Recently, one of our developer partners told us that a good slogan for a merchant services company these days would be, “Look, another &$^%# payment gateway!” Comical? Yes. Realistic? Not exactly. While it’s true that there are many payments companies out there today, we’re all as unique to the industry as Dennis Rodman is to mankind.
Here are the five most important things to look at to determine if a particular payments provider is right for your business.
Make sure they clearly list all fees and terms on their website and contracts. Here at Arrow Payments, we regularly receive backlash merely from being associated to the merchant services industry by merchants that have fallen victim to the tricks of our trade. Hiding “non-qualified” fees, adding annual fees, long term auto-renewing contracts, and gradually increasing rates are just a few of the ways small businesses are preyed upon. When it comes to transparency in payments, your processor should expose themselves as if they are in the buff on a nude beach.
When evaluating a payment gateway, ensure that a redirect process is used within the providers API to avoid passing sensitive data through your own servers. They should also utilize tokenization when storing data and provide a secure vault to do so. This day in age, due to the continual increase in security breaches your processor should do you a solid and handle the heavy lifting on your behalf. You don’t want to pull a hammy, do you?
In the merchant services industry there is a tedious, expensive, and thorough process that a company like Arrow Payments must go through to become a registered provider of Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. However, there is no registration, test, or single pre-requisite needed to become a sales rep for an organization like ours. This unfortunate situation is why there are hundreds of poorly trained sales reps banging down your doors to offer you the “lowest rate”. At Arrow Payments, we live by the saying, “the best trained team wins”. Our sales and service staff undergo extensive training, are not commission based, and work full time in our corporate office to ensure the highest levels of support. Don’t believe us? Just call, email, web chat, Facebook, or tweet us. Go on… you know you want to.
There are three parts to being PCI-Compliant. a) Processing on a compliant device or system b) Following all rules and regulations set forth by the PCI Council c) Submitting your self-assessment questionnaire annually to the card associations. If your processor is unfamiliar or unwilling to assist you with PCI-Compliance, a security breach and non-compliance fees could very quickly become a problem.
5. Ease of Use
Do you need to piece together multiple companies to handle your merchant account, PCI-Compliance, payment gateway and POS System? Having all systems and support teams under one roof alleviates the need to get the “run-around” from your providers and comes equipped with a single point of contact (also known to alleviate migraines).
The truth is that all payment processors work off the same interchange costs and all credit card transactions are being authorized by only a handful of networks. Look for a payments provider with a solid track record that understands your industry’s particular challenges and provides the proper software for your company. The choice boils down to which provider offers the most advantageous combination of price, service and technology to support your business from its launch at the way to becoming a major player in your industry.
By: Rachel Blau
When I was a baby I received a green baby blanket. I kept that blanket for a long time. And even when I stopped using it, I folded it up and placed it inside my dresser drawer. I couldn’t get rid of it. It was my comfort, and knowing it was nearby made me move forward with less hesitation.
It’s hard to change or switch to something new, but many times change can be better. We keep our tried and true comforts to ease our worry.
This happens in business too. You have worked hard and built up your business using the systems that you’ve had since you opened your doors. It can be difficult to make change in your business, because the comfort of the old ways is too great to abandon to a flashy new software or program. So do what I do. Keep the old and try the new. Technology is growing rapidly, especially in the payments industry.
Businesses have gone from manual, “knuckle-buster” swipers, to terminals, to virtual terminals, and now even cloud based systems that seem like something out of a science fiction novel.
“What is the best way to process a credit card for my business?” you may be asking. Identify what is important to you:
1. Time: You and your clients don’t have much of it. You want something fast, simple and safe so that you can get your customers charged quickly and correctly.
2. Tracking/Invoicing: You have a business that relies on information and tracking receipts to products, or your business relies on invoicing your customers for payment.
3. Mobility: You’re business relies on being able to move around a process in other places besides your physical business address.
4. E-commerce: You’re business uses a shopping cart that needs to be integrated with your merchant account.
5. Pricing: You perform transactions that are B2B and large amounts; you need to save as much money as possible.
Since we’ve been around the block a few times, just tell us about your current situation. We’ll gladly steer you towards the direction of collecting payments as easily, quickly, inexpensively, and securely as possible for your business type.
At Arrow Payments we can accommodate all needs using any type of equipment. We have an amazing gateway that is not only user friendly, but also extremely safe. Don’t believe us? Try a demo out for yourself; the proof is in the virtual terminal pudding.
We understand that even though our gateway is awesome, you may still be attached to that terminal that’s been on your counter for the last five years. So you can keep it there just in case you need it.
The subject of surcharging is one that has caused a great deal of confusion in our industry for quite some time. However, because the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York preliminary approved a proposed settlement agreement in the In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation in November 2012, we are starting to see some clarification from the card associations.
As a result of the settlement agreement, Visa and MasterCard recently changed their Operating Regulations, giving merchants in the U.S. the ability to surcharge credit card transactions beginning January 27, 2013. To help understand the new rules, see the following summary of the rule changes.
A surcharge, sometimes called a checkout fee, is an additional fee that a merchant adds to a consumer’s bill when he or she uses a card for payment.
Here are a few rules regarding surcharging:
1. Surcharging is prohibited on debit and prepaid cards.
2. The surcharge must be the same for all credit card transactions of that brand, regardless of issuer.
3. The surcharge must be no greater than the merchant’s average discount rate for that brand’s credit card transactions.
4. The surcharge cannot exceed 4% in any event.
5. The surcharge must be the same for all transactions of that particular product, regardless of the card’s issuer.
6. The surcharge must be no greater than the merchant’s average discount rate for credit card transactions of that particular product, minus the regulated debit interchange rate (currently 0.05% + $0.22).
For U.S. merchants that accept credit or charge cards from other payment network brands, including American Express, Discover, and PayPal, surcharging practices are subject to a competitive “level playing field” limitation.
If the merchant accepts a competing payment network brand (e.g., MasterCard) that is as or more expensive to the merchant than another brand (e.g., Visa), the merchant may surcharge one brand’s (MasterCard’s) credit cards only in the same way as the merchant would be allowed to surcharge the competing payment network’s (Visa’s) credit card.
If the merchant accepts a competing payment network brand of credit card that prohibits the merchant from surcharging in a particular channel of commerce (i.e. either face-to-face or non-face-to-face), the merchant may not surcharge one brand’s credit cards unless it also surcharges the competing payment network’s credit cards regardless of the cost of that card to the merchant. In this case, the amount of the surcharge on the competing brand must be at least the lesser of the cost to accept the competing brand’s credit cards or the surcharge imposed on the first brand’s cards.
Visa and MasterCard require that merchants who decide to surcharge credit card transactions must satisfy the following notification and disclosure requirements:
1. The merchant must provide 30 days advance written notice to Visa, MasterCard, and the acquirer.
2. The merchant must provide clear disclosure to its customers that it is imposing a surcharge, including the amount, and that the surcharge is not greater than the merchant’s discount rate.
3. The dollar amount of the surcharge must be provided on the transaction receipt.
A merchant can satisfy its disclosure obligation to MasterCard by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and providing them with your business name, phone number, and merchant number and disclosing your intent to surcharge.
Merchants who choose to surcharge must notify Visa 30 days prior to beginning to surcharge; visit https://usa.visa.com/merchantsurchargenotification/inquiry to notify Visa.
Merchants who choose to surcharge must also notify Arrow Payments 30 days prior to beginning to surcharge.
Please note, there are 10 states have laws that limit or prohibit surcharging. These states include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas. Please consult your legal advisor to make sure you comply with applicable state and local laws.
Visa has created numerous resources on this topic, including Frequently Asked Questions and other documents that can help merchants decide if they should surcharge their customers. These resources can be found at www.visa.com/merchantsurcharging.
MasterCard also provides additional information on its website at www.mastercard.us/merchants/support/surcharge-rules.html.
If you are curious about implementing surcharging to help offset credit card charges, keep in mind the effects it may have on your particular customer base.
Feel free to contact a representative at Arrow Payments with any questions about surcharging.
Reading processing statements can seem like another language. Lets translate things and make it easier. Simplify is our middle name…Arrow (Simplify) Payments. We come from a long line of simple genes, ask anyone.
Have more billing questions? Give us a call, and a real person will chat it over with you!
I give up, tell me!
We’re paying your fees for the first two months if you sign up to process with us in November!
Yes, for real. That means we are paying for you to give us a try, because we already have a 90 day guarantee that allows you to try us out and if you aren’t satisfied, you can leave no strings attached.
That seems too good to be true, what’s the catch?
No catch, we just want people to know how awesome we are. We are so confident, we put our money where our mouth is!
Have more questions? Give us a call 312-829-1200 or check out our website for more info! http://arrowpayments.com/
As a new budding company, we are lucky to come in contact with lots of innovative companies who are growing rapidly. We’re lucky to have met goYWP and enter into a beautiful partnership together. Aww how romantic! We want to shine a spot light on their awesome abilities. Consider the following a how-to-be-awesome guide book!
goYWP is the predecessor of a company called Internet Solutions. Around 1999 Internet Solutions was commissioned by a local news media outlet to create a custom web-based article management solution. By 2001 the product was running strong and had evolved into a full-fledged content management system called WebPress. This was the beginning of the company’s embark down the custom web-development road. In early 2011 Travis Risner acquired the company after having employment with Internet Solutions in the past. Risner, having a strong desire to write web-based software, continued on developing creative solutions for goYWP’s client base.
Later in 2011 goYWP’s new flagship utility billing solution was released to the eye of the world; UPI or Utility Payment Interface. The flexible online payment solution was integrated with many major billing systems right out of the door and boasted payment integration options from many of the world’s top payment gateways. The system was truly an all-in-one online payment solution jam-packed with features for utility customers, service representatives, and accounting admins alike.
The story doesn’t end there. After careful consideration to what the customers were looking for goYWP turned to Arrow Payments for an easy, reliable, and affordable payment gateway solution for its customers. Thus, the relationship between Arrow Payments and goYWP was born. goYWP is now developing full integration of Arrow Payments into its UPI product and hopes to launch the new gateway solution in early 2013. The company feels the ease of the signup process and the lack of hidden fees Arrow stands by will greatly benefit its customer base for years to come.
goYWP feels the new relationship is crucial for the future. Ecommerce in the coming decade will become more and more prevalent to our everyday lives. A rapidly growing number people all over the world are using conveniences like online-bill-pay and “recliner shopping” to save time and money. This is a virtual world and virtual money is not too far off. When key economic players like Google fully dip their feet into the market ecommerce will evolve quicker than ever and goYWP has confidence that Arrow Payments will have the ability to adapt right along with the times.
Lately, we’ve been growing like mad. Our growth has been so wild that we forgot about you, little bloggy. Perhaps we should take you out to dinner to make amends. Come to think of it, at Arrow, our gateway is powering many of the new pay-in-advance, “Ticket” restaurants. Pick your favorite one, blog. It’s on us.
Here are a few things that have been keeping us oh-so-busy.
1. Gateway Version 2.0
Our virtual terminal customers have spoken, and we’ve listened. When you tell us about a new feature or a change that we could implement to make you happy, we take it to heart. Then, we take it to the drawing board. After that, our developers build it. Then, you smile. Lastly, it gives us that warm fuzzy feeling knowing we’ve helped because that’s what we love to do.
Within our interface;
a) Merchants can now upload their company logo to be used on e-invoices and receipts. We’ll do the work; you can take the credit!
b) A daily email is now sent out at the end of each day to break down transaction and refund totals by card type. Let’s face it, most bills are a bit tricky to read, and we’re tired of that scene.
c) Our system now allows you to fully delete customers and all corresponding cardholder information from our secure vault. Keep it clean and tidy, your mother would like that.
d) PO/Invoice numbers are now available on all transaction and batch reports.
2. API Additions (This one goes out to the developers)
We have customers from around the country come to us with websites, mobile apps, and software that are disrupting industries. We’re thrilled to be along for the ride to ensure a smooth and secure payment and transfer of funds happens behind the scenes. We’ve received some great feedback on our API’s as well, so we’ve continued to add on by popular demand. For developer’s eyes only: No seriously STOP reading if you aren’t a developer!
With our API, you can now;
a) Get a list of Transactions for a specific customer.
b) Add Customer to vault without running a transaction.
c) Add Billing information (credit card) to Existing customer without running transaction.Enroll existing customer to recurrent billing.
d) Support for Desktop and server apps: Modify 3-Step-Redirect so the 2nd Step returns directly a token-id if the Return-URL in Step 1 is omitted.
Our mission is to not to be the biggest payment processor, it’s to be the best.
2. That shortcut probably isn’t shorter
3. Do what you love, love what you do
4. Passion over perfection
5. Embrace Social Media