Payment and Merchant Services Sales: Critical Data Security Questions

locked file stored card dataSearching for the best credit card processing rates means sharing merchant statements and other information. If you’ve made the decision to share confidential data, do you automatically trust the person you’re giving it to has data security procedures in place, or do you ask questions? Salespeople in general  frequently work remotely from home offices, and the payments industry is no different. Sales training may be minimal. I would venture to guess that salesperson security compliance is on par with merchant PCI Compliance: data protection attempts are made, but are often incomplete.

A critical data security question for your sales contact is, “if I send you confidential data, can you explain your digital and paper file disposal policy?”

There’s only one answer for paper. The files must be cross cut shredded.

For electronic files, deleting them via default recycle bin (PC) or trash (Mac) is not enough. The files must be securely trashed. If files were deleted by accident via regular trash, the user needs to use secondary steps to securely erase files.

A salesperson who understands document security is far more likely to be in a position to help your business with other matters ranging from PCI Compliance to the best credit card processing rates.



Mobile payments for professional sports

If one thing is certain, it’s the uncertainty of what the mobile payment space will look like five years from today. Professional sports organizations seeking new payment technology, while improving PCI Compliance (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards), need to consider whether the company they partner with will still be around in the future.

I recall back in the mid-90’s, working as a trailblazer bringing professional sports and related parties onto the internet. So many companies came and went. Yahoo, DoubleClick and Real are still in business. About a thousand other hot companies have long since disappeared.  Similarly the entire payment industry is going through a transformation, with hundreds of companies vying for a position in mobile payments or some other slice of the payment pie. Even big Google Wallet couldn’t generate a dominant marketshare. It’s a safe bet that 90% of them will fail, and some of them already have.

A little history might help breen caution. For over a decade, ISO’s, or Independent Service Organizations, grew dramatically. Instead of obtaining a merchant account from one of a few options via the big banks, businesses could buy the same product, or nearly the same product,  from an ISO, but often with lower mark-ups over interchange fees. As the economy grew in the last decade, a large number of companies borrowed against their residual earnings. When the economy tanked, businesses went under, and many businesses were over leveraged. There is a contraction underway in the ISO industry. The mobile payments space doesn’t typically have the revenue stream, and instead often relies on angel investing. A contraction will come for them as well.

What does an ideal mobile payment solution look like? The equipment makers and others pounded the drums for NFC, but to date, it’s made little movement. Ideally, both the consumer and merchante will benefit from any new payment solution. It needs to create efficiencies, and improve security.

CenPOS is a fast growing payment technology network that streamlines the payment experience for merchants and consumers alike. It has several advantages over other solutions:

  1. CenPOS is non-disruptive to operations. It routes transactions to existing financial partners, including credit card and check processors.
  2. CenPOS supports multiple channels. Kiosk, mobile, retail POS, ecommerce and more.
  3. CenPOS reduces PCI burden.
  4. CenPOS is scalable and flexible.
  5. Integration options vary widely by need.
  6. CenPOS started years ago as a company to create efficiencies for consumers and merchants. The others are playing catch up.

iphone mobile payments screen shot

When all the facts are considered, CenPOS is the most robust solution on the market today, and with continual innovation, markets will drive future enhancements.

About CenPOS: CenPOS is an innovative payment processing network that streamlines the payment experience for both merchants and customers. It’s multi-channel support and SaaS model, has catapulted a shift in payment technology adoption in a variety of industries. CenPOS is fast, easy to use, and requires no capital investment to implement. For CenPOS sales call Christine at 954-942-0483 or click here for more information.


MasterCard interchange rates and criteria update April 2012

MasterCard updated their merchant interchange rates and fees portion of their web site. It’s a useful for all merchants. The missing link to all this data however  is a clear identification of which transactions are qualified and which ones are not.  For example, if a merchant is on Interchange plus pricing, it lists all the interchange rates the merchant paid. But it doesn’t indicate which ones are qualified and which ones downgraded to a higher rate. Some processors provide this information, with a section call ‘non-qualified’ transactions, however, the software frequently shows transactions as non-qualified that truly are the best qualified rate that a merchant can receive.

As a merchant I would want to know which rates are the best possible for a given card type at a glance. Why should a merchant have to hunt through hundreds of pages to figure it out? Interchange is not getting less complicated. Our team offers merchants an automated solution to qualify transactions for the best interchanges rates. Contact us for details.

3D Merchant maintains a list and links of all official interchange rates here.