Do you trust employees to do everything perfectly to help mitigate fraud risk and help reduce credit card processing fees? I hope not and here’s a story that illustrates a classic cashier blunder.
A retail cashier using my virtual terminal called and explained her problem. Whenever she key enters a transaction, the supervisor approval button pops up. She then turns to the desktop terminal from their old vendor, “and the transaction goes through just fine”. Upon questioning, I determined the cashier is entering fake information in some required fields, including zip code. This merchant is using our intelligent virtual terminal. Because the merchant has created a set of rules that requires the zip code to match on a key entered transaction, which reduces the risk of fraud, each time the zip code doesn’t match, only a supervisor can override to accept the transaction.
The right virtual terminal selection can improve profits by eliminating costly employee mistakes that can result in higher credit card processing fees, fraud losses, and chargeback fees. Our intelligent, rules-based virtual terminal dynamically prompts user actions, and doesn’t leave it up to employees to make decisions that impact merchant profits. Most virtual terminals work almost exactly like desktop terminals, except their in the cloud. They have no intelligence at all.
Here is a critical indicator of a smart virtual terminal:
- Rules based- user is dynamically prompted for different information based on variable inputs including type of credit card (debit, corporate etc), whether it’s key entered or swiped.
Any system is only as good as the implementation. Old equipment should be removed after new solutions have been successfully installed and tested.
Blog Author tidbit: In high school I was a cashier at Sibley’s department store for the Christmas season selling gloves and scarves. I used a cash register.
PS The merchant removed their desktop terminal from the store and the cashier has been informed by management to enter the right information.
The best virtual terminal without a merchant account varies by need. Three keys to vendor selection are PCI Compliance enhancements, lowering credit card processing fees, and flexibility.
Above: Cenpos virtual terminal screenshot. Fields in red dynamically change automatically based on key entered or swiped card number.
All virtual terminals merchants review are likely level 1 PCI Compliant (short for mandatory Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards), but how will the solution help enhance compliance? For example, if the merchant has customers that are ‘not present’, such as for business to business phone orders, what other ways will the payment gateway help improve PCI DSS compliance? One method is a hosted pay page where customers can make payments online. The whole PCI picture should be taken into consideration.
Every merchant wants to pay as little in fees as possible, though it may not be the driver on selecting a merchant services provider. Often, larger companies have intertwined business arrangements such as tying a credit line to a requirement to maintain a merchant account with the bank. The biggest savings may not be the merchant account, but interchange management. Interchange comprises over 95% of fees a merchant pays. A virtual terminal solution that automatically optimizes interchange management is far more valuable than one that relies on employees to do the right thing.
If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that technology and business processes will change. Choose a solution that not only meets your needs today, but future needs as well. For example, a huge percent of companies want to convert to electronic billing, but they’re not quite ready yet. Think about the future and choose a virtual terminal that is flexible and scalable for future needs.
Consulting with a payment professional that knows how to probe for information, can help merchants uncover and define current and future needs. It may lead to an unexpected results, and even a better value virtual terminal solution.
Virtual Terminal without merchant account solutions review:
- Authorize.net ® is one of the oldest virtual terminals that does not require a merchant account. Pros: integrated into many software solutions, offers token billing via optional Customer Information Manager (CIM), low cost of entry and per transaction fees. Cons: Limited reporting records, interchange qualification is largely determined by user practices. Supports level 3 data via API only.
- 3Delta Systems, Inc.® specializes in level 3 data processing. Pros: supports level 3 data and token billing. Cons: Users have no access to records of level 3 processing transaction detail; blog Author does not have sufficient knowledge to further comment.
- The CenPOS virtual terminal is a robust problem-solving, enterprise solution. CenPOS automates interchange management, has unique time-saving level 3 processing methods, works with with all payment sources, and offers numerous solutions to reduce PCI Compliance burden including customizable online pay pages, token billing, electronic billing & payment.
CenPOS exclusives for solutions listed in this article:
- The only virtual terminal that supports level 3 for retail, MOTO (mail & telephone order), and electronic bill presentment and payment.
- The only virtual terminal to automatically generate a PCI Compliant and Card Brand Acceptance Compliant credit card authorization form for customer signature, for each card stored.
- The only transparent level 3 processing that allows merchants to see what data was actually sent with a transaction.
- The only solution that supports ‘token’ billing with all four methods: variable on-demand, fixed recurring, installment, and any variable amount, ACH or credit card, on any schedule.
For Authorize.net., CenPOS, and other virtual terminals that do not require a merchant account, call Christine Speedy at 954-942-0483 or use the contact form.
Get a free virtual terminal to use with your existing or new merchant account with purchase of PCI Compliant, private cloud payment SaaS. The virtual terminal is the transaction and reporting hub for all electronic payment sources, including credit card and check. A rules-based solution, merchants manage user permissions, fraud tools, and acceptable payment types for single and multiple locations.
- Token billing- Tokens replace sensitive card data with random alpha numeric characters. Merchants can then charge the card again, with customer permission, by retrieving the token. Use for one off charges, schedule a series of payments, set up recurring billing, or create an installment agreement.
- Intelligent: Automatically prompts users for all required fields to qualify transactions for the lowest qualified interchange rate possible at the time of authorization.
- Reporting: 7 years data. Search includes search by name, a frequently requested field, among others.
- One hub for all sources, including iPhone, online payments, swipe, and key entered.
- Audit trail: all attempted transactions by user in addition to all activity (adding users, changing permissions etc). The reports for completed sales alone can help reduce the cost of external audits
Contact Christine Speedy for more information about virtual terminals, (954) 942-0483.