Dealership Post-Acquisition Standardization Cash Flow & Profits

Car, truck, and ag equipment dealership acquisitions by mega dealers are on a torrid pace. Cash-flow and profits are directly linked to standardization among locales. The right payment processing technology creates instant receivables financial transparency at headquarters regardless of varying dealer management software. heavy duty equipment credit card processingCloud-based payment processing is critical to financial transparency. For example, credit card processing terminals batched out individually means management has to wait for reports. A cloud solution, including payment gateway, can provide real-time insights by dealer location or any other number of data points.

Key payment gateway differences for dealership evaluation:

  • Real-time dashboard with drill down vs export reports to view (additional payment types not shown)dashboard net sales payment gateway report
  • Compliance with complex rules for rentals, preauthorizations, retail and card not present. How many merchant accounts needed to comply?
  • Compliance with Visa October 2017 stored credentials mandates
  • Level 3 processing capabilities for commercial cards
  • EMV chip or EMV chip and pin
  • Push payment requests (collect remote payments before delivery) via text or email
  • Cardholder authentication (3-D Secure) for remote payments
  • Payment methods supported: cash, check, wire, credit card and other methods vs just credit cards provides significantly tighter controls and data insights

Dealers hesitant to replace desktop EMV chip terminals due to prior investments should bite the bullet. Better solutions to improve customer experience and back office efficiency will reduce ROI time for acquisitions.

ABOUT: Christine Speedy is a payment processing expert with deep experience in the multi-department needs of dealerships. Solutions empower CFO’s to achieve common customer satisfaction goals with tight financial controls, risk mitigation, and reduced PCI Compliance burden. Need standardization help? Call 954-942-0483 to learn more about solutions for your business that are quick and easy to adopt, increasing efficiency and growing profits virtually overnight.


myKaarma & Creditcall team up to accelerate EMV chip card adoption for car dealerships

Car dealers can now simply switch to EMV, providing their customers the most secure payment solution while benefiting from reduced PCI DSS scope.

NEW YORK, NEW ORLEANS, NADA100 (Booth #5501), January 27, 2017 – Creditcall, the omni-channel Payment Gateway and EMV Kernel provider, today announced that it now supports myKaarma, the cloud-based conversational commerce software that’s revolutionizing the auto service industry. myKaarma can now quickly and easily add EMV chip card acceptance to its dealership app by using the Creditcall payment SDK – ChipDNA – which is pre-certified with First Data, one of the leading U.S. processors and the Ingenico Group’s iPP 350 smart payment terminal. More processors and payment terminals will be added in the following months.

myKaarma enhances the retail experience for service departments of car dealerships. The myKaarma app gives the dealership the ability to offer the latest customer engagement technologies such as digital conversations (text, email, voice) and smart payment systems for online and mobile point of sale (POS) with auto-reconciliation, all in one application that seamlessly integrates with the dealerships’ current dealer management system (DMS).

ChipDNA is an omni-channel, EMV-ready payment gateway solution for mobile, online, in-store and self-service card payment acceptance. It is aimed at software developers and can be integrated into Android and iOS based mobile POS (mPOS) payment solutions as well as Windows and Linux semi-integrated environments. It includes a comprehensive terminal management system (TMS), remote key injection (RKI) and point to point encryption (P2PE) for the highest level of cardholder data protection. Developers can choose from 38 different device manufacturer and processor combinations which reduces integration time and resources without the need for complex and lengthy processor certifications.

“We wanted a partner who already had years of EMV experience and a proven solution, knowing if we had any bumps along the way”

– Ujj Nath, CEO at myKaarma

“We wanted a partner who already had years of EMV experience and a proven solution, knowing if we had any bumps along the way, our partner will be able to support us and meet our needs in a timely manner” said Ujj Nath, CEO at myKaarma. “By leveraging ChipDNA, we were able to spend more time making our software even more valuable to our customers, rather than spending time trying to navigate the complex requirements of EMV”.

“Many developers and merchants still assume that replacing an old swipe card reader with an EMV chip card reader equals EMV compliance” says Jeremy Gumbley, CTO at Creditcall. “The reality is that true EMV compliance requires upgrading the entire payment infrastructure, involving several parties and complex moving parts. Once completed, there is still an ongoing requirement for maintenance and updates to remain compliant. We are proud to offer ChipDNA, which allows software developers like myKaarma to avoid the majority of headaches and address EMV with one simple, fast and future-proof integration” Gumbley continues.

About MyKaarma

myKaarma is a conversational commerce software company for automotive dealerships that focuses on enhancing the retail service department experience. myKaarma’s platform gives dealers the ability to offer their customers 21st Century technology through digital conversations and smart payment systems. myKaarma was named as an official communications and payments partner for Mercedes-Benz USA.

About Creditcall

Creditcall provides the tools to enable secure payment acceptance in-store, self-service, online or mobile. From retail and hospitality, to parking, vending, transportation or charity applications, Creditcall’s omni-channel Payment Gateway and EMV Kernels are at the very heart of its partners’ businesses, enabling them to focus on what they do best.

Creditcall is an EMVCo Business and Technical Associate, a PCI SSC Participating Organization, a Mastercard accredited MEPSA company and member of the U.S. Payments Forum with offices in Bristol, UK and New York, USA.

Steps to Reduce Credit Card Fraud For Distribution Industry

dealer fraud credit card processingCredit card fraud is still rampant in the US, even after US EMV liability shift convinced many merchants to purchase terminals to support chip cards. Marine, auto, and other high value parts dealers have long had a problem mitigating fraud risk with local and international parts.

  1. For card not present orders, require self-pay with cardholder authentication. Taking cards over the phone, and or requiring a credit card authorization form, will not protect against all forms of counterfeit card fraud. However, consumer authentication shifts liability back to the issuer; the issuer guarantees payment, and because it’s lower risk, dealers can qualify for lower interchange rates, the bulk of merchant fees. Online payment, ecommerce payment, and electronic bill presentment and payment are the 3 methods dealers can use to enable self-payment.
  2. For retail orders, EMV is mandatory. Not by regulation, but by necessity. If a chip card is presented, and merchant supports, they’re 100% protected from counterfeit card fraud, and sometimes lost or stolen cards; if not supported by the merchant, the merchant can be automatically charged back at the issuers discretion and there’s no dispute process for merchants.
  3. Check guarantee. Whether in person or via echeck, check guarantee services are only good if they don’t reject your checks later on. Surprisingly (or maybe not), some services seem to look for ways not to approve your claim, such as information is missing from checks. This can be avoided with technology that forces users to collect the right data, including for remote self-payers.

If all of the above are implemented, dealers are protected from virtually any type of credit card fraud. The following tips will help prevent other types of lost disputes, or serve as supporting documentation if not all the above are implemented.

  1. Get a signed sales order. This can reduce non-fraud claims related to disputes about what was expected. The sales order should clearly state what was sold, refund policy, and cancellation policy, or refer to another document that specifies the information, but is initialed acceptance on the sales order.
  2. Ship to cardholder billing address. If not possible, then get cardholder approval that states bill to and ship to address are different, and they’re approval.
  3. Require all communications to cardholder business email address if selling wholesale. Free email like gmail is not OK.
  4. Require cardholder respond from business email address approving transaction receipt. This is a strong document in the case of a dispute for “I didn’t approve it”, especially when a third party is picking up the part from the dealer.
  5. The marine, automotive and other distribution companies are hit particularly hard with non-qualified transaction penalties when shifting between retail, key entered, and online payments. It’s critical that transactions are presented properly not only to qualify for lower rates, but to protect against lost disputes that require specific evidence for each type of transaction.

Not related to security, but critical for interchange rate qualification, the bulk of credit card processing fees, all services (retail, MOTO, ecommerce) should support level III processing.

In summary, dealers need US EMV and cardholder authentication to maximize risk mitigation from credit card fraud. US EMV requires terminal certification, and gateway certification* to your merchant account provider. Cardholder authentication requires a payment gateway certified for the service.  There are very few companies that meet all these requirements so if your credit card processing salesperson gives you a blank stare when you ask, it’s time to explore other options.

*A payment gateway certified for level III retail to your acquirer is required; countertop terminals are incapable of sending level III data.

Get loads of automotive dealer reviews online- and boost your organic SEO

Who doesn’t research both product and business online before making a big purchase these days? Mentions of your business name, as well as links to your dealer web site, will increase your search rankings, without costing a penny for online ads. Customers tend to write reviews when they are unhappy, more often than when they are happy. To boost your online influence, it’s critical to get more reviews.

Here’s tips to get MORE dealer reviews:

  1. Before the customer leaves, hand over a mobile device that is bookmarked to the review site you want to influence that week. Ask if they’ll write something quick before they leave. Make it easy!
  2. If you provide computers in the lounge, add review sites to the bookmarks menu bar. Put a lucite stand asking them to write a review. Offer a sample text. People are more likely to write a glowing review when you give them ideas.
  3. Get their email address at checkout and send an automated email with link to the desired review site(s) on a specified schedule.
  4. Send a postcard in the mail the next day.
  5. Have service advisors hand over a custom postcard with a request to write a review. If not customized for each advisor, then provide a Stamper (they’re only $10) or labels the service advisor can put on them. Employees are more likely to encourage using them when there is a chance to promote themselves too.
  6. Add a dealer review section on your own web site. Either collect reviews online, or post a feed of reviews from other sites.

Wow them with service!  What are you doing to differentiate your dealer from other choices? Here’s a few ways dealers can use technology to improve the customer experience after a sale is made:

  1. SERVICE: Text or email when car is ready for pick-up. Include a way to instantly pay so when the customer arrives they only need to pick up their keys.
  2. SALES: Encourage customers to reserve a car by making a secure deposit from wherever they are.
  3. PARTS:  Make it easy for wholesale accounts to buy parts. This includes offering the ability to view and pay open invoices online, securely storing and managing credit cards on file, and sending a request for payment for an immediate sale.
  4. ALL DEPARTMENTS: Don’t send customers to a cashier line. Waiting opens opportunity for negativity. Enable customers to pay bills in every department.

Is your dealer missing the technology mentioned in this article? Over 1,200 dealers are using our innovative payment technology to improve their customers’ experience. Call Christine Speedy at 954-942-0483 for more information.

You know your Dealer DMS is out of touch when…

Wow. I just had an interesting call with a DMS that’s mission is to offer a fully integrated, state-of-the-art computer system for auto dealers, with total access to their entire dealership picture, and to be their ‘sole source’ solution. I know one of their customers is looking for another DMS because of the lack of integrations and open connections to other products- and I told them so.

This DMS has an accounting module, but no integrated payment solution. They tell customers to use whatever they have. Is that a ‘single source’ solution? Unless a customer calls and asks for it, they’re not going even consider integrating anything, and even then, it may never happen. They don’t even want to talk about it. I know people are busy, but that did not seem to be the case here.

Wake up! Customers change DMS vendors without calling you to tell you why. How does yours DMS compare to the marketplace? Cheaper is not better.  Have you asked different departments what their needs are? Have you been to a major dealer show lately? Dealers are moving on to mobile payments, and you haven’t even integrated a basic retail solution? Innovate now or attrition may put you out of business.

Sure this person could have been giving me the brush off. She doesn’t have to believe a word about how dealer after dealer is adding our innovative technology to improve EBITDA. In fact, we’ve grown like wildfire without any DMS integrations at all. Why even have a conversation then? Because that’s about to change and small businesses are good for our economy so I don’t want them to be left out. DMS providers will need us to keep up or attrition will kill them.

The wise DMS asks probing questions about why dealers want our SaaS payment technology. The wise DMS wants to know where we’re headed. The wise DMS asks for more information because they want to keep up with innovative tools their dealers are using- whether they’re integrated or not.

If your DMS tells you to use third party software, ask them what their thoughts are for integrating that product for the future. Ask them what trade shows they’ll be attending or exhibiting at in the future. What is missing from your DMS? What is their plan to address that? What innovations have they rolled out in the last 12 months? What is their roadmap for future innovations? Are you two aligned?

Want to know what we’ve done in the last 12 months? Or what’s coming down the pipe? We regularly launch substantial improvements. For example, we recently launched:

  • Roles-based permissions for using the platform. Create unlimited roles and assign all users to that role. When new features are added, update an entire group of user permissions with one click.
  • Level 3 data for retail and card not present.  This feature saves merchants .70 to .85% on certain MasterCard corporate cards, and varying amounts for other brands.
  • Flat rate e-invoice. Parts departments can send unlimited invoices via text or email for instant payment, with buyers simply picking up on arrival. Service advisors invoice collect electronic payments for customers who need to pick up after hours.
  • Customer portal for e-invoices. Especially convenient for commercial accounts, customers can store both ACH and credit card info, update payment methods, pay invoices, and download past invoices on demand.

When dealers ask for something new, if it makes sense for other dealers too, we’re fast to respond. After 4 years of listening and updates, it’s pretty darn good!

To learn more about what we can offer dealers today, and what’s coming down the pipe, call Christine.