How Interchange Plus Pricing Can Save Money

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Looking to save money on your payment processing? You’re not alone. This service is one of the most often cited headaches for small business owners, and it’s pretty common to look around for different payment processors to help lower those fees. The reality, though, is that it may not be the payment processor you’re frustrated with. Instead, it may be the pricing model itself.

Four Very Different Models

As you begin to consider different payment processing companies, you’re going to see four main models. The first is the most common – tiered pricing. It sorts your transactions into three different tiers: qualified, mid-qualified, and non-qualified. Transactions meet various requirements to fall into a given tier (processors call these ‘buckets’). For example, if the card is present and it’s processed on the same day, it might fall into the qualified category. If it’s an online transaction, it may fall into an entirely different category.

Tiered pricing simplifies things considerably, but you don’t get a chance to see what the processing company is really charging you. Subscription pricing is the second model, and in this case, you pay a membership fee as well as a per transaction fee. It can be a fairly inexpensive way to process your payments, but not very many companies are willing to offer it.

Flat fee payment processing is the third type, and it’s a bit like tiered processing, but it generally takes the three tiers and blends them to offer you a single even rate. That rate, though, can be a bit high. Interchange-plus pricing is the most transparent of these models. It breaks down every single charge you pay, both those that go to the issuing bank and those that go to the processor. This tends to make things more complicated in terms of reporting, but it usually costs less.  

The Right Online Payment Services

So, which one is right for your company? You’re going to have to think carefully about the various kinds of transactions you move through on a regular basis. You may also have to see which payment processors are competing for your business to see what’s available to you. While tiered and flat fees seem easier to deal with, interchange pass through services are typically the cheapest option. Searching terms like “what is interchange plus pricing” is likely to yield several examples that will help you put some numbers on potential transactions you might use in your store, which may help you make a solid decision.

To learn more about interchange plus pricing and have all of your payment processing concerns answered, contact us today.

How PCI Compliance Protects You

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As you probably know, PCI compliance details exactly what you have to do if you plan to store, process, or transmit any cardholder data in your company. The goal of these requirements, naturally, was to protect consumers, but the reality is that PCI compliance can protect you as well. Wondering how something as simple as protecting customer data can ensure your business stays safe? Take a closer look.

Protecting Consumer Credit Card Information 

Today’s world revolves around technology, and more businesses than ever need to accept credit cards in their physical locations, over the phone, and online. Because so many people are using online payment methods and more, and so many businesses are accepting it, protecting it is an absolute must, and that responsibility falls to the companies involved in collecting the credit card information. That’s how the PCI Standards evolved – credit card companies wanted to ensure breaches didn’t happen at that point of purchase, and while the standards may seem a bit strict, the reality is they’re not just there for the banks and consumers. Instead, they’re there for you, too.  

How Do They Work to Protect Your Company?

The number of identities in data breaches is only increasing. Nearly 150 million Americans have been exposed, and if you’re responsible for the next big data breach, you could have some very angry customers on your hands. Customers assume that you’ll take every precaution to help protect their information, and in the event that you don’t, you can expect to lose some business.

Digital security firm Gemalto found that 70% of customers would stop doing business with a company following a data breach. Can you imagine if 70% of your base walked away right now? That could create a serious impact when it comes to your profits. Those customers who had their data exposed in that breach could even sue you for the damages involved.

PCI standards, though, don’t just protect your business on the customer front. They also protect you from a financial standpoint. In the event that you choose not to comply with those standards, your acquiring bank can levy heavy fines against you. It’s important to note here that PCI standards are not laws. The government won’t shut your business down because you don’t comply. What will happen, though, is that your acquiring bank will fine you every single month until you address the compliance issues at hand. Those fines are not small, either. In fact, they could range from $5,000 to $100,000 on a monthly basis. If you don’t resolve the issue, you could have your ability to accept credit cards revoked, which creates the problem of fewer customers once more.

Keep in mind that data breaches don’t just affect consumers. The chances are good that your business does business online. How do you order supplies online? How do you pay for business-related services? You likely use a credit card, too, and a security breach on your vendors’ end could leave your entire company vulnerable. PCI compliance really is important, so it’s essential to understand the process.

What Does Being PCI Compliant Really Mean?

PCI compliance revolves around a number of different areas. First, you need to establish a secure network. If you’re online, and your payment system is likely tied to a computer network in some fashion, you need to ensure your system is secure. You should have the necessary protections, like an active firewall system, in place to ensure unauthorized individuals can’t access the sensitive payment information you may be storing or transmitting.

Beyond that, you need to secure your network against any threats. Information has to be limited to those who need it, so it should be encrypted at the point of transmission. Once the data is rendered useless, it must be securely destroyed.

To that end, you should implement access control measures that work for you. Restrict cardholder data to those with a unique ID who actually need to access that data.

Maintaining the security protocols you put in place is also essential. Test your networks and monitor them on a regular basis. Be sure you have policies in place that address information security as well.

A Good Payment Processor Can Help

PCI compliance protects both you and your customers, but online payment processing doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience for your customers. Instead, choosing online payment systems built to help you maintain PCI compliance are the single best choice (and are offered at no cost) for a business of any size.  

To learn more about how we can help, contact us today at 888-693-1850.

Common Payment Processing Mistakes

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Online payment processing is a must in today’s business world. It means your business can accept credit card payments without a hassle, but it’s not always as simple as you might imagine. In fact, many companies make some critical mistakes when it comes to payment processing, and those mistakes can be costly in today’s business world. Understanding exactly what those mistakes might be is key to helping prevent issues in your company. Take a look at a few mistakes you might be making right now.

Five Key Mistakes

Mistake #1 – Poor Examination of Available Options

The differences between payment processing solutions is vast and knowing exactly what you need at the outset is a good way to avoid any potential mistakes. There are multiple payment processing solutions available today and comparing each one on level ground is a must. While many businesses simply examine the overall cost involved, the reality is that if you look closer at the services and benefits each offers, you’re going to find far more to that bottom line cost than you might imagine, and if you get stuck in a contract with one that doesn’t work for your business, you’re going to create more problems for your company in the future.

Mistake #2 – Lacking A Signed Contract In Place Before Auto Billing

Many companies offer services or products on an auto billing plan. It’s a great way to offer your customers a convenient service they don’t have to renew and keep customers with your brand for longer than you ever thought possible. However, often auto billing can create a headache, particularly if you don’t have your customers sign a contract at the outset. Create a straightforward terms of service agreement before that first bill arrives. If you don’t, you may experience a chargeback that you can’t reverse, which may mean you have trouble working with your payment processor in the future.

Mistake #3 – Failure to Watch for Hidden Fees

The last thing your business needs is additional fees, and in the world of payment processing, they can add up quickly. More often than not, you find hidden fees with payment processors who offer lower rates than you’ve ever seen, but it happens with others too. Cancellations, withdrawals, and batch processing all often trigger additional fees. The volume of business, though, may also impact your fees.

More than that, though, how you process a customer’s credit card can affect your fees. Lower fees are available for swiped transactions, something you may not have realized when you initially signed up for that service. Knowing exactly what you might pay with each payment processor you consider can help you avoid any surprises at the end of the month when you’re working on your books.

Mistake #4 – Avoiding the Right Fraud Solution

In 2018 alone, private companies experienced a fraud rate of nearly 28%, according to 2018 ACFE’s Report To The Nations. If your company is in that 28%, finding the right solution to fraud is an absolute must, and often that begins at the point of online payment processing. Take the time to implement a robust fraud reduction program. Encrypt your data, and keep customer contact information up to date. Only give access to private financial information to those employees who truly need it and see if your payment processor can help offer you additional fraud protection that will keep your business (and your customers) safe.  

Mistake #5 – Settling for a Payment Processor That Doesn’t Work For You

Imagine you’re going out for dinner tonight. Would you settle for a restaurant you don’t like? The chances are good that you wouldn’t, so why would you select a payment processor for your company that doesn’t seem to be a good fit? Because there are so many choices available, settling because you simply want what’s easy now could cost you more down the road. Instead, choose a certified payment processing company that seems like it would work well for every transaction you’ll have this year.

To learn more about common mistakes businesses make when it comes to payment processing, reach out to us today. We can help you decide if we’re the right choice to meet your needs. Call us at 888-693-1850.

Advice to a Business Owners Looking for a Payment Processor

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You have to find a way to accept customers’ electronic payments today. Whether you run a brick and mortar business or one online, to become profitable, you’ll need to deal with electronic payments like credit and debit cards and e-checks. While the number of payment processors wasn’t an obstacle just a few decades ago, for companies looking for the right processor today, the choice can be nothing short of overwhelming.

Who are the best payment processors and what are the differences between payment processing solutions out there? This guide might help you sort things out and find a processor that works for your company.

What to Look For

The first trick to landing the right payment processor is to watch for the signposts of a good processor as you read about each company. Good payment processors:

  • Are upfront about their fees – Fees vary from company to company. Make certain you find a company that is willing to discuss those fees and not hide them from you. Understand what the cancellation, withdrawal, and batch processing fees might be. Good payment processors will offer you a full schedule of fees before you ever sign up.
  • Offer fast access to funds – If your processor constantly needs to investigate suspicious activity, you could be without a paycheck for weeks. Find a company that, even in potential fraud cases, have a simple process that means access to your cash as fast as possible.
  • Care about data security and fraud protection – Protecting your customers’ data is a must, and it shouldn’t fall on your shoulders. After all, that can be an expensive process that may suck time away from your company. Choose a payment processor that offers secure, reliability with anti-fraud technology built right into the services. Make certain they reduce your PCI compliance workload so you don’t have to have an additional, costly system.
  • Have dedicated set-up support and assistance – You need help. It’s the bottom line in accepting electronic payments today. Ensure you have a processor dedicated to customer service so you get the assistance you need when you need it the most.

Are There Really Differences between Payment Processing Solutions?

The answer to that question is a solid “yes.” A Nilson study found there are 14.4 billion credit cards in the world as a whole, and with numbers like those, the industry will only continue to grow. Make certain you find a processor you can partner with to better run your business.

Contact Y2Payments today to learn more about our Payment Processing solution and our Conduit 3.0.

What’s the Difference Between Chip and Signature and Chip and PIN Transaction?

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It seems nearly every major credit card issuer has gone to chip-enabled cards, and for good reason. These cards have far more fraud-prevention features than others available today, and that not only protects the credit card companies that issue them but merchants as well. There are, however, two different kinds of cards available – those cards that are dubbed chip and signature cards and those called chip and PIN cards. What’s the difference between the two, and which is the best payment type for your business? Take a look.

Chip and Signature Cards

At the heart of the difference between these two kinds of cards is how customers buy merchandise. A chip and signature card means the customer inserts his or her card, then signs for the purchase. This should be a pretty familiar process, as it’s a bit like the older, magnetic cards. It’s fast, it’s convenient, and it’s a familiar process for many consumers. There is a drawback, though. Signatures can easily be forged in this system.

Chip and PIN Cards

With this type of card, a customer puts it in the chip reader, then keys in a PIN, personal identification number, to complete the transaction. This system is probably the safer of the two, and while customers are familiar with the swipe and sign, as debit cards have become more and more important across the United States to consumers, they’re more familiar than every with entering a PIN for purchase. Studies have shown that fraud losses plummet with the adoption of a chip and PIN system for all cards.

Do You Have a Choice?

Just because there are two kinds of cards available doesn’t mean you have a choice of which ones to accept. Most of today’s updated terminals read both chip and signature transactions and those that require a PIN, so you don’t have to worry about choosing between the two. In fact, few payment processors even require a different fee for one over the other. What you do need to know, now, is that there is a difference, and should an option pop up in the future, you may want to go with chip and PIN to protect your business.

Learn more about payment processing options for your business at Y2Payments.

The Difference Between Credit Card and Debit Processing

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Most merchants can process both credit and debit cards. The two work very differently, though, for both the customer and the merchant. For the customer, those differences are obvious. The source of the funds on a credit card is an account the consumer holds with that company. It’s often an agreement to borrow money from that company and pay it back. A debit card, though, gets its funds from a bank account. From a processing perspective, that difference is less obvious.

Credit Card Processing

When a customer chooses to use a credit card to make a purchase at your store, the processing takes place through the major digital networks of each credit card company. The payment processor sends the details to a credit card network like Visa or MasterCard, then the card’s issuer accepts or declines the transaction. Naturally, the entire process takes only a matter of seconds. Interchange fees on a credit card transaction tend to be higher than those on a debit card, and those fees increase with web or mobile credit card transactions.

Debit Card Processing

When a customer swipes a debit card, the data can go through Visa or MasterCard, but it can also go through other options like Interlink, STAR Network, or Maestro, just to name a few. That data is then forwarded to the issuing bank, and then the transaction is either approved or denied. Debit cards have a unique set of regulations that govern payments. Processing costs are lower, but the amount depends on whether the card is regulated or unregulated. It may also depend on the total amount of the transaction. Additionally, the smaller the bank, the more likely a PIN or signature will be required, which can affect the fee structure.

 

What works for your company will depend a bit on the differences between payment processing solutions and what forms of payment your company currently accepts. Search around to find the best payment processor not just for you, but for your customers as well.

Contact Y2Payments today at 888-693-1850 to learn how we can help provide you with a superior payment system.

What is a Remotely Created Check or a RRC?

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Many payment methods are available today, and among them are remotely created checks, or RCCs. They’re a convenient way to take payments from customers, and for more than two decades, they were a dominant way for customers to pay bills or merchants. That, however, may change in the near future.

A Bit of History

RCCs aren’t created by the account holder’s bank, and they don’t include the signature. Instead, they include the account holder’s printed name, and the merchant takes the customer’s bank and routing number through the web (or over the phone), then prints a check with that information and processes it just like they normally would.

RCCs came from Check 21 legislation. Created in 2004, the checks were not subject to ACH rules. The goal was to create a way for customers to easily use checks to make purchases over the phone or online. The legislation also made remote deposit a possibility.

The Problems with RCCs

The biggest problem for most who deal with RCCs is that there is a pretty high risk of fraud involved. It’s easy to debit a customer’s account without consent, and the method is used today by online scammers on a regular basis.

The other frustration for many is that it’s hard to detect and control any fraud in this arena, which means there’s a higher rate of return on these checks. One study found that rate of return as high as 70%, which is as frustrating for payment  processors as it is for merchants.

Lawmakers are currently taking a closer look at RCCs to decide whether they will continue to authorize their use. It is possible that at some point in the near future, RCCs will no longer be legal tender for businesses.

Are They All Bad?

RCCs can be a really good solution for high-risk merchants, especially if they want to be able to take electronic check payments. Because many cannot qualify for ACH processing, RCCs give them more possibilities than ever. As with other payment methods today, though, they are not without their potential problems.

Merchants and Payment Fraud: The Guide You Need

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It’s a sad reality that payment fraud is something all business owners have to think about. While we wish it would simply disappear, it’s not going to go away any time soon. The big problem with payment fraud, aside from it being a serious hassle, is the fact that there isn’t just one kind of fraud that business owners have to worry about. There are many different types, including account fraud, credit card chargebacks fraud, friendly fraud, and the list goes on and on.

It’s important for business owners to understand that they need to have strategies set up in order to help detect, prevent and manage any sort of fraud situations that may occur because when it comes to merchants and fraud? It’s not a possibility that you’ll eventually have to deal with it, it’s an absolute certainty. That’s why having a company to help you with handling fraud is so important.

It’s important to note that when a customer is compromised, they not only are going to be much less likely to come back to your establishment, they’re likely going to put reviews up giving you some negative press and potentially harming your business greatly.

Learning about credit card chargebacks is especially important because it can definitely be a huge hassle for a business owner. This is because the chargeback is actually initiated by the credit card holder which could result in a return of funds to them, even if they continue to keep the product they purchased from you or continue to use the service you sold to them.

Getting the right fraud protection for merchants is definitely important, and learning about fraud insurance is something that any business owner should consider as well. Merchants and fraud do go hand-in-hand, but with the right company, like Y2Payments, behind your business you’ll find that you don’t have to worry about the fraud as much as you would if you were handling things on your own.

For example, Y2 oftentimes deploys a technology called 3D Secure (3DS). It is a Visa/MasterCard fraud prevention tool designed to eliminate such cardholder claims. When 3DS validates a card transaction if also completely eliminate the chargeback fees for the merchant. Having a shield up between you and those who would defraud you is definitely something that can help your business.