Verifone’s new mobile processing solution PAYware

Posted by: Curtis Stevens on March 23rd, 2010

apps Verifone has released a new mobile credit card processing product called PAYware.  It is Verifone’s version of mobile processing and their attempt to put the new Square product in its place.  Mobile processing is starting to grow in demand and there are countless options available today for merchants to choose from.  You have wireless terminals such as the Nurit 8020, Verifone VX610 and WaySystems 1581.  You also have mobile devices that work with the iPhone and there are even numerous app choices to choose from as well.  Verifone is hoping to become a leader in this field but only time will tell.  We are in talks with our processing relationships to see if can add this new Verifone product to its arsenal.   We already have so many choices that it may be confusing for some, but I think adding one more will only give our customers better choices and that is great for everyone involved.

Verifone’s PAYware starts selling around the country this month through the Apple iPhone store.  According to Verifone, the product uses its Connect payment gateway to process payments.  Most processors are compatible with their gateway product, so merchants should be able to pick any merchant provider they choose.  It will definitely be interesting to see how mobile processing progresses over the next few years.  Will the wireless terminals we have been selling for years become obsolete and be replaced with our cellphones that are hooked up to a swiping device (including all cell phones and not just iPhones)?  If anything, new products like this is certainly making the service more appealing to small businesses that will not process very many credit cards.

Credit Card Processing Fees: 3-Tiered VS. Interchange Plus

Posted by: Curtis Stevens on March 16th, 2010

The battle is on, which credit card processing pricing plan should your business be using?  3-Tiered pricing or Interchange plus?  This is the question many larger merchants may be asking themselves, including merchants that process $10,000+ a month in volume.  Before we go into the details, here are the basics: Visa & MasterCard have several dozen rates known as Interchange that determines the rate a merchant must pay for a particular transaction. The applicable Interchange rate is determined by various circumstances, such as was the card swiped, keyed-in with(out) AVS, is a business, corporate or reward cards.

3-Tiered Pricing VS. Interchange Plus Pricing

Under the 3-tiered pricing plan, you pay one of three rates called Qualified, Mid-Qualified & Non-Qualified. The rate you pay for each transaction is determined by the applicable Interchange rate. Under the Interchange plus pricing plan, we simply pass along actual Interchange cost and add a set markup to every transaction.

The chart below should demonstrate the concept and make things clearer.

Are you currently paying 3-tiered credit card processing rates and want to know how to compare this to the more cost effective Interchange plus plan? The following example should make things clearer. Lets say you decided to go to the grocery store and purchase 3 oranges. The prices for all of the available oranges are listed below. The ones you selected are Orange 1, Orange 5 & Orange 8.
The Orange prices below represents Visa & MasterCard Interchange cost.
Orange 1 costs $0.01
Orange 2 costs $0.02
Orange 3 costs $0.03
Orange 4 costs $0.04
Orange 5 costs $0.05
Orange 6 costs $0.06
Orange 7 costs $0.07
Orange 8 costs $0.08
Orange 9 costs $0.09
Orange 10 costs $0.10

In this example under a 3 tiered pricing plan you would have paid a total of 30¢ with the following credit card processing rates: (5¢ qualified, 10¢ mid-qualified & 15¢ non-qualified). This is calculated as follow: Orange 1 would be qualified at 5¢, Orange 5 mid-qualified at 10¢ and Orange 8 non-qualified at 15¢.

Lets assume’s markup in this example is 5¢. Under the Interchange plus pricing plan, you would have paid 19¢ total. This is calculated as follow: Orange 1 at 1¢ + Orange 5 at 5¢ + Orange 8 at 8¢ = 14¢ + our 5¢ markup, making a grand total of 19¢.

What is’s Offer?’s markup under the Interchange plus program varies based on your business type, average monthly volume and transaction size. Please call or email us for a rate quote and let us know you are interested in the Interchange plus pricing program.

Did this post make things clearer for you?  Please leave your comments and let us know.

AbleCommerce Cart Review

Posted by: Curtis Stevens on March 10th, 2010

top_nav_logoThis time I am reviewing the AbleCommerce shopping cart.  It is a Canadian company with about 11K active users and have been around for 15 years.   It started back in 1994 under a different name, which seems like ages ago.  They were a hosting company that wanted to add value to their customers by providing a shopping cart.  It then evolved into what it is today.  They offer both hosted and licensed versions.  The price is an affordable $99 per month. If you choose to own the software and install it on your own server, that will set you back $995.  They claim to be PCI compliance, so there should be no worries there.

One of their strengths is their history and long term stability in the  shopping card industry.  Their big weakness is the lack of easy modifications without affecting the customer’s ability to upgrade to new versions.   The cart is compatible with payment gateway, which is then compatible with most credit card processing companies. They do have a toll-free number to call, so that would allow US merchants to call them if they need assistance without incurring high long distance charges. This would be a requirement in my opinion for any Canadian or International company that wants to acquire US merchants.

How to cut your expenses if your business is struggling

Posted by: Curtis Stevens on March 10th, 2010

1176251_27831922When times are not great, every business should reevaluate their overhead and cut any unnecessary expenses that do not have a big impact on the bottom line or day to day operations.  One of the most common areas business owners cut is advertising & marketing.  Granted, this may be a very big expense, but it probably should never be cut.  Instead, you may want to consider increasing this particular expense.  Without new customers, your business will not be able to thrive and make it through the tough times.  Customer service is another common area that usually finds itself cuts but probably should not.  Customer service and advertising are some of the most important areas to any business.  You must continue bringing in new customers while taking care of the ones you have.

Some possible areas you can cut could be: Technology – Most of us can live without all the latest gadgets & cool toys.   Start focusing on all the new technology purchases and eliminate anything that is not really necessary.   Telephone – because VOIP has been rapidly growing these last few years, traditional (analog) phone service companies are becoming more competitive.  Call your phone company and see if they will cut you a deal or give you a discount.  Energy – many areas have a choice in electricity companies.  If you are in one of those areas, do some shopping around.  Switching electric providers can be a very easy task.  Supplies & Inventory – consider keeping smaller quanities of your office supplies and try to keep a tighter control on inventory.  Just like what many retail merchants are doing today, keep as little quantity of a product as possible.  You want enough inventory on the shelf to sustain sales, but not anything excessive that will be collecting dust.  Lastly, credit card processing fees. We are receiving numerous calls lately on merchants wanting to switch to reduce their processing costs. Last week, we received a pricing proposal from one of the Trump International hotels, so merchants of types & sizes are looking at their processing costs.

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