Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses

Working with a local business is not only helping the members of your community but more importantly, helping yourself. It is very frustrating to call an 800 number and then sit on hold to wait to talk to a representative when you have an issue with your merchant services. If you have a large business and your service goes down, it can take hours to get through to a large retailer…and even longer to get maintenance to come out. Local businesses have someone to answer the phones at all times and help you with your needs immediately. Not only are local providers available to answer your calls but they are within the area so they can come to your business to provide assistance if needed. Local merchants need local support so that they can thrive within their community and offer these hands on services. There are many more benefits of shopping local, and this article gives you the top ten reasons:

Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses

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http://www.ilsr.org/why-support-locally-owned-businesses/

 

 

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Want great deals? Maryland Local Deals can help!

“Buy Local, Shop Local, Be Local,” that’s Maryland Local Deals’ motto. This Towson-based organization is committed to bringing great coupon deals to Marylanders.

The main goal of this business is to bring value and savings to all Maryland subscribers, while providing an excellent value to the featured merchants.

When reading this, other popular deal sites probably pop into your head, right? Well, Maryland Local Deals is much different than those. It’s much more than just a “daily deals” site. Instead, it’s a local business supporting other local businesses. Here, it’s all about the Maryland pride.

Be sure to go check out Maryland Local Deals and save yourself time and money! You won’t regret it.

USB Payment Processing is a proud supporter of Maryland Local Deals. For more information feel free to contact us at 410 828 4286.

Interchange for Charitable Organizations

By Rob Clarke

A significant amount of the fees that we charge to you for processing your Credit Card and Non-PIN Debit Card transactions represents charges that we must pay to the Issuing banks (or that are otherwise charged to us by MasterCard and Visa) under MasterCard and Visa (the “Associations”) rules. This amount, called “Interchange” varies based upon a complex series of interchange levels that may apply to the transaction depending upon a number of factors – such as the type of card presented, specific information contained in the transaction, how and when the transaction is processed, your industry, anduntitled (16) other factors.

Charitable and Social Service Organizations are afforded special interchange rates and fees versus a traditional merchant. USB Payment Processing’s Interchange Pass Through pricing plans allow charities to maximize the cash going to the organization, rather than paying unnecessary fees. While untitled (15)nothing is different with regards to corporate cards, the total cost paid by the organization for all consumer credit cards and signature based debit (check cards) is always less than 2%.  This rate applies regardless of the capture method.  Whether the transactions are swiped, keyed, processed through e-commerce, all methods cost the same.  Consumer rates for traditional merchants can range from 2.2% on up to 5% with some non-profit aggregator services (Network for Good, PayPal, etc).

This is for both swiped and keyed in transactions that are settled within 24 hours of the authorization. All in, charitable organizations should expect to pay well less than 2% for consumer credit transactions, while still taking advantage of Durbin Debit check card pricing.

Compare USB’s Charity pricing to PayPal’s NFP rates:

A $100 donation, with PayPal, the organization would pay $2.50. It can also take 3-5 business days to get the funds deposited in their bank account.  With USB, a $100 donation would cost well less than $2.00. With our next day funding program, deposits can be in the bank by the next morning.  In addition, Charitable Organizations are not subject to Visa’s Fixed Acquirer Network Fee (FANF). For a merchant processing less than $200,000 in Visa Card-Not-Present transactions, this can save anywhere from $5.00 to $45.00 or more.

For more information on how Interchange rates affect your organization and to learn more about  Smart Processing in Maryland; please contact a Local. Available. Proven Merchant Services provider.   Call Us Today at (410) 828-4286

Try out USB’s Local Business Network for 30 days at no cost. Receive a Free Cost Analysis on your Credit Card Processing Rates & Personalized Online Marketing Report!

Printable Coupons

Create or take an offer! Make a coupon for your business or save by using them. Search by business name, city, zip code, or business category. Select the coupons you want downloaded and print.

Local Business Listing

Small businesses helping each other!  This collection of local businesses are waiting for you to promote your services. Create your business listing to advertise your business in your industry’s category. It’s Free anyone can join!

Member Benefits Club

MBC is a collection of preferred vendors that offer our members exclusive discounts on all kinds of premier business services. Utilize these vendor’s discounts and offers to save your business money. *For USB Processing Merchants Only. Must have login to access information.

The Need to Know about Interchange Fees

In the past fifty years or so swiping plastic at the store has overrun paying with cash. In the early years of MasterCard and Visa, cash ruled all but since then times have changed. As credit cards grew more popular, merchants felt the need to decide whether to accept cards or the lost sales. Here we are in 2013 and it feels as if all transactions are “virtual.” What do we call all of this? Interchange.creditcards

I’m sure you’re now wondering, what are interchange fees? According to Andrew Parrott’s recent article, interchange fees are “payments for handling the transaction between a business’ bank account and cardholder’s bank account.” Not only do these fees cover the conversion of funds into the merchant’s account, but they also cover administrative services along with fraud threats. Variables such as brand, geography, transaction, card or business type all are a part of the reason why there are so many different interchange rates.

interchange_chartParrott brings up an excellent question in his article, why do we need interchange rates? We use these rates to balance the risk of banks taking losses for occurring debt by the cardholder. Basically, they are trying to figure out what businesses are able to pay to accept cards and also what banks are willing to accept when discussing loss and profit.

In the past there was just one interchange rate. However, over the years other rates have been added because of the different needs that came along with the newer times. More merchants started accepting credit cards and as new card types surfaced along with new rewards more rates appeared with it. The idea was for the networks to decide what charges would be established. Basically rates were created in order to restore balance to both the merchants and the banks by covering any losses that came across. Now banks may realize and keep up to date with costs from merchants.

You’re probably curious what’s going to be the next phase of interchange? No one knows for certain, but many ideas have come about recently. Interchange fees are established by each individual card company, for instance, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, etc. That being said, it’s a competitive world and technology is constantly changing businesses are trying to be one step ahead of one another at all times. Meaning that rates are constantly being adjusted. Banks, like everyone else want to make a profit, since they have the freedom to choose which card they give to their customers, they are going to choose the one that brings them the most money.interchange

Legal charges also interfere where rates are going in the years to come. In the past, lawsuits have been brought against credit card companies by merchants as well as other professional associations. The issues have been over credit card companies increasing their swipe fees while there wasn’t any legal documents or information to protect the businesses from the higher rates. In his article, Parrott discusses the Durbin amendment. This amendment “set a ceiling on what card brands could charge for certain debit transactions.” This legislation was created to lower merchant costs, which would transfer to lower costs for consumers paying with a card.

The-Double-Standard-of-Debit-Interchange-FeesWhen it comes down to it, if your business accepts credit cards you will pay interchange fees. USB Payment Processing offers Member Benefits that saves you money. Not only does our company provide you excellent merchant services and customer service, we also provide you free advertising with our My Business NetworkUSB even puts an announcement on all statements when an interchange increase effects our merchants. We also send out announcements every April and October to make sure our merchants are aware of the fees.

For more information on USB Payment Processing feel free to contact us at 410.828.4286.

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Get Connected, Baltimore

Baltimore Restaurant Week has grown to be one of the city’s favorite traditions over the past 8 years. This unique experience allows Baltimorians to feast their way around the town. It is an exciting way to put money back into the community while tasting the great places of Baltimore.bwihb_phototour03

This year, the most delicious week of summer is the week of July 26th. So what exactly is Baltimore Restaurant Week? Several of Baltimore’s best restaurants offer a special three-course meal for only $30.13. This great deal allows you to try different foods at restaurants that you might not try otherwise. There is something for everyone. All types of foods are offered so it’s the perfect opportunity to try something new. The city uses this week to celebrate its diversity in dining with over 60 restaurants participating.

As for the restaurants, their focus is on something else. The main goal for the contributing restaurants is to have their name out there and for the publicity. Participation in this week does not come cheap for them but it is rewarding. Months of planning, organizing, and advertising goes into the preparation for this week, everyone wants it to be perfect.

images-17Much like the restaurants in Baltimore Restaurant Week’s, USB Payment Processing does some advertising along the same lines. My Business Network allows local businesses to create an account and connect with one another. USB’s local business Network is the way to work together; helping you partner with other small business owners to grow your business.

Advertise your business, print coupons, offer deals and bring new customers into your business for free! On the site, you can add coupons as well as use the ones already created. What’s the best part about My Business Network? It’s free. And who doesn’t like that? my_business_network_rollover

USB wants to help local businesses give back to the community and with My Business Network we do just that. You don’t have to be a business owner to join. You can just be someone looking to save extra money.

So be sure to check out Baltimore Restaurant Week for an unforgettable dining experience. Also, check out USB’s My Business Network to receive free coupons for you or your business.

For more information contact USB Payment Processing at 410.828.4286.58.1.gif.art

What Cash Back Card Fits You?

Does your small business save thousands a year? If not, then you have the wrong cash back card in your pocket. Now that you know there’s greater potential for saving, it’s time to figure out what card fits you.

When it comes to choosing a credit card that’s right for your business there are many things that should come to mind. What benefits are you looking for? Where does the majority of your expenses lie? What will you spend your reward money on? Then you have to think of the statistical facts. How will this card affect your processing fees?

So what’s the answer to all of these questions? You can find out by comparing all the cash back cards offered for your business. I’m here with USB Payment Processing to do just that.

Let’s start of with the current #1 cash back card, according to Creditcards.com. The Bank Americard Cash Rewards card is said to be the best of the best. The real question is why? Here’s the thing, your business receives a $100 cash rewards bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of opening your account. As for the rest of your purchases, you can save 1% cash back on purchases anywhere, any time. For your more specific desires, you can save 3% on gas and with gas prices these days, who wouldn’t want that? When looking more closely at the business side of things, you get a 10% customer bonus when you redeem cash back into a Bank of America checking or savings account. Best part is that there is no annual fee and your rewards never expire. Meaning that you can save up your rewards for as long as you please and then use them all at once.

Next on the list is American Express’ Blue Cash Preferred card. With this card there is a similar bonus, however, you earn 150 Reward Dollars after you make $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of Card Membership. With this American Express card your business can earn 1% cash back with any purchase. Terms and limitations apply. All cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. There is no enrollment required with the Blue Cash Preferred card, along with no rotating reward categories.

The Chase Freedom card is for businesses with an excellent credit history. Your history must be clear of bankruptcy, seriously delinquent accounts, among other things. Your business can earn $100 Bonus Cash back after you make $500 in purchase in your first three months. Receive 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers with Chase Freedom. From July 1 to September 30, 2013 you will receive 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500. You and your business can enjoy 5% back every 3 months using gas stations, restaurants and even Amazon.com. Like, the Bank of America card, you receive no annual fee and your rewards never expire. Finally, much like the other cards listed your business will receive an unlimited 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.

Citi Dividend Platinum card has many of the same benefits as the others. With Citi your business can earn $100 cash back after $500 in purchases in the first three months after you open your account. For the first 12 months, you will receive 0% intro APR, then after that it will be 12.99%-22.99% variable based on your creditworthiness. You can earn 5% cash back on eligible hotels, car rental agencies and theme parks from July 1 through September 30, 2013, upon enrollment. On all other purchases your business can receive 1% cash back.

Last but not least, we have Discover It. No annual fee. No over limit fee. No foreign transaction fee. No first payment late fee. To match all the others, they offer a generous 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases from July to September. But unlike all the others, Discover offers you a “Cashback Concierge” to call at anytime for your convenience. By calling your concierge you can have a one on one online tour that will help you get the most out of your rewards received. Discover takes pride in their customer service. With Discover It your business is never responsible for unauthorized charges with their $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee. Another plus is that with Discover, you receive 0% Intro APR not for just 12, but 18 months.

When choosing a cash back card, these are all things to think about when it comes to the best card for your business. Of course, you want to save the most money possible and one of these cards can do just that. To learn more about the cards mentioned feel free to look each up on their personal site to see Terms and Agreements.

For more information feel free to contact USB Payment Processing at 410.828.4286.

Declare Independence with your Rewards Card

This year’s family get together for the Fourth is at your place. Now you need to buy food and your red, white, and blue decorations, your cash back reward card can help you save on all of it from fruit to flags. In most cases, providers offer you a percent back on all of your purchases. However, other providers allow you to get additional money back for buying products from particular stores. For example, many supermarkets do just that. This way you can save money on your cookout by getting cash back when you buy your hamburgers and hot dogs. Who wouldn’t want that?

Here at USB Payment Processing, we want to make sure that you have all the rewards card knowledge you need to enjoy your holiday weekend. Now is the time to use the rewards you’ve been racking up all summer long. Whether you’re embarking on a road trip across states to celebrate the holiday or even if you’re just going across town to see friends, your rewards card can save you money on the gas that gets you there. There are tons of ways that you can spend your rewards, so make sure that you shop wisely. Amber Stubbs, editor of CardRatings.com, suggests that when you are choosing a rewards card that you should “choose a credit card that offers rewards that fit your lifestyle. Whether that’s double miles for frequent fliers or bonus points on categories of items you buy on a regular basis, your points can really add up if you have the right card for your needs.” Meaning that, by having the right card for you, booking your ticket for the holiday weekend could be less expensive than you originally thought. However, when you are choosing a card, make sure that you are also aware of the rates and fees.

The latest quarterly Capital One Rewards Barometer survey showed that 42% of consumers plan on using their cash back money on gasoline for summer trips. This shouldn’t be surprising due to the incline in recent gas prices. Travel experts at AAA has predicted that 39 million Americans 50 or less miles this Fourth of July weekend. The biggest problem consumers have run into when planning last minute trips is black out dates.

As for holiday shopping, Amy Lenander, Vice President of Rewards Programs at Capital One has this to say, “there are some serious rewards opportunities available during the holidays that can give you even more value. To get the most out of your rewards program, card holders should check with their card issuer to see what kind of special promotions they are offering.” It has been stated that 75% of card holders are unaware of special holiday shopping deals.

In a recent article, Martha White states that when choosing a rewards card make sure you compare offers. “Issuers have expanded their offerings to such a degree that sometimes you can find the same reward for fewer points through alternate means. Just be sure you’re comparing apples to apples,” White says.

The Fourth of July is a day dedicated to spending time with your family and celebrating the birth of our Nation, so be sure to save all the money you can on your travels, holiday parties, and family events with your cash back rewards card.

For more information feel free to contact  USB Payment Processing at 410. 828. 4286.