Friday, December 1, 2017

Best Practices - Never Ask For Credit Card Numbers To Be Emailed

As a business that accepts credit cards, never ask for a credit card number to be emailed.  If you provide a form for a customer to complete, you should state very clearly that full credit card numbers and expiration dates should never be emailed on the form.  Also this applies to this same info left on voice mail.  This is for the security of credit card data of your customer and for your business to adhere to PCI Compliance per the card brands.

If you have questions about this subject or other concerns related to Point of Sales Systems or credit card processing, contact us anytime via email or call us at 727-916-7294

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Stand Alone Credit Card Terminals & It’s Communication

Many years ago before the internet, the old “ma bell” phones and the phone lines operated on sending/reading pulses.  With the advent of the internet a new system has come to the market called voice over internet or VOIP.  Today most if not all phone system uses VOIP or Digital Phone lines. If not in your office / business, but at the switching stations.
Today’s credit card terminal, when using a phone line and the built in modem, is based on the old “ma bell protocol. Voice over IP or Digital Phone lines simulate this pulse, which isn’t always sufficient for what the terminal is looking for. For this reason if a merchant has VOIP we recommend  processing over IP instead.  It must be a wired internet connection.  Wi-Fi will not work for the vast majority of stand-alone credit card terminals.
If you have questions about this subject or other concerns related to Point of Sales Systems or credit card processing, contact us anytime via email or call us at 727-916-7294

Saturday, June 17, 2017

E-commerce Websites & Card Testing By Fraudsters - Up By 200%

If your business has a website that takes credit cards, beware of a fraud that is increasing. Non-profit businesses are more at risk because the obstacles to prevent the fraud are normally not used.
The fraudsters’ uses e-commerce websites to test stolen credit card numbers to see which ones are still good. This type of fraud is up 200% first four months of 2017 compared to the same period last year, according to a report from Radial’s E-commerce Fraud Technology Lab.
They can high jack the use of the site for running test transactions. This is done by a very sophisticated manner using bots and scripts repetitive tasks at lighting speed. Attempting hundreds of card payments online in minutes. If this happens at your site, it will cost in transactions fees just for the test. Any good payments funded can later results in charge backs. If you have too many charge backs that exceed a threshold, per the card brands may results in the shutdown of your merchant account.
To protect your business from being a victim of this type of fraud, review your security setting to make it harder for the “bots” to run the scripts. Do this by turning on or add an extra requirement for verification. This feature will require the person prior to entering credit card info, to enter a security code from a randomly generated image. Consider turning on an email notification so every time a credit card is used for a purchase on your site, you will receive an email. This could alert you to this fraud because, if attacked, you will receive numerous emails very quickly. Depending on the software / services you may be using, there can be additional security features available.  In some gateways you can also limit how many transaction will be allowed to go thru in a day. It’s called daily velocity. If you use you might want to consider their Advanced Fraud Detection Suite by using 13 fraud-fighting filters and tools.
Last if you find you are attacked, turn off your gateway so no new transactions can be tried at once until you have made your site secure to stop the testing. If any fraudulent transaction were good, void or refund depending on the status.
If you have questions about this subject or other concerns related to Point of Sales Systems or credit card processing, contact us anytime via email or call us at 727-916-7294

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Understanding The Differnce Between Surcharging And Convenience Fee

More and more I am asked about the following. There is much confusion on this subject.  We hope this will help to clarify it for you.


A convenience fee is associated with an "added value" that the cardholder receives in connection with a non-face-to-face card purchase in the form of an alternate payment channel outside of the merchant's customary payment channels. For instance, a movie theatre is permitted to charge a convenience fee to cardholders that purchase movie tickets for a future showing through the Internet. This alternate payment channel offers the cardholder added convenience since they do not have to be physically present to complete this transaction, thus a convenience fee is allowable. The movie theatre (this would be their customary payment channel), however, may not levy a "convenience fee" at the ticket counter.

Visa and MasterCard define a Convenience Fee as a fee assessed by the merchant to the cardholder for payments processed through an alternative payment channel. A convenience fee cannot be assessed to the payments received in the customary, or standard, payment channel since there is no added convenience to the cardholder.

The standard convenience Fee rules are:

- Convenience Fee can only be charged in an alternative payment method.
- Non face to face transactions only.
- Disclose it is for using an alternative payment method.
- Has to be flat or fixed amount, not a percentage of the sale.
- Applicable to all alternate payments accepted including cash and check.
- Included in the transaction total.
- Disclosed prior to the completion of sale.
- Cannot be charged by a third party.
- Cannot be added to a recurring transaction.
- Cannot be assessed by e-commerce only merchants.
- The Fee must be clearly and conspicuously disclosed to the cardholder and afford the cardholder an opportunity to opt out of the sale.
- The fee should not be advertised as a fee assessed by MasterCard or Visa.
- The fee cannot be advertised or otherwise communicated as an offset to the merchant discount rate.

Offering the customer the option to pay with a credit card is not considered an added convenience, and merchants may not assess a convenience fee for any transaction completed through the customary payment channel.


A surcharge is a fee charged to the cardholder for using a credit card to pay for goods and/or services. Any merchant is able to implement a surcharge as long as they follow the guidelines.
The surcharge amount may not vary with each customer/transaction
The surcharge amount must be consistent, whether a flat fee or percentage is charged.
The MAXIMUM Surcharge Amount is 4%, however the surcharge must be in-line with the Discount Rate, i.e. effective rate of cards currently accepted. Merchants should calculate their effective rate for the past 6 months, and then take the average to obtain their surcharge amount.
Merchants must register and wait 30 days before implementing the surcharge.
Merchants must disclose at the Point of Entry to the store that they surcharge.
Merchants must disclose at the Point of Sale (checkout) that they surcharge.
Merchants must disclose the dollar amount surcharged on every receipt. Currently the only terminal certified with First Data to support surcharging are Dejavoo terminals.
Merchants MAY NOT surcharge any debit cards, signature, prepaid, or pin. Surcharging is for Credit Cards only.
Merchants who surcharge may still be liable for fines if they mistakenly surcharge a debit card.
Merchants who surcharge will not be able to accept American Express.

If you have questions about this subject or other concerns related to Point of Sales Systems or credit card processing, contact us anytime via email or call us at 727-916-7294

This article was written by Megan Best of Electronic Payments and reprinted with permission.  All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Your Business Needs A Gift Card Program, Why? How about more revenue!

You know you have a great product you offer to customers, then why not let them purchase a gift card to give to a friend? Build loyalty too. Promotional give away.  Use for refunds, instead of cash.
Here are some hard numbers.
93% of US consumers either buy or receive a gift card every year. The fact is, if you don’t have gift cards, you’re losing a huge revenue opportunity. A large portion of this 93% are going to buy a gift card no matter what, because it’s the simplest and most flexible gift to give someone—they’ll be setting out on their shopping trip intending to buy a gift card from one place or another. If you don’t have gift cards, these consumers will look elsewhere for them, and that’s lost revenue for you.
72% of people use more than the value of their card—on average, people spend 20% more. It almost seems as if the number should be higher—anyone who uses a gift card for a store almost certainly has to go over by some small amount. But what’s really important is the second half of the stat—the 20% figure shows just how much extra revenue beyond the gift card you can get, and that’s not including the potential for repeat customers.
55% of gift card recipients go to a store more than once to use the entire gift card balance. This is an aspect of gift cards that has long-term effects—a customer who attends your store twice is already likely to come back again afterward. The next time they’re thinking of buying a product that you carry, the image of that product sitting on your shelves will pop into their head.
There’s plenty of other stats, of course, but these three capture the core value of gift cards—nearly all customers want to give or receive gift cards, recipients will return to your store multiple times to use them, and they’ll very often choose to spend beyond the value of the gift card. The benefits are clear, and the numbers support it—without gift cards, you’re missing out.
Contact us via email or call for details on a free gift card program. 727-916-7294

Sunday, May 29, 2016

More Junk Fees

They just keep coming.  A new junk fee I recently came across.  I am often asked what is your rate? It’s not about one rate, one needs to look at the sum of the total. Here is another example about another “junk fee”. Monthly Funding Advantage is a made up fee. Also I am seeing a new junk fee called “EMV non-enabled Fee” at a rate of 3 basis points. This fee will hit restaurants that does not have a POS to accept Chip Cards.

Give us a call to find out how we can help you eliminate junk fees. 727-916-7294