B2B Credit Card Payments And EMV Technology

What’s the best EMV payment technology for business to business (B2B) merchants? Once the requirements are defined for non-EDI payments, the options are limited. Whether card not present only, or a mix of retail, phone, and ecommerce, B2B payments are different.

B2B Credit Card Payment Minimum Requirements.

  • Tokenization to store credit card, and possibly check and wire data
  • Level 3 processing (significantly reduces merchant fees through lower qualified interchange rates)
  • Payment optimization to qualify transactions properly. For example, if merchant does a pre-authorization, and captures at a later date, certain rules need to be met to avoid higher non-qualified interchange rates.
  • 24/7 payment options for customers to serve multi-time zone and increase security

EMV Terminals for B2B.

There are no desktop or countertop terminals that support level III processing, and that won’t change. These terminals are programmed with the acquirer instructions via download, and less frequently, may be connected to Point of Sale (POS) software.

To meet the minimum B2B requirements, a payment gateway is required. Merchants process transactions by accessing a virtual terminal via a secure web page, or with an integrated software solution. The gateway must certify level III processing for each card brand, and EMV, and the specific terminal, for each acquirer.

For example, CenPOS has certified the Verifone MX915 to TSYS, with P2P encryption, level III processing. Most acquirers and banks support TSYS as a way to connect to their platfor; for example, First Data, Chase Paymentech, and Bank of America Merchant Services. To date, no other gateway has certified level 3 processing for retail and EMV. The difference for distributors is huge; it’s not uncommon to reduce merchant fees an average of 30%.

Pending Certifications

Exercise caution on claims of pending certifications, if the solutions provider:

  • Doesn’t have any certifications to date, after a year or more to prepare.
  • Has never had level III processing for retail certification
  • Does not offer a way to automate interchange management in a mixed retail & card not present environment, or for card not present only

 

 

 

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.

How to activate level III processing with CenPOS payment gateway

To activate level III processing from an existing merchant account that previously did not support level III processing, this article outlines the steps.

Both the merchant account processor and CenPOS need to make an update, then merchant switches from level II to level III when ready. The process is usually completed with 1-2 business days, but can take longer.

  1. Level III Merchant Account: Either a new TID* is created, or an existing TID is updated with the appropriate flags turned on. In most cases, a new TID is created so that if there’s an error, the processor can roll back to the old TID. Contact your merchant account salesperson to begin. Depending on the provider, CenPOS boarding team may need to provide guidance on the TID setup.
  2. The processor VAR setup sheet is returned to CenPOS to add to account (boarding), along with desired go live date.
  3. CenPOS switches merchant account to new TID.
  4. Merchant activates level III processing on CenPOS. See video below.

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* TID is an abbreviation for terminal identification. Basically, the TID setup is a set of instructions; i.e. what’s allowed and how it will be communicated

3 Reasons A Desktop Credit Card Terminal Is A Poor Merchant Solution

Last week I visited multiple merchants that sell products and services  business to business, most of them whom never see their customers. They all had desktop terminals.

FD100ti

The FD100ti by First Data is a good quality retail terminal, but I wouldn’t recommend for business to business, card not present merchants.

3 Reasons A Desktop Credit Card Terminal Is A Bad Solution For Business To Business Merchants

  1. PROFITS REDUCED: It doesn’t support level III processing, critical for business to business merchants to save money on merchant fees.
  2. INCREASES RISK: It cannot store and tokenize credit card numbers for repeat billing so either card data is stored on paper forms or employees get the number over and over again, either way exposing the card number repeatedly.
  3. INEFFICIENT:  Employees have to key enter full card data every time for repeat customers; data records are limited to whomever has access to accounting software, or waits for reports to be generated and disseminated.

Tip: There are no desktop terminals that support level III processing. Merchants need a virtual terminal or integrated payment solution that supports level III processing.

Video Training: #31 How to create a template for level 3 data credit card processing

Level III processing for corporate, purchasing (p cards) and business cards can dramatically lower the cost of accepting  those types of cards. This video shows one of several ways to quickly process level III transactions.

[leadplayer_vid id=”5183EA12F09F8″]

Plus a brief mention of our technology that creates merchant efficiencies to qualify eligible purchasing, corporate, and business cards for level 3 qualified interchange rates.

* Government transactions may require line item detail, which is supported, but not explained here. The method shown is one of several, including via API.

To get level 3 processing for your merchant account or for more information about solutions to streamline payment acceptance for your business to business company with card not present customer transactions, contact us.