Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Fighting fraud is all of our responsibility and a little diligence on your part could save your business hundreds or thousands of dollars. Don't be shy about contacting a Risk Representative at Capital Bankcard if you are unsure about an order or transaction. We can help you determine if the transaction is legitimate and give you guidance on steps you can take if you are suspicious.

If you believe a card is stolen, fraudulent or otherwise suspicious, you should train your staff on how to make a Code 10 authorization request. The Code 10 authorization request alerts the card issuer to the suspicious activity-without alerting the customer. During a Code 10 call, you will speak to the card issuer's special operator, who will provide instructions on any necessary action. This type of authorization request is the most likely to result in a call to law enforcement.

Code 10 steps
Keep the card in hand to quickly respond to questions. Call 1-800-228-1122 and say "I have a Code 10 Authorization Request." When connected to the special operator, answer all questions calmly and in a normal tone of voice. Follow all operator instructions.
If the operator asks you to retain the card, comply with this request only if it is safe to do so.

If you are keying transactions or receiving them off the internet, you are at even more risk for fraud. Below are some red flags to watch out for in these environments.
Orders that require you to ship product outside of the United States. There are obviously very legitimate orders from overseas but, if your business does not normally receive such orders, or receives any which seem unusual, you should give them extra scrutiny.
Transactions requiring you to "prepay" the shipping costs via Western Union to a specific shipping company being used at your customer's request. Any suspicious sounding shipping arrangements are a good sign of potential fraud.
Unusually large orders or those containing multiple quantities of the same item. You know your business better than anyone. If a large order seems particularly unusual in any way, trust your instincts and follow-up on it. Thieves know a stolen card number won't last long so they typically place large orders while they can. They are also always looking to maximize their resale value.

Orders from generic e-mail addresses (ie. john@yahoo.com) or calls using TDD (telecommunications device for deaf) to place orders. Many of these orders are legitimate, but they are sometimes indications of a fraudster looking to remain anonymous.
"Rush" or "overnight" shipping requests. Crooks want your goods as soon as possible for the quickest possible resale. The last thing they care about is extra delivery charges.
Transactions with similar account numbers, multiple orders from one account or multiple orders to one address from multiple cards. These are all highly suspicious and are worth your attention.

We want to ensure that you and your associates are able to spot potential fraud and take action quickly in order to prevent fraud and protect your business, but only when it is safe to do so.

Hopefully these suggestions will help you. If you have any question about this, please feel free to contact us at  info@tampabaymerchantservices.com or call 727-916-7294

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Scam Targeting Businesses Accepting Credit Cards

A "customer" enters a business and makes a purchase using a credit card. The proprietor attempts to process the transaction, but every authorization attempt is declined. The cardholder tells the merchant he will call the card-issuer via his cell phone. The individual allegedly makes the call to his bank, but in reality dials the number of an accomplice. The cardholder hands the phone over to the merchant so the person on the other end can provide a false authorization number. The merchant then unknowingly forces the sale through the terminal, using the illicit code. Due to an invalid authorization being used such a transaction will almost certainly be disputed, causing the merchant to take a total loss. Merchants should only input codes obtained directly from the voice authorization center

Another scam similar to the above is the "customer", presents a Visa Gift Card and after it is declined; the phone call to the accomplice which results in a credit in the amount of the sale going back on the Visa Gift Card, while the merchant thinks it is authoring the sale.

If you have any question about this, please feel free to contact us at  info@tampabaymerchantservices.com or call 727-916-7294


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How Does Banks Charging For Checking Accounts Relates To A Business Accepting Credit Cards?

Every day now we hear about another big bank raising checking account fees.  This is because of the Durbin Amendment has capped the fees on debit cards thru interchange assessments.  This does not mean that you as small merchant will benefit.

If you have a tier rate structure, as most businesses do, you will not see a rate reduction. Talk to us so we can review your account and be sure you will see the savings you deserve

Contact us at info@tampabaymerchantservices.com or call 727-916-7294

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cost To Accept Debit Cards Will Go Down - Will You Benefit?

In case you have not kept up with the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Reform and Consumer Protection Act, it will lower the cost to accept credit cards. As of this writing this new reform will take effect in October 2011. This legislation gives the Federal Reserve the power to cap the interchange fees each time a debit card is used. Does this automatically mean that you as small merchant will benefit? The answer is most likely no. If you have a tier rate structure, as most businesses do, you will not see a rate reduction. We offer a rate structure known as interchange plus pricing. Interchange is the cost from the card associations. Now with interchange going down for debit cards as noted above you will automatically have your costs lowered. Under the tier rate structure your company, also know as the "acquirer" is not covered in this legislation. Don't expect them to pass on these savings to you, the business. It will be a big raise for them. Contact us today so you can benefit and lower your cost of accepting credit cards
 info@tampabaymerchantservices.com or call 727-916-7294

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How Secure Is The Card Reader Attached To Your Smart Phone?

There are many choices to process credit cards using a smart phone. The cost of the card reader varies. The question is how secure is the system. A popular one now is "Square". Read more about this subject at:


If you have any question about this, please feel free to contact us at info@tampabaymerchantservices.com or call 727-916-7294


Who Needs Their Bank When It Comes To Processing?

An owner of a business was approached by her bank that they could save on her processing. They wanted to see the current company’s statement. The only problem was she no longer received processing statements because they went “green”. The bank could not figure out who was deducting fees out of her account. She searched the web and came to my website and called me to see if I was her company. Of course she is not my customer. However, because of my experience and knowledge and what she told me of what was on her bank statement I gave her a phone number to try. Turns out it was the right one. It comes down to this, if you want someone that knows the processing business and not just a bank's that is offering another auxiliary product line to help the bank bottom line, call me, a Professional Merchant Account Master.

If you have any question about this, please feel free to contact us at info@tampabaymerchantservices.com or call 727-916-7294


Monday, March 14, 2011

Peter's Story - A Lesson For All

"Hi: I own Nails by Peter. I would like to relay a most unfortunate situation. Now looking back I made a costly time & money error regarding my merchant account.

In February 2009, I opened a merchant account with Ray. Six months later a rep from another company approached me about saving money by switching to his company. Ray spoke with me about making this change and he informed me that I would not save. I wish that I had listened to Ray - around seven months later I discovered that I had made a bad error in changing. I discovered my new merchant account was costing me more than my previous account with Ray.

I decided to close this new account & return to Ray's services. Altho I closed this higher costing account in May of 2010, I am still being charged fees, 8 months later. I've spent a huge amount of time & considerable stress in working to close out this account & stop the fees. Ray has even help me in to obtain refunds. How many people would do this?

My experience with Ray is that he is totally honest in his representations - so if you are approached by someone and you really think they can save you money - I strongly urge you to contact Ray for a second opinion/fair evaluation of any offers! Do not make the same mistake I did" - Peter

Thank you Peter for allowing us to share your story.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

New IRS Reporting Requirement For Merchant Accounts

Starting this year, 2011, all processors will be required to report all payments made from a merchant settlement account. This new requirement is outlined in section 6050W of the internal revenue code. It is more important than ever to be sure the correct tax id number is recorded for your account. Failure to do so could result in a 28% back up with holding. In early 2012 you will receive a 1099 for the amounts reported to the IRS.

As always if you have any question about this, please feel free to contact us at info@tampabaymerchantservices.com or call 727-916-7294


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Can I Help A Friend And Let Them Use My Merchant Account?

I would like to make you aware of the following scenario – it may or may not have happened to you. A friend has asked you to run a credit card transaction through your account as a favor as they do not have a merchant account of their own. They will reimburse you for the cost, so what is the harm? You are a nice person and they are a friend so why not?

It is in your best interest not to do so. According to the terms and conditions that you agreed to upon opening your account - you agreed to process only transactions for the products and service as described in the application for your business. Also a financial profile about your transactions; such as average sale, average monthly and single highest charge was provided at that time. Should you oblige your friend, it violates this agreement. Should it be discovered, you could lose the privilege of credit card acceptance. It can also be constituted as money laundering, which is a violation of state and federal law. The bottom line is that you should decline to help your friend. You can however, refer them to me so that their business could obtain its own merchant account for processing transactions.

Remember also, if you would like to include a new product or service on your existing account, we might be able to add it. But we need to go through the proper procedure to have it approved. And depending on the situation a new account maybe required.

As always if you have any question about this, please feel free to contact us at info@tampabaymerchantservices.com or call 727-916-7294