With today’s high risk world of credit card fraud what does your current merchant service/credit card processing company do for you? When establishing your businesses’s merchant service account obviously price is a crucial element to the negotiation process, however make sure you are asking questions such as how will they be protecting you from risk.
If you haven’t heard by now, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover have created industry standards that everyone must adhere to.
First, make sure your provider is setting you up with products that are fully PCI compliant. If you are using an old terminal, go out to the Internet and research whether that terminal model is compliant. Never solely depend on your merchant services sales person because that could just be a ploy to sell you new equipment.
Second, when filling out the application to set up your account there are typically two numbers that you should pay particular attention to, highest ticket and average ticket. The highest ticket is typically the largest sale you would ever see which obviously varies from business to business, while the average ticket is going to be the average sale on any given day. I know these seem very basic and routine; however the processor your account is being setup on uses these two numbers to protect you from fraud.
For example, let’s say your highest sale ever for your business would be $500.00 and that’s what you put down on your application. Then months or even years later a $5000.00 sale is processed and is a legitimate transaction. Although this is a legitimate transaction your funds are going to be held because this transaction greatly exceeds what you initially put on your paperwork.
What happens next is an indication of how your merchant service provider has your back. Are you just calling an 800 number only to get the run around? Do you have an Agent to call? Do they know why your funds got held? If their not telling you why and aren’t asking for documentation to support the transaction then be prepared to get frustrated.
Because we have representatives who manage risk within our company, when funds get held because of transactions being over their limits a phone call is made to validate that the transaction was correct. If it’s a valid transaction, then a request for an invoice and/or signature as well as what was sold is requested. Having and providing this documentation is crucial when attempting to get the funds released.
It’s important that you work with a merchant service provider that can provide you and your business the support you need to focus on your business and your customers rather than your credit card processing.