Coming Soon: EMV Transactions

EMV is a global standard for credit and debit cards based on chip card technology. Issuers around the world are including chips in bank cards and merchants are moving to EMV-compliant terminals to increase security and reduce fraud resulting from counterfeit, lost and stolen cards.

The United States is one of the last countries to migrate to EMV chip technology. However, the October 1, 2015 deadline created by major U.S. credit card issuers has given all payment industry entities, good reason to consider faster adoption.  After that date, card-present fraud liability will shift to whoever is the least EMV-compliant party in a fraudulent transaction. Any parties not EMV-ready could face costly penalties in the event of a large data breach.

EMV cards store payment information in a secure chip rather than on a magnetic stripe and unlike a magnetic stripe card, it is virtually impossible to create a counterfeit EMV card that could successfully conduct an EMV payment transaction. Merchants that experience fraud perpetrated by the use of counterfeit cards can potentially reduce this type of fraud by adopting EMV technology in card present point-of-sale (POS) locations.

The microprocessor chip creates a unique transaction code that cannot be used again each time an EMV card is used for payment. If a hacker attempted using stolen chip information from a specific point of sale, the stolen transaction number created in that instance wouldn’t be useable again and the transaction would be denied. EMV’s dynamic functionality greatly improves the security of payment transactions for card authentication and transaction authorization.

If your POS hardware has been upgraded and activated to process via EMV, once a customer tries to swipe a chip card through the card reader, the POS will respond with a message indicating for the chip card to be inserted into the chip card reader to complete the transaction. You don’t have to be concerned about having to notice the cardholder has an EMV card before they present it for payment because the POS application will alert you that the card is chip transaction capable. Should they try swiping to pay, you will be alerted to instruct the customer to insert or dip the chip card into the chip reader. When an EMV card is dipped, data flows between the card chip and the issuing financial institution to verify the card’s legitimacy and create the unique transaction data.

Furthermore, the issuer defines the Cardholder Verification Method (CVM) and the card itself instructs the POS on whether PIN or signature is required during its interaction with the terminal, based on how the issuer defined it. A chip and signature transaction is just as it sounds; it uses a chip card that won’t require the customer to enter a PIN to complete the transaction. Chip and PIN transactions do require the customer to enter a PIN to complete the transaction.

To process chip and PIN, the POS hardware needs to have the capability to encrypt the consumer’s PIN in a PCI PTS certified PIN Entry Device (e.g. a PIN Pad). Encryption is the process of encoding messages or information in such a way that only authorized parties can read it by decrypting it.

Though it may be a slow transition in the U.S. overall, those who get chip-and-PIN cards will be able to use them right away. If a terminal doesn’t have the ability to accept a PIN, it will then step down to accepting a signature. There should always be a secondary option.

Please call USB Payment Processing’s local Towson, Maryland office at 410-828-4286 for more information.



Mobile wallets: Are they safe? — UMSA

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!

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Impressive infographic: the near future of mobile payments


Mobile wallet provider Cellum and leading industry journal Mobile Payments Today have teamed up to create what is probably the coolest infographic about m-payments you will ever see. Take a journey into the near future and see how people will manage to get through a typical day without using cash or plastic.


The real big thing about the infographic is that it only features technologies that are already out there and in use: from NFC payments at vending machines to paying for a taxi ride by scanning a QR code – these are already a reality.

Click here to download the infographic.


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The Explosion of Mobile Payment

Who wouldn’t want the latest technology? From LA to Beijing, people all over the world are trying to get their hands on the newest thing. Recently, that thing is mobile payment. Mobile payment is the payment service that you can perform right from your phone. This means that you no longer have to struggle with cash, checks, credit cards, debit cards, etc. Instead, you can do everything directly from your mobile device. According to USB Payment Processing, mobile payment has an easy setup and implementation. Imagine a world where you can leave your house without carrying cash or even a card. Crazy right?

equipmentall3 So what’s the cause of this current boom? According to Michael Della Penna, senior vice president of emerging channels at Responsys, Inc., certain indicators that made this processing capable have become crucial aspects of business’ ability to continue to act competitively.

In previous years, analysts have claimed a revolution in the mobile payment industry. However, that was not the case. Experts have begun to explain why this time is different and how this market will surpass all other types of payment.

It is believed that mobile payment has not even begun to show its full capabilities yet. Many experts along with Della believe that the year for mobile payment is 2013. The developments seen this far are smaller figures then analysts hoped to see. But, by mobile payment usage exploding it creates a different experience between consumers and brands. This type of payment makes things more comprehensive for you as a customer. USB offers application downloads to get you started using mobile payments as early as today. USB also shows you the online solution to using POS Systems.

This technology is not an idea of the future, it is happening now. However, as of now the process has not run as smoothly as it is laid out. The industry still must work much harder to create such a simple experience for consumers. The basic skills are being used today and further perfection is being developed. The industry sees big rewards waiting for them within the next year.

Several businesses have listed improving their mobile payment opportunities as a priority by the close of 2013. With more and more businesses moving their operations online, the need for fast, reliable and secure credit card processing options continues to grow. USB Payment Processing has the in-depth knowledge and specialized expertise to meet those transaction processing needs. the market that already exists continues to grow, Penna believes in order for the mobile credit card processing revolution to become a reality, the infrastructure to support this market must grow with it.

Obviously, the technology will only be compatible with smart phones. Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project proved that 91% of Americans own cell phones as of 2013. According to ABC News, 61% of those Americans own a smart phone. This information is great for mobile payments researchers; they hope the number grows by the beginning of 2014 to keep the market expanding. Penna mentioned that by the end of this year over 80 phones would be qualified for this programming.

USB Payment Processing discusses a handful of mobile payments benefits. For example, the fact that Internet Processing Services are available around the clock is a huge benefit to people who use mobile payments. Also, by using mobile payment you can make unlimited transactions from nearly anywhere in the world.

For more information feel free to contact us at 410 828 4286.

Maximize eCommerce Business Credit Card Sales

Every company wants the maximum number of eCommerce sales to boost their business. J.J. Belle recently wrote an article describing the best ways to do just that. He narrowed it down to the top five ways to increase eCommerce sales.

1. “One Click Check Out” – Many would say the latest phase to take over the nation is online shopping. People love to shop and now that they can do it from the convenience and comfort of their own home, which makes it that much easier. Consumers no longer have to deal with the bustle and stress of stores and their grumpy employees. Instead, they can merely log into their online account and with a few quick clicks your new wardrobe or lawn tool is purchased.

Your company can benefit from this knowledge, customers that like to shop online love the quickness of it and they love the fact that products sold online are more unique than those sold in stores. However, maybe your product is not unique? You can still maximize your sales by making this “one click check out” concept come true. In today’s world, simple is better. Lead the consumer from the product to their shopping cart to the billing info then the submit button. Purchase complete.

2.  “Recommend Products” – Belle claims that by recommending similar products the average order size will increase. Customers might not have seen the “extra” options previously and now they are more likely to add these products to their cart, as well. Have your merchant services provider setup your website to suggest different products once a consumer adds something to their shopping cart.

3. “Transactional Emails with Upsell Products” – The products recommended should also be displayed in a “follow up email.” Those of you who have done any online shopping in your lifetime are well aware of the confirmation email and receipt sent after a purchase has been made. This is where those recommended products should be flaunted. Belle states that “70% of the message content is a receipt and the subject line is a receipt,” that way the consumer is able to identify the content and is more likely to open the email.

4. “Loyalty Program” – Who loves winning free prizes? Most consumers do. If your company offers a particular program in which your most loyal customers receive rewards for visiting, they will have an incentive to return again in hopes of more prizes. A successful program might even lead to your customers mentioning your site to their friends and family, leading to more purchases from your site.

5. “Promo Codes” – Everyone wants a good deal. Having promo codes and discounts will draw more consumers in to your site. Someone could see a product for $50 and believe it to be too much. However, if they see that same product on sale for $50 but it was originally $100 they think of it as a great choice. People love thinking that they received a great deal for a product and that they saved a ton of money. There is no better feeling. After they have seen and used your company’s promos they could end up as one of your loyal subscribers. Your loyal subscribers will boast about the great deals they received to their friends leading to the greatest tool in marketing, word of mouth.

If you have ever visited big sites such as Amazon or eBay you would notice that they take similar approaches to maximize their sales. Considering how successful they are, it would be foolish not to go about sales the same way. By making simple changes such as these your company will be lead to greater success.

For more information feel free to contact us at 410 828 4286.