How a Payment Gateway Can Help Your Business

Today, innovations in information and communication technology are making it easier than ever to connect with people from all over the globe. We now have instant access to a vast online marketplace that has revolutionized the way we do business. While running an online store is incredibly convenient for you and your customers, it also leaves you susceptible to fraud. In order to do business online, you will need an online payment gateway, or virtual terminal, to keep your transactions safe.

A virtual terminal is the link merchants need to enter credit, debit and automated clearinghouse (ACH) payments online securely and efficiently through their own computer. A virtual terminal can be used to process card-based and ACH transactions from any computer with Internet access, anywhere in the world, enabling the merchant to securely handle the verification, reporting and processing of transactions.

Virtual terminals work much like when a customer submits an order through either a securely hosted payment form or through an integrated shopping cart. The customer’s credit card information is encrypted and the payment makes its way to the payment gateway, which forwards the information to the merchant’s bank processor. Next, the payment is processed through the card network and authorized by the customer’s issuing bank.

There are many benefits to having a virtual terminal, including enabling secure transmissions of customer data, receiving less chargebacks due to the transactions being verified, automatic PCI compliance, and the ability to accept all major card brands.

For more information on virtual terminals and how they could benefit your business, please visit the Payscout website, or call one of our specialists today at 1-888-689-6088.

An Overview of Merchant Processing Services

Whether you have an online business or a regular brick and mortar store, offering your customers the option to pay by card is crucial. That is why you need a merchant processing service partner. Merchant processing is an important service for businesses, enabling them to process both debit and credit card payments from customers. Choosing the right service provider is just as important as choosing the right service.

How Exactly Does Merchant Processing Work?

When a customer hits the ‘pay now’ or ‘buy’ button on your website (or when you swipe the credit or debit card over the counter), an authorization request is sent to your merchant processing service provider. The provider then forwards the authorization request to the issuing bank or the credit card association for approval. Included in this request is relevant data such as the card number, expiration date and CVV number.

Next, the issuing bank or the card association sends back an approval or decline message to the merchant processor. According the response received, the merchant processing agent conveys the message to you and your customer to validate whether the transaction has been approved or declined. The payment for the transaction is deposited into your merchant account, minus the service charges for processing the transaction.

All of this is automated, secure and occurs within minutes, making it incredibly convenient for both your customer and your business.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Merchant Processing Service Provider

The bank card processing industry is complex and ever changing. With so many merchant services providers clamoring to be the best in the business, it can be difficult to know who to choose. Make sure to keep the following in mind when choosing a merchant processing firm to partner with.

Does the Provider offer all the Services you need?

Your needs are unique to your business and you need a provider that can work with you to meet all of them. For instance, if you have an online business, you need a provider that offers a secure payment gateway and virtual terminal, and one that also specializes in risk management. However, offline stores have completely different requirements, so choose a company that meets all your specific needs.

What are the Service Charges?

Though it is not recommended to always opt for the ‘cheapest’ service provider, cost is an important factor while considering merchant processing firms. We suggest not focusing on how much you are being charged, but focus instead on what exactly you are being charged for. Some companies do offer certain value added services at an extra cost. If your service provider is up-front about all charges, and can satisfactorily answer all of your questions, it may still be worth paying the (slightly) elevated service fees.

Merchant processing service is important for businesses, so make sure you choose your provider wisely! Don’t forget, our Payscout specialists are always here to answer any questions you might have, contact us online or call us direct at 888.689-6088.

Accept Payments Using Your Smartphone or Tablet

Would you like to enjoy the convenience and flexibility of accepting credit and debit card payments for your business, wherever you go?

Other businesses are already taking advantage of mobile credit card processing. Taxis and food trucks can accept cards via smartphones, and chances are, your favorite restaurant now takes orders and payments on an iPad or tablet-based point-of-sale (POS) system. In a world where people are constantly on the move, doesn’t it make sense for your payment processing to be mobile as well?

Mobile Card Processing Services

Accepting credit and debit card payments using a phone or tablet device is the future of electronic payments. Mobile card processing services allow customers to make payments for products or services purchased anywhere, anytime. When you’re delivering products to a customer’s home or conducting a sale in a public place, carrying your card processing equipment is not only inconvenient, it’s virtually impossible. This is a time when using a mobile payment service comes in especially handy.

Six Steps to Mobile Credit Card Processing

  1. First, you need to set-up an account with a mobile card provider like Payscout!
  2. Second, you will set-up equipment that enables your mobile card processing. You may also have to download an app on your mobile or tablet device to accept payments.
  3. Now, you’re ready to accept payments! You will need to swipe your customer’s card and enter in their information by taking a photo of the information on the card or asking your customer for the required information.
  4. Depending on the type of app, your customer can either sign to approve the payment or provide you with additional information required to authorize the transaction.
  5. Watch, as the money comes pouring in, because card processing through mobiles takes less than a few seconds!
  6. You will also be able to email or text a receipt for the transaction to your customer.

The Benefits of Mobile Card Processing Services

It is easy to find a merchant account service provider that offers mobile processing solutions for Android phones, iPhones and iPads. However, finding the right service provider for your needs can be a bit tricky. Make sure you weigh the efficiency of the service against their fees before you enter into a contract.

Once you’ve found the right service provider for your business, you can take advantage of the following benefits:

  • Increased Security – Mobile credit card processing keeps your customer’s information secure by swiping their card and digitally transferring all of their sensitive data.
  • Compliance – By using a mobile credit card processor, you automatically stay in compliance with the law that requires all printed credit and debit card receipts have all but the last 5 digits of the customer’s account information removed.
  • Enhanced Speed – Mobile credit and debit card processing doesn’t require you to call to authorize a transaction, making the processing fast and easy.
  • Lowered Cost –Debit and credit cards can be used to make a purchase whether the actual card is present or not, and while merchants are charged fees for both transaction types, the percentage for card-present transactions is typically lower than the fee for card-not-present transactions. This means a merchant can save a significant amount of money by using a mobile credit card processor.

Mobile card processing services also allow you to stay connected to your business on the go. This enables you to boost sales and improves your profit margin, thus helping your business grow. Contact one of our Payscout specialists today at 888.589.5088 or by inquiring online to see how we can help grow your business using a mobile card reader!

Managed Risk Merchant Services – “What You Can Expect”

Offering your customers the option to pay via credit or debit card can be a crucial step for your business. Especially when it comes to doing business online, as paying with a debit or credit card is the only option a customer has. Many third party payments providers will offer credit card processing as part of their merchant processing services, but there can be a catch.

While these services are readily available to lower risk businesses, businesses with higher risks – or a managed risk model – can find it difficult to get the support they need to open a merchant account. This is due to the fact managed risk merchant services are only offered by specialized service providers, like Payscout.

Since Payscout has such a long history of partnering and supporting higher risk businesses, we thought it would be helpful to provide answers to some of the most common questions you may have about managed risk payment services.

Is your business type considered managed risk?

As a general rule, you will qualify as a managed risk merchant if your business type is classified within the financial industry as having a “higher level of managed risk.” This means you either serve an unpredictable clientele or accept only online transactions where the actual card and cardholder are not present to authorize. It could also mean your transaction turnover is high with large volumes of sales. These factors tend to lead to enhanced risk for card fraud, which is what the providers are looking for when they evaluate eligibility. Small companies with low volume sales can also be considered managed risk businesses, because they typically can’t afford to make an investment in fraud screening tools, like the larger companies can.

It is not just the type of industry or size that can cause a business to be defined as managed risk. The individual owner’s reputation is equally as important when determining risk status. Business owners with poor/inconsistent credit histories, or those that have been blacklisted, are considered to be a higher risk than those with good standings.

Does your merchant services provider want you to provide a rolling reserve?

Most service providers will want a reserve of some kind to protect their interest, so keep that in mind. Make sure you understand the terms of your contract and it is important to feel confident about your relationship with whatever merchant services provider you choose. They will play a large role in the success of your business.

What should I look for in a managed risk merchant services partner?

Merchants with managed risk models often have to search a little more to find a merchant provider that will board them as an account and also provide them with the excellent service they deserve. For this reason, the process of finding the right managed risk merchant services provider is important. The right merchant services provider can make or break your business down the road, so looking for a provider that is the best fit for you is worth the time.

Also, since managed risk merchant services fees are typically higher than those charged for low-risk businesses, it’s important to review proposed contracts and rates carefully. Some merchant service providers can take fees to an extreme, charging extra to set-up accounts on top of standard processing fees.

Moreover, it can be difficult for managed risk merchants to negotiate the terms of their credit card processing, due to the fact they have less leveraging power. However, the pros of enabling debit and credit card payments for your business will generally outweigh all the cons, so we encourage you to keep looking until you find a provider you feel comfortable with. Just remember to thoroughly read your contract and keep an eye out for extras like termination fees or other incidentals.

When choosing a managed risk merchant services provider, there are many things you can do to ensure you find the right partner:

  1. Ask around and choose a provider with a well established reputation in the field and one that is well spoken of for the range and quality of services offered.
  2. Choose someone who caters to your specific needs. For instance, depending on the nature of your business, you may require 24×7 customer service support.
  3. Insist on a breakdown of the fee structure. Don’t sign-up unless you are convinced the fee structure is fair and clear.

Below, we’ve listed a few of the managed risk business types Payscout supports:

  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Travel services
  • Telemarketing businesses
  • E-wallet and E-cash
  • ISP and hosting services
  • Online cigarette or tobacco vending
  • Online auctions and debt services
  • Online dating services
  • Online sale of replica products

Setting up a managed risk merchant account can be overwhelming. Payscout has a team of managed risk specialists standing by to talk to you about your unique business needs and help you find the perfect blend of services and price. Give us a call at 888-689-6088 or inquire online today!

A Little Cultural Empathy Goes a Long Way!

For those merchants who’ve never branched outside of the United States to sell products before, or those considering entry into a new global market, the idea can be a bit daunting. While language barriers are one of the more obvious things to consider when a company is looking into what it takes to sell products abroad, even English speaking foreign countries such as Australia, the U.K., and Canada, all have other cultural and regulatory management issues to address before a successful business model can be established there. Clearly, the amount of investment depends on which geographic areas are targeted, what products are being sold, and how aggressive a company wants to pursue business, but the more comfortable a merchant is up-front with the cultural requirements they will need to meet, the more efficient and successful they will be in the long run.

The exchange of foreign currencies, special regulatory guidelines, licensing, compliance, and risk management are all on the list of important considerations when you are analyzing a particular foreign market. Not to mention, economic strengths and weaknesses, political issues which could be brewing, or even good old fashioned marketability. How does a company approach all these key touch points knowledgeably without getting overwhelmed? Payscout suggests leaning on the one vendor you know you won’t be able to live without; an electronic payments partner who is already well threaded through the global buying network and experienced with the worldwide business landscape. A merchant services provider who has already proven they have a foothold on a country’s landscape and understand the requirements for inbound merchants. This one decision will provide you with the cultural empathy you need to navigate across political and geographical lines without risking profitability.

While the list of risks might seem to outweigh the benefits at times, Payscout leaders feel this an opportune time for business owners to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit, and take bold steps to expand internationally. It’s no secret, online sales worldwide have been predicted to grow exponentially in the coming years by global economists and market research firms due to growing consumer adoption of online and mobile commerce. A fact, Payscout is betting on as they roll out their latest “Go Global Now” initiative to help present and future merchants comfortably take advantage of the ripe global business climate and make the wisest international business decisions.

Payscout has the experience, knowledge and consultative approach to give you everything you need to expand across the cultural divide in an efficient, pleasant, focused, and empathetic way.

In fact, Payscout is even prepared to walk you through every step of the planning process, and give you the expert advice you need to assess which foreign markets are best for your particular business model and product.

Payscout merchant service representatives will not only help you get a working payment system set-up for accepting foreign currencies, but they’ll also counsel you on when the right time is to pursue international incorporation, guide you through foreign regulatory requirements, and give you sound advice on what it will take to market your products effectively to unknown groups of consumers.

It is an exciting time for U.S. merchants who want to branch out beyond their current domestic boundaries! However, Payscout cautions merchants to take the time to consult with the right professionals who have a legitimate hands-on sense of existing foreign markets.

Payscout has been monitoring the global marketplace closely for many years, and they are seeing countries which were once closed to online business or operating under stern eCommerce restrictions, now opening up to the idea of online commerce. Several of them, such as Brazil and China, have even stepped into the lead and are expected to stay frontrunners in the online purchasing market for many years to come.

If you are an enterprising U.S. merchant considering when and how to take your business global, Payscout can help you plant roots overseas without any hitches or hiccups. Call us today at 1-888-689-6088 for a free global commerce consultation or apply online.

Go Global Now!

If you aren’t selling your products in foreign markets yet, you could be missing out on the biggest consumer buying trend the world has seen since the advent of eCommerce. Online shopping is now considered a norm in the culture of many countries, with several foreign markets now leading the pack year-over-year in eCommerce sales. As the rising usage of smartphones and tablets for purchasing continues to add fuel to this fire, Payscout is counseling its merchants to jump on the global bandwagon, and take advantage of all these emerging interests.

The practice of online selling has come far from where it began; as a simple, online ordering page for local pizza delivery. Today, anyone can order a gourmet pizza from New York, and request it be delivered anywhere in the world! Of course, pizza is only one of the many millions of products available for purchase online today, and the eCommerce ecosystem is still gaining strength. Online sales have been tagged by research experts and economists alike as today’s driving force behind retail growth, and consumers continue to favor eCommerce more every year as a preferred method for doing business. Online sales worldwide are predicted to grow exponentially in the coming years, with eCommerce revenues expected to reach 1.6 trillion by the end of 2015.

Moreover, countries which once were closed to online business or operating under stern eCommerce restrictions are now beginning to embrace online commerce. Even several of them who’ve been thought to be nearly impenetrable have now stepped into a lead role as global eCommerce frontrunners. Countries such as Brazil and China, which have traditionally been difficult regions for establishing turn-key online sales programs, are now being named rapidly emerging global markets for eCommerce and mCommerce sales by economic experts.

This is opening doors to many enterprising U.S. merchants who have been considering when and how to take their business model global. With its multi-country presence, and a firm commitment to supporting the entrepreneurial dream one transaction at a time, Payscout is well positioned to help these companies learn the lay of the land and successfully launch into emerging foreign markets.

Offering merchants the benefits of a unique cultural empathy and an established footprint in many of these markets, Payscout’s deep cultural awareness and insights have enabled many merchants to set-up and run turnkey eCommerce operations in global economies. With years of experience resolving both real and perceived barriers to entry in foreign commerce markets, Payscout will expertly guide merchants through the process and to the resources for easily navigating regulatory, exchange, language, risk, and compliance matters. Thereby, ensuring a client is up-and-running in a foreign market and selling to consumers quickly, efficiently and seamlessly.

If you are ready to explore whether your company is suited to sell on the global commerce frontier, Payscout has representatives standing by to help you research each foreign market, and determine best practices for launching a branded product presence there.

Call us today at 1-888-689-6088 for a free consultation or apply online.

Merchant Account Basics

If you want to accept credit or debit card transactions as a business, you will need to have a merchant account. Merchant accounts are a business arrangement between you and a credit card processor that allows you to accept card-based payments from your customers. Those payments are then deposited into your bank account by the credit card processor after the sales are complete.

There are two basic types of merchant account; one for card-present transactions and one for card-not-present transactions. A merchant account for card-present transactions is used when the credit card and cardholder are physically present at the time of the sale and the card is swiped through a credit card terminal, or via a mobile card-swipe device. A merchant account for card-not-present transactions is used when neither the card nor the cardholder are present for the sale, as is typical in eCommerce sales.

You will have to get an application approved by a credit card processer in order to get a merchant account. The processer outfits you with the products and services you need to accept card-based transactions, including hardware and software.

The credit card processor acts as a middleman between you and the issuing bank. When the bank authorizes a customer’s transaction, the transaction amount is credited to your merchant account by the processor. At the end of the day, you settle all of your transactions in one batch with the processor, who deposits the funds into your bank account typically within two days.

By partnering with a credit card processer like Payscout, you will never again have to turn away business, because you can’t accept card payments. You also get to enjoy the benefits of working with an international company while still receiving dedicated attention, honest dealing, and genuine appreciation from the Payscout team. We’ll treat your business with respect and professionalism, setting up your service quickly, with ready support every step of the way.

Check out our website for more information on merchant accounts or contact our helpful, live customer service representative at 888-689-6088 to address any questions you may have!

Tips for Avoiding Credit Card Fraud


Fraud is one of the major issues faced by many credit card owners today. Millions of dollars are lost to credit card fraud each year, with no sign of this trend decreasing. High profile security breaches on organizations like Target and T-Mobile prove that even companies that invest in the best security possible can fall victim to theft and fraud.

So, how can an everyday person protect their identity and prevent fraud? There may be no surefire way to prevent credit card fraud, but there are certainly steps you can take to protect yourself. Try following these three tips to cut down on your chances of falling victim to credit card fraud.

1. Keep Your Card Secured

This might seem obvious, but many people fall victim to fraud after first falling victim to theft. Never leave your credit cards in a place that could be accessed by thieves, like in a desk drawer or in your car’s glove box. Remember, a thief does not need your pin number to withdraw money from an ATM using your credit card, and they can ring up a big bill buying things online. It is best to keep your credit card on your person, either in your wallet or purse, at all times to keep it out of the hands of potential thieves.

2. Don’t Share Your Credit Card Information

The golden rule in avoiding credit card fraud is to not share your credit card information with anyone. It is extremely easy to shop online, and providing online retailers with your credit card information has almost become second nature to some. However, you need to be careful about who you shop with. Make sure you are using a legitimate merchant site and check the website’s credibility before you buy. You also should be cautious about providing your information over the phone, as telephone scams are rampant. Remember, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

3. Review Your Billing Statements

There are times when credit card thieves withdraw small amounts of cash from many different bank accounts hoping that their victims never notice the discrepancy. That is why it is so important to review your monthly bank and credit card statements, and equally as important to report any spending you do not remember or have no record of.

How Mobile Payment Processing has Changed

Mobile credit card processing has played a vital role in the enablement of businesses to safely accept debit and credit card payments without the hassles of fixed hardware and phone lines. This advancement in technology enables retailers to go wherever their customers are. Mobile credit card processing is constantly evolving in order to keep up with consumers. Over the past five years, the industry has experienced rapid change, affecting both consumers and merchants.

Here are just a few ways mobile credit card processing has changed in the past five years.

1. More Functions

You can now access almost any payment function with the use of your mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. You can also send emails or text messages to your customers after making the sale.

2. Apps for iPad, iPhone, and Android

Mobile credit card processing is now very popular among businesses of all sizes. You can now take advantage of different apps for mobile devices which are used to process credit and debit cards. This is an excellent opportunity for small businesses to get reliable and simple ways to accept payments as they eliminate the need for an IT Department to process orders.

3. Increased Usage of Small Businesses

Over the past five years, there has been a significant increase in the number of small business owners who use mobile credit card processing. Small enterprises owners such as antique dealers, crafts sellers, fair vendors, and food truck proprietors have taken the opportunity to increase their sales and cash flow.

Mobile credit card processing changes the way small businesses conduct their sales. This field will continue to evolve for bigger and better things.

If you are interested in learning more about how Payscout can help your business establish a mobile-friendly electronic transaction platform, visit our website or call us at 888-689-6088 today!

A Look at Small Business Finance Accounts

When you open up a small business, part of the process includes making a decision about how you will deposit money and settle your bills. This can also include figuring out how to process credit card payments. For most businesses, this means opening up two types of accounts; a merchant account to handle credit and debit card transactions and a conventional bank account to handle cash deposits and bill payments.

What is a Merchant Account?

Essentially, a merchant account is a contract between a retailer and a bank or credit card processing firm. This type of account serves as an intermediary between the concerned parties. The retailer and banks that sponsor credit and debit cards perform transactions by using a merchant account.

Many merchant account providers also provide mobile processing of debit and credit cards. With this service, you can easily accept payments from your customers from anywhere at any time!

Merchant accounts require you to pay a fee for every transaction made with a credit card. Fees will be charged for transactions such as sales processing and funds transferring. However, in comparison with the amount of new sales you are able to make by accepting credit cards, these fees won’t impact your overall profits.

Merchant Account vs. Bank Account

A traditional bank account serves as a repository for your company’s funds, which can include credit card and cash payments. A bank account is the main source of funds used to settle your bills and payroll. It is also the account that your merchant account deposits the profits from credit and debit card sales into.

In order to properly do business, you will need to partner with a credit card processor that can work with your bank to keep your cash flow up-to-date. As an international company, Payscout can work with your local bank as well as international processors like Europay, MasterCard and Visa to ensure your transaction data is secure and current.

Check out our website or call one of our customer service specialists at 888-689-6088 to find out how we can help you grow your business!