3 Profit Boosters for Lumber, Building Materials, Distribution Companies

Lumber, building materials, and distribution companies increase profits and cash flow almost instantly with these credit card processing and accounts receivable tips.

  1. Use a credit card processing solution that supports level III processing for retail. Prior to the October 2015 EMV liability shift, there were more companies that offered this, but today, to my knowledge, we offer the only solution that has both US EMV and level 3 retail certification.
    level 3 processing interchange rate

    Sample interchange rates for the same credit card transaction; Failing to qualify for level III is costly.

    Benefit: Potential 1% or more profit margin increase.  TIP: No countertop credit card terminal supports level 3 due to the data that must be sent with transactions; no bank currently offers a level 3 retail solution with US EMV. A cloud-based payment gateway is required.

  2. Ensure key entered transactions are sent for authorization with the MOTO (mail order, telephone order) transaction type indicator. If not, the transaction will default to the highest ‘non-qualified’ interchange rate possible for the card type, and in the event of a dispute, merchant must be able to produce a signed receipt.  TIP: Never key enter on a countertop terminal since it is set up for RETAIL. VX520 emv NFC verifone terminalThe best solution manages proper presentment for processing automatically so employees don’t need to understand the nuances of the best way to process any transaction to qualify for lower rates or mitigate risk.
  3. Enable online payments, with level III credit card processing. By empowering customers to pay 24/7, they’ll pay faster to clear up credit lines to buy more. Also, with cardholder authentication, payment can sometimes be guaranteed against fraud and qualify for even lower interchange rates due to lower risk; key entered transactions carry more risk and while risk can be mitigated, payment is not guaranteed. Accepting alternative methods like ACH, wire, and Paypal will also reduce friction, increase efficiency and increase cash flow.

Hosted Pay Page vs EBPP – EIPP

How can a hosted pay page or electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP), also known as electronic invoice presentment and payment (EIPP) improve your customer experience? Cardholders are increasingly weary about giving out card data over the phone, or worse, via fax, which also has PCI Compliance implications. Reducing friction to collect payments, while putting cardholders in control of their data, is proven to increase sales and cashflow.

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.

hosted paypage online payments

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

With EBPP, the payment request is delivered to the customer via email or text. Instead of asking customers to find the pay page, the customer is given a link to pay a specific bill or invoice, or multiple invoices. Empowering customers to review and pay multiple invoices on demand by logging into a secure portal is also a significant benefit.

eipp payment request

Body of email containing pre-filled payment info, and link to securely pay online.

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

  • Ecommerce merchant account required
  • 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. This is especially critical for international sales where address verification is often not possible; there are limitations though so check the rules to see how it fits in your fraud prevention program.
  • How can a merchant enable customers to remotely pay an invoice, while maximizing security to prevent chargebacks from disputes? A critical step is managing the transaction representment to the issuer.
  • Require all B2B customers to confirm copy of the emailed receipt via a company email address
  • Optional custom procedures may be added based on risk tolerance

In summary, either method of online payments increases security and enables customers to pay 24/7 to increase cash flow. EIPP solutions have significant additional benefits and the cost to implement has dropped significantly, with many businesses experiencing an instant ROI.

Christine Speedy, CenPOS global sales and integrated solutions 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.

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.)


Hosted Online Payment Solutions Australia

hosted epayments australia mapWhat companies offer hosted epayment solutions in Australia? For companies that want traditional merchant account vs 3rd parties like Paypal, the options are growing.

CenPOS*: Processor neutral, no new merchant account required. Provides hosted pay pages and other online payment choices worldwide processor choices vary by country, and include First Data, Paymentech, Vantiv, EPX and others. API’s for Integrations, including html5 are available. Infor ERP, (certain products), OpenBravo ERP,  Magento, PrestaShop, Woocommerce and Gravity Forms users can easily start using CenPOS omnichannel payment solutions.

eWAY: Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, UK: eWAY offers merchant services if merchant does not have compatible processor

Braintree: unknown requirements; supports multi-currency. Start-up small business benefits.

Paymate: Australia, New Zealand only. Paymate merchant account required.

* Supports level III processing, multi-currency

Online payments API

A client asks, “do you have a sandbox for testing new online payments need?”  Yes. Use the Contact form for the API or call for access to various API’s depending on the application. You’ll also need test credentials which I can supply when you’re ready.

Using the iframe or pop-up, the online payments solution puts the application out of scope for PCI compliance and allows for both one time transaction as well as stored cards with tokenization.  I suggest you use the Flash version to start with for set up and testing, which is proven to be stable across many platforms, and then it’s a simple html and or CSS edit to switch over to html5 if desired, without having to reprogram.

Below image: snippet ample XML code

online payments api
The code is for the 3D preferred gateway and can be used with any merchant account. Call or contact with any further questions.