A B2B supplier’s guide to optimizing commercial card payments review

Mastercard and The Strawhecker Group released A B2B supplier’s guide
to optimizing commercial card payments. Selecting the right merchant acquirer and payment gateway, and optimizing interchange, can help reduce suppliers’ collection efforts and costs associated with commercial card payments. By Marie Elizabeth Aloisi and Peter Michaud. Christine Speedy, blog author, reviews the guide. In my opinion some elements, present an incomplete picture for merchants, especially the business suppliers accepting commercial payments that is the target of the paper.

The executive summary cites research that suppliers can reduce the cost of collecting funds from customers by 31% if they accept credit cards. I googled to find that commercial credit card research data, and though this is not the referenced Mastercard and Kaiser Associates, Commercial Card Acceptance Cost-Benefit Study, of November 2016, it has similar data:

  • This study estimated card acceptance at the point-of-sale to be 37% less costly than using other payment collections methods – yielding savings of $12 on a $500 transaction
  • Card acceptance provides a similar sized net benefit regardless of the funds transfer tool it replaces – e.g. check vs. ACH vs. wire
  • The bulk of value from commercial card acceptance lies in its use as a pre-payment tool – providing revenue assurance against bad debts

 

I have a problem with the next line in the report, “That’s because getting paid by check—or even ACH or wire—involves many manual steps, onerous costs, and potential errors that are a burden to a supplier’s accounting, finance, and treasury functions.”  Checks are still the most onerous even with a scanner, but with electronic bill presentment and payment, any other payment method can be automated for increased efficiency. Our cloud payment processing solutions, including integrated with ERP, automate all types of payment processing, including check/ACH, wire, credit card, and can update journals etc.

The paper goes on to explain why working with your acquirer is critical. While it mentions suppliers can benefit from advanced gateways, most acquirers offer a limited number of payment gateways to merchants. In fact, they may offer suppliers only one solution – they’re own- and it may not be the best for the supplier, it’s just the only one they offer. Independent payment gateways, like CenPOS that I offer, can provide significant advantages to maximize profits, efficiency and flexibility. For example, fulfilling the need to simplify wire transactions and match to invoices.

The three best practices cited to work with acquirers are to automate payments, optimize interchange and negotiate pricing. 

The devil is in the details not cited. For example, “suppliers can only take advantage of lower interchange rates if the payment gateway is set up to pass Data Rate 3 information along with the transaction.” This is true. But the bigger problem is compliance with all the other rules required to qualify the transaction for Data Rate 3. For example, suppliers often do a preauthorization, which expires before settlement (but can still settle) or is not the same as the final settlement amount. These common transaction types will nullify qualifying for the best interchange rates, including MasterCard Data Rate 3. There are many more rules that make it tough to qualify and if the payment gateway does not automatically manage for suppliers, passing Data Rate 3 info doesn’t matter. The reality is most payment gateways do not have a solution to help suppliers comply.

Again, if the acquirer doesn’t have the best solution, should suppliers rely on their advice? A supplier client of mine went to their acquirer (top 5 in USA) and told them what I was offering. They would keep their acquirer but switch to my payment gateway; they’d use our electronic bill presentment and payment solution to eliminate paper credit card authorization forms and employees getting cardholder data over the phone. Customers would self-manage their payment methods, including storing & tokenizing if they chose to. Their acquirer did not want them to use any solution other than their own.  They offered them a substantially worse solution- the silliest I’ve ever heard. The acquirer would give them a new merchant account with virtual terminal exclusively for one large client that they knew was using a commercial card. What about all the other clients? What about eliminating employee access to cardholder data and storing data on paper? Advising to use substandard solutions happens all the time.

In summary, Mastercard and The Strawhecker Group put out some great research data for suppliers. I’m a huge fan of the people at The Strawhecker Group and their work. Suppliers should look to cloud payment processing solution providers like myself at CenPOS for advice. Suppliers need the best payment gateway because without it, the rest doesn’t matter. Combining a robust payment gateway, business solutions, and the flexibility to change acquirers without business disruption can provide significant advantages.

All comments and statements herein are strictly my personal opinion and do not represent that of any company.

Christine Speedy, CenPOS sales 954-942-0483. CenPOS is a cloud business solutions provider with end-to-end payments engine that drives enterprise-class solutions for businesses, saving them time and money, while improving their customer engagement.

Can I send a customer with multiple unpaid invoices one email with a payment link for Quickbooks?

Yes, your customers can pay one invoice sent from an email without logging in to the invoice portal, or they can login and selected multiple invoices to pay. Our integrated payments module reduces customer friction to pay bills for Quickbooks Pro and Enterprise users and supports a variety of payment types and methods.

paying multiple invoices quickbooksNote, you must have your own desktop or hosted version of Quickbooks. Quickbooks online does not support the ability to add 3rd party modules.

Quickbooks Merchant Services Vs CenPOS Payment Gateway & Platform:

  • Quickbooks Intuit Merchant Services nets fees from every transaction; CenPOS fees are charged once per month.
  •  Intuit Merchant Services must use their acquirer. With CenPOS, choose any acquirer.
  • Quickbooks ACH nets their fees from every transaction. CenPOS fees are charged once per month.
  • Quickbooks sends monthly statements; CenPOS sends invoice reminders on your schedule with simple click to pay.
  • CenPOS supports level 3 processing and cardholder authentication to help you manage the cost of accepting credit cards and mitigate risk of chargebacks.

Christine Speedy, CenPOS business development 954-942-0483. CenPOS is a cloud based business solutions provider. Our cross-generational platform enables clients to expand their payment acceptance strategies, improve customer engagement, and increase business productivity.

Best Quickbooks Credit Card Processing – Card Not Present 2017

Due to new credit card processing mandates effective October 14, 2017, business to business merchants especially need to review practices for card not present transactions. Compliance will boost profits and improve customer experience; non-compliance will increase costs, penalty fees and customer dissatisfaction. Our Quickbooks plugin for all desktop and enterprise versions (except Quickbooks Online) eases the burden of compliance, while improving customer buying experience, cash flow and profits. For business to business (B2B), we have the best solution.

Card Not Present Credit Card Processing Rules & Guidelines:

  1. Never store full card data on paper or digitally.  If you can retrieve it, so can a criminal. Merchants are never, ever allowed to request the security code (Visa Core rule 5.4.2.5) on paper, or via digital methods such as email or text. Paper credit card authorization forms as well as digital signature forms that can be unencrypted to view sensitive cardholder data are prohibited. We fix this problem by delivering electronic invoices and empowering customers to self-store payment methods.
  2. When first storing a credit card, perform a Zero Dollar Authorization with the correct transaction type flag. This process is managed seamlessly in the background if supported and enabled by the payment gateway.  (TIP: Some solutions perform a $1 authorization and then void the transaction- this is non-compliant.) We automate this this process in full compliance.
  3. Perform Cardholder Authentication. The two authentication options are card security code and 3-D secure, such as Verified by Visa. The latter is a global standard that requires the cardholder self-initiate payment, a more secure solution; Merchants using 3-D secure benefit by increased sale approvals, fraud liability shift to issuers, and for some cards, lower rates.
  4. When first storing a credit card, have your customer opt-in via a manual checkbox to return and cancellation policies.
    hosted online paypage

    Hosted online pay page, partial screenshot

    If your gateway does not include this option for customer initiated checkout, including paying invoices, it’s an easy way to identify your payment gateway is not compliant with new rules yet.

  5. Use a payment gateway that supports new authorization rules, including stored card pre-authorization, incremental authorization, final authorization, authorization reversal, partial authorization reversal, and credit authorization.initial authorization

Both the payment gateway provider and processor must support 3-D secure and zero dollar authorization.

Alternative Quickbooks Credit Card Processing Module- features for card not present:

  • EBPP- Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment to send invoices and accept ACH/eCheck, credit card, wire, Paypal
  • Customers self-manage payment methods
  • Unscheduled charge card on file supported
  • 3-D Secure and additional security tweaks
  • Customer portal for 24/7 invoice retrieval and payments
  • Deliver invoices via text and email
  • Automated collections reminders
  • Opt-in checkbox with custom text
  • Optional custom fields
  • Works with all the acquirers, including First Data, Paymentech, Heartland, Global Payments, Elavon, TSYS, Moneris etc.
  • Level III 3 processing supported for reduced merchant fees when applicable for purchasing, business and corporate cards.
  • Smart Rate selector optimizes transactions for lowest qualified rate

Want the best Quickbooks credit card processing plugin for your B2B business? Contact Christine Speedy today for a virtually instant ROI, maximize profits and cash flow while improving your customer buying experience. Quick and easy to adopt, you’ll wish you had found this solution sooner.

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.

Payment Services for Microsoft Dynamics

Accept debit and credit cards directly from Microsoft Dynamics AX, now Dynamics 365, and other payment types. An alternative to Microsoft Payment Services, which is end of life December 31, 2017, offers many new features and benefits, including more payment types.

Your customers don’t pay just with credit and debit cards, so why limit their options? The new alternative payment services for Microsoft Dynamics® ERP supports debit and credit cards, ACH and check, cash, wire, and Paypal, depending on the sales channel. With native integration into Dynamics AX 2012 R3, increase efficiencies without ever leaving your AX screen, while also minimizing PCI scope and burden.

FEATURES:

  • Process authorizations, payments and credits in Accounts Receivable:
    • Sales Pickup – Will call, partial order as well as full delivery
    • Journal Entry for Project
    • Free Text Invoices
    • Return Orders
    • Credits, partial credits
    • Sales Orders – Cash and carry
  • Authorize, capture, refund, reverse and more options for credit card payments with Visa, American Express, MasterCard, Discover, etc.
  • Universally compatible with your financial partners including First Data, Chase Paymentech, Moneris, Tsys, Global, and many others in USA and globally.
  • Point to Point Encryption (P2PE) all sales channels, including Virtual Encrypted Keypad for staff key-entered transactions.
  • Tokenization for ACH and credit card recurring transactions, including installment, variable installment, unscheduled stored on file and fixed recurring.
  • EMV chip and pin (yes, both!); certifications may vary by acquirer.
  • 3-D Secure Verified by Visa, MasterCard Secure Code and American Express Safekey; certifications may vary by acquirer.

BENEFITS:

  • Increase approvals and profits with 3-D Secure for card absent customer payments.
  • Increase approvals and profits with EMV for retail customer payments.
  • Increase cash flow and improve customer experience with Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment, including customer portal to view and pay invoices.
  • Tighter financial controls with all payment types and all sales channels supported in one integration, even third party shopping carts.
  • Reduced PCI Compliance burden with payments segregated from applications; Links for you to validate Level 1 PCI Compliance, QIR, Visa Global Registry etc.
  • Compliance automation, including with the plethora of new card acceptance rules related to authorization validity and stored card authorization acceptance.


Christine Speedy, CenPOS global sales and integrated solutions, 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 automates complex payment processing, creating efficiencies through innovation.

Visa and Viewpost to Accelerate Electronic Bill Payments for U.S. Businesses

Partnership to Simplify B2B Payments with Visa Virtual Credit Cards

SAN FRANCISCO & ORLANDO, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mar. 28, 2017– Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) and Viewpost®, a secure B2B network for electronic invoicing, payments and real-time cash management, today announced an exclusive partnership to bring electronic business payments to Viewpost’s small to medium-sized business clients (SMBs). By using Visa virtual commercial cards through their participating financial institutions, SMBs will increase automation, convenience and security for their B2B transactions.

Viewpost’s SMB customers will be able to benefit from Viewpost electronic payment capabilities and the use of a secure, one-time Visa virtual account number. When a virtual card payment is made through Viewpost, the supplier will receive a one-time virtual account number for posting funds to its merchant account. Viewpost will then deliver data-rich remittance information to both businesses, such as, paid invoices, the amount paid and the due date. If a supplier does not accept virtual commercial card payments, an invitation can be extended through a proprietary automation method, which makes enrollment quick and simple.

“Providing access to simple, secure working capital solutions for SMBs is a critically-important focus for our business,” said Vicky Bindra, global head of products & solutions at Visa Inc. “Our collaboration with Viewpost gives SMBs comprehensive financial management tools in a single portal – right where they bank. We are thrilled to partner with Viewpost and make our customers’ lives easier by significantly reducing time, cost and friction around payment, so they can focus on what is most important – managing and growing their businesses.”

As a trusted, open B2B network available to businesses of all sizes, Viewpost gives financial institutions the tools that enable SMBs to connect and exchange electronic invoices and payments, share transaction data and access working capital on demand with unprecedented ease and visibility. Visa’s partnership with Viewpost will help financial institutions in the U.S. bring to market a fully integrated and optimized SMB finance management solution that seamlessly integrates with their online banking site.

“We’re excited to partner with a renowned brand and payments technology leader like Visa,” said Max Eliscu, CEO at Viewpost. “This partnership accelerates our ability to address costly pain points in the multi-trillion-dollar B2B payments ecosystem1 while also, and perhaps most importantly, bringing flexibility, cost savings and simplicity of payment to the massive and underserved small business marketplace.”

“According to our 2016 Small Business Payments and Banking Survey, over two thirds of respondents indicated they preferred to pay bills through online banking tools, rather than a supplier’s website,” said Ken Paterson, vice president of research operations, Mercator Advisory Group. “The Visa/Viewpost partnership promises to offer a seamless integration for banks who are looking to enable their customers to have one centralized destination for all of their corporate payment needs.”

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead of time with prepaid or pay later with credit products.

About Viewpost

Viewpost North America is revolutionizing the way businesses transact with each other. Viewpost built the most trusted open business network to empower businesses of all sizes with real-time cash management for anytime operating decisions. On the secure Viewpost network, companies connect and exchange electronic invoices and payments with unprecedented ease and visibility, accessing working capital on demand. Enterprise clients are using Viewpost to cut costs, increase efficiency and improve cash management, including Accenture, Florida Hospital Medical Center, Georgetown University, the Orlando Magic and Whole Foods Market. With enterprise-grade security, including ISO 27001 and SSAE16 audited certifications and the TRUSTe Privacy Seal and Skyhigh CloudTrust Enterprise-Ready Rating, Viewpost is partnering with financial institutions to bring cash management tools to business customers at U.S. Bank, Bank of America and Fifth Third Bank. Viewpost innovation has been awarded Best in Show by Barlow Research, Best CISO/CSO by FireEye Cyber Defense Summit, CSO50 Award (four-time honoree) by IDG’s CSO, and Best B2B Payments Platform by Tradestreaming. Since Viewpost was opened to the public in early 2015, the total invoices presented and payments processed has reached $71.4 billion across the network. Founded in 2011, Viewpost is headquartered in the Orlando area with additional teams in Boston, Minneapolis and San Francisco.

1 Source: Accenture, https://www.accenture.com/us-en/~/media/Accenture/Conversion-Assets/DotCom/Documents/Global/PDF/Industries_5/Accenture-FS-Payment-Services-Corporate-Payments-PoV.pdf

Source: Visa Inc.