How to Streamline Your Online Business Payment Processing

How to Streamline Your Online Business Payment Processing

There are so many considerations, concerns, complicated details, and unforeseen hurdles accompanying the running of a business that it can be easy to overlook features that could either help or hinder your business’s success. In this case, that feature is payment processing. A user-friendly, streamlined payment processing infrastructure can prove to be a revenue driver by increasing conversions, while a poorly managed system can turn off and drive away consumers, leaving your business with a lot of missed opportunities and abandoned shopping carts.

 Don’t Exclude Payment Methods or Processing Options

Consumers have become so accustomed to having multiple payment options that any business with a payment processing solution that does not support multiple sources of payment could suffer. To maximize conversions, incorporate both domestic and international payment processing. Credit and debit cards are obviously a must, but some consumers prefer additional payment alternatives. Those include online payment systems, app-centric payment options, direct payment services, account-based payments and merchant accounts, as well as the ability to accept (and possibly offer) coupons and gift cards.

 Allow Guest Checkout

Customers establishing accounts with online businesses are generally a mutually beneficial arrangement. It’s certainly mutually beneficial when the customers are happy and willing to do it. These accounts make it easier for customers to reorder from you and increases the likelihood they will do so, which in turn increases trust and brand loyalty.

Unfortunately, account-averse customers complicate that relationship. It’s not necessarily the result of arbitrary account-antagonism or consumers being too impatient to sign up. Sometimes people are in a rush, and some consumers are just wary of sharing additional personal information on the internet. Instead of having to create an account or forgo the purchase, allow the option to purchase as a guest to ensure you don’t miss out on potential business. Generally, requests for information should be tiered, from the bare minimum required to complete a purchase to the information necessary to establish an account, to whatever additional information would contribute to your sales metrics that customers are willing to provide.

Invest in Security and Let People Know

From the often labyrinthine world of healthcare payment processing to stocking, selling, and shipping T-shirts, customers don’t just want a secure payment processing option—they demand it. Due to the spate of high-profile data hacks, network intrusions of major corporations, and the ubiquity of identity theft issues that remain a threat, consumers are even more leery of ecommerce. To assuage those concerns, invest in tight security and a protected, encrypted secure payment portal. Once it’s been employed, be sure that it’s mentioned where consumers will see it so they can rest assured you’re taking responsible actions to minimize risk.

 A Clear, Intuitive Purchase Process

It’s a bit surprising that providing this information is still necessary, but there are still sites with vague purchase and payment processes. The entirety of the purchase process should include very clear calls to action and additional options. Consumers want to be both aware of the status of a potential purchase throughout the process, while having the option to continue browsing without the risk of backing out of an order or doubling up on one. As such, each button should identify exactly what clicking it is going to accomplish. Which is why vague buttons like “Go Ahead,” “Continue,” “Apply,” “Order” or “Checkout” are worth reconsidering. Those can mean an order overview or the actual purchasing of whatever’s in their cart. Stick with “Add to Cart,” “Go to Checkout,” and “Buy Now” or “Place your Order” for the utmost clarity. And always provide the opportunity to both edit the cart and continue shopping.

 About Payscout

Payscout has consistently been recognized as one of the most innovative, trusted, and dynamic payment processing providers in the industry. By facilitating sound, secure, convenient payment processing solutions across the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and the E.U., Payscout links merchants and their customers with their debit, credit, ATM, mobile, and alternative payment systems. Payscout makes it easy to manage payments, both on-site and for mobile and online platforms. Additionally, Payscout can integrate with over a dozen software payment processing applications, while specializing in accounts receivable collections software, utility payment processing, and non profit payment processing. Payscout can accommodate any payment requirement confidently with safe, secure, speedy, friendly, and convenient service.

Discover everything Payscout’s payment processing solutions can do for you, at www.payscout.com

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

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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

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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.

Convenience Fees and Compliance

There are three layers of compliance that a merchant must consider if they are using a convenience-fee model:

FDCPA Guidelines

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.

State Requirements

The second leg of compliance is the state requirements or restrictions. Abiding by these rules is not as simple as just keeping a list of restricted states, as case law is constantly changing. Due to the dynamic nature of state requirements, it is crucial to monitor these changes and work with partners who stay up to date on statutes and can handle the differences in their technology.

Most of the payment processors who offer convenience fees are doing so in compliance with FDCPA and state 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 Card-Brand 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.

How Payscout’s Integrated Payment System Can Drive Your Business

 

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Payscout is a leading payment processing provider that connects businesses, consumers, and financial institutions through credit, debit, and ATM networks across the globe.

With integrations for over a dozen software applications, Payscout facilitates electronic payment solutions for all types of business operations.

Utility companies, collection agencies, and global financial firms are just some of the entities that can benefit from Payscout’s integrated processing system.

Enhanced Engagement for Utilities

Utility companies regularly engage with customers through monthly billing, rebates, and online dashboards, all of which give customers more control over their consumption and billing.

Maintaining and strengthening these customer relations is crucial for utility companies, and Payscout’s utility payment processing solution offers enhanced outreach capabilities. Payscout’s integrated payment capabilities can help utility companies maintain efficient operations by providing frictionless payment options. This means that customers can engage through a mobile device, app, or website in order to pay a monthly bill, read up on annual rebates, or check out their monthly usage.

Secure Accounts Receivable Management (ARM) Services

The breadth of the ARM industry requires an integrated payment system equipped to handle complex and multi-faceted transactions. Payscout’s accounts receivable collections software connects collection agencies, merchant and customer accounts, and financial institutions to facilitate fast and secure payments.

Payscout’s integrated system is available in real-time and supports a wide range of industries, including medical, telecom, student loans, and financial institutions.

Payscout’s mobile web portal, Condor, facilitates online transactions, and Payscout offers a direct gateway connection for real-time data transfer. This fully integrated system works with over a dozen software applications, allowing your customers to make payments in new and innovative ways.

Explore Global Transactions

If you’re considering entering global markets, Payscout’s international payment processing system can help you manage foreign credit and debit transactions or expand into offshore markets.

Payscout’s existing locations in Brazil, Canada, the European Union, and United States will help you connect with international merchants, navigate foreign agencies, and develop your services abroad.

Use Payscout to help grow and streamline your business. Find out more at www.payscout.com

Create an ARM Collection Plan That Keeps Your Business On Track

Don’t let debtors get you down or slow your productivity. Instead, focus on creating a plan that keeps you on top of debt collection and shortens the time a customer is in arrears. To collect a debt without ruining the relationship, follow the helpful tips below.

 Create a plan

A failure to plan is a plan to fail, and only twenty percent of all credit departments have a formalized plan that details the defined goals of their department. Your plan should include role delineation and responsibility assignments, as well as a clear dispute resolution procedure.

 

Use great software

Great accounts receivable collections software will make collecting the debt you’re owed much simpler. By managing your entire debt collection processes, ARM software will make you more efficient and effective, and allow you to accept payment quickly online and via mobile. You’ll also be able to perform credit and risk scoring.

 

Online payment options

Allowing debtors to pay online will not only speed up the debt collection process but may prevent it entirely. When individuals have an easy, hassle-free way to pay, they tend to actually do it.

 

Consistent messaging

Whether you send your messages electronically or through the mail, keep outbound messages consistent. Each message you send should include a reference to your policies and procedures, as well as your expectations. Ensure that you keep a paper trail of all communications between you and your debtor in the event that things take a more serious turn.

 

Be firm and flexible

Just because a client isn’t currently on good terms with you doesn’t mean that empathy goes out the window. Work with your customers even if they’re delinquent—it takes much more effort to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an old one, just because they may be going through a difficult time does not mean you should ostracize them against future purchases.

 

Always be a professional

When addressing collections and debt, you are still representing the face of your business. How you handle yourself as you collect the debt will give individuals an opinion of your company that they may share with the outside world, and friends and family. Don’t give them an opportunity to speak badly about you or your conduct.

 

Payscout Leads Compliance Talks at ACA International Convention

Payscout hosted an interactive panel, “Payment Compliance Outlook and Why It Matters to Collection Agencies,” at the ACA International Annual Convention and Expo.ACA Convention, the largest event for the credit and collections industry, provides an opportunity for attendees to learn from experts whose innovative ideas keep professionals ahead of a shifting regulatory environment, informed of emerging legal trends, as well as uncovering emerging trends and best practices with industry leaders.

 

The panel was moderated by Payscout Strategic Sales and Business Development Manager – ARM, Fran Fisher, who appeared alongside Edward Marshall, Chair – Business and Litigation Payment Systems Practice at Arnall Golden Gregory, LLP; Brian Riley, Director of Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group; and Giles Witherspoon-Boyd, President and CEO at Protocol Enterprises.

 

Together, the group provided an outlook for payment compliance issues and regulatory changes expected under the new administration. Focus was placed on how regulations such as PCI DSS and Reg E – and changes to them – impacted collection agencies and other ARM companies. The panelists explained why it is important for organizers to pay attention, under the watchful eye of the CFPB, which oversees the payments industry.

 

The interactive session was one highlight of Payscout’s involvement in the ACA Expo. Payscout returned as a prominent exhibitor at the Convention and treated attendees to a new virtual reality (VR) experience highlighting the company’s thought-leading solutions and Award-Winning culture.

 

Payscout has been actively serving the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry for over a decade. The company built its reputation by providing unparalleled customer service and offering legitimate merchant accounts to collection agencies through reliable and highly sustainable acquiring banks. Payscout’s vision is to become the thought-leading and fastest-growing global payment processing provider in the world

 

Topics: ARM

Partnership Provides Flexible Payment Options in ARM

Payscout recently announced a strengthening partnership with software solutions provider HealPay in alignment with strategies to best serve the companies’ mutual customers.  Many of those customers are entrepreneurs in the all-important accounts receivable management (ARM) space, and the Payscout/HealPay partnership means more innovative, flexible payment integration options.

“When merchants deploy consumer friendly software, they process more payments,” said HealPay Co-Founder and CEO Erick Bzovi. “Our partnership with Payscout gives HealPay a strong back-end provider, allowing us to scale into new markets and attract more growth-oriented merchants. The partnership enables us to double down into the growing Accounts Receivable space.” HealPays’s flagship application, SettlementApp, innovates by analyzing data and providing individuals with flexible payment options. Those options are a key differentiator for ARM firms looking to provide painless, frictionless payment experiences for their customers. Payscout, the global payment processing engine powering HealPay’s front-end solutions, and HealPay are integrated with leading claims management software, accounting software, and payment gateways, enabling automated reports and reducing data entry.  HealPay and Payscout work with large creditors, collection agencies, and attorneys to help them collect payments with the most convenient and reliable solutions.  For both companies, the approach is simple: Partner with the best, most customer-focused solutions providers to deliver streamlined bill pay services and the very best software integrations in the ARM industry. Those solutions make life for entrepreneurs easier, and that’s how Payscout “supports the entrepreneurial dream one transaction at a time.”