Merchants must understand interchange in order to understand why credit card processing fees can vary with the same bank issued card from one transaction to the next. The cardholders financial institution remits to the merchant financial institution (merchant processor) the transaction amount, less the interchange rate. The interchange rate may be a directly negotiated rate between the bank and the processor or it may be a default rate set by Visa, Discover or MasterCard.
When the rate is created, there are stipulations or criteria to qualify for the rates. For example, the rate applies if x, y, and z are present. But if only x and y are present charge a higher rate. If only x is present, charge even more. Here’s where merchant confusion comes in. How does a merchant know what is needed? How do they know if they qualified for the lowest rate or a higher rate? It is possible to train cashiers or order processors? Of course not!
Many merchants have been trained to make sure that level 2 data is supported, which is pretty universal today. Unfortunately, they’ve been lulled into believing this is the fix-all for getting better rates. How come so many transactions don’t qualify for commercial data rate 2? Instead, merchants hit one of the others illustrated below, commercial standard or commercial data rate 1.
This is a single excerpt of many, many pages related to commercial credit card processing. Merchants need to know there are multiple rules for all types of credit and debit card transactions, not just commercial cards.
What is enhanced data required? It depends on the card issuer and the card brand. For example, Visa commercial cards for travel & entertainment (T&E) have different requirements than other commercial cards. Do you understand why ” supporting level 2 data” is not enough?
What terminal will give you the best rate? It’s virtually impossible for a merchant to qualify for the best interchange without a system- what individual has access to all the rules, could keep up with the changes, and could train all employees to do the right thing to qualify your transactions?
- Your payment solution must dynamically identify the card issuing bank, also known as bin management. Anything else is just not realistic because you can’t depend on employees to become payment processing experts.
- The solution then must intelligently require the data needed to qualify for the best rate AND pass that data through. Incredibly, there are solutions that capture data, but do not pass it through. There are even some solutions that capture the data, but then submit their own fake data because they don’t trust your employees to not make mistakes. If you’re particularly adept at reading merchant statements, you can be lulled into believing you have great interchange qualification, however, your company is at great risk of getting caught for violating presentment rules.
- Your processor must support the receipt of the data. Not all processors can!
Rates and requirements are completely unknown to merchant employees who process transactions (cashiers) and the most educated financial staff. CenPOS proprietary technology is a private cloud, SaaS payment processing platform that AUTOMATICALLY optimizes transactions to QUALIFY for the BEST rates, saving you up to 1.05% per transaction by avoiding downgrades to non-qualified rates.