Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays - Reflection

As another year ends (and they seem to pass quicker and quicker) I like to take some time to reflect on accomplishments, as well areas needing improvement.

Paybyweb's greatest accomplishment this year came early. Last January, we assisted the American Red Cross in their Disaster Relief efforts to help Haiti. Paybyweb raised over One Million Dollars. Not a small feat. We were featured in the news (VIEW INFO HERE)

This industry is VERY competitive.  There are many companies out there trying to gain your merchant account business.   We want to be the company you choose to accept payments online or take credit cards at your business...however, Paybyweb strives to be different.  Whether we are donating 1,000 turkeys to Metropolitan Ministry's during the Holiday Season, or helping to raise money to help those in need, we believe that it is important to GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY.

Yes, you want to make money!  So do we.  However, it is our belief that there is a bigger picture than just making money.  We will continue to find ways to assist those in need.  If you want to partner with a company like that...we're certainly okay with that.

From all of us Paybyweb, Have a Safe and Wonderful Holiday Season! 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Great Revenue Potential!

If you have a database of customers, that list may be worth thousands of dollars or more. Paybyweb has partnered with a data management company that pays up to $2 for each name.

How does it work? It's simple. First, contact Paybyweb and let us know that you have a list file of your customer database available. Your file should have at least 5k records. We will discuss how the file is generated and other details and arrange to test the file with our partners. Testing generall takes a few days for a phone test. If the file works, we will contact you to make arrangements to pay you and obtain the data.

It's that simple! Your customer data may be worth a lot of that may be just sitting there. If you are generating a customer list, contact us and let's talk about how that list can start paying you money.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tips For Merchant Account Setup

Setting up a merchant account to accept credit cards is not rocket science, but it can be very confusing.   Here's a tip to help simplify the process.

Make sure you know the difference between requesting information and completing a merchant account application.  Many merchant service providers have forms on their site requesting information such as your business name, type of business, how much you process, etc.  They use these forms to gather data so that they can contact you back to go over merchant account rates fees and other information.   Some forms are actually merchant account applications to accept credit cards.  While you may think you may be completing the form just to get information back, you may be completing an application, which is a legal contract with the bank.  Once you digitally sign the application, you're bound by those terms and conditions to which you agreed by submitting the application.  Some sites, such as PayByWeb notify you that you are applying for a merchant account, just to make sure there is no confusion.

The merchant account application process can be simplified by making sure you take the time to read the information provided, before completing any forms or applications.  

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Paybyweb will be closed until Tuesday, July 6th. Happy Birthday America!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Question from the Field: Why does my credit score relate to getting a Merchant Account?

One question I receive consistently over the years, relates to merchant credit issues. They don't understand why their credit affects their ability to get a merchant account, or even why their credit is checked at all when applying.

There are a number of reasons as to why credit is an issue. The basics:

Let's say that you are merchant and have been provided with a monthly volume of $25k to process. When you have a merchant account, you are expecting to be paid within 3 - 5 business days. (We get some merchants shocked that the funds are not in their bank account the next morning) In the course of the first three months, you have received $75,000 for transactions processed. As of this time, your customer has been mailed their credit card statement. They then have up to 30 days to pay that bill. If you have not provided the goods/services offered, the disputes/chargebacks start rolling in. The merchant service provider, who paid you $75k already, could be looking at tens of thousands of dollars in chargebacks. The merchant service provider has a significant amount of RISK. Your credit report is not a guarantee that you will or will not run a legitimate operation, but it does give some indications as to whether you are fiscally responsible, pay your bills on time, have had liens filed against you, etc.

Would you loan $75k to someone you don't know, who promises they will provide goods/services to their customers and that you will get your money back within 90 days...without first checking their credit?

Merchant Service Providers deal with RISK. They have separate departments who's entire responsibility deals with determining whether they should assume risk by accepting a merchant, which may include requesting additional documents such as Photo ID's, Utility Bills, Corp Docs, etc. They may feel that a reserve account (funds held in trust) may be necessary in order to protect against potential losses. They attempt to reduce their exposure at all cost, while trying to add as many new merchants as possible. It's a tough balance.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Terminated Merchant File (TMF) What is it? Q & A

What is the MATCH / TMF File?

When consumers do not honor the terms of their credit agreements, the creditor may report the default to a credit reporting agency. If the consumer applies for additional credit, the new creditor obtains a credit report and learns about the consumer's previous history. The merchant processing banks (also known as "acquiring" banks) do not have a similar credit-reporting agency available that can report information about the way that a business handles its merchant processing responsibilities. The card associations, instead, use a file known as "MATCH." The MATCH File is a database file, previously and most commonly known as the Terminated Merchant File "TMF." This file is used by MasterCard and Visa processing banks, known as "acquiring banks," to identify specific merchants and principals who have already been terminated. Once a merchant is on this list, it is highly unlikely that future merchant account applications will be approved. The "TMF", or MATCH list, is essentially a BLACKLIST from which it is almost impossible to be removed.

How exactly is the MATCH file used when I apply for a Merchant Account?

Your new merchant acquiring bank must query the MATCH file to determine whether your company, or its principals, has been terminated. If your new acquirer receives a response indicating a "possible match" against a merchant or individual listed on the file, the acquirer must double check and make certain the listed merchant or individual is truly the same as the one for which the inquiry was generated. If so, the acquirer must contact the listing bank to determine why the business or individual was added to the file.

If a previous acquirer listed your business or your name, that does not mean you are prohibited from obtaining merchant processing privileges in the future. The new acquirer is to base its approval decision on complete investigation and to use the MATCH file as an informational tool in the decision making process. Some acquirers will issue an approval conditioned upon having the listing removed by the prior processor while others will review the circumstances surrounding the listing and make an informed decision.

What if I am on the Terminated Merchant File and I apply for a new merchant acct? Can I get approved?

Believe it or not, you can be approved for a new merchant acct, while on the Terminated Merchant File...unfortunately, the account will most likely be closed before you get a chance to use it. Here's why:

Merchant service providers are constantly pressured to get merchants approved faster. Faster!! FASTER!!! It is not uncommon for some merchants to be auto-approved, immediately upon submitting their application. Merchant service providers send off the names of their approved merchants to be checked against the Terminated Merchant File. Getting the results back can take up to 3 business days. So, it is possible to apply for an account, have it approved, activated, setup, and then closed by the security department once the information comes back that you are on the TMF.

What if my Merchant Account is terminated?

It is very important to read your merchant processing agreement and understand the circumstances unde

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Terminal Leasing - More like FLEECING!

If you are shopping for a credit card terminal for your brick n mortar business, you may find a significant differences in prices, depending on the terminal provider.

How can merchant account providers get you to pay from $600 - $1,000 for a terminal without making you blink? it a LEASE! DON'T BE FOOLED! Terminals cost around $200 - $400. Some providers offer leasing up to 48 months. What should cost a couple of hundred dollars ends up costing well over a thousand.

While we at believe that merchant providers deserve to make money, since that's what they are in business to do, they don't have to rape a customer. Unless you need an expensive terminal, such as a wireless one, why spend 48 months to pay for a $200 machine? If you want to get ripped a NEW BOAT!

While there are some sound financial/accounting reasons to lease for a business, it is generally best to purchase your terminal and save the money.