EMV TERMINAL SELECTION IMPACTS PROFITS FOR BUSINESS TO BUSINESS

What’s the most important EMV implementation criteria for business to business retail? Supporting level III data, which increases profit margins by qualifying credit card transactions for the lowest interchange rates possible. With proper terminal selection, businesses can quickly offset the cost of compliance for chip card acceptance, and protect long-term profit margins.

“The most recommended terminals in the US, including all the First Data FD series, Verifone VX series, and Ingenico iCT series terminals, do not meet critical business to business needs to protect profit margins, ” said Christine Speedy, a global CenPOS Authorized Reseller.

Interchange is the primary component of credit card processing fees, typically accounting for over 95% of fees. For business to business (B2B), including building supply and HVAC, many customers use corporate, business and purchasing cards. By qualifying these cards for level III interchange rates, B2B merchants can boost margins significantly. For example, the MasterCard interchange rate can drop from 2.65% to 1.80%, for transactions under $7500, and even more for larger transactions.

What’s needed to qualify for level III rates? The US EMV ecosystem at a minimum requires a web-based payment gateway that has certified an EMV terminal with level III processing to a specific acquirer. That’s because the extra data needed for the transaction is too cumbersome for a countertop terminal, but can be easily managed with a cloud solution. For example, CenPOS has certified the Verifone MX915 to First Data, Chase Paymentech and Tsys, the latter which enables use with most processors. Merchants can use CenPOS via a web browser virtually instantly or an integrated application.

While there is no mandate for chip card acceptance, effective October 1, the party that does not support EMV (short for Europay, MasterCard, Visa) chip card acceptance is liable for counterfeit card, and sometimes lost or stolen card transactions. Additionally, non-EMV compliance fees have already been announced by at least one provider starting January 1, 2016.

About CenPOS
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.

For global sales and integrations, contact authorized reseller Christine Speedy 954-942-0483.

 

Credit Card Processing and EMV For Business to Business

Are business to business merchants being steered to expensive EMV credit card processing solutions? Yes. Too many banks, acquirers and software companies have limited EMV terminal solutions, and none of them are the best solution for business to business (b2b) companies that have a retail component.

Critical Credit Card Processing Needs for Business to Business

  1. Level 3 processing to reduce merchant fees. level 3 interchange rates
  2. Card not present risk mitigation for key entered and online payments, including securing card data collection, and preventing fraud.
  3. Token billing to securely store card data for variable recurring billing.
  4. Flexibility to collect payments from multiple sources and multiple payment types.

Common B2B EMV terminal solutions

There are two types of terminals. The most common type has software loaded on the terminal. For example, the Verifone VX520 with Vx820 EMV & NFC pinpad.

Verifone VX520 VX805 EMV terminal

Verifone VX520 with VX805 EMV terminal

The second type requires an internet connection to a payment gateway. The gateway  manages the terminal, which is essentially a slave to the gateway.

ingenico isc250 signature capture terminal

ingenico isc250 touch signature capture terminal with EMV and NFC.

The first option above doesn’t meet any of the critical B2B needs, yet is the most common solution offered to every company, without regard to business type. The second option is capable of meeting critical B2B needs, but only if the payment gateway supports them.  The only payment gateway with EMV certified terminal and level III processing retail certification is CenPOS. 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’s secure, cloud-based solution optimizes acceptance for all payment types across multiple channels without disrupting the merchant’s banking relationships. 3D Merchant Services is an authorized CenPOS reseller.

Business to business merchants with a retail business element are advised to consult with a payments expert who offers level III processing for retail. The rest doesn’t matter if this need cannot be met, so it’s an easy way to differentiate those who are selling whatever they have to offer and those who are solving problems to make your business more profitable.

EMV handbook for merchants by Verifone

emv guide verifone merchant terminalVerifone’s EMV handbook is a comprehensive guide for both retail and card not present merchants. It’s hardware agnostic and the Question and Answer section is especially useful.

Two questions on page 17 about hardware need to be read together. To clarify the liability shift going into effect October 1, the merchant’s hardware (terminal) needs to be more than capable of processing chip card transactions.  It needs to be certified on the processor platform and EMV must be enabled on the merchant account. This is an important distinction.

There may be thousands of terminals in use technically capable of accepting chip cards, but either the terminal is not yet certified for EMV chip card transactions, or the processor has not certified the terminal to their platform.

Beware purchasing terminals that will ‘get you ready’ to be EMV compliant. Will the seller guarantee the terminal will be certified for the acquirer platform you need? For example, acquirers usually have multiple platforms but not all merchants can switch between them. With the liability shift just weeks away, merchants wanting to be EMV compliant should not wait another minute:

  • Buy only EMV certified terminals acquirer confirms can be enabled.
  • Verify firmware and or software is current before buying
  • Request an EMV TID from acquirer
  • Download file, usually required for countertop terminals
  • Install new software driver, if applicable, for virtual terminals

Christine SpeedyThanks for reading! If your business needs EMV certified terminals or Card Not Present risk mitigation solutions today, contact me at 954-942-0483 or 3Dmerchant.com/contact. I specialize in business to business and mid-market payment solutions.

EMV chip terminal for Microsoft Dynamics RMS

What are RMS user options for EMV terminals? Here’s four options for merchants to choose from while waiting for RMS integrated EMV terminal; as of August 24, 2015, there are no gateways driving US EMV certified terminals yet.

Which is best EMV terminal for RMS users to accept chip cards today?

emv smart card

EMV chip smart card.

Which option would you choose?

  1. Choose working virtual terminal and US EMV Verifone MX915 certified terminal with signature capture, hoping the gateway gets integrated into RMS later?  Or use it short term, and switch later if another option is integrated first?
  2. Choose a payment gateway that’s working on EMV certification and RMS integration with unknown ready date? hopefully will add 3-D Secure?
  3. Wait and see? The challenge is time. The closer it gets to Ocober 1, the harder it may be to procure terminals (shortages have been common all year), implement & train etc. Additionally, merchants may have stability challenges with gateways that are integrating terminals for the first time.
  4. Buy a countertop terminal with EMV certified pinpad, and use non-integrated? The units certified will vary by payment processor. This is probably the last choice, because it can never be integrated later.

Today, card issuers bear the fraud loss if they give merchants authorization to accept the payment for a counterfeit card at the point of sale. Merchants never know about this fraud because the processor/acquirer automatically manages the response. Starting October 1, this process no longer applies. If merchant doesn’t support EMV, but the card issuer does, the acquirer is liable and can immediately chargeback the merchant’s bank account via ACH. What’s the financial risk? Nobody knows, but an estimated 63% of card present fraud losses were covered by issuers in 2012.

UPDATE 2016: Contact us for Microsoft Dynamics RMS EMV certified solutions today!

PCCharge Replacement With EMV Certified Terminals

What can merchants replace PCCharge with? How would it impact your business if PCCharge suddenly stopped working? October 1, 2015 is end of life and end of support, so planning replacement is critical. Because it’s also the same date as EMV liability shift, merchants will want to update to EMV and NFC compatible solutions to optimally serve customers.

Verifone PCCharge is Windows based software program which uses an internet connection to process transactions. It’s compatible with all acquirers (credit card processors), and the ‘wedge’ card reader is the most common retail set up. magtek mini card swiperThere are no similar EMV certified card readers certified to any processor currently.  Because EMV transactions require customers to hold onto their card for the transaction, no change is anticipated.

Option one is a cloud based solution called a virtual terminal. Unlike PC software, the gateway is always up to date; merchants login to a secure web page or to integrated POS software. All virtual terminals use an internet or cloud based payment gateway.

Payment Gateways quick facts:

  • Certified to each processor
  • Certified for functionality, including card brand, transaction type, level III processing, contactless (Applepay for example) and even industry (retail, restaurant)
  • EMV requires a special certification: each credit card terminal is certified to each processor
  • Functions vary widely. Some are very much like desktop terminals but with data now web accessible, and others are intelligent platforms with a variety of merchant efficiency, security, and profit optimization benefits.

Payment gateway overview:

Each processor has their own gateway. For example, First Data Global GatewaySM  e4 or Paymentech Orbital® Payment Gateway. There’s also independent or third party gateways. For example, CenPOS or Authorize.net. Third party gateways provide flexibility to change processors at will without disrupting operations, among other benefits. For all non-integrated solutions, the payment gateway manages the consumer facing terminal.

EMV Certified Terminal Confusion:

Semantics is a big problem surrounding EMV today. The hardware is first EMV level 1 and level 2 approved. Then the hardware has to be EMV certified to work with each processor. If there’s a gateway, the gateway has to certify each terminal to each processor. Marketing messages like ‘get you EMV ready’ and ‘EMV capable’ make it very unclear which solutions merchants can actually turn on and process an EMV transaction today vs get you capable to process in the future when certifications are complete. For this reason, merchants must be very specific in asking whether they can accept EMV transactions immediately for any solution purchased.

Payment gateways with certified US EMV terminals:

verifone MX915 EMV terminal

Verifone MX915 multilane signature capture terminal

  • CenPOS: Verifone MX 915, certified First Data, certified TSYS*, Chase Paymentech. Ingenico iSC 250. This article will get outdated fast. Contact us for the latest certifications.

As of 10/29/15 there are virtually no gateways with US EMV certified terminals other than CenPOS.

* TSYS provides flexible connectivity options for all the big acquirers. By certifying to TSYS, merchants can use the certified solution with First Data, Vantiv, NPC, Paymentech, Moneris, Global, Heartland, Elavon and others.

Option two is a countertop or desktop terminal:

Verifone VX520 VX805 EMV terminal

Verifone VX520 with VX805 EMV terminal

Because the EMV transaction requires more memory than in the past, older countertop terminals cannot support EMV, even with an added pinpad. First Data has their own proprietary equipment; Verifone is one of the most popular brands for use with all acquirers, including First Data. The Ingenico iCT220 and iCT250 are also add on peripherals. Countertop terminals, and most gateways, do not support level III processing, critical for business to business merchants to lower merchant fees.

In summary, merchants can replace PCCharge with a universal payment gateway with certified EMV terminal, with a proprietary payment gateway that has certified EMV terminal, or with a countertop terminal, often with a separate EMV peripheral. It’s very important to ask any equipment supplier if they unit is certified for use today vs in the future.

WHICH IS THE BEST EMV SOLUTION TO REPLACE PCCHARGE?

  1. For business to business, there is only one solution that meets all B2B business needs: CenPOS.
  2. For multi-location retail, and big ticket  or high risk sales (electronics, auto parts), CenPOS.
  3. For mom and pop retail, the VX520
  4. For restaurant, quickstop and grocery, I don’t know, I don’t have experience in those industries.

If your business processes more than $1M annually and you need help with EMV, contact us.