Free eBook: 5 Ways an Online Payment Portal Will Streamline Your Business and Increase Revenue

Why Every Business Owner Should Read Payscout’s Payment Portal eBook
Every Business Owner Should Read Payscout’s Payment Portal eBook

As a result of the innovations in global mobile payment processing and other facets of the payment industry, Payscout is one of the most well-respected and successful payment processing organizations in the industry. Payscout consistently ranks among the top 30 companies in the financial services industry, and has ranked in the top 20 for medium-sized businesses on Entrepreneur’s list of Top Company Cultures. As such, when payments industry professionals from Payscout talk, the financial industry service industry listens.

Which means that any business hoping to increase their efficiency, growth, and profit might want to consider doing the same. Thankfully for them, Payscout has a commitment to education and transparency that’s resulted in the publishing of an eBook entitled “5 Ways an Online Payment Portal Will Streamline Your Business and Increase Revenue.” The following is a brief overview of topics covered in its five chapters, but shouldn’t be considered an alternative to reading it in its entirety, as this eBook is a must-read for anyone interested in their business profiting. The free eBook is available for download directly from Payscout’s website.

 Customer Convenience

The demographics of the American and global marketplaces are changing. There will soon be more millennials involved in commerce than baby boomers, and they have billions to spend. Having largely grown up with the internet and proficient in the use of devices, for millennials, convenient, comprehensive payment options for everything from entertainment streaming to utility payment processing is now expected. Disregarding that reality can prove devastating for a business.

 Flexibility

In the same vein, traditional bill paying, chiefly by cash and check, continues to decrease in popularity. At the same time, automated bill payment featuring credit and debit cards has increased. Modern customers are simply choosing plastic over paper, and every business should at least allow the option to accommodate that preference.

 Efficiency

Efficiency is an asset to any business, but a good example is accounts receivable and collections. Repeatedly mailing bill reminders and making calls not only doesn’t work, but also wastes the time of the collector and the debtor, wastes resources, and loses money better spent elsewhere. Setting up an automated, intuitive, reasonable process for reminders and a user-friendly payment portal through accounts receivable collections software will save a company money and is more likely to actually result in money being collected.

 Security

Hacking and malicious intrusions into a company’s network can result in customer information being compromised, fraudulent charges, and a loss of millions in revenue. It can cost both current and future customers by permanently damaging a company’s reputation, literally overnight. That’s why it’s so important to choose a payment processor that is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant. And when choosing a payment processing company, be sure to ask about their data encryption algorithm and their tokenization technology.

 Brand Building

A non profit may be doing everything right marketing-wise by running an efficient and ethical business, advertising in the right places, and using branding to spread the word about their organization and contributions to altruism. However, if their non-profit payment processing platform only accepts one-off payments in the form of cash and checks, they’re going to be faced with less donations and fewer recurring donors. While many want to support the causes they believe in, the reality is that some people are simply not interested in (or seemingly too busy to) physically deliver cash or mail checks. Fortunately, a secure non-profit payment processing solution can streamline the process, making it easy to drive consistent, recurring donations from different payment options to your organization.

 Optimize the success and continued growth of your business or non profit with the industry’s best payment processing solutions, at www.payscout.com

The Financial Challenges of Running a Non Profit and How Payscout Can Help

Young woman stands addressing colleagues at a meeting

Running a non profit can be an incredibly challenging calling. Non profits deal with nearly all of the challenges for-profit businesses do while concurrently having to fundraise; operate on a shoestring budget (which generally necessitates a small staff); and navigate compliance applying for grants, etc.

And once you’ve built your donor or supporter base and you’re ready to start accepting donations, providing a modern, secure payment-acceptance model results in an entirely new set of challenges.

Keeping track of donation amounts, the payment method used, whether or not the donations are recurring or one-time, ensuring PCI-compliance for payments, and all of the other challenges involved in payment processing can make the entire process seem overwhelming. While some of these challenges are simply part of the tough (but often rewarding) undertaking that is running a non profit, Payscout can take the hassle out of managing your payment processing model. And with specializations in financial arenas as complex as healthcare payment processing, they’re up to the challenge.

 The Relevant Challenges

As mentioned, it’s a great feeling when money starts coming in to your non profit. It’s a less than great feeling when the complexities of managing it become difficult to navigate. For instance, without a unified non profit payment processing platform, a non profit can find itself struggling to juggle contributions from credit cards, debit cards, checks, or donors requesting electronic payments, as well as from local and international sources.

To further complicate matters, those contributions can come from one-time donors, members with recurring donations, grants, or fundraising events; and in some cases, alternate sources of income non profits can establish. When the donation is from an international source, international payment processing and everything it entails becomes necessary to sort out. Additionally, as the staffs of non profits are often operating on a tight budget, losing staff members familiar with this sort of financial organization can create chaos.

 What Payscout Can Do for You as a Payment Processor

Payscout has established a reputation as one of the world’s premier payment processing providers by establishing expertise in every facet of the industry, from proprietary accounts receivable collections software to virtual reality commerce. And that level of comprehensive expertise and experience is important for ensuring that a non profit’s payment processing platform is as secure as possible while providing ease of use for both staff and donors.

Payscout provides PCI-compliant hosted payment forms that allow donation via debit and credit cards and checks, including user-friendly options for automatic recurring payments, which help ensure consistent, ongoing support. That the platform is PCI-compliant serves as a guarantee that donations are always going to be secure and safe to make. Payscout also works with every non profit individually to establish a payment processing dynamic that’s especially suited for their size and needs.

 Take the financial potential of your non profit to the next level, at www.payscout.com

The Convenience Fee Conundrum

Working with laptop in office
Convenience Fees are an attractive solution for boosting your bottom line, but if you’re not careful, they can cost you your ability to accept payments altogether.

In the accounts receivable management (ARM) world, convenience-fee payment models are growing in popularity, and for good reason: When applied correctly, they have the ability to reduce a merchant’s payment processing costs significantly by charging the consumer or debtor a flat fee for the convenience of accepting payments online or over the phone (depending on the consumer’s/debtor’s State of residence).

What many collection agencies may not realize is that convenience-fee solutions are the subject of serious scrutiny from compliance experts (and enforcers), and if they’re not properly applied, they can cost the merchant their ability to accept payments altogether. Having their merchant accounts closed, being blacklisted, and being cut off from their banks are just a few of the potential hazards for a merchant who deploys this model without doing their due diligence.

Here is what you should consider if you’re thinking about offering some type of convenience fee solution:

Convenience Fees and Compliance

There are two layers of compliance that a merchant must consider if they are using a convenience-fee model: Operating in accordance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a federal law that governs the practices of third-party debt collectors, and Compliance with Card-Brand (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc.) rules.

FDCPA guidelines prohibit “the collection of any amount (including any interest, fee, charge, or expense incidental to the principal obligation) unless such amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law,” 15 U.S.C. 1692f(1). However, a third-party vendor, in most cases a payment processor, can charge the fee because that vendor is not subject to FDCPA, which only applies to third party debt collectors.

Most of the payment processors who offer convenience fees are doing so in compliance with FDCPA requirements. From the card-brand perspective, however, there is a set of very specific rules pertaining to added charges such as convenience fees, Visa’s being the most restrictive, and many popular solutions are not in compliance with these rules.

Visa defines three main types of fees: Surcharges, Convenience Fees, and Service Fees, each with their own set of restrictions. In the US, a Merchant that charges a Convenience Fee must ensure that the fee is assessed as follows:

1)  Charged for a bona fide convenience in the form of an alternative payment channel outside the Merchant’s customary payment channels and not charged solely for the acceptance of a Card

2)  Added only to a Transaction completed in a Card-Absent Environment

3)  Not charged if the Merchant operates exclusively in a Card-Absent Environment

4)  Charged only by the Merchant that provides goods or services to the Cardholder

5)  Applicable to all forms of payment accepted in the payment channel

6)  Disclosed clearly to the Cardholder:

– As a charge for the alternative payment channel convenience

– Before the completion of the Transaction the Cardholder must be given the opportunity to cancel.

7)  A flat or fixed amount, regardless of the value of the payment due

8)  Included as part of the total amount of the Transaction and not collected separately

9)  Not charged in addition to a surcharge

10) Not charged on a Recurring Transaction or an Installment Transaction

It’s the fourth and eighth items in this list that can, together, compromise a merchant account quickly: Convenience fees have to appear (and be processed and authorized) as a single transaction by the merchant of record.

As you are reading this, if you’re currently deploying or considering a convenience fee model that involves running the fee as a separate transaction, you may be at risk of losing your merchant processing account.

Fully compliant programs do exist that can minimize your business risk while reducing your payment acceptance costs.

Click here to learn more.