Wednesday, November 27, 2019

A Time For Thanks!

As Thanksgiving approaches, we are reminded of all of our business blessings! 

Stephanie, Claudia, Camilo, Yamilet & Carolina
(From left to right)
What makes a good company relationship? Most customers to any service would say a good product/service, good customer service and responsive/caring people to deal with. When these basic business relationship needs are NOT MET, companies loose clients. According the Payments Journal, a payment industry advisory group, the average "churn" or turnover rate in the merchant processing industry nationwide is between 12% - 15%! Most of this is due to unmet expectations, poor customer service and uncaring reps.

Proudly, Merchant Processing Solutions stand at between 2% - 3% churn since 2006! We have kept our merchant partners happy, successful and growing! Without these wonderful merchants that trust us and keep referring us, we would not be as successful as we are. For this, we thank all of our merchant processing partners and vendors that have remained with us since 2006!

Merchant Processing Solutions is proud to have raised more than ten thousand dollars in 2019 for local and international non-profits! As we have been blessed by our families, friends, merchants, and vendors partners, we want to make sure we recognize our global responsibility to GIVE BACK. It is not just talk with us. We host non-profit events, we are part of non-profit boards and are physically involved with non-profit activities throughout the year! 

Merchant Processing Solutions Inc. wishes to thank

all of our merchant & vendor partners a very

Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

How to avoid CREDIT CARD CHARGEBACKS after the holidays!

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Chargeback Disputes 

I know that we have talked about CHARGEBACKS before, but Merchant Processing Solutions Inc. wants to remind our merchants and all of our fellow business people that "buyer's remorse" is huge during the holiday season! 

A purchased product or service does not perform as desired...they want their money back! They overspent on the holidays and start to return products or cancel services! The gift was rejected by the intended receiver and needs to be returned but it might be outside the return time frame. What do people do? They get upset and do CHARGEBACKS

Accepting credit cards is very important to a business that wants to grow. It is said that companies see about a 40% increase in sales the first year after accepting credit cards over just cash and it grows from there! But with card acceptance can come the ominous "CHARGEBACK" issue! A CHARGEBACK is the return of money to a customer, initiated by the customer's credit card bank and used by the consumer to settle a disputed transaction against a merchant. 

The CHARGEBACK process goes like this: 

Step 1: A purchase occurs either in-person, online or mobile app. 

Step 2: Customer initiates the CHARGEBACK because of the following reasons:
  • After the customer reviews their credit card statement they notice a charge they didn’t make.
  • The customer did not get satisfactory resolve on a purchase return and they feel they were treated unfairly. 
Step 3: Customer initiates a CHARGEBACK with their credit card company. Once a customer initiates the CHARGEBACK process, the customer’s credit card bank reaches out to the merchant’s credit card company, asking the merchant to provide evidence to refute the claim. A letter is then sent to the merchant asking for the following things like invoices, receipts, proof of delivery, or anything else the merchant has to prove that the purchase was valid. The merchant also has to prove that they clearly displayed in the store, website, on the receipt, etc warranty or guarantees on the products or services. They also need to have full, clear terms to get a refund or return on their purchase. The merchant also must provide this information with a certain period of time. CHECK YOUR MAIL! 
Step 4: Decision time. The merchant submits via fax all the corresponding evidence to defend his position of NO REFUND. The merchant's processor/bank reviews all the proof provided by the merchant and they decide to reverse the hold on the funds in favor of the merchant or they return the money to the disgruntle customer!
Step 5: Customer is informed. At this point, the customer must accept the proof provided by the acquiring bank and either pay for the goods, or continue to dispute the purchase and begin a process known as arbitration. 
Step 6: Arbitration. If the issuing bank and merchant bank fail to come to an agreement, as a last resort, they enter what’s called the arbitration process. The arbitration process is governed by the issuing credit card company, and its decision is absolutely final.
The credit card company (Visa, American Express, etc.) reviews the proof provided by the parties and has the last word on who must pay for the charges. If a merchant loses the arbitration process, they may choose to seek recourse and repayment in a court of law, at their own expense.

How can you avoid CHARGEBACK

1. Follow processor protocol. Every credit card processor has its own protocol when it comes to accepting credit cards,be sure to check the expiration date and enter the security code on the front or back of the card. You may need additional info like:
    Image result for customer register receipt image
  1. Receipts - Some processors may want additional identity confirmation like front and back of credit card, driver's license and a signed letter authorizing the use of that credit or debit card online. Digital signature or social media profiles. 
  2. Valid proof of shipping and signature or receipt from the customer.
  3. They will also look at the receipt to see that it has Terms of Refund or "Final Sale" 
  4. They will also look at your website if purchase was online to make sure that your clearly state your Refund Policy, Warranty/Guarantee Policies! 

2. Make sure that your business information is clearly shown on all customer documents including: 
  • Merchant name, address, phone number, website, customer service number.
  • Make sure you put the name of the business that the customer knows like: Office Depot and not JJ Enterprises LLC! 
  • Make sure that any purchasing customer clearly knows the name of your business so they do not initiate a CHARGEBACK because they have NO IDEA who you are!

3. Get it in writing. Make sure that you require customer to sign all receipts to protect yourself. Have  customers sign documents that clearly spells out the specific services being provided and whether there are any refunds on the product or service. Accept signed contracts via fax, email, Text or mail. DO NOT PROVIDE THE PRODUCT OR SERVICE UNTIL YOU GET THAT SIGNATURE! 
4. Deal with customer service issues promptly. The best way to avoid losing a CHARGEBACK is to make sure your customers understand the return policy. Secondly, when they contact you about a problem, make sure your customer service people/you listen and try to negotiate the issue as a WIN/WIN for both parties! Remember, if you don't work it out, you might get a CHARGEBACK and lose the money. And you will DEFINITELY have a disgruntle customer that can hurt your business! 
5. Learn to spot warning signs of fraud. Look out for people using fake credit cards, ID Cards. Make sure you send product to the place of business that is registered "legally" to your customer. NO PO Box. If you choose to send to a PO Box request a WireTransfer! 
6. Train employees to properly accept both card-present and card-not-present transactions. A man trying to use a female's credit card is not a good sign! At that moment, request to see an ID that proves they have permission to use that credit card. NOT SALE IS WORTH GETTING A FRAUD CHARGEBACK! 
7. Keep good records. Keep all receipts and signed customer documents for at least 180 days from the date of purchase. This is how long a customer has to dispute a charge. 
8. Fight back when it makes sense. Each CHARGEBACK not only gets your money taken away for an undisputed transaction, but the credit card bank charges between $25 - $35 for each dispute. If you end up with a history of CHARGEBACK your merchant account may be shut down and consequently you will be only able to open an account with a "high-risk" provider at a much high rate! You NEED to devote the time and resources to each and every CHARGEBACK you get. 
Merchant Processing Solutions Inc reminds you to put into motion ALL YOUR REFUND POLICIES TODAY, whether on your website, receipts, or printed on signs near registers. Train cashiers to remind customer of how many days they have to return purchases, if any. We are here to help our merchants have a GREAT Holiday Season! 
Call Merchant Processing Solutions for more information: 954-938-2420

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Our Customers say...." We have heart!"

It is always gratifying when we see a customer and they offer to give us a video testimonial! I wonder if other merchant services reps get that????? Anyway, we are so proud that our customers like us...

Mike Etemad from AutoMax of Hollywood, Fl.

Although today's testimonial is about Stephanie Cates, our partner rep with Merchant Processing Solutions Inc, but we pride ourselves that we all have the same type of relationship with our merchants. We truly believe we have a partnership with each person with work with. We look for ways to help them save money, we help them when problems arrive, we help them grow their business by showing them the latest technologies and industry ideas.

If your merchant processor or rep is not YOUR PARTNER,
give Merchant Processing Solutions Inc.  a call! 954-938-2420! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

What is Interchange Plus Pricing?

Interchange plus pricing is a credit card processing pricing structure that separates the components of the merchant processing costs and create transparent reporting. The  interchange plus pricing allows for lower processing costs; compared to tiered or bundled pricing models. 
Merchant Processing Solutions Inc practices this honest, fair and transparent pricing method. But what is it?

Image result for credit card imagesWhat is Interchange? The Credit card processing rates set by the card brands (Visa, MasterCard, Discover). No merchant processing company can change or impact those set rates. Click on the link below to learn more about the hundreds of credit cards each with it's own negotiate rate between the issuing bank and the selected Brand.  
MasterCard interchange rates

What is interchange plus or Pass-Through Pricing?
Interchange plus is a merchant account pricing model that has a fixed markup by the actual processor on top of the interchange fees (wholesale fees) published by Visa®, MasterCard® and Discover®. The “Plus” refers to the processor’s markup that’s applied to each credit card transaction. The markup is typically expressed as basis points or a fraction of a percentage.
Basis Points
A basis point is equal to 1/100th of a percentage point. 
Example: Visa’s current interchange fee for a swiped consumer credit card is (1.54% = 154 basis points). The merchant processor the merchant hires offers a flat fee on top of the set Visa Card Rate of .30% or 30 basis points of 30/100 or less than 1/3 of 1 percent.
Basis Points are X/100 to determine percentage. 100 basis points = 1% 

Is interchange plus (X basis points) the most cost effective way to process?

Absolutely! If a credit card processor offers you Interchange Plus, they are going to pass on to you the actual Interchange Rate on each credit card by each Brand. You CANNOT negotiate the Interchange Rate but you can negotiate the "PLUS" from the processor. Here is where you must see how many basis points is the markup; the lower the better! 
But merchants, it’s not only getting Interchange Plus Pricing Model, it's also making sure there are no other fees of additional Basis Points or fees being added!. If you simply focus on the basis points markup, you may miss other very important differentiators like the following:
  • Minimum monthly Service Fee: usually $25
  • Monthly Service Fee: usually $20
  • Authorization Fees/CPU Fees and more than add up on each transaction
  • A contract with a hefty cancellation fee
  • PCI Compliance Fee (annual and monthly fees)
  • Additional Basis Points that may be unknown but also going to the processor 

Is Interchange Plus Pricing Model for all types of business? 
Yes, however, a merchant needs to understand that there are several business types; Retail, Mail Order/Telephone Order, eCommerce, Point of Sale, Mobile. There are two main processing methods: Card Present/Card Not Present. The Interchange/Wholesale Rates for Card Not Present processing method is higher because of the potential for fraud to be present in those transactions! And lastly, the more entities involved in the transaction process like a bank/brand/processor/rep/etc. The higher the basis points can be because all those entities want to get a piece of your costs!!
How does the interchange plus pricing work? Examples:
$40.00 (Sale) x .05% (Debit Card Visa) + .30% (30 basis points) = .35% Rate                                Total Processing Rate: $.14 
$40.00 (Sale) x 1.40% (Credit Card MasterCard) + .30% (30 basis points) = 1.70% Rate          Total Processing Rate: $.68 
 $40.00 (Sale) x 2.25% (Rewards Credit Cards Visa) + .30% (30 Basis Points) = 2.55% Rate   Total Processing Rate: $1.02
What are the benefits of interchange plus?
Interchange plus is the most transparent, cost-effective form of merchant account pricing. By passing interchange fees directly to merchants with a fixed markup by the processor, surcharges and hidden costs are generally eliminated. Depending on the markup, interchange plus pricing will yield a substantial savings over the same processing volume when compared to other pricing models such as tiered, bundled or enhanced recover reduce (ERR)
How can I tell if I am offered Interchange Plus Pricing? 
Interchange plus is presented on the application as Pass-Through. Not Tiered or Bundled or ERR! You must also ask to see the basis points! 
*Recently, I was trying to win over a new customer by explaining Interchange Plus Pricing. He insisted he had something better a flat bundled rate of 1.29% on all transactions! After asking how that can happen when some cards are as high as 3.50% on Interchange/Wholesale and what company would take such a loss, he gave me a statement. We immediately realized that he was indeed getting 1.29% (129 basis points on top of the Interchange/Whole Rate of Visa/MasterCard/Discover!!! That is almost 1% over the normal rate! Once he understood that, we easily won his business!! 
Image result for merchant application imagesMerchants are becoming more savvy on costs, merchants that stay away from their banks can negotiate good rates for Interchange Plus Pricing or Pass-Through Pricing. They can also negotiate no contract or cancellation fees and more! Don't be fooled by fast-talking sales reps that only jot down rates on a piece of paper. Give them your statement, get an "apples to apples" comparison. If you like what you see, have them sit down and go over the contract!  Don't be fooled, it is a contract, not a hand-shake! They will NOT LET YOU OUT OF YOUR CONTRACT IF YOU HAVE ONE! Avoid leases too unless it makes sense for your company! Interchange plus or Pass Through has the potential to save you money on your processing fees but it not a guarantee. 

If you like what you have read, call Merchant Processing Solutions Inc and get an true statement analysis, understand where and how your processing works and then let us show you how you can save money! Call Today: 954-938-2420

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Can you do an analysis of my merchant account?

I recently met a new "potential" merchant and was asked to do a proposal for their business. I said I would be more than happy to do so but needed information from them to do a thorough investigation of their processing details. Let me explain how Merchant Processing Solutions does their merchant analysis!

  1. We request anywhere for 1-3 months worth of statements from their current merchant services provider.
  2. We review the 3 statements to see consistencies and inconsistencies in payment acceptance.  
    1. Image result for merchant processing statements images
    2. Like chargebacks
    3. PCI Compliance Penalties
    4. Unusually high or low transactions
    5. What is the AVERAGE monthly volume and AVERAGE transaction for this merchant
  3. Using the statement that is most like their average volume, we dissect the transactions into types of cards accepted; consumer, rewards, business, corporate, government, and purchase cards.
  4. We then notice how much of their business is down face to face and how much is down with card not present. 
  5. We use a grid that compares the current processor to Merchant Processing Solutions Inc.
  6. We compare apples to apples with the grid showing our prospective merchants what they can expect to save by using our merchant processing services. 
  7. We show them the totals, savings and net effective along with 1 yr & 3 yr savings.

Merchant Processing Analysis

Merchant Processing Solutions does not want to make ANY promises about rates or savings until we can prove that we can truly offer them. Many company spout off rates and savings without even doing a complete card by card analysis. No wonder so many merchants are skeptical about changing merchant processing companies! Are they lying or exaggerating just to get me to change? Our philosophy of "win-win" means that it has to be the right savings on the right type of cards using the right product, system or hardware to make our merchant's business grow! Every time we do an analysis, we stake our reputation on our numbers and it means A LOT to us! 

If you are interested in getting a REAL Merchant Processing Analysis, call Merchant Processing Solutions
Call 954-938-2120

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

What is GREAT Customer Service?

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I recently read an article in Forbes Magazine, "What Customers Want And Expect". I found the article in line with how Merchant Processing Solutions Inc runs it customer service initiatives. They are as follows:
  • Customer do not repeat problems with your product/service/personnel. 
  • They was personalize/on time service.
  • They want a live person to speak to.
  • They are looking for consistency in responses/personnel/solutions
  • No push-back or "passing the buck"!
  • They pay YOU to take care of these issues. They need to attend to their business! 
I reflected on the above statements and asked our TEAM how we stand-up against these issues. Here's what we found out:
  • We take on a customer issue quickly and resolve it. Once we know what happened, we communicate with the merchant to get things corrected so they do not happen again.
  • We are a local South Florida company since 2006. We answer our own calls and respond as best as possible. That being said, we do have times when out merchant's calls goes to VM because we are busy. We also try to have a balanced family life. So, we implement live after hours phone numbers where out merchants can call to get help. Otherwise, we consult, educate, install and train our merchants on all aspects of their product and service.
  • As mentioned, when possible, we answer all phone calls or our merchants know they can text us as well.
  • Since we are the actual processor, we know who to call to get the right answers. Once we know what happened we confer amongst ourselves to determine how to explain the issue properly, in terms our merchant can understand. This becomes out consistent message to all merchants.
  • We tell out merchants that WE are the face of our company, platform, service product and equipment. When there is a problem, we address it as soon as possible! 
  • We have the philosophy that it our merchants are successful...we are successful. In order to do that, we need to keep them doing what they do best and let us do what we do best...attending customer service issues! 
Since 2006, Merchant Processing Solutions Inc has maintained 93% of their merchants. We believe that this is one of the main reason we are a top merchant services provider in South Florida. 

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I highly recommend Merchant Processing Solutions for you merchant services solutions. In an industry where there is so much competition, I get multiple calls a day from our companies promising me everything! But it's very important for me to email, text or pick up the phone and talk directly with my rep to get any issue handle immediately! It is also a very confusing product but necessary for small businesses. 

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Clara Moreno-Lasi
C&G Catering
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
I felt very comfortable with MPS the moment they sat down with me. They wanted to understand my business and find out my needs. I did not want to change my POS System. They did their research and found out how we could change our processing to them and cut costs without impacting my POS or my business! 

I have been with MPS for more than 3 years. If I have any customer service issues, they respond to my questions and concerns on a timely basis.  I will continue to use Merchant Processing Solutions for my merchant processing needs. Thank You Ladies!!

If you would like GREAT Customer Service in merchant services, call Merchant Processing Solutions Inc

CALL TODAY - 954-938-2420

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

MPS has an ARSENAL of products to meet YOUR NEEDS!

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A Robust Merchant Gateway! 

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Castles Vega 3000
Merchant Processing Solutions has an ARSENAL of products to meet the needs of its merchants! Recently, we were tasked to bring together into a single account; online sales, invoicing, call center, mobile and retail payment acceptance! Most merchant processing companies would have sold the merchant at least 2 if not 3 separate accounts with monthly fees on each one! But we are different, we researched and found that USAePAY could handle it all, now that they have introduced the new Castles Vega 3000 to accept retail directly through the gateway, record all customer data and print receipts!

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ShopKeep Point of Sale System
Constantly, Merchant Processing Solutions looks to implement the right solution for our merchants. We have a merchant with a catering business & cafe her bank put her into a point of sale with nothing included. We helped her use the product to manage her customer database, sales, finances, inventory, employee hours, discounts, and her catering business. How could we do all of that? Simple...she has the point of sale at her cafe and uses a card reader with an EMV chip to capture her retail business. She uses a mobile card reader to get payment for deliveries and she sends invoices to her catering customers to be paid partially upon order and fully prior to delivery! She no longer chases checks and concentrates on growing her business!

Do you have a merchant services need? Are you looking for people who care about YOUR needs MORE than their inventory? Please call the caring people at Merchant Processing Solutions to show you not only the best merchant processing solution for your business but how to save money as well!

Call us today! 954-938-2420