On April 18th, Payscout held its annual Bring Your Child to Work Day across the Los Angeles and New Jersey offices. Throughout the day, the children learned about what we do at Payscout, and got a first-hand experience of our award-winning culture!
The kids started off the day meeting new friends and reuniting with old friends, both in-person and across the country via live feed. After many intense rounds of Bingo and with tummies full of pizza, they learned about payment processing, and what better way to do so than with cookies! Using their Payscout dollars and Payscout cards, the kids learned about the Payscout mission by supporting the entrepreneurial dream one cookie box transaction at a time.
See below for some of our favorite moments from the day!
We would like to send a big thank you to all the kids, parents, and everyone who helped make this such a fun-filled day.
Payscout offers customized payment processing services to help streamline your organization’s recurring billing operations.
Recurring billing is common among industries that provide services or goods on a prearranged schedule. It’s a convenient service for both providers and customers and offers a routine charge for purchases that occur on a regular basis, including utility payment processing, a subscription-based service, or a non-profit payment processing system that collects monthly, quarterly, or annual dues.
However, recurring billing has some drawbacks. For example, it can be cumbersome to correct a billing error, since most customers won’t pay too close attention to a recurring billing statement. There is a higher likelihood that an error could go unnoticed for an extended period of time.
Payment processing and recurring billing are inherently complex with many moving parts. So whether your organization uses a point of sale payment system, mobile payment processing, or recurring billing, Payscout has everything you need to make the operation as seamless as possible.
Payscout offers three recurring payment options based on your organization’s services and billing cycle, including:
Traditional Recurring Billing
Payscout’s traditional recurring billing options allow you to set up a recurring billing account for a specific dollar amount, either for a specific day, a specified period of time, or indefinitely.
This option involves setting up a recurring billing option using a credit card or an automated clearing house (ACH), also known as an electronic check. This service is ideal for recurring services like a subscription or donation.
Expanded Recurring Billing
The expanded/plan recurring billing program lets you set up a billing plan and add an unlimited number of cardholders. You can also change the dollar amount to be charged and the timing and frequency of charges.
As an added benefit, any change you make will go into effect immediately for every cardholder on the account. This provides seamless, efficient updates for both the customer and service provider.
Modifiable Recurring Billing
Payscout’s modified recurring billing option allows service providers to create and upload recurring billing information using an Excel spreadsheet directly into Payscout’s online portal. When you need to make a change to a customer’s billing information or dollar amount, simply make the change in Excel and upload a new spreadsheet.
You can also use an Excel template and save it in your Payscout account, which you can then use for future payment processing. This powerful option lets you process 50,000 transactions easily and efficiently, saving you and your customers valuable time.
Learn how to streamline your recurring billing processes today at www.payscout.com
In April 2019, a series of updates are being implemented by the card brands. Some of these changes will affect pricing in certain categories and regions.
What follows is a summary of the fee changes, category modifications, and pricing adjustments that will result from these changes.
Visa International Service Assessment Fee Changes
On April 12, 2019, Visa will be increasing the International Service Assessment Fee rates, which are assessed on transactions from merchants located in the U.S. when the card was issued in another country. The Fee Rate Levels below are determined by the settlement currency; the Base fee rate applies to transactions settled in U.S. dollars and the Enhanced fee rate applies to transactions settled in a currency other than U.S. dollars.
Visa Network Acquiring Processing Fee – Changes to International Fees
On April 1, 2019, Visa will be increasing fee rates for International Credit and International Debit and Prepaid transactions.
The Network Acquiring Processing fee is applied to all authorizations, both approvals and declines. Previously, domestic and international credit transactions were assessed the same fee rate. The same was true of the fee rates for debit and prepaid transactions (domestic and international transactions were assessed the same fee). The rate for U.S. domestic transactions will not be changing.
Mastercard Interchange Rate Adjustments for Existing Consumer Interchange Programs
Effective April 12, 2019, Mastercard will be adjusting the fee rates for the existing interchange fee programs categorized below:
Mastercard Commercial Interchange Rate Adjustments and Structure Changes
On April 12, 2019, Mastercard will be changing their U.S. Commercial Interchange structure and renaming some existing interchange programs as part of the consolidation of commercial interchange programs.
The fee rates for the existing interchange fee program categories are:
The fee rates for the new Mastercard Interchange Programs are:
Discover Interchange Fee Rate Adjustments
Effective April 12, 2019, Discover will be modifying interchange fee rates for some interchange program categories. With these changes, transactions in the impacted categories may qualify at the new fee rate amounts.
American Express Industry Category Rate Changes
On April 12, 2019, American Express will adjust existing pricing in the B2B/Wholesale, Restaurant, and Services & Professional Services Industry Categories.
Here are the pricing changes by industry category:
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
In 2017, online shoppers spent $453.46 billion in the United States alone. With profit potential that great, every business with a product or service that can be offered online is either doing so or risking being left behind. Wherever there’s money to be made, however, there are people rushing to learn how best to steal it.
The ubiquity of plastic as the payment method of choice online has resulted in a thriving underworld industry of debit and credit card fraud. And unfortunately for online vendors, one of the most common forms of card fraud is “card not present” theft. Online vendors don’t have the luxury of checking ID to be sure the names match. That being said, there are a number of relatively simple steps that e-merchants can take to mitigate the risk of online card fraud.
One of the best ways in general to reduce fraud risk is to contract with a trusted, established payment processing institution. An experienced payment processing firm should be able to handle everything from accounts receivable collections software for accounting to tokenization. Tokenization is a process that replaces sensitive data, like payment card numbers, with a “token.”
The token is a unique identifier that stands in for the actual card information (which is stored off-network in an ultra-secure data vault). The token can be effectively used by the business as necessary but is meaningless and useless to any hacker who breaches a less-secure local database, network, or payment application.
Emails, Addresses, and Overseas
Sometimes, security measures are relatively low-tech, requiring good old-fashioned risk management. In this case, keeping an eye out for details like the validity of an email address. It’s obviously not a sure-fire sign of larcenous intent, but if an email address appears to be a random string of characters at a free email domain, be wary.
The same goes for orders in which the billing and shipping address differ. There are countless legitimate reasons for that, but it can be a red flag, particularly if expedited shipping is requested. Overseas sales can be tricky. Obviously, the entirety of the planet beyond your borders is a great market, but it’s also a bit of a risk. Make sure the aforementioned payment processing firm you contract with has a solid foundation in international payment processing to help mitigate risks.
Always Require the CVV Code
This one may seem obvious, but a surprising number of online businesses still allow card transactions without requesting the card verification value (CVV) code. The CVV is a three- or four-digit code on the back of a credit or debit card. When hackers, identity thieves, and scammers get their hands on payment card numbers online the CVV is very often not present with that information. Requiring the CVV is therefore a small step that significantly mitigates the risk of fraud.
Payscout has worked to establish the company as one of the most trusted payment processing providers. Facilitating safe and convenient payment solutions across six continents, Payscout has been linking merchants and consumers with credit, debit, mobile, ATM, and alternative payment solutions. Managing payments, whether on-site or across mobile and online media, is easy with Payscout. Payscout integrates with more than a dozen software applications and also offers healthcare payment processing as well as specialization in non profit payment processing. Whatever your specific payment needs, Payscout can accommodate you with quick, convenient, friendly, and secure service.
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.
The holiday shopping season is officially here, and consumers are ready to spend—big time—according to a recent analysis by Forbes. As consumers increasingly spread shopping experiences across multiple mediums – traditional malls, big-box stores, and online shopping and e-commerce – businesses that are equipped to accommodate the influx of online traffic stand poised to reap serious benefits.
Take a look at these holiday shopping stats:
Black Friday is still the busiest shopping time for storefronts, but foot traffic declined nearly 9% from 2017.
Consumers spent $3.7 billion online in 2018, a 28% increase from 2017.
Online Black Friday sales generated $6.2 billion, an increase of 23.6% from 2017.
Mobile devices accounted for 68% of online traffic and 54% of orders on Thanksgiving Day.
Mobile devices made up 67% of all digital traffic on Black Friday, a 61% increase on the same day last year.
In the age of online shopping, e-wallets and cashless checkouts, the “customer experience” is crucial. These days, consumers want and expect an expedited checkout process both in stores and online, frictionless mobile payment processing, in-cart transparency, and, of course, data security.
If your business or organization isn’t equipped to accommodate these consumer preferences, you might be missing out on both traffic and revenue.
Mobile payments refer to any transaction for a product or service that is made through an app, website, or payment processing attachment on a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile electronic devices. In most cases, payment information is encrypted for security purposes. Mobile processing differs from traditional payments such as cash, checks, or debit and credit card information that require a stationary touch screen or computer.
The expansion of mobile payment processing is driven largely by consumer demands, but it’s also easier for retailers. Moving more consumers through checkout efficiently with a mobile point of sale system can drive business in-store and provide customers with a seamless, PCI-compliant checkout experience online. As more consumers turn to online shopping, retailers that adapt to the changing market will be well positioned to capture future growth.
Consumers often add items to their cart whether or not they intend to buy them. This is especially true during high traffic periods, such as holiday shopping. However, Retail Dive reports that an estimated 23% of customers will abandon the items in their cart if they can’t see the total up front, including taxes, shipping costs, and delivery dates.
Retailers that can make the online holiday shopping experience easier on consumers, including securing and organizing their online carts, can reap the benefits of online shopping.
Online shopping isn’t just for revenue-generating organizations, especially during the holidays. Giving Tuesday is one of the biggest days of the year for non profits and an important source of revenue for their operating funds.
A non profit payment processing system can help these organizations streamline donations during Giving Tuesday or any day of the year through a centralized merchant account, regardless of whether donors are online, on-site, or using a mobile platform.
Payscout is a trusted, global payment processing provider working across six continents and connecting merchants and consumers via credit, debit, ATM, and alternative payment networks. Payscout makes it easy to manage payments on-site and across online and mobile platforms. Payscout even offers customized API connections for utility payment processing and integrates with over a dozen software applications. If you work in a healthcare environment, Payscout’s mobile payment processing services can help drive revenue efficiently and securely.
Discover how you can leverage consumer preferences for online shopping at www.payscout.com
Payscout has provided secure, stable payment acceptance options to the ARM industry for over 10 years. Our team of industry specialists includes former Collection Agency owners, so we understand how important (and how challenging) it is for you to land those larger clients that are medical facilities, telecom providers, financial institutions and more.
Here are three key ways our domain expertise in ARM can help you land those larger clients and keep your business growing.
If you want to win larger Accounts Receivable clients in the medical, telecom, and financial institution/credit union verticals, it helps to offer integrations with the preferred software vendors in those respective business-types. A good example is Epic Systems, one of the largest healthcare software companies in the world. To give you a sense of scale, the hospitals that use their software hold the medical records of 64% of patients in the United States and 2.5% of patients worldwide. If you want to land a large healthcare system and manage their Accounts Receivable, there is a good chance they’re already using Epic, and so you need to ensure you can integrate with that platform.
Epic is one of over a dozen leading software solutions with which Payscout is already integrated. Other integrations include Ontario Systems, Bloodhound, Quantrax, Columbia Ultimate TCS, Healpay, Latitude, Applied Innovation, DebtMaster, KG Hawes, Lariat, InterProse ACE, Cyclone, CSS Impact, CollectOne, Collect!, and many more. Plus, our skilled development team can help you to build connections between your platform and the ones your clients use.
Our award-winning, Level 1 PCI-compliant gateway is a fully-integrated solution with a simple, secure API to seamlessly connect you right to the software platforms. The feature-rich options in our payment gateway enable you to sell improved operational efficiency and enhanced reporting to win those larger clients with the proper software integrations to get your foot in the door.
RegTech (Regulatory Technology)
For good reason, large companies are extremely concerned about regulatory changes that could adversely impact their business. The larger the company, the more complex the issues they’re facing, particularly at a State government level: Most large telecom, medical, and financial institutions operate in a multi-state capacity, meaning collecting on their behalf requires compliance with each State’s respective regulatory requirements. Layer onto those challenges oversight from the Federal government, regulatory requirements from bodies such as the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and compliance with legislation like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and ensuring you can help protect yourself and these large clients can seem an overwhelming challenge.
Fortunately, Payscout frequently and actively engages key stakeholders on Capitol Hill – from the lawmakers themselves, to the trade associations representing our industries, and representatives of the myriad regulatory bodies whose work impacts the debt collection industry. Our experienced team includes long-tenured members of ACA International, the Association of Credit and Collections Professionals and the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) – and they hold key leadership positions within these associations. We leverage these relationships to proactively refine and evolve the policies, processes, and systems that constitute our RegTech solution for secure payment processing.
All of this means you can leverage our RegTech solution to more confidently pitch those larger businesses, and ensure you and your clients are protected from regulatory action.
We’re entrepreneurs, just like you, but what sets us apart from the competition is not just that we know how to run a business; we know how to run a business just like yours, because we have.
Our experienced team of ARM industry professionals includes former collection agency owners, so we understand the operational complexities of your business. What we have learned in over a decade serving the debt collection industry is that it is possible to take the challenges and complexities you are facing (integrations and regulatory compliance, as examples) and turn them into strengths on which to sell and prosper.
If you are still using the antiquated system of manually entering, calculating, and creating invoices, your business is losing valuable staff time. You’re also losing money.
Enabling automated, online bill payment reduces costs while increasing the probability that you will be paid. Combine your online bill payment portal with accounts receivable collections software, and your business will be streamlined to collect payments quickly and efficiently.
Giving your consumers an easy way to pay increases your likelihood of being paid. More than half of Americans pay their bills online, and as the younger generations move into adulthood, this number will continue to increase. Offering an online bill payment option is just another customer service feature that many have come to expect in 2018.
It costs your business a significant amount to send invoices. According to Sterling Commerce, “manually-processed invoices cost, on average, $30 per invoice to process…while each paper invoice error costs companies $53.50 to rectify.” Compare this to the cost of fully-automated invoices—which according to the same research averages $3.50 per invoice—and the cost savings could rapidly add up.
For every bill you don’t have to print, that is paper that stays out of a landfill or fire pit. When you utilize online bill payment, information is securely stored month over month, reducing the amount you have to print to next to nothing. Online bill pay is a much better option for the environment.
With online bill payment, you can easily email clients their invoices and reminder notices prior to the due date, giving your client ample time to pay. This is especially helpful in the healthcare payment processing world, as medical bills often take a back seat to other billing priorities. Plus, consumers can set up recurring bill pay to keep them on track with payments.
Accepting online bill payments means the likelihood of errors is dramatically decreased – especially compared to making manual calculations. Reducing errors cuts operating costs and increases your bottom line over time.
Payscout’s recent acquisition of Paywire has significant implications for partners interested in expanding into healthcare payment processing by providing a suite of secure, integrated solutions to streamline operational efficiency and reduce the scope of PCI compliance. The move also gives Payscout customers access to Paywire applications developed in the Epic App Orchard marketplace and the company’s integrated suite of software applications.
Epic App Orchard is, among other things, a testing environment where developers can create and sell apps that interface with other software applications through Application Programming Interfaces (API). APIs allow customers to access interactive sites like Facebook and Facebook Messenger through an app. Epic App Orchard also lets developers test strategies for managing information exchange software in a sandbox environment.
This expanded access is important for Payscout clients across verticals, but particularly those that use healthcare payment processing systems. Healthcare clients manage huge databases of medical and financial information, ranging from patient registration and scheduling to lab results to medical billing. An integrated healthcare payment processing system allows Payscout customers to interface with financial institutions, third-party payment applications, and customer accounts seamlessly through a supported application portal.
With expanded access to Paywire applications in Epic App Orchard’s marketplace and APIs, Payscout can offer customers customized solutions such as fully-integrated billing and payment applications, all supported by Epic App Orchard’s APIs. With more cloud services, expanded mobile software, and access to Epic App Orchard’s APIs, Payscout customers gain more dynamic payment processing technologies and payment solutions that are customized for a specific vertical such as healthcare.
Payscout’s payment processing solutions are fully integrated with over a dozen software applications and offer direct, reliable banking solutions. Payscout’s mobile-enabled web portal, Condor, lets customers pay through a mobile app, and their customized API connection allows for real-time data transfer.
Payscout offers the same support to clients in other verticals, including collection agencies. Payscout fully integrates with over a dozen accounts receivable collections software platforms, ensuring transactions are secure, efficient, and provide real-time data for your business. With over a decade of experience in the collections industry, Payscout delivers fully-integrated payment processing services to help you handle medical or telecom collections, student loan payments, inbound financial transactions, or credit union receivables.
Payscout serves thousands of clients in diverse industries and verticals across six continents and all 50 states. As a licensed E.U. Financial Institution, Payscout has partnerships with global financial institutions across the world. The “Go Global Now” technology platform gives merchants access to over 100 countries, billions of consumers, and valuable mobile markets. As an international payment processing solution provider, Payscout helps entrepreneurs navigate foreign rules, requirements, reporting, and compliance.
Payscout connects merchants and consumers via credit, debit, ATM, and alternative payment networks. Customers can access Payscout’s credit card processing services via a web-based user portal, or call Payscout’s professional service experts.