Accepting Credit Card Payments

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1 Accepting Credit Card Payments An Introduction Objectives Understand the Credit Card Acceptance Process What Type of Merchant are You How to Choose An Acquirer How to Get It All Going for Non Cash Payment Acceptance 2

2 Is Credit Card Acceptance a Benefit? As of 2009 there were 23 Billion Credit Card Transactions in the United States alone Why so many? Studies have shown most Consumers spend at least 15% of their time online, which has resulted in increased online purchases leading to credit card payments now being the #1 Consumer Payment option 3 Visa and MasterCard State Top 3 Reasons to Accept Credit Cards Increase in Average Ticket Size for Credit Card Purchases; spending is increased when not limited to cash on hand. Higher Margin Goods or Specialty Items are purchased more often with a credit card, possibility of increase may be due to reward cards giving a percentage of cash back or other reward to the consumer after the purchase. Credit Card Acceptance increases revenue and reduces losses, compared to check acceptance which without a guarantee service has left businesses with increased risk of theft. 4

3 How Payment Processing Works 5 Top Components of the Payment Process Cardholder or Customer who wants to purchase a product or service Merchant who is providing the service or product and accepting the card payment from the cardholder Card Association-Visa and MasterCard, who provide the authorization and funding of transactions for both the card issuers and acquirers. Example of Card Issuers are Citibank, Bank of America and Chase their role is to issue Example of an Acquirers is a merchant service provider such as Sage Payment Solutions 6

4 The Payment Acceptance Process Step 1 Authorization Customer Pays Merchant with Credit Card Merchant transmits transaction data to their Acquirer Acquirer submits requests to Visa/MasterCard (Card Network) for approval on transaction Card Network requests approval for the transaction from the issuing bank eg. Citibank If credit is available on the card an authorization code is sent back to Acquirer who then transmits to the Merchant that the transaction may be accepted. 7 Step 2 Batching Merchant stores all credit card transactions together each day in what is referred to as a Batch At the end of each day the Batch is sent to the Acquirer and Totaled The Acquirer then electronically notifies merchant s bank and requests the total Batch Amount be deposited into the merchants bank account and be made available as cash (Cash turn around is typically 24 to 48 hours) 8

5 Step 3 Clearing The Acquirer then sends the Batch to the Card Network to request payment from the issuer ($ Batch) The Card Network transmits each transaction to the correct issuer (Example Citibank and Bank of America) The Card Issuer subtracts the fees (interchange fees) which are shared between the issuer and the card network and transfers the remaining amount. (Fees equal $1.70) The Card Network routes $98.30 to the Acquirer 9 Step 4 Funding The cardholder is then billed $100 The Acquirer subtracts the discount rate for the total batch (discount rate 50 cents) Acquirer pays merchant $97.80 via the previous mentioned direct deposit 10

6 2 Major Participants in the Payment Process 1 st Merchant It is important to determine what type or merchant you are and how you will accept credit cards payments Retail Will you have a Brick and Mortar Location-where your customers will walk in and slide their cards through a counter machine Mail Order Will you sell through the mail or over the phone-where your customer is calling and providing you the card information for you to input into a machine or software program E Commerce will you be selling goods or services via the world wide web and require a gateway and encrypted environment. 11 E-Commerce and the Advantages 100% Uptime 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year Global Access- anyone anywhere with an internet connection has access to your to site Quick Response Time-transactions are handled instantaneously by a few clicks on the computer Cost Efficiency-way more efficient than running a brick and mortar storefront, staffing and overhead costs are minimal and most procedures are automated without any human intervention. 12

7 The Diversified Customer Groups of E-Commerce Business to Business-over 90% of web based transactions are business selling services or product to other businesses Business to Consumer-majority of these transactions are related to tangible goods Business to Employee-via intranet site, whereby products or services are offered to employees, such as rewards programs or discount programs like insurance policies Consumer to Consumer-via third party bridge Craig s List and E bay offer this relationship 13 E-Commerce How to Get Started Determine who will host your website-many hosting companies available online and host sites for less than $500 per year Register a Domain Name such as Build your store-there are online templates that offer easy to create out of the box stores or there are web designers that create the entire store from scratch Decide how you will receive orders and payments 14

8 Receiving Orders and Payments Online Receipt of orders is generally via notification to the website administrator Template sites and web designers offer ways to notify a online shopper if a product is out of stock as to prevent the order from processing and requiring merchant to give a refund Once the notification of the order is received the business may feel confident the product is in stock and proceed with shipping arrangments 15 Receiving On Line payment Once an Acquirer or Merchant Processor has been decided you will need to discuss your options for online payment acceptance Do they supply an online secure payment gateway for the acceptance of online credit card transactions Do they provide the link to connect your web store with this gateway Do they provide the encrypted environment and SSL certificate required for the acceptance of online payments Do they work with other vendors in supplying a gateway or are you limited to only their gateway solution 16

9 Gateway Examples Sage Payments Solutions offers both an online gateway and the ability to send transactions through other programs and their gateway Common Gateways Sage works with Authorize.Net CyberCash Verisign Pay Flow Pro These are just a few PayPal the most common known payment gateway is a much different solution then actually having a merchant processor or direct acquirer 17 2 nd Major Participant The Acquirer Acquirer and Merchant have a Direct Relationship. The Acquirer provides a method of non cash payment acceptance. Countertop Machine that swipes cards at the checkout Software Program used for phone or mail orders which allows clerks to hand key credit card data for processing Gateway solution which provides the connection of payment acceptance between your website and your customer s computer 18

10 Acquirer Roles Provide Customer Support for account activity and technical issues Responsible for funding or depositing your daily Batch totals into your company s bank account Bill for all Service and Fees related to credit card acceptance They must provide a secure payment connection for the Merchant to pass critical and confidential card data for processing transactions 19 What Questions Should Be Asked When Deciding on an Acquirer Certain Questions to Ask in Determining: Is customer support available 24 hours a day 365 days a year What type of equipment do you offer (retail establishments) is your equipment up to date Are you PCI Certified with Visa and MasterCard and is your equipment certified, check V/MC websites to see if the Acquirer is listed as being PCI Certified Will I be able to provide my customer with a receipt Is it difficult to get supplies such as paper and ribbons, If I purchase the equipment can I have it reprogramed How long is your agreement for (typical 1 yr to 3 yr) Are my rates guaranteed (Sage guarantees for the term) Can I keep my current bank account 20

11 Continued Choosing An Acquirer What are the rates for credit cards Will I pay more for Corporate and Rewards What is a Mid and Non Qualified transaction Do I receive a lower rate on Debit or ATM cards Do you process all credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover I want to accept transactions online, is that secure Can you help establish a way to accept online transactions These are example questions that you will want to ask Acquirers before committing to an agreement 21 Final Step-Opening A Merchant Account Sign an Agreement with the Acquirer which include: The length of the agreement 1 year or 3 years All rates and fees charged on transactions Your Federal Tax ID Number All address locations of business including corporate and business locations All Phone and Fax Numbers including Toll Free Explanation of How you will accept credit cards (state type of merchant) Notate the method of Acceptance (terminal model, software or gateway) 22

12 Supporting Documentation for Merchant Agreement Required to sign a Personal Guarantee providing your social security number and agreeing to a credit check or Provide Most Recent Business Financials to include Balance Sheet and Income Statement or Business tax Returns Business License, Utility Bill, 501 c for Non profits, these provide proof of existence and address verification Voided Check or Bank letter to verify where your funds will be deposited and fees debited May be asked to provide example of products and services along with their prices as well as your return and refund policy 23 Completion All Documentation is submitted to Acquirer s Underwriting Department for review Upon approval Merchant Account is then established Method of card acceptance is provided to Merchant via if virtual or shipped if physical equipment Total turn around on establishing a Merchant Account is 3 to 5 business days. 24

13 QUESTIONS 25 Presented By Tracy Neidens Sage Payments Solutions Direct Toll Free References:

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