Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Card Solutions get national attention- Showing ID's with credit card use

Can retailers ask for ID with your credit card? Card issuer rules vary, as do state laws By Sonya Stinson "May I see your ID, please?" You may never give a second thought to a store clerk's request for identification when you pay with a credit card. But as long as you have signed your card, you may not be required to show that ID to make a purchase. The question of whether it's a good idea to present an ID sparks plenty of debate between those who see it as a deterrent against fraud and those who think it creates an unnecessary privacy risk. Networks hold the cards While some states have laws barring a cashier from writing down your ID information, the card networks -- Visa, MasterCard and the like -- have the most say in whether merchants can even ask for identification. The agreements merchants sign when they decide to accept cards from those networks include rules that govern card verification procedures. Can retailers ask for ID with your credit card? All the networks allow a merchant to ask for identification. MasterCard and Visa, however, explicitly prohibit retailers from requiring an ID to accept a properly signed card. "They can ask for that ID, but you can refuse to show the ID and they still must accept the card," says Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy at the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit that advocates for consumer privacy rights. On the other hand, Visa and MasterCard rules prohibit the acceptance of unsigned cards. If you present one, the merchant must ask you to sign the card and supply an ID. Visa guidelines specify that it must be an official government ID. Discover's policies are more intrusive. They state that a store employee who has doubts about the validity of a card should "request and review additional identification" from the customer. And for an unsigned card, the company requires two pieces of identification, including one government-issued photo ID. American Express is more vague. It requires merchants to "verify that the customer is the card member," but its rules make no direct mention of requiring an ID. "American Express doesn't really have a policy on it," says Linda Sherry, director of national priorities for Consumer Action. "If the merchant wants to ask for an ID, that's fine." Shop clerks don't always comply Stephens says many store owners aren't aware of card issuer restrictions on requiring an ID, and set store policies that violate the rules. In other cases, employees may unwittingly break their own store's own policy by requesting an ID, out of fear of having an unauthorized transaction slip by. Retailer location can make a difference, too. Stephens recalls a personal experience when a store's ID policy seemed to be applied in a discriminatory way. "It was a supermarket chain in the San Diego area, and when I shopped in a more affluent area I was never asked for an ID," Stephens says. "One time I went to one of the chain stores in an area that was socioeconomically lower than the neighborhood that I typically shopped in -- it was a rather small purchase -- and I was asked to show ID." Intentions are good The whole idea behind checking a cardholder's identification is to prevent the use of stolen credit cards. Some payment processing consultants advise their clients to check IDs with that thought in mind. Donna Broder, vice president and agent at Card Solutions International in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., says it behooves retailers to take extra steps to protect themselves against the financial risk of a fraudulent purchase and subsequent charge-back. "Once it goes into a charge-back ... the merchant's going to lose, because they accepted a stolen card and didn't do their due diligence," Broder says. Some people are offended by [being asked for an ID]. I'm not. They're protecting you, the cardholder, as much as they're protecting themselves. -- Donna Broder Card Solutions International Broder gives the example of a client with a chain of mall T-shirt shops who was getting hit with numerous charge-backs because of stolen credit cards and card numbers. After the employees became more consistent about checking IDs, along with signatures and holograms on customer credit cards, the number of charge-backs declined, she says. "Some people are offended by [being asked for an ID]. I'm not," Broder says. "They're protecting you, the cardholder, as much as they're protecting themselves." Protecting personal information While many shoppers don't mind showing their IDs, they may have concerns that their privacy will be at risk if the personal information on those IDs gets into the wrong hands. "I think people are nervous that this information will be recorded and that an employee will find it and use it for fraud or ID theft," Sherry says. "If you look at someone's license, you're going to know their date of birth, their address. Then you look at their credit card and you not only have the credit card number, but you have the secret code on the back, so you could steal their identity or actually buy something with the credit card." I think people are nervous that this information will be recorded and that an employee will find it and use it for fraud or ID theft. -- Linda Sherry Consumer Action Stephens says customers paying with Visa or MasterCard who want to protect their personal information can reasonably push back if a store clerk asks for an ID. "There are various reasons why they may not want to give out that information, and certainly they are within their rights to refuse to do so," Stephens says. "The only exception would be, after the card was run through the system, if there were some sort of flag that came back to indicate that the card had been reported stolen or there was something suspicious about the transaction." Though Broder strongly advocates checking IDs, she says there's no need for store clerks to record the information. "If the employer wants to know that an employee is following their strict rules for accepting credit cards, all they have to ask them to do is put a symbol on the [receipt] indicating they verified ID," she says. Visa's guidelines state that, when validating an unsigned card, merchants should write a customer's ID serial number and expiration date on the sales receipt "where permissible by law," while MasterCard rules say not to record information from the cardholder's ID. More than a dozen states have laws restricting the recording of personal information during credit card transactions. California led the way with the passage of the Song-Beverly Act of 1971. In one test of the law, the Californa Supreme Court ruled that asking for a ZIP code is personally identifiable information, so merchants that do so as part of their marketing efforts risk fines under the state law. That law andothers like it don't prohibit merchants from checking IDs. But "the minute you record that information, either by writing it down or entering it into an electronic system, at that point you most likely have broken the law," Stephens says. See related: Have I fallen prey to identity theft?, How to clear credit of fraudulent card account, 10 things you should know about identity theft Published: December 2, 2013 Read more: http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/can-retailers-ask-id-with-credit_card-1282.php#ixzz2pkIUmYR3 Follow us: @CreditCardsCom on Twitter | CreditCards.com on Facebook Compare credit cards here - CreditCards.com

Monday, November 4, 2013

Are You Aware of Risks in Merchant Accounts ?

Most merchants are not aware of the risk and liability involved in accepting credit cards as a form of payment. Oh….not the risk and liability on the part of the MERCHANT, but the risk and liability on the part of the processor and underwriting banks. A business owner can’t understand why a specific transaction can suddenly be suspended and/or not funded within normal processing times. Most of the time funding is held because a specific transaction is outside of the normal processing guidelines set by the processor, outside of the usual processing habits of a specific merchant, outside the usual practices of a specific cardholder, and/or not within the processing guidelines of a card issuing bank. Now THIS is when, who you process with, makes a HUGE difference. If you’ve obtained your own merchant account through normal application processes, AND you know who your agent and processor are, you will be contacted about the transaction in question. With a legitimate processor, you will have a human being to speak to via a phone or many times in person. You will have an advocate to work on your behalf to answer all of the questions the underwriters or banks may have; to get any required backup documentation, and get the funds released as timely as possible. This process could take 1 -14 days to resolve. Merchants who are gravitating to the large conglomerates who have decided to call themselves processors, will find it very easy to sign up for the ability to process; often without any application or cost involved. Sounds great doesn’t it? Well, it possibly is until the first time your equipment doesn’t work or your funds are held because of a possible risk to the processor, underwriting bank, or issuing bank. First, the merchant will usually NOT be notified of the fund holding. A merchant will eventually realize their funding is too low and can’t figure out why. They have no manager or agent on their account so they can only try to contact the processor. If you’re processing with a company such as The Square, you will find they have no customer service department so you can’t call to find out what happened to your money. You can email or Tweet, but your wait time for each response is 24-72 hours. You are also not brought in as part of the resolution to the issue; you are told to wait until they can research the transaction in question. If you process with a company such as PayPal, you will be able to call in and speak to a different hourly customer service rep each time you look for answers. Again, they won’t know much, won’t act as your advocate, and will tell you to wait until they have researched the transaction. This process with the FREE programs such as the Square and PayPal can take from 30-180 days to be resolved ! When choosing who you entrust your company’s credit card processing to, always do your homework. FREE should never be a reason to do business with a company. Understand what you’re getting into. Know who you are working with. Make sure you can contact your processing manager and/or processor when YOU need them. Always confirm that you have multiple means of contact; always including phone contact. Question the processor so you understand how they maintain their risk and liability and how it will affect your company’s money flow. If a salesperson ever says it can never happen with their merchant account, RUN!!! It can always happen with every merchant account. The difference is who works for you, what your options are, and how long their process will take. A good processor will educate you on your risk control to minimize any delay in funding of your transactions. If you don’t receive that education, then you’re with the wrong processor.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Don't Pay Early Termination Fees

Whenever you sign any contract, make sure you read it first and/or have a lawyer review it for you. Many, if not most merchant services salespeople require you to sign a contract which includes an "Early Termination Fee". When we speak to business owners, the majority of them never realized that they signed a term of contract. It can often be very expensive to switch processors. Why do processors lock merchants into long term contracts? Often times it's very legitimate. If the processor has invested money into your business by providing proprietary software, helps create a unique POS System to better fit your business needs, or if they place a terminal (at their expense) free for your use, an ETF (early termination fee) is very legitimate. It will enable the processor to recoup their initial investment in your business. But many salespeople lock you into a contract for their own financial gain or just because they can. What does a merchant gain from signing a long term contract? Usually not much. A processor has no obligation to give a merchant the service they deserve or help when there are issues with their processing. The processor often stands to make more money off of the ETF than continued processing fees. Be careful when signing any merchant services contract. Unless the processor has invested in your business, DO NOT sign any length of contract. Make them earn your business. At Card Solutions Int'l, we don't require any term of contract. You are free to leave with 30 days notice....But you won't want to. Why? Try us…you’ll like us!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Don't be a Fringe Business

Merchant: "I'm not doing much business. Not ready for credit cards yet." Me: "Hmmmm....Maybe if you allow your customers to buy your products and services the way THEY can afford to, you would be doing business!!!"
 Did you know that accepting credit cards actually MAKES you money?
Don't be a fringe business with no clients!
We can show you how to accept credit/debit cards by recouping your fees!

Call us: 800-530-2440

Monday, June 3, 2013

Validating ship to and billing addresses online

                                     Validated Addresses (AVS)

Some online stores require that the credit card a customer uses MUST match the issuing bank’s billing address on file in order for the sale to be approved.

So….Here's another fact few people don’t seem to know:

You can have more than one valid address on a credit card. You can call your issuer and have them add your summer location and even your cousin's house so the address will validate. You can add a permanent second address or even a temporary one. So if you are going away for the summer, you can add your summer address and make it valid only while you are there.

Each issuing bank has its own policy concerning additional addresses on debit/credit cards so check with them first!

Friday, May 31, 2013

"Where eCommerce begins"

Who is operating an ecommerce website?
Have you been trained on how to use proper fraud protection?
Did your agent teach you AVS and CVV blockage and proper use?
Would you know what to do if a thief used your site to test stolen card numbers?
Who would you call?
Oh...sorry that you don't know the name of your personal processing agent to call.

Don't get into a dangerous position where fraud costs you unnecessary expenses. With Card Solutions Int'l, you receive 17 plus years of ecommerce experience with personal agents who actually care about your business.

If you are operating or thinking of operating a business website, contact Card Solutions Int'l for all of your credit card processing needs. Ecommerce with a personal touch.

There is a difference among processors....WE ARE the difference

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Good News for all Business Owners

Good news for all business owners. Our government listened and 2 Republican Representative, 1 Republican Senator, and 1 Democaratic Senator introduced legislation that would prohibit the IRS from requiring merchant transaction reconciliation. "Under pressure from retailers and Congress, the Internal Revenue Service confirmed on 2/9/12 it will NOT require merchants to reconcile actual gross transaction receipts reported on their 1099K forms with the aggregate gross receipts they report on their taxes". Senator Thune from South Dakota is quoted as saying: The overreaching and unnecessary 1099K tax reporting requirement will create a paperwork nightmare for small businesses already struggling in a weak economy." The National Federation of Independent Businesses stated: "This is a small, but important victory for small business, and we appreciate the IRS working to alleviate the concerns of small-business owners on this issue. " Great news for businesses and our industry!!!!