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Mobile Phones and PCI Security

This PDF describes what end-to-end encryption for mobile devices.  

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We knew it wouldn’t be long before we saw the industry squirm around the Durbin Amendment that gave Merchants a break on Credit/Debit cards from the Big Banks.   On April 1, 2012 the bank card networks introduced new fees that will almost certainly be universally passed on to Merchants.

New MasterCard Fees

New Fees Alert

MasterCard Inc. is adding two new network fees and is expected to introduce a new debit interchange rate in the controversial small-ticket sector.

New Visa  Fees

The most significant fee is Visa Inc.’s new Fixed Acquirer Network Fee (FANF).   Merchants won’t actually be affected until July. The FANF is a monthly fee that will affect all merchants, but, will be collected quarterly.

These new fees are different than interchange in that they are booked as Visa’s own revenue instead of being paid to card issuers (Banks), like interchange.

Like everything else in Merchant Services, FANF is confusing and complicated so I’ll try to break it down to bite-sized pieces. The MCC  (VISA Merchant Category Classification Code) you are designated by plays a role in the amount of the FANF charged each month.

The main factor in determining the amount of the FANF is whether a business processes the majority of its transactions in a card present or card not present environment.

For card present businesses like retailers

The amount of the Fixed Acquirer Network Fee for card present businesses will be based on the number of locations.  Businesses with one location will be charged $2 – $2.90 a month, up to $85 a month for businesses with 4,000 or more locations.  Again, this will show up quarterly on your statement.

For card not present businesses like e-commerce operations

For card-not-present merchants, Third Party Merchant Aggregators1, and fast-food restaurants, the monthly fee will be assessed based on Visa volume and range from $2 for sales of $50 or less up to $40,000 for merchants with more than $400 million in gross sales. The fee table in this category reportedly has at least 16 tiers.

E-Commerce will be hit harder

A card-not-present business processing between $8,000 and $39,999 will be hit with a Fixed Acquirer Network Fee of $15 a month opposed to just $2 for a card present business with similar volume and one location.  (Remember, more locations, though means more fees.)


Visa will waive the FANF for charitable organizations classified under merchant category code 8398. Exactly how the fee will be waived isn’t quite clear at the moment, but early indications are that Visa will charge the FANF and then provide a rebate at a later date.

1Third party payments aggregation (TPPA) is a description used for merchants that are selling a product or service that they do not own. The best example of a TPPA (aggregator) is PayPal. They simply facilitate the exchange of money between two parties.

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 Not all of Credit Card Merchant Services Reps are crooks.

Those Merchant Services Reps knocking on your door likely fall into one of three categories:

  • An experienced rep that wants to do the right thing and may or may not have the company to facilitate that.
  • A new rep, who desperately needs to not be thrown out the door – if for no other reason than to give hope that someone will at least listen. (High failure rate because we don’t make as much as you think we do.)
  • The crooks. (Yes, they do exist.)

So how do you tell the difference?

Signs of a good Rep.

  • Do they look you in the eye? Watch their body language. How do you feel with them?
  • Do they listen to your needs first before selling you a solution?
  • Do they explain why you are paying what you are paying and how they can help?
  • Do they focus on customer service and price?
  • Do they let you review the contract before signing it?
  • Do they push leasing equipment? (I hope not.) Do they offer it for special circumstance? (I hope so.)
  • Do they openly discuss ALL fees.
  • Do they want to put you on Tiered pricing or do they talk about Interchange Plus? (Go Interchange.)
  • Do they encourage you to monitor your statements? (They should.)
  • Do they follow up with you and offer reviews or do they disappear after the sale? May not be a crook, but you may want to at least get an annual review from someone to make sure you have a good deal.

How to spot a crooked Rep.

  • Do they tell you can get you one great rate? (Don’t let door hit them on the way out.)
  • Do they give you time to review the contract or pressure you to sign on the dotted line.
  • Does it sound too good to be true? Does that spidey sense go up? Ask for references you can call.
  • Do you like them? Again, your intuition will tell you a lot.
  • Do they avoid the discussion on fees?
  • Do they try to push the purchase of expensive equipment, or worse “Help you” by pushing a Lease.

One final note…

When someone walks in your door, give the benefit of the doubt. Unless you have established that you have a great deal, they may be able to save you money. If you know you have a great deal and you are happy with who you work with. Just tell them that you have verified you have a great deal with others and that you are happy with your provider.

Remember that they are more than likely not a crook. They are trying to earn a living and put food on their table and they are doing that by trying to save you money.

Even if you are in a contract, if you don’t know if you have a good rate. If you’ve never had contact after your sale from your rep, you owe it to your bottom line to pick one that you jive with and let them have a few minutes and see if they may be a good fit. Do this even if you are under a contract. You never know. They may just save you enough money in the first few months to pay for getting out of it. Then money returned to you.

After all, it’s not what you get, it’s what you net!

Lynda Colter-Bergh  970-235-0064   lynda@myCCMS.net

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I keep hearing how great Intuit rates are from people I network with here along the front range of Colorado in Fort Collins, Loveland, and Greeley.  So, I thought there was something I must be missing.  Nope.  But I can see now why it appears that they have such great rates.

Intuit Online Pricing

Intuit Online Pricing

That doesn’t look so bad at first glance.  But, as Paul Harvey would say, “and now, for the rest of the story.”

Intuit Pricing details

Intuit Pricing - the rest of the story...

(You can click on the picture for a larger image).

So Here’s the rest of the story…translated.

You will only receive the 1.90% plus .30 transaction fee if you buy and use the $69 card reader that would be connected to you PC and IF the card is a “Qualified” card.

If you take an order over the phone, then the rate is 2.93% plus .30 transaction fee IF the card is a “Qualfied” card.

For any “Non-Qualified” cards, you will be charged 3.91% plus .30 transaction fee if you do not buy their reader and swipe the cards.

“Qualfied” cards are defined by them as the BEST interchange program, which means that the majority of the cards fall into the “Non-Qualified” realm.

So now you know the rest of the story.

When you get the right processor, who is looking out for your best interests, you can not only will have better pricing, but more options to meet your business needs.

If you want to know your options, please give me a call or drop me a line.

Lynda Colter-Bergh



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