The Importance of Annual Merchant Service Checkups

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The Importance of Annual Merchant Service Checkups

Add one more item to your list of annual checkups – a review of your payment processing. Along with health, insurance and vehicle exams, it is a good idea to make time once a year for a review of your processor and payment agreement.

An annual payments exam with your processing partner can uncover changes that may save you money, or introduce new security procedures to protect your customers and your business.

10 Questions to Ask Your Credit Card Processor

Has my business changed?
From changes to your

  • average transaction value
  • an increase (or decrease) in sales volume
  • an online presence
  • an expansion into new items or services

Fact is, sometimes simple processing changes can make a big difference.  Other things to look out for are:

  • ensuring transactions are batched and settled within established timeframes
  • making sure POS devices and software are properly encoding transactions
  • taking advantage of special programs

Discuss any business changes with your processor.

Does your processor understand your business? Just as you wouldn’t call a florist for a dental problem, why consult a processor who knows nothing about your business? Your processor should understand your business model, what drives your industry, and offer suggestions to help you grow and succeed.

Is your processor EMV chip card ready? Make sure your business is using secure, up-to-date credit card machines to accept payments. Chip-enabled terminals take advantage of the fraud-fighting technology built into EMV cards and may help protect you from card-present counterfeit fraud. Many EMV terminals are also NFC ready which also opens up new methods of payment acceptance.

Does your processor support Apple Pay and other mobile wallets? Many newer terminals also allow you to accept digital wallet payments via Near Field Communication (NFC), including Apple PayTM and Samsung Pay.  New methods seem to be released every month.  Stay on top of them with your processor.

Are the rates on your statement the same as outlined in your contract? Compare your contract with a monthly statement to ensure fees and rates are consistent. If not, ask your processor about the discrepancies.

All processors pay the same rates to the credit card brands to move transactions. (All of the major credit card brands post interchange rates on their websites.) Extra costs lie in the added features a processor offers.  If you discover additional, then ask your processor to explain where all the costs originate, how funds are paid to each of the parties, and why costs are inconsistent with your contract.

Is customer service available when you need it? Many businesses today operate 24/7, and the last thing you need is a processing problem outside of customer service hours. Ensure customer service representatives are available during your business hours, not just your processor’s.

Also investigate whether your processor offers onsite, telephone or web-based training. Are alternate processing options available in the event of a technical system failure? What is their system reliability track record and client satisfaction rating? These are all important issues to investigate before you need help.

Do you receive regular communication and educational opportunities from your processor? While a processor’s main job is to safely and reliably handle your payment needs, they should also represent your interests in regulatory and security matters – not after regulations have been enacted but when they are in the discussion stage.

Are reserve funds required? If so talk about releasing them now that you have had some time with them and you have built a relationship.

Do you receive statements and payments on time? Statements should be timely and available to meet your business needs. Many processors offer online access to real-time transaction information to help you track a wealth of information including fees, batch processing, income and volume.

The time between sales transactions and when proceeds are deposited into your account should be around 72 hours, or (in many cases) sooner. Some processors however may take up to two weeks before releasing funds.  Industry trends are next day funding if you batch by a certain time.  Be sure you are getting your funds as quick as possible.

Headquartered in Pinole California, MerchantZoom, Inc. was founded by Wally Arakozie. Previously employed by one of the largest merchant processing companies here in California for nearly a decade. Since the company’s beginnings MerchantZoom, has grown into a reputable national merchant provider.  Along with delivering state of the art technology and competitive rates, MerchantZoom, thrives on personalized local customer service and support. In order for your business to ZOOM!

 

Address

759 Appian Way Ste 1A Pinole, CA 94564

E-Mail Us

Info@mchzoom.com

Contact Us

1-844-624-9666

Website

www.mchzoom.com

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/mchzoom

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/mchzoom

Twitter https://twitter.com/mchzoom

 

Content Release Date Oct 14, 2016 – MerchantZoom Inc.

Press Release by 72 Charms LLC If you need social media content management or WordPress design reach out us at www.72charms.com

The Importance of PCI Compliance

What is PCI exactly.
PCI means “Payment Card Industry”. The Council was founded in 2006 by American Express, Discover, JCB International, MasterCard and Visa Inc. They share equally in governance and execution of the Council’s work. The purpose of it is “The security of cardholder data.” In other, words. “The breach or theft of cardholder data affects the entire payment card ecosystem. Customers suddenly lose trust in merchants or financial institutions, their credit can be negatively affected — there is enormous personal fallout. Merchants and financial institutions lose credibility (and in turn, business), they are also subject to numerous financial liabilities.”
-www.pcisecuritystandards.org

“The security benefits associated with maintaining PCI compliance are vital to the long-term success of all merchants who process card payments. This includes continual identification of threats and vulnerabilities that could potentially impact the organization. Most organizations never fully recover from data breaches because the loss is greater than the data itself.”
— Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Magazine

Following PCI security standards is just good business. Such standards help ensure healthy and trustworthy payment card transactions for the hundreds of millions of people worldwide that use their cards every day.
The merchant is required to be compliant with PCI standards and certify that they are, in fact, compliant. Payment Processors are required to verify your compliance and typically offer their own compliance program and penalties for not being compliant. These costs are independent of other costs associated with non-compliance:

Potential Liabilities When Non-Compliant
• Lost confidence, so customers go to other merchants, diminished sales
• Cost of reissuing new payment cards (Yes – you as the merchant pay for that)
• Fraud losses, higher subsequent costs of compliance
• Legal costs, settlements and judgments
• Fines and penalties, from card associations, processors, banks, governments, etc.
• Termination of ability to accept payment cards
• Lost jobs or just flat going out of business

What Data Is At Risk?
• Primary Account Number (PAN)
• Chip Data
• Cardholder Name
• Expiration Date
• CID/CAV2/CID/CVC2/CVV2 (the 3-4 digit code)

Where Can It Be Stolen From?
• Compromised card reader
• Paper – any paper storage – even locked up paper
• Hidden camera recording (think gas stations stealing pin codes)
• Taps/Malware/Virus/Hacks of wireless and wired networks

What Do You Have To Secure?
• Your card readers
• Point of sale systems
• Networks and wireless routers
• Payment card data storage and transmission
• Payment card data stored in paper-based records
• Online payment applications and shopping carts
The best bet is to talk to your payment professional about solutions that allow you to NOT store ANY cardholder data. Yes, solutions like that exist for many business models and if it does you should really consider taking advantage of it and shifting the liability off your business because you simply don’t have the card number.

Headquartered in Pinole California, MerchantZoom, Inc. was founded by Wally Arakozie. Previously employed by one of the largest merchant processing companies here in California for nearly a decade. Since the company’s beginnings MerchantZoom, has grown into a reputable national merchant provider. Along with delivering state of the art technology and competitive rates, MerchantZoom, thrives on personalized local customer service and support. In order for your business to ZOOM!

Address
759 Appian Way Ste 1A
Pinole, CA 94564
E-Mail Us
Info@mchzoom.com
Contact Us
1-844-624-9666
Website
www.mchzoom.com
Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/mchzoom
LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/mchzoom
Twitter
https://twitter.com/mchzoom

Content Release Date Oct 14, 2016 – MerchantZoom Inc.
Press Release by 72 Charms LLC
If you need social media content management or WordPress design reach out us at www.72charms.com
Sources used and quoted in this article are from:
https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org

The Importance of EMV

What is EMV exactly.

A lot of us have heard the buzz word “ EMV” thrown around lately.  Fact is, most people, still don’t know what it is and why it’s important.  Let’s start with the basics.  Let’s define exactly what “EMV”.  According to Wikipedia.  EMV is a technical standard for smart payment cards and for payment terminals and automated teller machines which can accept them. EMV cards are smart cards (also called chip cards or IC cards) which store their data on integrated circuits rather than magnetic stripes, although many EMV cards also have stripes for backward compatibility.  EMV stands for “Europay, MasterCard, and Visa”, the three companies that originally created the standard. The standard is now managed by EMVCo, a consortium with control split equally among Visa, MasterCard, JCB, American Express, China UnionPay, and Discover.

 

“Technologies like EMV Chip can protect your customers from fraud and protect your business from hacking,” Richey said. “EMV chip helps devalue sensitive personal data so that merchants won’t be burdened with 16-digit account numbers that criminals want to steal.”

Apple Pay, for example, uses three different technologies—biometric authentication, EMV chip and tokenization (replacing the user’s real account number with a device-specific digital account number)—to protect the payment chain.

While EMV is beneficial to those who adopt it and embrace it, those who don’t either have or will pay the price for not adopting EMV.

 

According to Michael Dattoma, author at a leading trade publication in retail clothing, “MR”:

“The liability Shift on credit card fraud is real and it’s hitting merchants where they feel it the most, in their wallets. Since the October 1st deadline there are some merchants that have experienced as much as a 20-fold increase in lost chargebacks because their equipment is not reading the EMV chip at their stores.

For a variety of reasons, many retailers have still not implemented EMV card readers, possibly due to the expense and need to upgrade their systems. Retailers who have yet to make these investments are now seeing the card-issuing banks push back all disputes to the merchants with no chance for victory. If there is any dispute on those sales, if the card was an EMV chip card and not properly read, the banks are using the liability shift to push that burden to the retailers.”

What’s worse, is industries, who were nearly immune to chargebacks, such as fast food, are now getting them.  It could be as simple as swiping a credit card that has a chip on it.  Any dispute from that card holder – you will lose.  It was your responsibility to have the proper equipment and staff trained on how to handle the transactions.

While EMV is currently a “card present” technology and therefore it doesn’t provide any benefit to “card not present” transactions, EMV is certainly working on those.  EMV, therefore, doesn’t effect telephone order, mail order and internet merchants at this time.    If you are in a retail environment, that is to say, that you have the ability to run the “card present” via EMV and you choose not to do it for whatever reason you are exposing your business to liability that is completely unnecessary.   As a card holder.  As a business owner.  From both sides.  You should educate yourself.  Either consult with your trusted Payment Processing Partner, or go directly to the source at http://www.emvco.com/  We at MerchantZoom Inc work everyday with EMV and would be happy to cut thru all of the information on your behalf.  We’d love to sit down with you and do a review of your current EMV needs and figure out the best plan to protect your business.

One thing is for sure.  EMV isn’t going away.  So it’s time to embrace it and protect yourself.  It’s actually a good thing.

Headquartered in Pinole California, MerchantZoom, Inc. was founded by Wally Arakozie. Previously employed by one of the largest merchant processing companies here in California for nearly a decade. Since the company’s beginnings MerchantZoom, has grown into a reputable national merchant provider.  Along with delivering state of the art technology and competitive rates, MerchantZoom, thrives on personalized local customer service and support. In order for your business to ZOOM!

 Address 759 Appian Way Ste 1A Pinole, CA 94564
E-Mail Us Info@mchzoom.com
Contact Us 1-844-624-9666
Website www.mchzoom.com
Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/mchzoom
LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/mchzoom
Twitter
https://twitter.com/mchzoom

Content Release Date Oct 7, 2016 – MerchantZoom Inc.

Press Release by 72 Charms LLC If you need social media content management or WordPress design reach out us at www.72charms.com

Sources used and quoted in this article are from:
https://usa.visa.com/visa-everywhere/security/ellen-richey-emv-importance.html
http://www.mr-mag.com/why-are-merchant-chargeback-bills-surging-due-to-emv-liability-shift/
http://www.wikipedia.com
http://www.emvco.com/