Phone vs text express checkout: Covid-19 customer pick up solutions

Businesses are changing the way they interact with customers to reduce both employee and customer exposure due to the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis. Accepting payment over the phone and delivering to cars is growing. However, there are risks and costs associated with this that can be avoided. A combination of text, chat, and artificial intelligence can dramatically improve customer engagement and satisfaction while driving down costs and increasing revenue. We put this all together with express pay checkout for a ready-to-go solution to transform operational efficiency and drive profitability virtually overnight.

FAST HELP NOW: Stop taking cards over the phone and start getting paid remotely with a one-way text or email. You’ll use the platform to send a simple request for payment or you can optionally upload an invoice. I just fixed your Covid-19 pay over the phone problem to instantly save you time and money, while improving security.

MANPOWER PROBLEMS: Working with fewer employees, whether to save money due to declining sales resulting from Covid-19 economics, or to adjust for family needs and illness, can lead to customer service issues. Longer hold times leads to even more phone calls, messages and emails as customers desperately search for answers. Takeaway: Studies show a 48% decrease in customer care costs with our recommended automation solutions. It takes just a few seconds to change customer status to ‘ready for pick up’, generating an automated text that will collect payment. That’s way faster than getting card data over the phone.

CREDIT CARD PROCESSING FEES: If your business traditionally accepts cards in person, then the merchant account is set up for RETAIL. When the acquirer does not receive EMV or swipe card data, the transaction is downgraded to the worst rate possible. Timing couldn’t be worse with new higher rates imminent. Small Business credit transactions failing to qualify for Custom Payment Service (CPS) will be assessed the Non-Qualified interchange rate of 3.15% + $0.20 effective April 18, 2020. That’s cost plus there are other fees on top of that. Regulated debit will still be .05% regardless of payment acceptance method. The Fix: Our recommended solution improves credit card rate qualification; merchants can qualify for lower rate using our express checkout vs over the phone, and fraud liability for ” it wasn’t me, I didn’t authorize” shifts to the issuer.

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: As time goes on, people holed up at home are bound to get more anxious and testy. Nobody likes giving their card number over the phone so now you’ve got an unhappy customer regardless of what you do. They’re on their phones texting all day, and calling to sit on hold with you is annoying. Employees often resort to using their own phone devices with no oversight, creating potential liability problems. The Fix: Converse with them the way they want and customer satisfaction is proven to soar. Use a cloud platform from any device so all data is secure and compliance is managed automatically. Our recommended solution ensures texting compliance and creates on-demand searchable records. Additionally, the one click yes or no end of service satisfaction survey enables management to instantly identify problems and address them accordingly.

HOW IT WORKS FOR MANAGEMENT OVERVIEW: Add users, assign users to roles, modify existing automated message templates (or make new ones), set up hours of business, set up alerts; users can login via computer, tablet or phone app. Add a promotion and one question survey if desired. Let the automation begin!

SECURITY AND COMPLIANCE: The last thing I’d want any business to do is have employees taking card data over the phone and then key enter it into something else. There are too many things that could go wrong. One mistake and a data breach or disgruntled employee could put you out of business. The Fix: Our recommended solutions remove employee access from cardholder data and customer self-checkout is proven to be far more secure. Compliance with the latest credit card processing rules is automated. This is not the case with all remote payment solutions, many of which have not kept up with the onslaught of new card processing rules (not the same as PCI compliance), especially for storing and using stored cards. I don’t care how big they are or how recognizable their name is, many solutions are not compliant today.

DRIVE THROUGH PICK UP: A parent pays for their kids car repair. A friend wants to pick up a pet for their elderly neighbor. No problem. During checkout, your customer can designate things like a pick up time, name of pick-up person, and even add details about the car that will be picking up.

BEST USE CASES: Veterinarians, car service, truck service, anything where something is dropped off and then needs to be picked up later. Animal hospitals can deliver instructions, photos, results etc and reduce or even eliminate phone time. Restaurants may have specialized software that meets needs so I would look there first. We focus on businesses with sales are over $1M annually.

FAQ: Can I use my same merchant account? Yes. Do you offer low cost merchant accounts? Yes, submit your statements for a comparison. How do you reduce my fees if I keep the same merchant account? Proprietary patented technology dynamically optimizes every transaction to mitigate risk and qualify for the lowest fees. What payment types are supported? Paypal, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, ACH/echeck and more. Is it HIPAA compliant? Yes. What if my customer insists on paying in person? No problem. Just mark as paid when they come in. How long does it take to get set up? Usually one business day turnaround once we receive your paperwork, though it can vary. How easy is it to use? We like both our users and customers to have an ‘Apple-like’ experience; just login an go; self-serve and assisted remote training is available. How much does it cost? We have two price plans depending on your business type. Most customers are more profitable using our system so any fees are entirely offset by credit card fee savings, labor savings, and increased revenues. How long is the contract? Month to month; if you don’t like it, just cancel. We’ve never had a customer say they didn’t like it and cancel.

GET STARTED: Christine Speedy, 954-942-0483. For a fast, free checkup on your merchant account or to implement our express checkout system, contact us today.

Covid-19 disruption will bankrupt some businesses

Sad but true. Covid-19 will drive some businesses into bankruptcy. That could never happen to 3D Merchant Services. My father raised me to avoid debt, save a lot, and work hard. I realize not everyone has the same circumstances and a lot of people will be financially hurt. I can help by reducing fees, making operations more efficient, and accelerating receivables payments.

My standard merchant services offer is wholesale pricing, passing through all costs plus a small mark up. Many customers negotiate a great deal, but pay extra fees for a variety of reasons. The most common problem? Transaction does not meet the criteria needed to qualify for the optimal interchange rate, thus they pay a penalty rate and extra fees. I fix that.

There are a lot of companies and individuals that promise to reduce fees and sometimes they do. However, I’ve never spoken to a single salesperson in this industry, outside of my associates, that knows as much as I do about the merchant and transaction rules and authorization management. As a result, their customers are never fully optimized to maximize profits. For example, I’ve had sales agents contact me about business card level 2 rate qualification. Why would you help them get level 2 and not level 3?

Even the companies that specialize in reducing fees only help with a piece of the puzzle, leaving businesses to seek out another solution in another year or two. For example, companies that take credit cards over the phone for non-retail sales, are wasting time; why would you have your high paid office manager get the credit card over the phone instead of just pushing out the invoice with click to pay or empowering customers to self-store cards and or use an online pay page. Properly done, it’s far more secure than manual handling by employees. Additionally, it can be cheaper interchange rates for self-pay vs phone order.

Avoid all the noise! Contact 3D Merchant Services for a merchant account checkup!

All the best, Christine.

PCI Security Standards Council Extension of PCI PTS POI v3 Devices

PCI Security Standards Council Bulletin: Extension of Expiration of the Approval of PCI PTS POI v3 Devices, March 10, 2020.

Due to supply-chain disruptions related to the coronavirus, the PCI Council has extended the expiration date of PIN Transaction Security Point-of-Interaction (PTS POI) v3 devices from 30 April 2020 to 30 April 2021.

For those countries and entities not impacted by the coronavirus, we strongly encourage the deployment and use of next generation solutions such as devices approved to PTS POI v4 or v5 and migrating to POI v6 devices when the standard is released later this year.

On advisement from our industry stakeholders, the Council has determined the preventive controls to stop the spread of the coronavirus will impact previously planned rollouts of POI v3 devices. While recognizing that earlier versions of POI devices may be less robust in withstanding certain of the latest generations of attacks, we do not believe that this limited one-year extension of the approval expiry date for POI v3 devices will materially impact that risk.

The PCI SSC advises merchants, financial institutions, vendors and other users of PTS POI v3 devices, specifically v3 PEDs (PIN entry devices), non-PEDs, EPPs (encrypting PIN pads), UPTs (unattended payment terminal), and SCRs (Secure Card Readers) to contact their device vendors regarding the availability of more recently approved models to use as replacements and in new deployments. Effective 30 April 2021, the affected devices will be removed from the approved POI devices list on the PCI SSC website and listed separately here

New Visa SaaS subscription rules for trial periods

Effective April 18, 2020, merchants must comply with new Visa subscription billing terms and conditions. These are, once again, big changes that merchants must take action on to comply with. The payment gateway will be critical, and not all are ready to meet the new technology requirements for authorization and receipts.

Who do the new Visa rules apply to?

  • All merchants globally
  • Merchants that offer a free or discounted introductory offer as part of a subscription service

What are key Visa SaaS subscription changes?

  • Merchants must get express consent to enter into agreement for recurring billing. For example, if an online purchase, a checkbox agreeing to the terms is acceptable.
  • Notification via text, email, or other agreed upon method (not realistic for most businesses), of the subscription terms including start date, product/service details, billing frequency, billing start date, and link to cancel.
  • Notification at least 7 days in advance of the expiration

Revised sale transaction receipts are required.

  • Details to include length of trial period, introductory offer, or promotional period, and notice the cardholder will be charged unless the cardholder takes steps to cancel.
  • Date it starts, even if no payment is due, and date subsequent recurring transactions begin.
  • A link to cancel or other simple method.

Payment Gateway and settlement changes to support new Visa Authorization is required.

Many payment gateways are not yet compliant with the October 2017 stored credential mandate and they won’t be ready with this either as it is not a simple update.

  • A new descriptor, “trial” or similar, must be sent with Merchant Name field of the Clearing Record for the first transaction at the end of a trial period. This descriptor will then appear on cardholder statements, online banking etc.

“This is another huge change that most merchants will probably have difficulty complying with because of outdated payment gateways,” according to Christine Speedy, 3D Merchant Services payment gateway expert.

Merchants must make it easier to cancel recurring billing.

This is actually an extension of rules and recommended changes over the last few years. For example, if a customer signs up online, they should be able to cancel online, not have to call on the phone. The new rule now says regardless of where they signed up, retail store or other, they must be able to cancel online.

Visa expands cardholder dispute rights for subscription billing via existing condition “Misrepresentation”.

Basically, merchants need to be able to prove that the cardholder expressly opted in, and they notified customer before processing after the trial period.

Visa will actively monitor trial period compliance.

This is huge. While they don’t state how, the advances of Artificial Intelligence (AI) make if fairly easy. Additionally, merchants that are using recurring billing properly already notify the parties in financial ecosystem that they are doing recurring billing via the 2017 recurring billing stored credential changes.

What are merchants benefits to comply with Visa rules?

Merchants can expect increased authorization approvals, better rate qualification (higher profits), and increased customer satisfaction. Merchants avoid getting shut down, fined, assessed fees, penalty fees and also reduce customer service bandwidth.

DISCLAIMER: condensed and incomplete information. Information may be quickly outdated. Follow links from our Merchant Rules web page here or click here to download Visa’s PDF with review and quick reference card. Two page PDF, 675kb.

Call Christine Speedy for compliant payment gateway solutions to maximize profits and improve your customer experience. 954-942-0483, 9-5 ET for all your recurring billing and stored credential payment gateway and virtual terminal needs.

Visa to Launch New Certification Program to Support Payment Industry Professional Development

Company will make 500 scholarships available to qualified applicants

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) today announced plans to launch a new certification program and fund up to 500 scholarships, available to qualified applicants, that can be used toward obtaining this new professional certification. Visa’s new certification program is designed to train individuals as dispute resolution professionals, a role that is currently in high demand across the payments ecosystem.

With 75 percent of HR professionals in the U.S. reporting1 a shortage of skills in candidates for job openings, there is an increased need to better align training to the types of positions that are currently available. Certificate programs offer an alternative to a traditional degree, giving candidates the opportunity to develop the skills and experiences needed for a particular job in a shorter period of time and for less cost. A Georgetown University study2 found that those who hold certificates receive a 20% wage premium over those who do not.

“Private industry has an important role to play in helping equip the workforce with the skills needed for in-demand jobs. We need employers to actively assess workforce needs, promote skills-based recruitment and hiring and commit to workers’ lifelong skills development, which is critical to economic development,” said Visa Chairman and CEO Al Kelly, who serves on the White House American Workforce Policy Advisory Board to advise on ways the public sector, private industry and educational institutions can partner to tackle the ongoing skills crisis. “At Visa, we are working to help strengthen the pipeline of qualified workers. We want to help candidates adapt to a constantly changing environment.”

This certification program builds on Visa’s longstanding commitment to cultivating a ready and able workforce. Visa is one of more than 350 companies and organizations that signed the White House Pledge to America’s workers.

—a promise to expand programs that are designed to educate, train and reskill more than 14.3 million students and workers. Specifically, over the next five years, Visa has pledged to help create enhanced career opportunities for 14,500 individuals, including through increased apprenticeships and work-based learning programs, continuing education, on-the-job training and reskilling.

Visa’s new dispute resolution professional certification program will include multiple days of training and several professional-level certification exams. Dispute resolution professionals manage payment card disputes, and they generally work for financial institutions, such as the bank that issues your credit card, or payment processors.

Training and certification programs of this type can typically cost thousands of dollars, and participants in a program of this nature are often sponsored by an employer. Visa’s scholarship program for dispute resolution professional certification is meant to help support those who may not have the means through their employer. Details for how to apply for the scholarship are anticipated to be made available in early 2020.

“We are proud to offer this new certificate and provide a pathway to employment in the payments industry,” said Karie Willyerd, Visa’s Chief Learning Officer. “This is yet another demonstration of Visa’s commitment to provide today’s workforce with 21st century skills.”

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa, visa.com/blog and @VisaNews.