Credit card issuers Visa and MasterCard are making headlines lately by introducing a fix for the slow terminal checkout lines with the EMV enabled terminals. New software, designed to speed up the EMV enabled terminals and save consumers and merchant precious time at the checkout. It is much appreciated that the major card companies are seeking to improve this process, but it seems that these fixes that have been rolled out are just window dressing and not serious improvements in speed.
These latest steps by MasterCard and Visa to fix the slow terminal processing problem and the poorly planned out and worsely executed EMV transition could not be a worse fix. Right now, you cannot remove your card until the transaction is complete. This creates the perception that the transaction is slow and time consuming. Visa and MasterCards fix, changes the perception of the process, allowing the consumer to dip their card, and then remove it, does nothing to speed up the transaction.It changes the perception of slowness, without changing a thing. A customer still needs to stay put until the transaction is completed.
Even though these programs are questionable in the amount of time they will save in the transaction speed but there is a bigger issue at play here. A larger security issue with these new cards seems to be either ignored or the issuing companies are unwilling to address. European EMV cards require a PIN as a second layer of protection, instead of just a signature. For some reason the US issuers, Visa and MasterCard are unwilling to add the PIN security for the US issued EMV cards.

US card are being referred to as chip and signature cards. These cards are more secure than the old mag stripe card that they have replaced, but without the PIN, they can still be compromised and have valuable information stolen from them. For whatever reason Visa and MasterCard chose to not replace the antiquated signature verification with the newer and more secure PIN verification. Case and point, the signature verification has become so obsolete, that all card issuers have raised the maximum signature less transaction to $50 now. This encourages merchants to not require a signature on transactions less than $50.

Mag Stripe credit cards may start showing up in antique stores or on episodes of American Pickers. They were slim, easy to use, easy to max out, and the information that was kept in the magnetic strip on the back was some of the easiest financial information to steal bar none. Basically, it was a cassette tape on the back of your card.

And now, they have been upgraded from the 60’s to the 2010’s with new technology, new software, new hardware, and able to stop hackers and thieves……for the most part.

EMV technology chips, or The European MasterCard Visa chip are being added to all credit and debit cards in the United States. These chips not only change the process from swiping your card to dipping your card, but also encrypt the data in a way that makes it very hard for thieves to steal your data.

Of course, thieves have found a way to disable the EMV chip and force people to use their mag strip on the card. A simple tap from a nail in the perfect spot will disable the EMV chip and activate the mag strip. Both Visa and Mastercard are working on the solution for this now.

What might go wrong?

You can expect longer lines until people get used to the new procedures. People have been known to walk away and leave their cards in the reader and even more commonly, they pull the card out before the transaction is finished. Shoppers are going to have to learn a little patience when dealing with these new transactions.
Will this kill credit card fraud?
The new chip will make it much more difficult for criminals and hackers to counterfeit your credit card. Sadly, hackers and criminals spend all their time trying to figure out ways to beat the system. As of now, EMV is 4 steps ahead of all hackers and criminals. They are migrating to the internet now where using fraudulent cards is much easier pickings for them. But be aware, and protect your cards and your identities always.

MasterCard and Visa have jointly decided to push back the deadline for merchants to install EMV chip-card readers at gas pumps in the United States. Many merchants have stated they do not have enough time to complete the multibillion dollar upgrades.

Both companies state it is a priority for them to ensure that consumers have safe places to shop and use their cards. They will be working with both the fuel companies, station owners, industry associations, and third party vendors to make sure that this transition is a smooth process.

All merchants will now have until October 1, 2020 to upgrade to the new EMV chip technology for their businesses. Both companies will monitor payments and fraud trends at the pumps to assist their customers in discouraging fraud. Currently, banks are responsible for the fraudulent transactions that occur on a consumer’s card at the gas pump. Now that the deadline has been set, that liability will shift over to the station if they are not compliant after the deadline.

The process, so far, has been successful. To date, more than 1.7 million, that represent over 1/3 of the US store fronts are now accepting EMV cards correctly. Visa has seen a 43% reduction of counterfeit card fraud with merchants that are using the chip enabled technology.

One of the biggest challenges for the gas station owners is their older pumps will have to be completely replaced before the chip readers can be installed. This will require specialized vendors. And even 5 years after this mandate was announced, merchants are still facing a shortage of compliant POS terminals to purchase or lease.

Many industry sources point to the lack of a centralized organization to orchestrate the change over to the new technology. This process was mandated by three different agencies and companies, to help in the prevention of theft and fraud. But no one spent the time to standardize the process. When the first mandate date rolled out on October 1, 2015. Terminal suppliers, software programmers, merchant services companies and retailers were all being told different stories on how to implement. As a result, terminals were in short supply, the certification process was taking months instead of days to implement, and retailers were running for the hills to stay away from this fiasco until the dust had settled.

Now it is time to re-think your position on the EMV terminal. You have been given 3 more years grace, but don’t risk the fraud liability now. Start your process to implement your EMV technological upgrade now.

A high-risk merchant account in a layman’s term can be defined as a type of payment processing method that is specially designed for business enterprises that have been regarded as high-risk enterprises by banks. Some of the high-risk enterprises are software vendors, cosmetic surgeons, investment brokers, travel agencies, insurance brokers and legal gambling for whom such high-risk merchant account has been introduced.

 

The benefit of having a high-risk merchant account is that its function increases the operating costs of a business that enables the enterprise to reduce their bottom line. Certain companies in the market have dedicated their services to working together with risky merchants to provide them with the inexpensive rates. Due to this, a large number of businesses have started finding the market favorable which was not the case before, as the bank used to charge high fees for providing this service. Because of the presence of high-risk merchant account, now there are hundreds of businesses that are labeled as risky business as a result of the work they are involved in.

 

Nowadays, the business enterprises prefer to do every transaction online as online services come with a pot full of benefits. Hence, the transactions that are carried out online gave rise to online credit card processing services. Mostly, the transactions rest on the credit and debit cards which are now the most preferred mode of payment of the country. Looking to the fast- paced business world, to have a merchant account that allows credit card payment has become vital or else it will be like you are denying the benefits that you can get for your business, regardless of the size of your enterprise.

 

If you are aiming to become a successful online merchant, then it is necessary to acquire the online credit card processing services. Being a part of this service will enable to expand a number of users that your business can reach. The online credit card processing service offers you with a solution that helps in accessing your merchant account from any part of the world. Hence, it gives the surety of increased sales as you are not limiting your company to a specific region or country. Moreover, it even provides you with the service of opting for a multiple currency support due to which you can accept payments from anyone who is interested in your services or products. At the same time, if you have kept a default currency, then the bank will automatically convert all the payments to the preferred currency due to the active online credit card processing service.

 

An added advantage of online credit card processing service is that you can learn more about the target audience. It offers with a function that permits you to check out the detailed information about the customers which can help you to optimize your website, add functions or features that can appeal to the target audience. Overall, businesses wish to have a service provider that offers them solutions that are easy to use at an affordable cost and the one with all such services that benefits the business.

When an owner of a business hears the term “merchant services” they normally think of a generalized idea which involved processing debit and credit card transactions. While not totally wrong, it just misses the entirety of what really merchant services are and how they can assist a business grow.

A business that accepts debit and credit card payments will have to use merchant services. This is particularly so if they truly want to expand to other payment processing parts such as mobile or online. To perform this, a merchant will have to use a credible merchant services agent to use new technologies and know new revenue opportunities.

So, it’s vital for a merchant provider to just know that every business is unique. For instance, an eCommerce-based business might have diverse needs than a body shop. Although security is of paramount importance for every establishment, the eCommerce business therefore will have higher level of security measures versus the body shop. Additionally, the body shop will likely need a payment processor in order to process payments in person but the eCommerce business will need just a virtual-based one.

If you are ready with your business to select a merchant provider, where then do you start? A merchant can normally turn to the Internet to perform a simple online search using websites such as Google. This will normally tell a merchant of the quality and type of companies that give merchant services. You can visit their sites and read reviews from websites such as the Better Business Bureau to get the best service providers. Additionally, a merchant can even ask other businesses that they use and suggest as a merchant services. Other businesses will normally have a bit to say about a merchant provide whether it comes from a good partnership or a very awful experiences. Also, feel free to contact the merchant providers and speak to a representative to learn more regarding their levels of services. Because this is an industry that’s technology-based, it’s crucial for your service provider to always be on the leading edge so that you get access to the recent technologies you can easily use to reduce your costs while improving your profits.

Service doesn’t end as soon as the contract is signed and you will have the payment processing terminals. You have to know the level and type of customer service offered once you register with a merchant services provider. In case of an emergency, you’ll need to know how and when a services provider are going to address your concerns.

It’s good you know what fees and rates and will be applied to the merchant services account. For instance, some merchant agency may tout the benefits of a totally free terminal that may sound great to a prospective merchant. But, many times they are normally higher when compare to the usual fees and rates related to these “free” terminals therefore beware as you hear this.

Finally, these services may appear like a thing businesses might not really need to really know much about. A properly educated merchant however can use merchant services to assist them reduce the cost of business operation costs while increasing profits.

Credit Card Acceptance

In the small business world, there are dozens of reasons why you should accept credit cards. The best reason is that research shows that taking cards will increase the size and the speed of your customers purchases. Carrying cash in today’s society has become less and less attractive, especially when you are travelling. Credit cards are small, accepted virtually everywhere, and you can keep track of your purchases online every day if you choose.

There are several advantages for the small business owner to accept credit cards. Customers using credit cards are more apt to make impulse buys using their cards vs. cash. Cash is harder to spend on impulse buys because of the physical act of handing your cash over to a merchant is very real. Cards are, well, just a card, and the pain does not come till the end of the month. Accepting credit cards will also improve your cash flow. Your merchant processor will fund your account within 2 days of the transaction, where waiting for a check to clear can take up to 10 days. And finally the risks are very low in taking a credit card vs. the dangers of accepting a personal check.

To accept major credit cards from customers, your business must establish merchant status with each of the credit card companies whose cards you want to accept. You’ll probably want to start by applying for merchant status with American Express or Discover. For these cards, all you need to do is contact American Express or Discover directly and fill out an application.
You will want to accept the two big credit card companies, Visa and Mastercard, since these cards are used the most frequently. To do this you will have to apply from a respected merchant services provider to be able to accept these cards and others.

Requirements among banks vary, but one requirement that some banks have is there is a minimum amount of time for how long you have been in business. This does not mean that a new or start up business does not have a chance to be able to process credit cards, but it means, you will have to hunt harder to find a bank that does not have this time requirement.

Some banks many consider a start-up, homebased business or mail order business as “risky” and may deny you merchant status. But the most common reason for denial is simply poor credit. If you look at it from the banks view, this is like applying for a loan. But banks may not be the best option for many businesses hoping to open an account. In today’s economy there are many merchant service providers that work with riskier businesses as well as established businesses. Look online for merchant service providers for these companies and make sure to pick one that shows up as reputable on the internet.

There are a few things in the world that are accepted and used worldwide. The Internet, Facebook, and credit cards.  The majority of midsize and larger companies accept credit cards.  Even the fast food industry are allowing customers to use credit and debit cards.  But for some reason, there are still some businesses that just will not let you pay with plastic.

For many entrepreneurs, taking credit cards only represents fees for processing, purchasing or leasing equipment, and extra time to complete a transaction.

There are some businesses that sell merchandise that is inexpensive and they would have to raise the cost of their products to compensate for the costs of accepting credit cards.  They are actually trying to keep from passing the extra costs onto their customers.

There are, however, businesses that just do not want to pay the processing fees, and especially when business is slow.  Interchange fees can account for .025% to .05% on each purchase.  Merchants pay those fees to their issuing bank as part of the cost accepting credit cards.

Other businesses state that the cost to maintain their credit card terminals in conjunction with the addition to the processing fees, mean they just do not do enough business to make taking credit cards worthwhile.

Some business like to not leave a trail, a, paper trail for their transactions.  By taking plastic, that makes it much harder for them to hide income.  Every credit card transaction will leave a paper trail.  Unfortunately, these businesses may be trying to hide earnings from the government.

And there are even merchants that simply find taking credit cards too much work or even impractical for their business.

Whatever the reason, the pressures to take credit cards are intense.  Some merchants will allow you to pay with a credit card, but will not take a card that are reward credit cards.  These cards typically carry the highest fees.  Other merchants may require a minimum purchase amount before they allow you to use your card.

There are also businesses with services and goods that are so unusual and unique, they can leverage the customer to pay cash only.

Whatever the business, whatever type of merchant, interchange fees are coming down, and the pressure from merchant processors to allow you to take credit cards is becoming harder and harder to ignore by any merchant.

On October 31, 2015, all small businesses in the US were put on notice and required to switch from magnetic strip swiping to the EMV technology chip. New terminals, new programs, new software installations were required for every business to implement this new shift. If a business did not shift to the new technology, their processers, the banks, would not be held liable for any fraudulent transactions that came through the business, the business would. This represented a major shift in attitude towards small business. Banks have always covered the fraudulent transaction from the consumer to the business, but now, the small business would be forced to cover.
Why would not every business then switch to the EMV card terminals immediately then. It seems that the costs that they could incur would be so great it would be fruitful for a business to take care of this right away.
In a perfect world that would have been the case, but this switch to the EMV was not exactly thought out in the best terms. There was no one governing body looking out to synchronize each step of the process and lay out the sequence and ramp up all the companies needed to make this transfer possible. Because of this, processing companies were backlogged with terminal orders, terminal providers did not have enough product which resulted in months back orders, the programmers for the new software were finding it difficult to program terminals and in some cases it was taking 2 weeks to do the programming. Then after all this happened, and business were finally up and running, the banks were still charging back at a greater rate on the new terminals because of a glitch in their systems.
This change over for all business was mandated to be finished by October 31, 2015, and as of now, the US is about 44% completely switched over. What has happened in the last year?
Recently a major credit card announced they would not chargeback fraudulent charges to businesses that were under $25. This is great news for the restaurant industry and smaller ticket transaction businesses. This same company announced they would forgive 10 fraudulent chargebacks in a year if you had not converted yet. Meaning they would assume liability over 10 chargebacks over $25 over a year. After the 10th though, the merchant, if they had not converted to the new EMV technology, would be liable for all fraud processed through their terminal.
These are positive steps now for small businesses to finally start on the journey of switching your terminals form swiping to the new EMV dipping process.

EMV transition is now 11 months old and merchants have been hit with a plethora of roadblocks stopping them from converting to the EMV enabled terminals.  But the fact of the matter is, the liability for the types of cards you are taking for your business shifted in October of 2015.   If you are still taking swipe cards for your small business, it is time to change.

 

The new EMV has been plagued with numerous problems.  Lack of competent programmers, shortage of terminals for merchants, excessive chargebacks from the banks to name a few.  But, right now 70% of merchants who have not switched over to EMV compliant terminals are experiencing a high rate of chargebacks. 

 

You can end all of that frustration by switching to EMV terminals right now.

 

US consumers have been grumbling about the change, but despite their outcries, the general public is now starting to get the hang of dipping instead of swiping.

 

Most merchant services providers offer low cost, easy to use, Emv compliant terminals that can be programmed shortly after receipt.  The average wait time for a terminal to be programmed now is 10 days, down from the 3 months it was at the beginning of this switch.  With the wait time lowering, and small business staring at higher chargebacks and liability concerns, why are you waiting to change.

 

Right now, MasterCard and Visa are working on solutions to speed up dip transactions by as much as 15 seconds per incident.  December 2017 is the reported rollout of this upgrade that will quickly speed up transactions and lines at high volume merchant locations.

 

With the implementation now of about 40% of the US merchants to EMV, MasterCard is reporting that fraud costs have dropped 54% since October of 2015, the month of the first implementation.

 

Emv adoption is not a luxury that you have an option to do.  Whether you like it or not, EMV is here and your business needs to implement it sooner than later.

During tough economic, people think many times before making purchases as their primary concern is how to pay back for the purchase made. Cash flow can be a major issue for many people, and as a result, they would like to use credit to buy what they need. Also, because of the tight economy, many people would not prefer to carry massive amounts of cash with them. So, instead of taking a lot of cash with them, they would rather opt to use credit or debit cards. To have a better to have business survival, you need to update yourself and accept payment with plastic cards. Just remember that all merchant services are not similar. You need to find the best one suiting your business needs.

Here is a list of things that you should consider while comparing the services offered by different credit card processing companies.

Your Business Needs

The key to finding the right credit card processing company is to first think of the requirements of your business. How much business money-wise you anticipate? Are you running an online business owner or run a brick-and-mortar business? What are your business objectives? Keeping these things in mind can help you in finding card payment processing.

What Are The Charges?

Credit card merchant services are not available for free anywhere. Credit card processing companies charge some amount for these services. Take their charges as another business investment and wait for the return on this investment, which hopefully comes up in the form if decent profit amount. Comfort your customers by giving them an easy payment option. Take the bank card machine, which is best suiting your business.

Are they available when you need their help?

The increase in sales and the amount of profit both can be possible with a credit card processing merchant services. You need to contact a credit card processing company that can handle the volume of transactions, make sure operations are done in actual time without any delay in handling, what about the settlement and will you get your money quickly. Getting answers for these doubts cam help you in taking the right decision for your business.

With a large percentage of people making online purchases, it is important to address the various Internet support services these companies provide. Online shopping options such as e-Check, virtual terminals, and shopping carts are necessary for a high-quality shopping experience. Having online fraud protection is a must, giving your customers a safe and secure platform will build a comfortable and satisfied purchasing relationship.

Visit various credit card processing websites and get quotes. See what company offers you the best price and best product. It is one area of business you do not want to cut corners on, your profit margins and customer’s information are intricate parts of this process. Find a credible and reputable company who offers the particular industry and payment options you need.

These are some of the important things if taken into consideration carefully can help you in making the right decision for your business. Don’t be in a rush and make the final decision only after making a good comparison. You can find a reliable merchant service company for your business.