ACH eCheck and Online Payments Solution

Do you need eCheck services due to mail service disruption from recent disasters like Hurricane Irma and Harvey? Or do you just want to boost cash flow and get paid faster? Online payment solutions are quick, easy, and relatively cheap to implement. Using a third party solution vs bank can be cheaper and provides flexibility to change financial services partners without creating customer friction.

Why use a hosted pay page to accept eChecks?

A payment gateway hosted pay page enables customers to passively pay bills online 24/7 via a secure web page. Payment types may include credit cards, Paypal, ACH (echeck), wire and other methods. Because it’s hosted by a 3rd party PCI level 1 certified service provider, PCI Compliance burden is reduced for merchants that want to accept more than eChecks.

online payments echeckA hosted pay page empowers customers to make secure payments online.

Hosted Pay Page Implementation options:

  1. Direct customers to 3rd party payment gateway custom URL- no change to business web site needed. Just email or text the link.
  2. Link from business web site to 3rd party payment gateway custom URL by updating. Html and pay now graphical button available.
  3. Embed the secure payment object on business web site via iframe html. Customers never leave merchant web site, and even though payment is accepted on the 3rd party web site, an SSL certificate is strongly recommended.

There are other ways to collect ACH and eCheck payments remotely, including our alternative service that enables businesses to push out payment requests via via email or text. This method is proven to increase loyalty as well as reduce time to collect payment and is available for an additional fee. It’s available both integrated or standalone.

eCheck Hosted Pay Page Vendor Selection:

The two key methods to process eChecks are FTP direct to the business bank and 3rd party check processor (Web Payments). With FTP, money is in the bank account when the batch is delivered. With traditional eCheck services money is delivered typically in 2-3 business days. In either case, a payment gateway or technology solution secures the data transmission and facilitates compliance with eCheck processing rules.

Vendor selection checklist- which do you need and which would be nice?

  • ACH with guarantee
  • ACH, no guarantee needed
  • Tokenization for quick repeat payments (no need to enter banking info each time, just select the account)
  • Accounting integration
  • Hosted pay page
  • Other payment types supported
  • Text payment request capability
  • Email payment request capability
  • Hosted pay page (only, no text or email)

Managing Costs with Online Payments:

If you’re just accepting eChecks, you’ll be surprised at just how cheap the service is. If also accepting credit cards, the hosted payment solution selected directly impacts the cost of credit card processing. For example, our solution with Smart Rate Selector automatically optimizes the transaction to qualify for the lowest rate. Compliance with rules are complex and few payment gateways have a solution to comply with every situation. With the right implementation, the cost of card not present transactions are often exactly the same as card present, and can be lower than if employees key enter transactions into a virtual terminal.

Free Hosted Pay Page Info:

  • Quick and easy to set up
  • Optional customer registration to store payment data for repeat purchases
  • Echeck / ACH directly to your bank overnight in most cases
  • Optional ACH with guarantee additional fee
  • If applicable, works with your existing merchant services account
  • Month to month service

Christine Speedy, CenPOS authorized reseller, 954-942-0483 is based out of South Florida and NY. CenPOS is a merchant-centric, end-to-end payments engine that drives enterprise-class solutions for businesses, saving them time and money, while improving their customer engagement. CenPOS secure, cloud-based solution optimizes acceptance for all payment types across multiple channels without disrupting the merchant’s banking relationships.

Free Hosted Pay Page for Irma Business Disaster Relief

A hosted online web pay page ensures business cash flow and continuity after a disaster like Hurricane Irma by enabling customers to make online payments from wherever they are. With no USPS mail delivery, businesses that depend on checks in the mail need immediate solutions to get paid. A pay page helps solve the problem for both parties.

A hosted pay page enables customers to passively pay bills online via a secure web page. Payment types may include credit cards, Paypal, ACH (echeck), wire and other methods. Because it’s hosted by a 3rd party PCI level 1 certified service provider, PCI Compliance burden is reduced for merchants.

hosted paypage online payments

A hosted pay page empowers customers to make secure payments online.

Hosted Pay Page Implementation options:

  1. Direct customers to 3rd party custom URL- no change to merchant web site needed. Just email or text the link.
  2. Link from merchant web site to 3rd party custom URL by updating web site. Html and pay now graphical button available.
  3. Embed the secure payment object on merchant web site via iframe html. Customers never leave merchant web site, but payment is accepted on the 3rd party web site.

There are other ways to collect payment remotely, including our alternative service that enables businesses to push out payment requests via via email or text. This method is proven to increase loyalty as well as reduce time to collect payment and is available for an additional fee.

Managing Costs with Online Payments:

The hosted payment solution selected directly impacts the cost of credit card processing. For example, our solution with Smart Rate Selector automatically optimizes the transaction to qualify for the lowest rate. Compliance with rules are complex and few payment gateways have a solution to comply with every situation. With the right implementation, the cost of card not present transactions are often exactly the same as card present, and can be lower than if employees key enter transactions into a virtual terminal.

Mitigating Fraud Losses and Chargebacks:

Merchants can reduce risk of lost credit card disputes and resulting chargebacks with a multifaceted approach:

  • Verify address & zip code
  • Verify CVV / CID security code; if using token billing, prior validation is OK
  • 3-D Secure: Verified by Visa (Vbyv) and MasterCard SecureCode – cardholder authentication shifts fraud liability back to issuer.
  • Comply with transaction authorization rules (it’s complicated, especially if performing an authorization now and capture later.

Free Hosted Pay Page Info:

  • Quick and easy to set up
  • Start-up fee waived
  • Works with your existing merchant services account
  • Echeck / ACH directly to your bank overnight in most cases
  • Optional ACH with guarantee additional fee
  • After power is restored, optionally continue with services at predetermined rate (hosted pay page always included with other services)
  • Available to all businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma or Harvey exclusively through Christine Speedy.

Christine Speedy, CenPOS authorized reseller, 954-942-0483. CenPOS is a merchant-centric, end-to-end payments engine that drives enterprise-class solutions for businesses, saving them time and money, while improving their customer engagement. CenPOS secure, cloud-based solution optimizes acceptance for all payment types across multiple channels without disrupting the merchant’s banking relationships.

Online Payment Form Security Alert

Is your online payment form out of date and a security risk? Securing online payment forms requires an annual review at a minimum. Just because a hosted paypage form still works, doesn’t mean it’s secure or PCI Compliant.

PCI Compliance requirements have steadily tightened since 2014 for pay pages and all ecommerce transactions.

Hosted paypage options:

  1. Merchant hosts the form and collects payment on their web site. Beginning with PCI 3.0, significant additional PCI burden applies. Highest risk.
  2. 3rd party payment gateway hosted pay page; Provide a link directly to customers to pay. The form is served by and submitted by the payment gateway. It significantly reduces the potential for malicious activity that could compromise cardholder data. Lowest risk.
  3. An iframe hosted paypage has the appearance of residing on the merchant web site, but the payment data is captured by the 3rd party directly on their web host. The implementation method using iframes for payments has changed over the years to meet current PCI Compliance requirements, including to combat malicious javascript and Cross-Site Scripting threats.

“If your iframe hosted paypage hasn’t been updated in the last year or so it’s likely not PCI Compliant,” Christine Speedy, Card Not Present Expert.

A payment gateway is a secure transaction engine that facilitates the transfer of sensitive information to the processor, and is required for all online payment forms. Some gateways provide online payment forms at no additional charge. Vendor selection has a significant impact on risk mitigation, payment processing fees, efficiency, and PCI Compliance burden.

A payment gateway can be proprietary to a specific processor, or agnostic and compatible with multiple processors. While one provider for both services may seem to be the best choice, there are significant reasons the opposite may also be true, including risk mitigation. Bots present a significant risk of exploitation of online payment forms and may result in profit loss if additional steps are not implemented to mitigate risk of ‘card testing’, where criminals use online forms to submit fake transactions to determine if cards are good or bad. Every attempted transaction has an associated cost with it, and adding in chargeback fees from resulting  disputes, the result could be tens of thousands in dollars in fees in a matter of hours.

If you don’t want to be the next law firm, CPA firm, hotel or distributor data breach headline, consult with a payments expert that understands the financial and risk ramifications of one payment gateway choice and implementation method over another vs ecommerce consultants or bankers that may have limited in-depth expertise to maximize your profits and mitigate risk exposure.

TIP FOR NON-TECHS: Does your online payment form look good on smart phones and other mobile devices? If not, there’s a pretty good chance your online payment page needs an update and is not PCI Compliant.

RESOURCES:

  • PCI – Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards
  • https://www.us-cert.gov/publications/securing-your-web-browser
  • http://pcisecuritystandards.org

For PCI compliant solutions to collect online payments from your customers, contact Christine Speedy today. Get paid via your preferred methods, including ACH, credit card, wire and Paypal, while increasing security and convenience.

Balancing card not present risk with customer convenience

Accepting credit cards for card not present customers can be risky, and merchants have long sought solutions to protect themselves from future disputes. The problem is most of those methods are PCI Compliance nightmares, often storing card data in the clear on paper credit card authorization forms. Enabling customers to self pay is one way to mitigate risk.

HOSTED PAY PAGE – ONLINE PAYMENTS

accept payments onlineWith a hosted pay page solution, customers are directed to a secure web page. The ‘host web server’ is the payment gateway, thus reducing merchant PCI Compliance burden. Gateways have different fraud tools for merchants, beyond the usual address and CVV security verification. Examples of hosted pay page solutions:

  1. Link to custom payment processor URL (First Data)
  2. Embedded payment object on merchant web page; the merchant should have an SSL certificate, even though the payment object itself is on a different server. This is usually achieved with an iframe. (CenPOS)
  3. Link to a custom payment gateway URL (CenPOS); this provides continuity when merchants change processors

ELECTRONIC BILL PRESENTMENT & PAYMENT (EBPP)

EBPP Electronic Bill Presentment & PaymentCustomers are sent an electronic invoice, which they can pay remotely. Both merchants and customers have a portal to manage various functions. EBPP used to be costly, upwards of $100,000, but now, there’s solutions for all price ranges based on merchant needs. Examples of EBPP solutions:

  1. Standalone– merchants login to a web based portal and generate an invoice which is delivered electronically to customers. (Paypal, CenPOS)
  2. Integrated, accounting software managed – customers receive electronic invoices with data originating from accounting, ERP, or other software, and the ERP managing the delivery of the invoice, reminders etc (Quickbooks & Intuit merchant services, ERP/CenPOS).
  3. Integrated, gateway managed – customers receive electronic invoices with data originating from accounting, ERP, or other software (Quickbooks & Intuit merchant services, Quickbooks & 3rd party gateway integration/ any merchant account), and the gateway managing the delivery of the invoice, collection reminders etc.

EBPP BENEFITS VS HOSTED PAY PAGE

  • Pushes out to customer- less friction to complete the payment and or sale
  • Reduce risk with additional evidence trail for dispute defense; records of invoice delivery and customer opted to pay strengthen defense; card brand rules include chargeback protection without a signature if bill to address matches the company address and the employee email address was used. (See Visa Merchant Rules for details)
  • Automated reminders if they don’t pay (solutions vary widely how this works)
  • Customer visibility to credit outstanding; ability to self-free up credit to buy more
  • Reduced calls to accounts receivable for questions about what invoices are outstanding

HOSTED PAY PAGE & EBBP VENDOR SELECTION

There are wide differences in payment gateways, and the related solutions. The best solution varies depending on the business type.

Critical needs for business to business:

  • Level III processing supported for all payment channels
  • Collections automation
  • Flexibility – the average merchant changes processors every three years; choose a gateway independent of the processor to avoid business disruptions
  • 3 D Secure (Vbyv and MasterCard Secure) – card not present fraud is expected to rise dramatically with US EMV adoption
  • Tokenization – empower customers to self store and manage payment methods
  • Card Updater – if applicable for recurring service

CenPOS is a merchant centric, end to end payment engine that meets all omnichannel and critical business to business needs. For sales and integrations, contact Christine Speedy 954-942-0483.

 

Accept Payments Online Merchant Checklist

accept payments onlineBe wary of sites that list the top 10 best solutions to accept payments online, 10 best payment gateways etc. These sites solicit payment gateway vendors to get on the list. Those who pay the fee get on the list, regardless of whether they’re the best of anything. The vendor checklist below will help businesses that process more than $500,000 annually across all sales channels.

First make a list of needs, then compare to vendor options listed. Because a payment gateway is required for online payments, all questions are specifically for the gateway, regardless of whether the vendor also offers merchant services or check processing.

Circle immediate needs and write F next to potential future needs.

Where does your business want to accept payments now and in the future?

Make a list of all sales channels. The merchant industry impacts complexity of solutions needed. For example, a distributor might payments online, at a distribution outlet, via ecommerce, and ebilling; a law firm might accept payments online, but not in person. A non-profit may need to accept payments online and at events.

  • online payments
  • retail swipe
  • mobile swipe
  • ecommerce
  • einvoice
  • kiosk

Do you need level III processing?

  • Yes
  • No

Qualified merchants with at least a portion of business to business (B2B) or business to government (B2G) customers should require level III processing across all sales channels where payments are accepted. Manufacturers, distributors, and services that are generally business to business usually qualify.

How will the solution help automate interchange management, the bulk of processing fees?

  • Yes, has ‘automated interchange management system’
  • No, does not have ‘automated interchange management system’

If a company offers it, they’ll advertise it because it’s a competitive edge. Probably fewer than 10% offer it. There are many complexities and comparing may be a challenge. For example, if the authorization and settlement amount differ, the transaction will result in additional fees, Unless the solution resolves this difference by obtaining a new authorization. This item can be difficult for merchants to compare from solution to solution, so ask open ended questions.

Do you need online payments for credit cards, ACH or both?

  • credit cards
  • ACH
  • both credit cards and ACH

I once had a software company tell me their vendor had promised for years to provide online ACH. They’re still waiting. Shortlist only providers that process what you need now. Custom online payment forms are easy; Certifications for check or credit card processing is not as simple.

How does merchant know when a payment is received?

  • Email
  • Integrate to accounting or other software (Quickbooks, ERP etc)
  • Online report
  • Other

How does merchant differentiate between online payments and payments key entered by employee or other source?

  • Each payment identifies user that made it
  • Multiple accounts or deposits
  • None
  • Other

Can customers store credit card data?

  • Yes
  • No

Can customers store ACH data?

  • Yes
  • No
  • N/A

Are expiring cards managed proactively? Are customers notified in advance to self update?

  • Yes, proactive
  • No, no advance notice and ability to self update

Can tokens, which replace sensitive card data, be used across all sales channels and or company divisions needed?

  • Yes
  • No
  • N/A

Does the transaction occur on merchant server does user click to hosted payment page?

  • Hosted pay page
  • Merchant web page with iframe
  • Both options

Does it support multi currency processing?

  • Yes
  • No
  • N/A

 

What are customer service communication methods? circle all that apply

  • Phone 24/7 or limited hours
  • email 24/7 or limited hours
  • chat 24/7 or limited hours
  • Designated relationship manager

 

Other questions

  • What reports are available?
  • How long are they available?
  • Can reports be exported?
  • How can reports be shared?
  • How will solution help reduce PCI Compliance burden across all sales channels?

Online Payment Solutions:

  • CenPOS, a processor neutral omnichannel super payment gateway, available globally including United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Latin America, South Africa, Asia Pacific, and more. Supports all merchant sales channels, multi currency processing, and level III processing all sales channels. Industry specialties: Automotive, manufacturer, distributor, private duty healthcare, non-profit, education. Free online pay page html5 available.
  • First Data Global Gateway e4, for First Data Merchants only.  Supports all merchant sales channels, level III processing in some sales channels. Industry specialties: Automotive, manufacturer, distributor, private duty healthcare, non-profit, education. Online pay page html available.

  • Authorize.net, a Cybersource/ Visa company, compatible with most processors. The gateway is available in United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia. Online pay page html available.
  • PayPal Pro, requires Paypal payment processing. This is included because of the simplicity and longevity for online payments, however, Paypal differs significantly from all others; payments must be manually transferred to the bank, increasing time to deposit, and fees are netted from every transaction, making reconciliation more challenging.

This list does not include solutions from companies that are registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., because those are First Data resellers. (The text is found on the bottom of many web sites.)