Saturday, December 21, 2013

Is Imprinting A Card A Thing of the Past?

In the program guide that every merchant signs and agrees to states, “IF THE TERMINAL FAILS TO READ THE MAGNETIC STRIPE OR IF YOU ARE

When an account is approved a “merchant metal plate: is mailed out.  Not only should you have an imprint of the card, but the merchant info from the “plate” should also be included.  Now is a good time to pull this back out and be sure you have an imprinter and imprinter slips. If you need help with this let me know.  Let me know if you want a full copy of the guide.

I would like to add about the new cards will be issued soon to consumers called EMV cards with an embedded chip, also referred to as smart cards.  These cards are reported nearly impossible to counterfeit because the chip stores unique info that is constantly changing as the card is used.  Cards in use today use a magnetic strip that can be easily replicated and counterfeited.  Merchants will need to have the proper equipment to accept these new cards no later than October 2015.

I urge you to take the time to review the following:


Why we are at, I wanted to share the portion addressing businesses that do not accept a card in person.

Mail/Telephone/Internet (Ecommerce) Orders and Other Card Not Present Sales.

You may only engage in mail/telephone/Internet orders provided they do not exceed the percentage of your total payment Card volume reflected on your application. Failure to adhere to this requirement may result in cancellation of your Agreement. Merchants conducting Internet transactions using MasterCard or Visa Cards must have special codes (an “Electronic Commerce Indicator”) added to their authorization and settlement records. Discover Network does not use an Electronic Commerce Indicator. Failure to register as a merchant conducting Internet transaction can result in fines imposed by the Associations. Mail/Telephone/Internet and other Card Not Present transactions have a sub statically higher risk of Chargeback. Since you will not have an imprinted or magnetically swiped transaction and you will not have the Cardholder’s signature on the Sales Draft as you would in a face-to-face transaction, you will assume all risk associated with accepting a mail/telephone/Internet or other Card Not Present transaction. The following procedures, while they will not eliminate Chargebacks, are useful in reducing them and should be followed by you:
• Obtain the expiration date of Card.
• On the Sales Draft, clearly print the Cardholder’s account number; effective and expiration dates; date of transaction; description of the goods and services; amount of the transaction (including shipping, handling, insurance, etc.); Cardholder’s name, billing address and shipping address; authorization code; and merchant’s name and address (city and state required).
• For mail orders, write “MO”; for telephone orders, write “TO” on the Cardholder’s signature line.
• If feasible, obtain and keep a copy of the Cardholder’s signature on file on a form authorizing you to submit telephone and mail order transactions.
• You should utilize the Address Verification Service for all Card Not Present Transactions (see note below). Address Verification is specifically required for all
Discover Network Card Not Present Transactions, and if you do not receive a positive match through AVS, you may not process the Discover Network Card
Not Present Transaction. If you do not have AVS, contact us immediately.
• You should obtain the 3-digit Card Validation Code number and include it with each authorization request. Discover Network Association Rules specifically require that you submit the Card Validation Code with the authorization request for all Discover Network Card Not Present Transactions.
• For telephone orders, it is recommended that written verification of the sale be requested from the Cardholder (sent by mail or fax).
• You may not submit a transaction for processing until after the merchandise has been shipped or the service has been provided to the customer. (The Associations will permit the immediate billing of merchandise manufactured to the customer’s specifications [i.e., special / custom orders] provided the Cardholder has been advised of the billing details.)
• You should provide a copy of the Sales Draft to the Cardholder at the time of delivery. You must also obtain proof of delivery of the goods or services to the address designated by the Cardholder (i.e., by getting a signature of the Cardholder or person designated by the Cardholder through the delivery carrier). If the Card holder visits one of your locations to receive the goods or services purchased, obtain an imprint of the card and the Cardholder’s signature.
• Notify the Cardholder of delivery time frames and special handling and/or cancellation policies. Merchandise shipping dates must be within seven (7) days of the date authorization was obtained. If, after the order has been taken, additional delays will be incurred (e.g., out of stock), notify the Cardholder and reauthorize the transaction.
• You may not require a Cardholder to complete a postcard or other document that displays the Cardholder’s account number in clear view when mailed.
• If you accept orders via the Internet, your web site must include the following information in a prominent manner:
– Complete description of the goods or services offered;
– Merchandise return and refund policy;
– Customer service contact, including email address and/or telephone number;
– Transaction currency (U.S. dollars, unless permission is otherwise received from Servicers);
– Any applicable export or legal restrictions;
– Delivery policy;
– Consumer data privacy policy;
– A description of the transaction security used on your website; and
– The sale or disclosure of databases containing Cardholder account numbers, personal information, or other Card transaction information to third parties is prohibited.
• You may not accept Card Account Numbers through Electronic Mail over the Internet.
NOTE: Address Verification Service (“AVS”) does not guarantee against Chargebacks, but used properly, it assists you in reducing the risk of fraud by confirming whether certain elements of the billing address provided by your customer match the billing address maintained by the Issuer. AVS also may help you avoid incurring additional interchange expenses. AVS is a separate process from obtaining an Authorization and will provide a separate response. A transaction may not match addresses when submitted for AVS and still receive an Authorization. It is your responsibility to monitor the AVS responses and use the information provided to avoid high-risk transactions.
3.2.1. Discover Network Protocol for Internet Transactions. Each Internet
Discover Network Card transaction accepted by you and submitted to us shall comply with Discover Network standards, including, without limitation, Discover Network standards governing the formatting, transmission and encryption of data, referred to as the “designated protocol.” You shall accept only those Internet Discover Network

Card transactions that are encrypted in accordance with the designated protocol. As of the date of these Operating Procedures, the designated protocol for the encryption of data is Secure Socket Layer (SSL). We may, at our discretion, withhold Settlement until security standards can be verified. However, the designated protocol, including any specifications with respect to data encryption, may change at any time upon thirty (30) days advance written notice. You shall not accept any Internet Discover Network Card transaction unless the transaction is sent by means of a browser which supports the designated protocol.

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

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mobile Payments, EMV & NFC

Mobile / smart phone, social and technologies are converging right now at a rapid pace.  As of January 2013 nearly 130 million Americans own smart phones.  It all started with the mobile phones, were now you can reach individual consumers on a person level to market your business and offer coupons and other incentives.  Those who hop on the mobile payments train early will not only find new customers, but will set themselves from the competition. 

Using smart phone technologies, sophisticated mobile apps are taking location based personalization to the next step.  For example some apps recognize individual devices and give customers offers based on frequency of visits and other loyalty-related data.  Others are building technology that traces consumer shopping habits to offer personalized recommendations and offers. Others can sync with your customer’s social media accounts to share offers to their friends.  This can help your business spread the word about deals and find new customers’ social networks.  Socially shared coupons can be a great way to spread excitement and brand awareness between friends online.  This is just the start and who know what the future holds for even better and more advanced than what is now available. Merchants must be equipped with technology solutions that extend far beyond payment processing, and broadens their value and ability to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

Now that you know the benefits, how do you take advantage of this?  We have a solution.  With the Genius Customer Engagement Platform from Merchant Warehouse will aggregate and integrate every conceivable transaction technology, payment type and customer program – both present and future – into a single platform.  It is engineered to eliminate other issues confronting merchant’s today, including security breaches, hardware limits and transaction fees.  With the uses of Genius will ready your business for the new EMV cards and NFC payments.  With Genius NEVER TURN AWAY A PAYING CUSTOMER!

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

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Murphy’s Law

You know “Murphy’s Law”, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.  And so it is in the credit card processing business.  It’s not a matter of if, but when something will go wrong.  Equipment breaks, telephone / internet goes down, run out of terminal receipt paper.  You place too many digits in when you run a transaction ($1200 instead of $120).  These are just a few.   When “murphy” visits regarding your credit card processing, we are there to correct the “murphy” in a quick manner.  We will post success stories about fighting “murphy”

Update #1
The other day, a customer moved around their customer check in desk.  When they went to plug everything back in, the credit card terminal would not come back on.  After trying a few things over the phone, went to them same day and fixed the issue

For help with your service and to keep “murphy” at bay contact us at:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Risk & A Merchant Account

What risk?  A customer gives me a credit card, I get an authorization, a day or two later I receive funds, so what is the problem or risk?

An authorization is letting you know that funds are available on the card at that time in point. An authorization does not confirm the cardholder’s card or limit the cardholder from disputing at a future date. If you received more than one decline seek another form of payment. A decline authorization is the issuing banking letting you know there is a problem.

There more to it than this.  A merchant account is like a line of credit with the processing company and unsecured lender.  There is a chance that a card holder can dispute a transaction up to six months from service rendered or delivery date.  If the merchant does not have funds in the bank account, then the provider will be the one to take the loss.  Also consider in some situations, a merchant collects payments in advance of providing the product or service as well as providing some sort of quality assurance, i.e. will be delivered, can be returned, satisfaction guarantee, therefore the risk is ultimately borne by the provider.  This is like a line of credit.   Keep in mind margins are so low for a provider, risk is screened and monitored very closely

Risk Variables & Key Areas

Company longevity & financial strength
Industry and how cards are processed
Billing method and accepting payments in advance

Why is it important for you to understand risk?
Since there are many companies in the merchant provider industry will manage the risk on the back end or after the account is approved.  Then the business might have an unpleasant surprise of having funds held until the merchant service provider is satisfied with the business meeting certain requirements.  In some cases the funds might be held in reserve for up to 6 months.  If you are unhappy, too bad, they have you under contact.  It is important to have this vetting beforehand.

If a merchant provider does not properly assess risk during underwriting and down the road a risk manager flags the merchant, they may withhold funds, require a reserve (where they hold a certain amount of money in reserve to offset the risk) or terminate the processing relationship. So be cautious when selecting a partner. If you are unhappy, too bad, they have you under contact.  It is important to have this vetting beforehand.

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