About Card Not Present Transactions

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When a customer chooses to use a credit card with your company, you can process it one of two ways. The first is to swipe it through your payment processing terminal. The second, though, is to have you process the card without the swipe. This tends to happen with phone and online orders, but it is possible to key in a card entry in a traditional brick and mortar setting. When you key those credit cards in without swipes, you’ve processed credit card not present, or CNP, transactions. They’re more common than you think today, but in the world of credit card processing, they can actually cost you quite a bit more than you expect.

What are Card Not Present Transactions?

A better definition of card not present transactions is any time a seller doesn’t have to physically use the card to process the transaction. If, for example, a person could simply recite the pertinent numbers from the card to complete the transaction, you’re completing a CNP sale, and it could really change your overall fees.

Why Does It Matter If the Card Is Swiped?

Card not present transactions change the entire processing equation for one simple reason – they involve a much higher risk of fraud. Any time you’re taking an over-the-phone order, a mail order, or even an online order, there’s a chance the cardholder didn’t authorize that move. That means that there’s a possibility that the transaction may fail at some point during the process.

In any type of pricing module, whether you’re looking at interchange-plus pricing or something completely different, you’re going to pay added costs because the processor doesn’t want to deal with the potential risk of a CNP transaction. In some cases, even when you don’t see those interchange costs directly, you’re paying for them in a marked-up base rate because the processor has to accept some of the risks.

Keep in mind, though, that not all CNP transactions will mean the same risks for your company. Online transactions, for example, have built-in security measures. Often, they ask for address or CVV verification. Keyed-in entries, on the other hand, don’t have those added layers of security, and that can mean even higher rates you may end up paying.

Preventing CNP Fraud

If fraud occurs during a CNP transaction, you could end up bearing the brunt of the costs. A 2010 LexisNexis study found that merchants tend to lose about $310 for every $100 of credit card fraud. Preventing fraud, then, can help your company save quite a bit of money in the long run. These tips may help.

  • Minimize CNP Sales: If possible, make sure you’re processing card present transactions. If you have a choice between the two options, have your customers swipe their cards through an actual terminal.
  • Increase Online Security: Make sure you’re gathering as much information as possible when you process online sales. Ensure you have the cardholder’s name as it actually appears on the card. Get the expiration date, the billing address, and the card’s CVV or security code too. If you have a way to store information about when an order was placed and other details about the order, you should do that as well.
  • Ensure PCI-DSS Compliance: If you take phone orders, make certain your company is PCI DSS compliant when you handle a customer’s confidential data. Additionally, you should keep copies of all the information provided by customers until the customer has received his or her order and the transaction is complete. Most companies keep this information on file for twelve to twenty-four months.

The Complexities of Credit Card Processing

Processing cards, whether you have customers swiping them or you’re dealing with card not present transactions, can be complex, but the reality is that the more you know about how to safely process a customer’s card, the less likely you are to be the victim of fraud of any type. What’s more is that you could be saving hundreds in credit card fees with just a bit of added knowledge.

To learn more about how we can save you money with every single CNP transaction, contact Y2Payment Systems today.

The Importance of Fraud Protection

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A 2016 Nilson Report estimated that fraud losses related to credit cards topped $24.71 billion in that year alone. Those numbers have only increased since that study was done, and businesses like yours simply can’t afford the cost of fraud today. In fact, one survey found a small business will spend nearly $40,000 just to recover from a security breach. As fraud becomes more and more relevant to companies in nearly every vertical, learning how to protect your company from fraud is essential. These tips can help.

Move to Chip Cards

EMV chip cards can help you with credit card fraud protection. The United States has one of the highest fraud rates of any other country today, and a big part of that has been its slowness to move to the EMV chip system, something many businesses are just starting to do. The UK saw nearly a 70% decline in fraud when they moved to the same system. You’ll need to talk to your processor to get the required equipment, but it could help you create a consistent cardholder experience and avoid liability.

Watch for Potential Problems

If you’re handling a card present transaction, keep an eye out for potential signs of fraud, and train your employees to do the same thing. Simple things like a customer purchasing a large number of pricey items or trying to rush you through a sale when it’s closing time are indicators you may be processing a fraudulent sale.  Having a customer who tells you their card is damaged may also indicate a fraudulent sale.

Follow the Right Procedure for CNP Transactions

If you process a lot of online sales or you take orders over the phone, you’re processing CNP, or Card Not Present, sales on a regular basis. Take a few extra precautions with these kinds of sales. Watch for orders that include several items of the same type or nature. You should also take extra care with orders that are made up of bigger ticket items. Rush orders, too, can be a problem, as are those that fail the Address Verification Service you’re using. International orders may pose a problem, as may orders that have made multiple attempts to pass through your system.

Keep Friendly Fraud in Mind

Friendly fraud is just as dangerous as any other type when it comes to your business’ costs. This happens when a customer asks their bank to issue a chargeback, even if the refund is unwarranted. Chargeback fees can be incredibly damaging to a company, but it’s really easy for a customer to initiate. Often, credit card websites display a “Dispute” button next to every single transaction, and you not only have to give the customer his or her money back, but you also have to pay a chargeback fee of as much as $50 per transaction. It’s tough to reverse chargeback fees once they’ve gone through, too. Good communication with your customers from the start can help, as can setting clear expectations about the sale from the outset. Even taking an added step like confirming that shipments successfully reached your customer is a helpful step.

Report Fraud

The final step in protecting your business from the costs of fraud is to report it the moment it happens. If you suspect that you’ve processed a fraudulent transaction, be sure to call the credit card’s authorization center at that moment. Tell them you have a “Code 10 authorization request.” If the customer is still with you, be sure you remain calm and avoid alarming him or her. Hang onto the card if it’s possible. The operator will ask you a series of questions, and if necessary, you may be asked to contact the police. It’s also important you contact your bank and your credit card processor at some point after you’ve discovered fraud occurred.

Credit card fraud is a growing problem, and the single best way to prevent it within your company is to continue learning how it might occur and what you can do to save your company from the hassle of dealing with it. Because fraudsters are continually changing their tactics, you may want to consider reading fraud prevention blogs and even attending webinars that could help on a regular basis.

For information on how Y2Payments system works, give us a call today at 888-693-1850.

Law Firms Can Benefit from Credit Card Payments

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One of the best ways for law firms to get paid today is through credit cards. Whether you’ve been in business for some time now or you’re just getting started, the reality is that if you’re not accepting credit cards when you bill your clients, you’re hurting your practice. Law firm billing has changed a lot over the past several decades and taking credit cards from your customers means getting paid faster, getting more business, and simplifying your overall billing process.

The Concerns

Despite the ease of accepting plastic, credit card billing for law firms continues to be a daunting issue. Many attorneys are concerned about the risk of fraud and frustrated with the potential fees they might be charged from payment processors. Moreover, because there are PCI compliance issues surrounding credit cards, many firms are concerned about an additional layer of compliance complicating their practices. The reality, though, is that the benefits outweigh the risks.

What to Consider

If you’re ready to get started, the key is to find a credit card processor that works with firms like yours.  There are hundreds of processors and getting one that’s perfect for your firm is the best way to keep your costs low. Do your research throughout this process. Ask your colleagues what services they use. You may even want to check with your bar association to see if they have a recommendation, too. You want to find a company that’s a suitable fit so you have a good experience from the start.

The most important thing to remember is that fees and pricing structure vary from provider to provider, so understand what a flat fee may mean for your firm and what something like interchange through pricing could mean in terms of total revenue. You’ll also need to think about how you process payments – whether through an online portal or in person where you can swipe the cards, as those mean two completely different kinds of costs.

Accepting credit cards for your law firm is the right move, so find a system that’s right for your practice. To learn more about how Y2Payments can help your law firm or business, contact us today at 888-693-1850.

Streamlining Your Payment Processing

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How many businesses do you know that don’t accept credit cards? They’re few and far between, and if your company wants to grow, you’re going to have to accept cards as a part of daily life. This method is not without problems for merchants, though. A credit card payment is one that comes with its own fees and potential for fraud, and even if you use the best payment processing service in the world, you’re still going to find costs involved that you just didn’t expect. How can you streamline the experience and make certain you’re paying a little less with every single transaction? These tips can help.

Implement Fraud Protection
Businesses deal with thousands in fraud every single year, and with a few simple steps, you could protect your company and move forward fraud-free. Do some research about the types of fraud you’re most likely to encounter in your industry and make sure your online payment services if you accept orders over the internet, are up to speed and working to protect your company.

Know Your Business
Understand what types of payments customers are most likely to present, and the kinds of cards they typically use. Mastercard and Visa, for example, are processed very differently than American Express. Debit cards are cheaper for your company to process than credit cards. Some kinds of transactions mean higher rates. The key is to know exactly what kinds of payment methods your customers prefer and where your costs are going to be.

Choose the Right Processor
As you shop for payment processors, make sure you’ve selected the one to meet your needs. You’re going to find companies that offer flat fee payment processing that looks like a good choice, but the chances are astronomical that unless you’re dealing with really low transaction totals on a daily basis, you would save more with a company that offers a different structure.

Interchange passthrough rates, for example, tend to be far lower, as they pass the interchange fees on to you, so you can see exactly what you’re paying for every single time. Because there are so many different processors out there, though, and they all charge you differently, the key is to understand exactly what you’re getting.

Learn more about Y2Payments payment processing solutions, contact us today at 888-693-1850.

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.