What To Look For In A New Payment Processor

looking forby Axis Payments

Whether you have been in business for some time now and are already accepting electronic payments or you’re just about to begin, the question always comes up; what should you look for in a payment processor?

In no particular order, the list below might come in handy.

24/7/365 Live Customer Support
Depending on your business, you actually might need assistance in the middle of the night sometime, or, perhaps you’re open on Christmas Day. What happens if you run into a problem? It’s always great to find a processor that supports your business hours so you know you can count on them when you need to.

Competitive Rates
Money matters, right? Your rates and fees will largely depend on the type of business you run and the processing volume you do each month. That said, it’s important to read all of the fine print and make sure you’re getting a good deal.

Choose An Established Provider
This might sound like common sense, but it’s always prudent to go with a processor that has been in business for awhile and has a good reputation. Every industry has the shady “fly-by-night” shops that appear then suddenly disappear. You don’t want to entrust building your business to companies like these.

EMV Compliance Across The Board
The EMV liability shift has come and gone and while no reputable processor should offer you equipment that lacks this capability, be warned…some still will!

NFC Capable
Services like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay that use near-field communication are becoming increasingly popular. As you weigh your point-of-sale equipment options, make sure to consider this growing segment.

Mobile & Online Processing Capability
Do you ever need to process away from your brick and mortar location? Do you have a storefront online? These are things to consider as you’re evaluating processors. Ask about the solutions they provide and make sure they can accommodate your needs without breaking the budget.

Next Day Funding
Many merchants depend on getting their deposits quickly for a multitude of reasons. Processors tend to have different requirements and capabilities in this regard. If you do heavy weekend processing, for example, it’ll be worth discussing with you new potential processor.

Equipment Warranty
Today’s point-of-sale terminals are high-tech and can get quite pricey. Explore your options about equipment warranties just in case your customer decides to spill that cup of coffee right on your shiny new keypad.

So, take these points into consideration as you navigate your way through the competitive landscape that is the electronic payments industry. There are a lot of providers out there. Some do certain things very well, but might not offer the complete solution you need. The main thing is that you know what you need and what you’re getting yourself into when you choose a provider.

Copyright 2016  Axis Payments

 

Will This Be The Most Secure Holiday Shopping Season Ever?

by Axis Payments

Last year, over one hundred million Americans had their sensitive financial data breached when they did their holiday shopping at a popular discount store. That is a lot of angry people and they slapped the retailer with at least two class-action law suits.

More criminals are targeting the U.S. for credit card fraud these days. That is because we have been slower to transition to a new, more secure system that Europe and other parts of the world have already embraced. We are beginning to make the change, though, and this may be the most secure holiday shopping season ever.

The “change” I am talking about is the introduction of EMV systems. The term simply means Europay, MasterCard and Visa, and the new cards are referred to as “chip cards or “smart cards.” What makes them smart is the chip that is embedded in them in place of the magnetic strip that older cards have. The problem with the strip is that the data stored there just doesn’t change. That means a crook can get your information when you swipe your card through the reader and replicate it, using it again and again to wish himself a very merry Christmas indeed. The chip, however, generates a different transaction code every time the card is used. If the criminal tries to use the card again, it is denied. EMV cards don’t stop the transfer of data, but they make it harder to profit from the information. You use the card in a different way, too. Instead of swiping it through a magnetic-stripe card reader, you either deposit it into a slot and wait for it to process, or you tap an NFC-enabled device against the reader.

Why has the U.S. been so slow to bring the new technology on board? Part of the reason for our tardiness, no doubt, is the cost associated with putting a reader at every point of purchase and retailers don’t see the value in the investment. Another reason U.S. retailers have not brought the new system on board is that they don’t understand their liabilities. Up until now the card issuing bank has been responsible for fraudulent charges, but new regulations shift some of that financial responsibility to the retailer if he doesn’t have an EMV system in place. The company that saw the huge holiday breach last season faced huge losses through the suits brought against it by irate customers. If the EMV system is in place and a “not-so-smart” card is used in it, the liability belongs to the company that issued the card.

Integrating the EMV system is costly and smaller companies may have a difficult time seeing the importance of making the change. Still, the incidence of credit card fraud has doubled in America in the last seven years. The liability of making reparation for losses incurred by customers after a breach could mean a bleak holiday season for even small businesses. By the end of this year credit card issuers will send out an estimated 600 million smart cards to Americans. We are well on our way to making the change that much of the rest of the world has already embraced, and this season American shoppers may not have to worry as much about fraudulent charges on their cards.

 Copyright 2015 Axis Payments

 

America Is A Little More European Now

by Axis Payments

US-EU-chipDespite our close political and economic ties, Americans have traditionally considered themselves distinctly different from Europe. However, when it comes to credit cards, on October 1st America became more like Europe and that’s probably a good thing.

Smart Cards

Our friends across the pond have for years benefited from a new generation of chip-enabled smart cards that make credit card processing much less susceptible to fraud. As of the first of October, any American business that cannot process a credit card using smart card technology faces new liability issues and could find themselves forced to accept responsibility for the fraudulent use of the card.

No Small Problem

Credit card fraud takes many forms and is one of the biggest issues facing businesses today. In fact, the amount of fraud adds up to a staggering sum of $10 billion lost per year. That means the use of the best card technology is imperative to protect both businesses and their customers, especially since failure to employ that technology can now expose businesses to new risks.

Slow to Act

Despite these risks, many American businesses have been slow to embrace smart card technology. Surveys show that as of October 1st, 2015, less than a third of U.S. merchants were able to handle smart card transactions, thereby needlessly exposing themselves to avoidable fraud risks. This is even more puzzling considering the ease and low expense of adopting the technology, leading some experts to conclude that many business owners are simply ignorant of both the risks and the solution.

Not Mandatory

Despite their effectiveness in combating fraud, embedding microprocessor chips in credit cards are not mandated in the United States. The technology simply has not caught on in America as it has in Europe and Canada. Yet, it remains in the best interest of every American business to upgrade their equipment and software as quickly as they can.

Liability

One reason why many merchants have not adopted smart cards is because it may require replacing processing techniques and upgrading point of sales terminals. However, under the new liability rules, the party with the lowest processing technology must assume liability, in contrast to earlier procedures where the card issuer simply assumed liability. Therefore, failure to adapt smart card capability can leave businesses on the hook for fraudulent activity.

Time to Act

Chip-embedded smart cards offer the best protection to businesses trying to combat fraud. The technology is neither complicated nor expensive to install, with it possible for a service provider to make the technology conversion in less than three days. Don’t get caught holding the bag when credit card fraud occurs. Instead, join our wise European friends by adapting smart card processing technology now.

Copyright 2015 Axis Payments

An Early Look At Post-EMV Readiness

blackboard

by Axis Payments

Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV) is a global standard for credit and debit cards. In the United States, liability shifts related to the cards went into effect October 1, 2015. However, many experts in the industry say that the migration to EMV use has been slower to occur in the United States and that many have not yet made the switch.

What is EMV?

EMV-equipped cards have a small, embedded computer chip that creates a unique transaction code that cannot be used again. Currently, the magnetic stripe on credit cards contains identifying data that remains the same each time the card is used allowing criminals to copy the magnetic stripe and use it to replicate the data since it does not change. If a criminal does get information from the computer chip, duplicating the information will not work because the transaction number is not able usable again and the transaction is denied.

Transition to EMV

According to a 2015 Debit Issuer Survey, 90 percent of financial institutions in the country have begun issuing EMV-equipped cards. However, only 25 percent of debit cards in the country will be equipped with EMV by the end of 2015. In addition, although larger retailers like Wal-Mart and Target are upgrading terminals to accept EMV cards, smaller merchants are slower to upgrade technology. The Strawhecker Group found that only 27 percent of merchants were ready as of October 1, 2015, although the number is expected to rise to 44 percent by the end of 2015.

Liability Shift

One of the biggest changes with the implementation of EMV-equipped cards is the shift in who is liable if fraud occurs. Currently, if someone uses a credit or debit card fraudulently, the payment processor or credit card issuer are liable for any losses that arise. After October 1, 2015, the liability shifts to whichever party has the least compliance with EMV. For example, if a merchant has not upgraded their equipment to EMV-compliant technology and a card is used fraudulently, the merchant will be responsible for the loss. Any merchant or payment processor who is not EMV ready could face significant costs should there be a data breach. However, automatic fuel dispensers have until 2017 to implement the new technology, so they are currently exempt from the new liability issues as are merchants who accept online payments where credit cards do not have to be swiped.

Shifting to EMV technology in the United States has begun, but not all merchants or card processors had updated their equipment as of October 1. This could mean significant expense for non-compliant companies should a data breach occur that leads to fraudulent use of credit cards.

 Copyright 2015 Axis Payments