Guide to Payment Processing

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1 Guide to Payment Processing

2 What s Inside: Industry Players Components of Payment Processing Reading Your Merchant Statement Understanding Fees Processing Methods Trends Need-to-Know Vocabulary Guide to Payment Processing 2

3 Industry Players and Their Functions Issuing Bank Credit Card Exchange Processor Card Holder Merchant Site Payment Gateway Acquiring Bank Guide to Payment Processing 3

4 Payment Gateway Process Retrieves credit card data from customer over a secure connection Formats the data and passes it to merchant bank s processor Merchant bank processor submits to the credit card networks who then sends to the issuing bank for approval or denial Responsible for compliance with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and AMEX rules and regulations Updates its systems with results and sends them back to merchant Can be proprietary or a third-party product Processor Provide outsource processing and support to Issuers, Acquirers, and ISOs Supplies connectivity to the networks for authorization (front-end), clearing, and settlement (back-end) Provides various levels of back office support Offers agreement with one or all of the following: Member Bank, Acquirer, and/or ISO Must comply with network and brand rules and regulations Guide to Payment Processing 4

5 Credit Card Networks (Visa/MC/Discover/AMEX) Regulated financial institution Tier 1 capital requirements Responsible for compliance with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and AMEX rules and regulations May issue cards and acquire transaction directly May sponsor agents, such as other Acquirers & ISOs Carries and manages ALL risk associated with their agents and customers (merchants) Issuer Holds contract with consumer Issues cards Must be compliant with the networks (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover) Reimbursed by cardholder Bills any fees to cardholder Receives interchange fees from Acquirer Must comply with network and brand rules and regulations Guide to Payment Processing 5

6 Reading Your Merchant Statement B A Sample Payment Card Processing Statement D C A Merchant-specific account details B Merchant name and address information C Total amount due, to be deducted on the 10th of the month D Summary of processing by card type E E F Breakdown of the transaction batch deposits by day Breakdown of fees to be deducted from your account F G Total of all discount and miscellaneous fees that will be deducted from your account G Guide to Payment Processing 6

7 Understanding the Fees Discount Rate This is typically the largest portion of your costs. This can be categorized as either interchange or bundled pricing. Transaction Fees This is a fee that is charged to process each and every transaction. This is typically somewhere between $0.20-$0.45. Monthly Fees This is a fee that is charged on a monthly basis regardless of your credit card processing activity. This can be labeled many ways and an individual organization can have multiple monthly fees. (e.g.: Monthly minimum, PCI Compliance Fee, Non PCI Compliance Fee, etc.) Chargeback/Retrieval Fee This is a fee that is charged when a cardholder disputes a transaction. The cardholder is always given the benefit of the doubt and it s up to the merchant to prove otherwise. Cancellation/Termination Fees If you part ways with your merchant account provider before the term of your contract is up they will most likely charge a fee. Guide to Payment Processing 7

8 Processing Methods Terminal/Virtual Terminal Accepts card-present and card-not-present payments with a web-based virtual terminal Processes payments using any computer with an internet connection Allows for the processing of recurring payments Virtual terminals offer a very easy and non-technical way to process payments Physical terminals now support EMV and Apple Pay as well as other contactless payments Hosted Payment Pages Hosted payment pages provide a secure platform to process payments and offer an easy way to customize their website Reduces your PCS scope because it s hosted by your service provider Pages can be built quickly and deployed immediately Guide to Payment Processing 8

9 Mobile Your mobile device becomes your business headquarters by plugging a card reader into the headphone jack Access a virtual terminal from your smart phone to process one off payments Mobile apps are now designed specifically for organizations and allow payments within the app Payment Gateway/API Integrates seamlessly with your existing software and technology to process all of your credit card and ACH payments Can support tokenization, which substitutes cardholder data for a payment token to help reduce the risk the merchant holds Allows for detailed reporting Guide to Payment Processing 9

10 Payment Processing Trends: What s next? EMV (Europay/MasterCard/Visa) Named after the three companies that established the standard EMV replaces the magnetic stripe reader of a credit card with a chip-based technology Makes the ability to duplicate the chip almost impossible and thus helps prevent fraud Merchants who aren t using equipment that supports chip-based technology are liable for any fraudulent transactions as result Deadline to make this change was October 2015 There will be an increase in online fraud as it becomes harder to do so in a face-to-face environment Guide to Payment Processing 10

11 PCI Compliance: Payment Card Industry Almost 120 million data records were compromised in 2015 across multiple verticals including government, ecommerce, and healthcare Apple, Home Depot, Staples, and Sony were all hacked in some manner in 2014 Level 4 Any merchant processing fewer than 20,000 Visa ecommerce transactions per year, and all other merchants (regardless of acceptance channel) processing up to 1 million Visa transactions per year Self assessment questionnaire Vulnerability Scan (may not be required) Attestation of Compliance Learn more: Guide to Payment Processing 11

12 Mobile Apps Change the way organizations interact with their customers Function as more than just a payment mechanism Make it easier to give as well as putting context around it As mobile use increases, there has to be a strategy to accommodate this giving channel NFC (Near Field Communications) Short-range wireless connectivity technology that enables communication between devices Poised to become the dominant mobile payments technology Use will proliferate as the payments industry consolidates Guide to Payment Processing 12

13 Mike Phelan President Nelnet Transaction Solutions Office: Mobile: Brian McGarry Senior VP of Sales Nelnet Transaction Solutions Office: Mobile: Guide to Payment Processing 13

14 Industry Terms and Definitions Acquirer: Any bank, financial institution, and public or private company that maintains a Seller s credit card processing relationship and receives all transactions from the Seller to be distributed to the credit card-issuing banks. Acquiring Processor: The processor provides credit card processing, billing, reporting, settlement, and operational services to the acquirer. Many financial institutions hire a third party for more cost-effective bankcard processing. Transaction: An act between a Seller and a Cardholder that results in either a paper or an electronic representation of the Cardholder s promise to pay for goods or services received from the act. Independent Sales Organization (ISO): A marketing organization whose primary purpose is to sell card processing services to merchants. ISO s contract with acquiring banks or other ISO s to resell their services. ISO s can be a two man shop or a very large organization such as TSYS. Value Added Reseller (VAR): A company that builds a software package with features and services that meet specific needs of businesses in a defined vertical. NTS will integrate our payment processing solutions into the VAR product. The VAR will sell the solution (usually to end-users) as an integrated product as a complete turn-key solution. Independent Software Vendor (ISV): Write business solution software that may or may not include a payments solution (e.g. Micros, Oracle). The software can be distributed and serviced through a direct sales force, by VARs, or, if cloud-based, remotely. Historically, focus on POS solutions for payments-intensive industries (e.g. retail, restaurants) sought to integrate payments functionality into their solutions. Guide to Payment Processing 14

15 System Integration (SI): The process of bringing together the component subsystems into one system and ensuring that the subsystems function together as a system. Card Brand: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express are the most prominent types of credit cards. Card Association: A network of issuing banks and acquiring banks that process payment cards of a specific brand. Issuing Bank: A bank that offers card association branded payment cards directly to consumers. The name is derived from the fact that it issues payment to the acquiring bank on behalf of its customer (the purchaser in the transaction). Sponsor Bank: A bank that has obtained membership in Visa or MasterCard in order to allow a processor access to the Visa and MasterCard networks to process transactions. Only a bank may join Visa or MasterCard, many processors make deals with a sponsoring bank in order to gain access to the Visa and MasterCard networks. The sponsoring agreements are usually like a partnership, resulting in the line between the sponsoring banks and their processors unclear; sometimes the partnership is referred to by the name of the bank, while other times they are referred to by the name of the processor. Processor: A company (often a third party) appointed by a merchant to handle transactions from credit and debit cards for merchant-acquiring banks. They are usually broken down into two types: front-end and back-end. Front-End: A company/vendor that provides communication and data processing services for authorization of card payments and the transfer of data between merchant s point-of-sale equipment to the back-end clearing and settlement processor. Examples of front-end processors are TSYS and First Data (Nashville, CardNet, and ETC). Guide to Payment Processing 15

16 Back-End: A data processing company that contracts with acquirers to provide communication and processing systems that connect with the interchange systems for clearing and settlement services on behalf of those acquirers. (In some cases, the acquirer may act as its own back-end processor.) Clearing and Settlement: The acquirer sends the batch transactions through the credit card association, which debits the issuers for payment and credits the acquirer. Essentially, the issuer pays the acquirer for the transaction. Funding: Once the acquirer has been paid, the acquirer pays the merchant. The merchant receives the amount totaling the funds in the batch minus the fees the merchant pays the acquirer for processing the transactions. Interchange: A fee paid between banks for the acceptance of card based transactions. Usually it is a fee that a merchant s bank (the acquiring bank ) pays a customer s bank (the issuing bank ). Assessment Fees: Are a very small flat rate percentage that applies to the total monthly volume on a specific type of card. Guide to Payment Processing 16

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