Basic Safety Tips

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 (FACTA) was signed into law last December, requiring that all electronic terminals print no more than the last 5 digits of a  credit or debit card number on receipts.  All devices nationwide must comply by December 4, 2006.  Some states have passed laws mandating the truncation to begin sooner.  New York State required all new terminals to have complied by January 1, 2003, and existing terminals to have complied by January 1, 2004.


TIPS: Debit Cards

Debit cards are growing in popularity among customers as a form of payment. Debit cards withdraw funds directly from the customer’s bank account, allowing customers to have the convenience of a credit card, but the backing of cash. Debit cards carrying the brand credit card logos can be processed the same way as credit cards, at a slightly higher rate.

To receive the best rate for debit card transactions, a pin pad can be installed to allow customers to enter their debit card pin code. Using this method not only offers the customer a cash-back option, but also reduces your rate, either by having a low percent fee or a low flat rate per item. In addition, debit transactions processed through this method are not subject to chargebacks, funds are guaranteed, and processing is immediate, eliminating the 2-3 day delay between transaction and transfer of funds with credit cards. To set up your processing system to accept debit cards using the pin pad method, contact our office.

TIPS: E-Commerce

If a portion of your business involves the acceptance of customer credit cards over the Internet (E-Commerce), all merchants that accept Visa branded cards are required to comply with Visa’s Card Holder Information Security Program. MasterCard has a similar program, SDP for Internet merchants, which allows merchants to be eligible for security software discounts.  As indicated on the respective association’s websites, the fines for failure to comply can be substantial.  If your business participates in E-Commerce, it is crucial that you contact our office for specific solutions regarding compliance.


TIPS: Mail/Telephone Transactions

With E-Commerce transactions on the rise, so too is the occurrence of Mail or Telephone Order transactions.  In order for your business to qualify for the best possible rate on these types of transactions, it is imperative that the following data is entered at the Point-of-Sale terminal or network:

  • If your terminal has a “Mail/Telephone Order” key, this must be pressed to indicate a “card-not-present” transaction. If your terminal does not have a designated “Mail/Telephone Order” key, when prompted (after manually keying in the credit card number), you must indicate on the terminal that the cardholder is not present. When prompted, you must enter the street number for the billing address of your customer.
  • When prompted, you must enter the zip code for the billing address of your customer. This procedure is called Address Verification and is a requirement to qualify for the best discount rate.
  • When prompted, you must enter the Customer Order Number as it is a requirement to qualify for the best discount rate.

If your business is primarily engaged in Mail/Telephone Order transactions and the above prompts are not currently in your POS terminal or network, please contact our office so the appropriate Mail/Telephone Order software can be loaded. If the ratio of Mail/Telephone Order transactions for your business has increased, we can address alternate processing solutions so that you qualify for the best rate.

TIPS: Corporate Cards/Purchasing Cards

If your business is engaged in selling to Government Agencies (i.e. US Postal Service, Veteran’s Hospitals) or other large businesses (i.e. IBM), more than likely, you are being presented with a Corporate or Purchasing Card. There are specialized prompts that are required to qualify for the best discount rate for these types of transactions, namely: sales tax amount, purchase order number, Tax Identification Number, and Customer Code.

If the ratio of Corporate or Purchasing Card acceptance at your business has increased, it would behoove you to enter this data on every transactions to qualify for the best rate. As always, our office can accommodate this specialized data, if needed. Should you have any questions regarding the above information or would like further training or information, please contact us.