry

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has formally announced plans to investigate and regulate the prepaid debit card market, a booming industry that many consumers and advocates are accusing of utilizing deceptive and predatory practices.

The publication of its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) last week marked the beginning of a two-month long period in which comments on the industry’s practices will be heard from both consumer advocates and representatives of prepaid card companies. The CFPB’s legislation will focus on “safety and transparency” and hopes to have a draft ready by early 2013.

One major concern is that many prepaid cards have terms which are encased within the prepackaged cards and folded multiple times in what is being referred to as an “origami” format. The CFPB is also taking note of egregious activation and utilization fees, which many decry as predatory. More…

Savings from Debit Swipe Fees Aren’t being Passed onto Consumers

According to a recent report released by the Federal Reserve, retailers are paying much less in debit transaction fees thanks to the Durbin amendment of the Dodd-Frank Act but consumers have yet to experience much price relief.

For instance, the Electronic Payments Coalition has asserted that gas station owners could be passing an estimated $1 billion in savings to consumers from what they’re saving due the 21 cent cap debit transaction fees.

Likewise, many retailers aren’t sharing the wealth and instead opting to consider all of it profit. And because retailers are would be paying the full 21 cents on transactions like a drink or bag of chips, some are declining to accept debit cards for transactions under roughly $10, something that varies in legality from state to state.

Research done by the financial services industry has revealed that more than 75 percent of retailers have raised prices or kept them the same since Oct. 1, the day the law took effect, supporting the not-too-hard-to-fathom hunch that retailers are more inclined to help themselves out before consumers. More…

American Express Debuts “My Offers” for iPhone App

American Express has entered the mobile deals market and by the looks of it, they’re way ahead of the game.

Dubbed “My Offers,” the new addition to Amex’s iPhone App allows card holders to view discount and refund offers close to their proximity, not something terribly revolutionary in itself — The real clincher is that these offers are tailored to each consumer based off prior purchases they have made, something that Groupon or Google do not have direct access to.

Here’s how it works: a consumer logs into the App and on the home screen there’s an offer to view “Offers Available For You.” Once clicked, a relatively large list will appear with the option to add the offer to the card. The offers must be “loaded” to a card, after which a consumer can purchase with their Amex within a certain amount of time (usually weeks or even months) and see the rebate in their account.

The App also offers business owners a few options that are not offered by deal-of-the-day services like Groupon — the ability to turn off deals for regular customers that have used their Amex to pay in the past, something small business owners complained about when offering deals in the past.

As an Amex card holder, I decided to give the App a try and found it to be not only easy to use, but quite relevant to my particular tastes. For instance, American Express must know I’m a Mexican food connoisseur — with an offer of a $4 rebate when I spend $20, how can I refuse to treat my sweetheart to a burrito and a margarita?

MasterCard Study Finds Users Spend More with Mobile Processing

Findings from a new study conducted by MasterCard Advisors indicate that consumers utilizing contactless payments spend 30 percent more than those who swipe an actual card.

The study, which followed consumer behavior for 15 months, was published to coincide with the launch of the company’s new mobile processing solution, MasterCard PayPass.

Participants of the study were separated into three spending categories — low, medium and high — according to their average monthly spending. The study found the 30 percent increase in spending volume across all three categories, which is great news for small business owners that are willing to jump onboard with mobile processing technology. Also noted was a substantial increase for preferring a particular card account — the one attached to MasterCard PayPass.

Other interesting findings were increases in certain consumer behaviors including online purchases (between 8.8 and 33.3 percent), setting up recurring payments (between 11.8 and 28.5 percent average increase) and also cross-border spending (53.1 and 79.1 percent). More…

Intuit GoPayment Review

Intuit GoPayment is a mobile credit card reader that connects to your QuickBooks account.  You can download the free app to use on the iPhone or an Android device, and Intuit will ship your free card reader to you within 4 to 7 business days.  The GoPayment reader allows you to accept credit cards anytime, anywhere – whether you are swiping physical cards through the mobile card reader or keying transactions in manually.  Both options allow you to get a customer signature right on the screen of your iPhone or Android device.

Intuit GoPayment accounts can be used with up to 50 users on each account.  If you make a mistake, need to reverse a transaction or make changes, you can log in to the free Intuit Merchant Service Center.

Security and Peace of Mind

When you use GoPayment to process customer credit cards, you can feel confident their information is safe and secure.  The data is never saved on your iPhone or Android device, and the card reader is encrypted.

Intuit GoPayment Credit Card Processing Rates

There are two options for using Intuit GoPayment: More…

Veritrans Merchant Services Review

Company Background: Veritrans Merchant Services, based in Houston Texas, was established in 2001 that offers credit card processing and merchant services to companies of all sizes. The have 200 account executives across the nation that service individual accounts 24/7. The company offers each customer a dedicated helpline.

Rates: Veritrans does not provide rates on their website for service or equipment. The company does say they offer guaranteed low rates on their customized account solutions and equipment and competitive pricing within the industry. There are no set up, application, or cancellation fees on accounts.

Security features and Account Services Provided: Veritrans offers processing services for Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JCB (Japan’s credit card), pin-based debit cards, EBT cards, gift cards, and check verification transactions. Veritrans caters their all in one point of sale systems for retail stores, restaurants, and professional services businesses. The company offers More…

Merchant One – Review

Company Background: Merchant One is a credit card processing company based in Miami Beach, FL which offers services to any-sized business. The company won a 2010 award from Inc. 500 for its service offerings.

Rates: Merchant One lists their fee schedules and rates for credit card processing services including retail rates starting at 1.59% with a 19-cent transaction fee, and a $7.95 monthly fee. For mail order or phone order processing, there is a 2.05% rate, 20-cent transaction fee, and the $7.95 monthly fee. E-commerce rates start at 2.05% rate with a 20-cent transaction fee, a $7.95 monthly fee, and a $9.95 monthly gateway fee. Trade show vendors and wireless transactions start at a 1.59% rate with a 19-cent transaction fee, a $7.95 monthly fee, and a $19.95 wireless access fee.

Security features and Account Services Provided: Merchant One offers credit card processing services for a wide range of merchants including retail, e-commerce, trade show vendors, wireless merchant accounts, mail order processing, and telephone order processing.

Accepted Forms of Payment and Other Services: Merchant One offers processing services for More…

BluePay Payment Processing – Review

Company Background:  BluePay is a single source provider of merchant processing solutions. The company is based in Naperville, IL with support office located across the country.

Rates: Cost of BluePay’s various processing services are dependent on a number of factors including processing volume and your type of business. The company’s website does offer a brief cost comparison chart which shows retail rates as low as .95% and MOTO rates as low as 1.99%. They also offer next day availability for funds.

Security features and Account Services Provided: BluePay offers credit card processing services for small businesses, e-commerce, retail, restaurant, hotels/motels, gas stations, B2B, non-profit businesses, and Canadian credit card processing. They offer solutions for credit card processing, ACH payments, electronic billing/invoicing, tokenization, end-to-end encryption, mobile credit card processing, accounting software integration systems, batch credit card processing, merchant lending programs, and secure hosted payments.

Bottom Line: BluePay offers a wide range of credit card processing and other payment transactions for merchants in any industry. The company will work with More…

Studies and Experts Agree that the Future Belongs to Mobile Processing

According to a study by JiWire, a leader in mobile advertising, nearly 37 percent of all smartphone owners are utilizing some sort of mobile wallet for point of sale transactions.

JiWire also found that 49 percent of smartphone owners are comparison shopping on their devices while inside a brick and mortar business and 15 percent are comparing in-store prices against listed prices on the company’s website.

Another intriguing finding was that tablet owners are twice as likely to comparison shop while in a store only to end up purchasing through their mobile device. Males, as well as those between age 25 and 44 were 53 percent more likely to compare prices with their mobile device while in-store, the study found.

A separate study conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project has found that nearly 65 percent of mobile experts believe that mobile wallet technology will be the predominant form of payment transactions within eight years. More…

JPMorgan Chase Is Joining the Prepaid Debit Card Market

JPMorgan Chase has joined the rapidly growing prepaid debit card market calling the new card Liquid Chase, having implemented the new service in nearly 200 branches and announced plans for nationwide rollout this summer.

Prepaid cards have surged in popularity recently for consumers that have difficulty obtaining credit cards because of less than desirable credit profiles. Chase hopes to quickly establish itself in the prepaid market by offering Liquid Chase with competitive rates, about $59 annually, which is considerably lower than the average of $150 to $250 annually.

The prepaid card market is notorious for various fees including customer service, which Chase insists they won’t take advantage of, though they will charge a $2 fee for deposits made in non-Chase ATMs on top of a $4.95 monthly fee. Also, unlike traditional debit cards which offer overdraft protection, these cards will be declined if insufficient funds are available at the time of purchase. More…

NewtPay Mobile Is Now Available: Cost Effective Mobile Credit Card Processing

Mobile credit card processing is becoming increasingly important for businesses owners and especially for those companies that conduct business on the go. With today’s advanced technology, new mobile credit card processing solutions are becoming more readily available.

has just introduced a new product that allows companies to accept credit cards on the go. With NewtPay Mobile, businesses can now easily and affordably turn their smartphone or tablet into a mobile credit card processing machine.

NewtPay Mobile comes with a free downloadable app and there are no additional upfront charges to worry about. NewtPay Mobile is cost effective and offers pay as you go service to businesses starting as low as More…

Exorbitant Credit Card Processing Fees and Alleged Price Fixing Under Review in Canada

Things are heating up in Canada where a federal Competition Bureau tribunal has been hearing of the plight of Canadian merchants who are paying some of the highest processing rates in the world — nearly double what Europeans and Australians retailers are paying.

Currently, merchants are paying up to 3 percent of the total purchase in processing fees which is eating away at their profit margins, causing some business owners to lobby for the ability to charge more for credit card transactions.

Current law forbids retailers from tacking an additional charge on credit card purchases, something both Visa and MasterCard contractually prohibit and insist is a form of discrimination against consumers who prefer charging over cash and debit transactions.

Anti-competitive concerns arose from what business owners that allege price fixing between Visa and MasterCard to raise their fees within a month of each other in the summer of 2009. With 90 percent of all credit card transactions in Canada ($332 billion in 2011) are processed by the two processing giants, retailers have few viable alternatives and risk losing out on potential sales by limiting the companies with whom they work. More…

Visa and MasterCard’s Q1 Earnings Surpass Analysts’ Predictions

Forget the analysts’ predictions from last week — Both Visa and MasterCard reported impressive earning during their first quarter, with dramatic increases from Q1 the previous year.

Visa reported a 30 percent increase and MasterCard reported a 21 percent increase, which many analysts didn’t believe possible due to the on-going recession that’s caused many Americans to shun their credit cards and revert to cash.

Analysts had also predicted a substantial increase in debit transactions, but the outcome was actually quite modest for Visa, which reported a 4 percent rise. MasterCard on the other hand, experienced growth of 21 percent in debit transactions, which seems to imply that the much smaller processor is staking its claim in the transaction war, something Visa won’t let happen without a fight.

Visa CEO Joseph Saunders boasted that he had signed 9 out of 10 major credit card companies to deals with Visa for the next three and a half years. Visa also announced it will be raising minimum purchase amount for which consumers must enter their PIN number to $50 from the original $25 starting in Fall later this year to help speed up transactions. More…

GoEmerchant Review

Company Background: GoEmerchant was founded in 1995 in Cherry Hill, NJ. They are a credit card processing company which started to provide transaction solutions for all size online businesses. Their aim is to create a user-friendly system for users at all levels of knowledge to handle Internet credit card transactions. GoEmerchant is listed as compliant with Visa USA’s Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP).

Rates: Rates for transactions differ between services. The gateway package on a month-to-month basis costs $19.95 and the Total Package Shopping Cart is priced at $59.95 per month. Both packages charge a $99 set up fee and an $29.95 annual fee. The transaction fees are priced at 10-cents each. Both services offer a host of services including unlimited number of transactions, tracking code options, 24/7 data monitoring, daily and weekly backup services, and downloadable reports. The Total Package solution offers additional services including UPS/FedEx/USPS integration, custom shipping and handling, inventory management, and QuickBooks integration. Customers can opt to pay monthly or annually for services.

Security features and Account Services Provided: GoEmerchant offers a full range of More…