US Bankcard Services Industry Blog

Monday, October 10, 2011

Stimulus Buster: Merchant Cost Cutting

Stimulus… what stimulus?… Okay we all know these are financially trying and emotionally charged times. But what could we do to quell the savage beasts?… Well as merchants we some great options. Prevention being one important way to prevent operating costs to hemorrhage. Aside from precautions like PCI, good security practices and common sense, it's always good to be cautious with the way you handle your business transactions. As a merchant who is using credit card processing there are some very fundamental ways you could save some cash. Here are some ways on how to manage your processing costs:

  1. Physically Swipe Customer Cards whenever possible: Entering in card numbers using a keypad is a common reason for higher transaction rates. It has a higher risk of error and fraud. For more fraud information please read fraud in the catering industry. Please watch our educational videos for more protection against money loss.
  2. Accept PIN debit cards: There has been a continuous expansion in the usage of debit cards. Depending on your rates, generally speaking, the rate for a debit card transaction can be lower than some of the other processing rates. By accepting debit cards, you can lower your processing cost.
  3. Review your processing procedures (Card Not present): There are times when you need to process transactions without the card present. The terminal being used to process transactions may ask for certain criteria in order to complete the transaction without carrying a higher rate. Follow the steps carefully.
  4. Use the Address Verification Service (AVS) correctly: Generally speaking AVS occurs when the card is not present, and transactions are keyed in. Be sure to input the required field correctly to avoid higher rates. If the AVS does not check out, you should call the card authority/financial institution and notify them there is a 'Code 10'… something suspicious about the card or cardholder.
  5. Send settlements on time: Settle your transactions every day after closing to avoid higher rates. The longer you prolong your settlements, the higher your rates.
  6. Obtain authorization/settlement mismatch exemptions: Be sure to check that your merchant category code is suitable to the nature of your business and payment structure. If your authorization amount and settlement amounts do not match, be sure to expect payment downgrades.
  7. Chargeback prevention: Be sure to check all card aspects like matching name to ID, ensuring card expiration dates, embossing, and holographic logos… And remember to publish and practice return policies… Don't forget about AVS, be careful of non-US purchases… AVS only works in the USA. For more information on how to save money go to our educational videos page.

Our well-versed Customer Service and Sales staff can help you preventing money loss while showing you some easy ways to be a more security-conscious merchant. To find out more about your industry and our service, please call us at 888-525-8558 or on the web visit US Bankcard Services, Inc. or drop us and e-mail and follow us on Facebook (Log-in & search 'US Bankcard Services, Inc.').