What is a Payment Management System?

SMB owners wear many hats, managing everything from staff to sales. Adding to the already tough job of managing a small or medium business is the complex task of understanding how payment processing works, including managing the fees, equipment, accounts payable and more. 

Here’s where a Payment Management System (PMS) can swoop in as your financial hero to understand your business better.

TL;DR

  • Payment Management Systems manage payment processing so you can accept payments, send invoices, track transactions, and view financial data.
  • Look for a PMS that can serve as an all-in-one platform for payment processing, integrates with other technologies, offers appropriate POS equipment, and prioritizes security compliance.
  • Government agencies have a payment management system to manage grant award payments, making the search for payment management system information more complicated.

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What is a Payment Management System?

Think of a PMS as your financial command center. It consolidates all your payment processing needs into one user-friendly platform. A PMS accepts payments, sends invoices, tracks transactions, and analyzes your financial data—all in one place. 

You may also hear the term Cash Management System (CMS) in your research. A cash management system focuses on the big-picture health of your cash flow, while a payment management system handles the processing of individual transactions. Imagine cash flow as a river—cash management oversees the whole flow, while payment management ensures water gets in and out smoothly. 

Your PMS is a central hub to manage payment requests and store banking information (like your routing and bank account number for ACH payments). A comprehensive PMS is especially useful for SMBs, where efficiency is key and understanding financial performance in your business shouldn’t be overcomplicated. 

Key Features of a Supercharged PMS

So, what exactly should a payment management system provide to your business? Key features of a well-built PMS include:

  • Efficient transaction processing: Speed and accuracy are key, and a good PMS should process payments quickly and with a user-friendly interface, keeping your cash flow smooth and customers happy.
  • Robust security measures: Any PMS worth its salt needs to have standard security features like encryption, fraud detection and compliance with industry standards, including the PCI DSS.
  • Helpful integration capabilities: You don’t want a PMS siloed from other technology. Integration with your accounting software, CRM, or inventory system saves you time and effort when analyzing financial performance.
  • User interface and experience: Your PMS should be intuitive and easy to navigate, allowing you to focus on running your business, not wrestling with technology.
  • Reporting and analytics: A good PMS provides you with reporting and analytics tools, giving you valuable insights into your cash flow, customer trends, and spending patterns.

The Diverse World of Payment Management Systems

If you’re seeking to understand what payment management systems are, a quick internet search will yield some information worth explaining before we get too far into the various PMS options for SMBs.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also has a Payment Management System, which is a centralized grant payment system managed by the federal government. The Program Support Center for Payment Management Services (pms.psc.gov) serves as “a fiscal intermediary between federal awarding agencies and award recipients.” Also available through the HHS is the Federal Financial Report (FFR), which provides information about grant award spending, grantee information, and various disclosures.

Essentially, these federal agencies have a specific PMS to track grant award payments and payee information, ensuring federal cash disbursements are securely managed, and grant recipients can receive their awards in an auditable way.

Now, let’s break down various other terminology related to payment management systems you’ll encounter in your small or medium business:

  • Merchant account providers act as a middleman between your business and the bank, allowing you to accept credit and debit cards.
  • Payment gateways securely process online payments, acting as a bridge between your website and the payment processor.
  • Payment processors handle the nitty-gritty of authorization, settlement, and transfer of funds between your business and your customer’s bank.
  • Point-of-sale (POS) systems are the all-in-one systems you see at retail stores, handling in-person transactions and often integrating with inventory management software.
  • Mobile payment systems let your customers use different payment methods like their digital wallets, contactless card payments and more, offering a convenient and secure way to accept payments on the go.

What Are the Benefits of a PMS?

A payment management system that handles incoming revenue and purchase expenditures effectively, is one of the many tools at your disposal to optimize your business operations. Not only should your PMS help simplify payments and reduce manual time spent, but it should also help you make more money. In fact, 72% of SMBs believe automating accounts payable tasks would improve their cash flow. Here are a few benefits at the top of our list:

  • Boost efficiency: Automate tasks like sending invoices and reconciling accounts, freeing up your time to focus on growing your business.
  • Enhance security: Gain peace of mind with secure transactions, trusted fraud protection, and industry-standard compliance features—all essential components of a good PMS.
  • Streamline checkout: Move beyond clunky POS systems and give your customers a better experience. Modern POS tools are user-friendly, simple, and speedy.
  • Empower decisions: You’ll gain valuable insights from financial data, helping you make informed business decisions with a well-built PMS.

Choosing the Right Payment Management System

With so many options, choosing the perfect PMS can feel overwhelming. Here’s what to consider:

  • Assessing your business needs: Look at factors like the volume of transactions in your business and the most common payment methods used by your customers to determine the best PMS capabilities for your business.
  • Cost and fees: Subscription fees, transaction costs, and miscellaneous charges vary depending on your payment processor. Use actual or projected data to price out the true cost of your payment provider before signing a contract to ensure you’re not overpaying.
  • Integration with other business tools: Does your PMS integrate seamlessly with existing software? Data silos are never good for business, especially when we’re talking about your finances, and integrations make your life easier.
  • Secure payment comes standard: Make sure your PMS meets Payment Card Industry compliance standards—this is a non-negotiable.
  • Customer service on your terms: When things don’t run smoothly, having customer support 24/7/365, means you can spend time on what matters most.

Conquering Implementation Challenges

Implementing new technology like a PMS is not without its challenges. To avoid long calls with the help desk, make sure your PMS integrates well with other systems and opt for a partner that can support you with implementation. 

You’ll also want to make sure to assign appropriate user access to your staff and work with any new user so they know how to use the technology, including both hardware and software training to help avoid errors and ensure a better user experience.

Ready to Tame Your Financial Chaos?

At Stax, we understand the juggling act all small and medium businesses contend with. That’s why all of our solutions are designed to simplify your life—from our subscription-based pricing to top-of-the-line POS equipment. 

With Stax, you get all the features mentioned above, plus exceptional customer service as your payment management system.

Ready to get started? Get in touch!

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FAQs about Payment Management Systems

Q: What is a payment management system?

A Payment Management System (PMS) is a software solution designed to handle all aspects of payments within an organization or between businesses and their customers. This type of system typically automates processes such as payment processing, invoicing, billing, and tracking of payments.

Q: What is the PMS system for federal grants?

The PMS system for federal grants refers to the Payment Management System operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This system is designed to manage the disbursement of funds for federal grants and cooperative agreements. It provides a centralized platform for grant recipients to draw down funds, and for federal agencies to monitor and manage the distribution of these funds.

Q: What are the benefits of having a payment management system?

One of the key benefits of a PMS is efficiency. It automates payment processes and reduces manual effort and speeds up transactions. Beyond that, having a robust PMS could improve your cash flow. Real-time tracking of payments and receivables helps businesses manage your funds flow more effectively. PMS can also  ensure compliance with financial regulations and standards by providing accurate records and reports.

Q: How do you select the right payment management system?

Start by assessing your needs and specific payment processing needs, including types of payments, volume, and any industry-specific requirements. From there, look for systems that offer the features you need, such as multiple payment methods, integration capabilities, reporting tools, and compliance support. Be sure to compare  pricing, including setup fees, monthly fees, and transaction fees, to find a solution that offers good value.

EMV Chip Cards: What You Need to Know About PIN or Signature Cards and How They Work

EMV (Europay, Mastercard, and Visa) chip card use has continued to expand in use since its tumultuous rollout in 2015. The EMV standard has now become a global standard for cards equipped with computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions. Yet, while time has provided customers and businesses with more education on the security benefits of EMV card chips, many businesses and consumers are still confused about key components.

One area that continues to cause confusion is the difference between ‘chip and PIN’ and ‘chip and signature’. 

TLDR

  • Chip and PIN vs chip and signature refers to the way the cardholder provides authorization for the purchase. Chip and PIN cards are authorized with the cardholder’s personal identification number (PIN), while chip and signature are authorized by the cardholder’s signature that is matched to the back of the card or to a signature on file in the credit card’s database.
  • Whether signature or PIN authorized, EMV chip cards are the new global standard for debit and credit cards due to the increased security of EMV technology over the classic magstripe.
  • The chip does not affect the price of processing payments. You will still be subject to the costs of debit vs. credit payments, etc.
  • During the EMV chip card rollout, consumers reported frustration with slower transaction times. However, there are very few problems associated with EMV cards as of now.

So what is the difference between these two EMV chip card payment formats?

What Types of EMV Chip Cards Are There?

There are two types of EMV chip cards – ‘chip and PIN’ cards, and ‘chip and signature’ cards. 

A consumer using a chip and PIN card will enter their PIN (Personal Identification Number) to authorize a purchase. The PIN adds an extra layer of security, as it verifies that the person using the card is the rightful owner. If the PIN entered matches the one associated with the card, the transaction is approved. If not, the transaction may be declined. PIN cards are commonly used in regions where PIN authentication is prevalent, such as Europe and many other parts of the world.

A consumer using a chip and signature card will sign for the purchase. The signature is compared with the one on the back of the card or with the signature stored in the card issuer’s system. If the signatures matches, the transaction is typically approved. Signature cards are more commonly used in regions where signature-based authentication is the norm, such as the United States. However, the adoption of signature cards has been decreasing in favor of PIN cards and other authentication methods.

EMV technology is designed to reduce credit card fraud, particularly counterfeit card fraud, by making it more difficult for criminals to create counterfeit cards. The chip in an EMV card generates a unique code for each transaction, making it nearly impossible for fraudsters to duplicate the card’s information for fraudulent purposes. 

However, the level of security provided can vary depending on whether the card is used with a PIN or a signature. Generally, PIN transactions are considered more secure because they rely on a secret code known only to the cardholder, whereas signatures can be forged or otherwise bypassed more easily.

Currently, in the United States, most credit cards are chip and signature, while most debit cards are chip and PIN. Like magnetic strip credit cards, you sign for a purchase when using a chip credit card. When using a chip debit card, you enter a PIN just as you did with your magnetic strip debit card.

It’s worth noting that credit card companies have begun to experiment with new, more secure forms of authentication, due to the insecurities both PIN and signatures face. The not-too-distant future may feature ‘chip and biometric’ cards.

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What Are the Costs to Accept EMV Chip Cards?

At the time of this writing, there is no difference in cost to accept chip cards as opposed to magnetic strip cards. For example, if your customer uses a chip rewards card, the cost will be the same if they use a magstripe rewards card.

There can be differences in costs to process chip and PIN cards in contrast to chip and signature cards. If a customer uses a chip and PIN debit card, it may be less expensive than if they use a chip and signature card. This is due to the fact that PIN debit processing costs are often lower than credit card processing costs.

Since chip and PIN are typically only available on debit cards in the United States, it is safe to assume that chip and PIN may be cheaper as a result.

Can I Run an EMV Debit Card “as credit”?

Just because there’s no difference in cost to accept chip cards vs. magstripe cards doesn’t mean there aren’t still fluctuations in costs. This is especially true when accepting debit cards, which can be authorized with either a PIN or a signature.

Many chip debit cards provide the option to skip PIN entry and run the card “as credit” instead. The cardholder will sign for the transaction instead of entering a PIN.

When running the debit card “as credit,” the transaction will be charged according to the debit rates noted in Visa and Mastercard’s interchange tables, not according to the debit network fee schedules. In some cases, it’s less expensive for a merchant to accept PIN debit cards than signature debit cards.

Related Post: The True Cost of Debit Card Transactions

When purchasing equipment or deciding on how you’ll accept cards, consider adding a PIN pad so customers can enter PINs for debit transactions.

It’s also worth noting that even though chip cards do not cost more to process by default, some processing companies impose “EMV Non-Enabled” fees for merchants that can’t or won’t accept chip cards. You’ll need to have and use EMV-capable equipment to avoid those fees.

What’s the Difference Between EMV and NFC technologies?

EMV and NFC (Near Field Communication) technologies both came out around the same time and both are involved in the payment process—which can make them easy to confuse. They are quite distinct technologies, though.

EMV

As mentioned, EMV technology focuses on securing card-present transactions through the use of chip cards. The goal of EMV is to reduce counterfeit card fraud and unauthorized use of lost or stolen cards and exclusively deals with payment cards.

NFC

On the other hand, NFC is a short-range wireless communication technology that enables devices, such as smartphones or contactless cards, to communicate with each other when brought into close proximity (usually within a few centimeters). This means that NFC technology is not limited to payment applications and can be used for a wide range of purposes beyond payments, such as data exchange and access control.

In the context of payments, NFC technology allows for contactless transactions where the payment device (e.g., smartphone or contactless card) is simply tapped or waved near a compatible payment terminal to complete a transaction.

NFC technology is commonly used in contactless payment systems, mobile payment apps (e.g., Apple Pay, Google Pay), and transit systems for fare payment.

Do I Need a Special Payment Processor for EMV Chips?

The short answer to this is yes, you need to have a payment processor with a chip reader either in addition to or instead of the classic magstripe reader. At this point, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to find a new card reader that doesn’t feature a chip reader, though, so it’s hard to go wrong. (Need some help choosing the right card reader for your business? Check out this guide!) 

How Does EMV Affect Card-Not-Present Transactions?

While EMV technology primarily aims to enhance security for card-present transactions, where the card is physically present in-person at the point of sale, its implementation has had implications for card-not-present (CNP) transactions. (Purchases where the cardholder is not physically present, such as eCommerce or over-the-phone purchases.) 

That said, EMV chip cards have had some effect on CNP transactions:

  • With the widespread adoption of EMV chip technology for card-present transactions, there’s been a liability shift for fraudulent transactions from the card issuer to the merchant if the merchant does not support EMV transactions. However, this shift in liability does not apply to CNP transactions. 
  • Tokenization, which replaces sensitive card data with a unique token, has become more prevalent in CNP transactions. Instead of transmitting actual card numbers, merchants and payment processors exchange tokens that are meaningless to fraudsters if intercepted. This helps mitigate the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access to cardholder information.
  • Some EMV card issuers offer dynamic authentication methods, such as one-time passwords or biometric authentication, for CNP transactions. These methods add an extra layer of security by ensuring that each transaction requires unique authentication credentials, making it more difficult for fraudsters to gain unauthorized access to cardholder accounts.

Are There Any Known Problems in Using EMV Chip Cards?

At the introduction of EMV chips, consumers frequently complained that the transaction speed was much slower than the standard magstripe card. This was the main problem associated with EMV chips and has largely been resolved with time. 

Some merchants do still report issues with chip cards, particularly EMV PIN debit cards. Problems include terminals not requiring PIN entry, lack of cashback options when using a debit card, and terminals not permitting a customer to skip PIN entry.

There are several possible reasons for the issues, including terminals not set up correctly and customers choosing the wrong option. If your machine isn’t prompting for PINs (or requires PIN entry and won’t allow signature authorization instead) it’s a good idea to contact your merchant services provider to troubleshoot the problem.

One other issue that EMV chip cards face is card cloning. 

Card cloning, also known as skimming, involves copying the information stored on the magnetic stripe or EMV chip of a legitimate payment card onto another card, typically a blank card or a card with a stolen or expired account number. 

Here’s a general overview of how card cloning works:

  1. Fraudsters use a device called a skimmer to illegally capture credit card information. Skimmers can be installed on legitimate card readers, such as ATMs or POS terminals. When a card is inserted into the compromised device, the skimmer reads and stores the card’s data, including the card number, expiration date, and sometimes the cardholder’s name. In addition to skimmers, fraudsters may also use hidden cameras or keypad overlays to capture PINs entered by cardholders during transactions. This information can be used in conjunction with the cloned card data to make unauthorized purchases or withdraw cash from ATMs.
  2. Once the card data has been captured, the fraudster typically transfers it to a blank magnetic stripe card or a counterfeit EMV chip card using a card writer or encoder. This creates a clone of the original card that contains all the stolen information.
  3. Before using the cloned card for fraudulent transactions, the fraudster may conduct small test transactions to ensure that the card works properly and that the stolen information is accurate. Once satisfied, they may proceed to make larger purchases or cash withdrawals, often in multiple locations to avoid detection. A fraudster may also sell the cloned card on the black market instead of using it directly themselves.

Final words

At Stax, we’re all about helping merchants implement robust payment security that go above and beyond security standards. To learn more, get in touch and learn how Stax integrated payment processing platform helps prevent fraud and safeguard payment data. 

Request a custom quote to see how the Stax integrated payment processing platform will work for you.

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FAQs about EMV chip cards

Q: What are the two types of EMV chip cards?

There are two types of EMV (Europay, Mastercard, and Visa) chip cards – ‘chip and PIN’ cards, and ‘chip and signature’ cards. The former requires a customer to enter their PIN to authorize a purchase while the latter necessitates a customer’s signature for the purchase.

Q: Which card type is more common in the United States, chip and PIN or chip and signature?

In the United States, most credit cards fall under the category of chip and signature, while most debit cards are chip and PIN.

Q: Are there cost differences when accepting chip and PIN vs. chip and signature cards?

Processing costs can vary when dealing with these two types of cards owing to the fact that PIN debit processing costs are often lower than credit card processing costs. Therefore, a chip and PIN debit card may be less expensive to process than a chip and signature card.

Q: Can an EMV debit card be run as credit?

Yes, many chip debit cards give the cardholder the option to skip PIN entry and run the card “as credit”. In this case, the cardholder signs for the transaction instead of entering a PIN.

Q: What are potential issues that can arise when using EMV chip cards?

Some merchants have reported problems related to EMV PIN debit cards, including terminals not requiring PIN entry, lack of cashback options with a debit card, and terminals not allowing a customer to skip PIN entry. Addressing these issues often involves contacting the merchant services provider or ensuring the terminals are correctly set up.

Q: Is there a difference in cost when accepting chip cards vs. magstripe cards?

As of present times, there is no cost difference when accepting chip cards as opposed to magstripe cards. However, fluctuations in costs may still occur, especially when accepting debit cards.

Q: Are there any additional fees for merchants who don’t accept chip cards?

Yes. Some processing companies impose “EMV Non-Enabled” fees for merchants who don’t have or don’t use EMV-capable equipment.

Q: What’s the significance of having a PIN pad in the transaction equipment?

A PIN pad allows customers to enter PINs for debit transactions. This can be a beneficial addition for merchants, especially given the cost benefits of processing PIN debit cards over signature debit cards.


 

Empowering Your Business with Stax Bill: A Comprehensive Guide to Billing Platforms

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, efficient and seamless payment processing is paramount to your bottom line. However, staying focused on the big picture can be challenging if your business is bogged down by repetitive payments and intricate billing procedures—both common hurdles for a billing system with inadequate functionality. 

As industry leaders in billing software, our mission is to help our customers work more efficiently, recover more revenue, and effortlessly collect invoices. 

In this article, we’ll explore the significance of billing platforms in contemporary business, delve into the features that set Stax Bill apart, and guide you through the process of selecting the right billing solution for your unique needs.

TL;DR

  • A billing platform is a comprehensive system facilitating subscription management, recurring billing, revenue recognition, payment gateways, analytics, and dunning processes.
  • Choosing the best billing solution involves a strategic evaluation of your business needs, scalability, vendor reputation, and pricing models. 
  • Subscription-based billing platforms ensure accurate billing cycles, efficient invoicing, and seamless customer subscription handling.

Stax Bill simplifies invoice and subscription billing management by automating manual financial processes. This subscription billing platform helps businesses improve accountability with clean and accurate books by eliminating the need to manually handle complex tasks. Additionally, the platform automates the dunning process to reduce customer churn and revenue leakage. Stax Bill offers increased accuracy and payment consistency during the payment collection cycle, allowing businesses to maximize financial health and subscription growth.

Stax Bill Subscription Billing Platform Dashboard

“The customization and advanced financial insight provided by Stax Bill firmly separates it from other subscription and invoice platforms available in the U.S.,” said Suneera Madhani, founder and CEO of Stax. “Not only does the solution provide the metrics needed to spur growth, but it has also proven to help subscription-based businesses reduce time spent on billing operations by about 80 percent so they can focus on what matters most.”

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What is a Billing Platform?

A billing platform is a comprehensive system facilitating subscription management, recurring billing, revenue recognition, payment gateways, analytics, and dunning processes.

There are several billing platform types, and depending on your business type some may be more useful than others. For the purpose of this article, we’ll cover the specifics of subscription-based and usage-based billing models, but there are others including project-based billing, one-time billing and tiered pricing models.

Subscription-based billing platform

Ideal for businesses with recurring revenue models, subscription-based billing platforms automate the management of subscriptions. These platforms ensure accurate billing cycles, efficient invoicing, and customer subscription handling. 

Usage-based billing platform

Tailored for businesses with fluctuating usage patterns, usage-based billing platforms provide flexibility in billing customers based on their actual consumption. This model is well-suited for industries where usage varies from month to month. 

Key Features of Billing Software 

Recurring billing and automated subscription management and payment processing

One of the main benefits of a subscription business model is revenue forecasting and product flow predictability. With Stax Bill, you can automate repetitive subscription billing tasks, ensuring timely and error-free invoicing, and enhanced cash flow predictability.

Your accounts receivable department will be thrilled when human error is reduced and the subscription and transaction process has payment processing built in. Efficiently manage payments and invoicing processes, reducing manual errors and enhancing overall operational efficiency.

Recurring revenue recognition—ASC 606-compliant

ASC 606 is the revenue recognition standard all businesses must comply with if they are entering into contracts with customers—so when we’re talking about subscription-based relationships, maintaining compliance with this standard is key. Ensure your billing platform is compliant with accounting regulations, particularly ASC 606, for accurate revenue recognition for subscription-based businesses.

Payment gateway and management

For subscription-based businesses, integrating with your payment gateway ensures a smooth experience and easy auditability by having all purchases consolidated in one place. Because Stax Bill is part of the Stax family of payment processing solutions, our customers enjoy a simplified experience, increased payment collection rates, full visibility into transaction fees, and ultimately cut down on costs for payment processing.

Subscription management and analytics

Insight into the lifecycle of subscriptions and real-time metrics to help you predict future business is crucial. Stax Bill is customer-friendly, empowering your customers to self-register and manage their own subscriptions in the self-service portal, saving your team time and giving subscribers a better customer experience, thus reducing churn.

Dunning management

Dunning, the practice of attempting to collect payments is usually time-consuming and laborious. Minimize revenue leakage by efficiently managing failed payments and subscription renewals with proactive dunning management in your billing platform.

Customization and integration capabilities with other business systems foster retention

Your payments ecosystem should be able to be customized to your specific needs, ensuring a seamless integration with existing business processes. No two businesses are the same, so choose a payment and billing platform that meets your current and potential future needs.

In the thriving SaaS landscape, application programming interface (API) capabilities are crucial to ensure smooth business operations. Stax Bill offers unparalleled integration capabilities, ensuring smooth coordination with your existing systems for a unified business operation. Stax Bill has native integrations to leading software your business probably already uses, including Salesforce, HubSpot, NetSuite, QuickBooks and more.

How to Select the Best Billing Solution for Your Business

Choosing the best billing solution involves a strategic evaluation of your business needs, scalability, vendor reputation, and pricing models. Here are a few key points to consider when selecting your billing platform solution.

Assessing your business needs

Identify your unique billing requirements, considering factors such as the nature of your products or services, customer base, and growth projections. For example, combining the functionality of a payment gateway with your billing platform creates a seamless experience for you and your customers (and Stax Bill is designed to do just that!)

Opt for a billing platform that can scale with your business, accommodating future growth and adapting to evolving market trends.

Evaluate vendor reputation and support services

Part of onboarding any new supplier or software solution includes due diligence—especially if we’re talking about finances and payments. Make sure you choose wisely by partnering with a company that upholds your values and operates with integrity. 

Comparing pricing models

Understand the pricing structures of different billing platforms, ensuring they align with your budget constraints and offer value for money. Many companies pay more than they need to for their payment processing and billing solutions software. 

Not sure if it’s worth the switch and want to learn more about the real costs? Check out the Stax Bill ROI calculator to see how much you could save.

Implementing Your Billing Platform

Once you’ve selected the right billing platform, the implementation process is critical for a smooth transition. Below is a basic overview of the steps you’ll need to take to successfully implement your billing platform.

Needs assessment: Identify specific business requirements and choose your billing platform provider.

Customization: During implementation, tailor the platform to match your unique needs (assuming you’ve chosen a platform that can be customized to your business needs).

Integration: Integrate with existing systems with API capabilities so your systems are connected and data can be analyzed in real-time.

Training: When implementing any new technology, training all users is the key to adoption and usage across your business. Stax Bill provides comprehensive training and ongoing support, ensuring your team is well-equipped to leverage the full potential of the platform.

Testing: Thoroughly test the system before full deployment and ensure everyone from your accounts payable team to your CFO is comfortable with the new software.

Ongoing monitoring and management: Regularly monitor the platform’s performance, address any issues promptly, and stay updated on new features and updates.

How Does it Work in the Real World?

When it comes down to “how well does this solution work”, the proof is in the reviews and customer case studies. Stax Bill has 4.2 out of 5.0 stars on the software review site, G2 and several case studies on our website that speak to the real-world impacts of our innovative billing solutions. Let’s examine some examples of successful billing platform implementations.

When it comes to simplified billing automation, one of our G2 reviewers couldn’t have said it better, “Stax Bill is super easy to use. It is customizable to suit your billing needs and has a great customer support team to help you when there are challenges.”

Another one of our customer reviews speaks volumes about the cost savings, “We were using a much more expensive billing solution when we found Stax Bill. The transition was very well supported, and we have been highly pleased with our Monthly Recurring Revenue collections since day 1. Later, we were able to shut down our other gateway and save additional fees for processing credit cards. On top of that, we are also able to add “auto-updating” for expired credit cards – a feature that would have been much more costly through our former gateway!”

Stax Bill helped our customer, The Covenant Group, redistribute 80% of their billing efforts to higher-level business operations by implementing recurring billing. The Covenant Group automated its lengthy recurring invoicing and payment process and customers are able to use the self-service portal to update their own information. Not only that, the delayed dunning process was eliminated entirely by using automated notifications about payments being due, payment failures, and outstanding payments.

Another valued Stax Bill customer, Avionica, was able to automate billing functionality and reduce time spent on billing-related processes. The team at Avionica now has access to granular reporting, better revenue and churn predictability and more transparent and accurate billing. The Stax Bill self-service portal also allows their customers easy access to their accounts to ensure they’re accurately charged and able to make changes when needed.

Ready to learn how Stax Bill can revolutionize your billing processes, streamline revenue management and contribute to revenue growth? Get in touch to learn more!

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FAQs about Billing Platforms

Q: What is a billing platform?

A billing platform is a software solution used by businesses to automate the process of invoicing and billing. It typically includes features for generating invoices, tracking payments, managing customer accounts, and reporting financial data.

Q: How do you create a billing system?

Creating a billing system involves: defining billing processes, selecting appropriate software, customizing it to fit business needs, integrating it with other systems (like CRM or ERP), and setting up secure payment processing.

Q: What are the capabilities of a billing platform?

A billing platform typically includes capabilities like invoice generation, payment processing, subscription management, customer account management, reporting, and integration with other business systems.

Q: What is a recurring billing platform?

A recurring billing platform is a system designed to handle repeated billing cycles, commonly used for subscription-based services. It automates the process of charging customers on a regular basis.

Q: What is the difference between a billing system and payment system?

A billing system focuses on generating and managing invoices and accounts receivable, whereas a payment system is designed to process monetary transactions, like credit card payments and bank transfers. While they often work together, they serve different functions in the financial process.

 

Is Quickbooks Desktop Being Phased Out?

There’s been a lot of discussion in recent months about the apparent phase-out of QuickBooks Desktop software. Some coverage has not been entirely accurate, which has caused a lot of confusion for Desktop users and questions like: Is QuickBooks Desktop discontinued? Will I still be able to use my existing QuickBooks Desktop software? Do I need to transition to a new system altogether?

QuickBooks Desktop is something of a linchpin in the accounting software world, with the first version of the program launching in 1998. This makes the apparent new direction of Intuit, the developer of QuickBooks, symptomatic of the wider transition within the SaaS space towards cloud-based software solutions. When it’s become so easy for users to access and share data remotely and sync changes in real-time, desktop applications are appearing increasingly cumbersome.

We’re going to dive further into recent announcements about QuickBooks Desktop and what this means for users, and what businesses should consider as their next move.

TL;DR

  • Intuit has announced the discontinuation of QuickBooks Desktop 2021 by May 31, 2024, and will stop selling certain subscriptions of QuickBooks Desktop after July 31, 2024.
  • Existing QuickBooks Desktop users face the choice of upgrading to a newer version, switching to QuickBooks Online, or exploring alternative accounting software.
  • While QuickBooks Desktop won’t disappear immediately, Intuit’s shift focus on cloud-based applications signals a shift away from supporting local applications.
Learn More

Is QuickBooks Desktop Being Phased Out?

This question has been sparked by two recent announcements from Intuit. Firstly, QuickBooks Desktop 2021 is to be discontinued from May 31, 2024. This includes all 2021 versions of QuickBooks Desktop Pro, QuickBooks Desktop Premier, QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions v21.

Intuit also announced plans to stop selling several QuickBooks Desktop subscriptions to new U.S. subscribers after July 31, 2024. 

This change affects the following products: 

  • QuickBooks Desktop Pro Plus
  • QuickBooks Desktop Premier Plus 
  • QuickBooks Desktop Mac Plus
  • QuickBooks Desktop Enhanced Payroll subscription. 

QuickBooks Enterprise solutions for desktop will not be affected.

Note that this differs from the service discontinuation of the 2021 versions of QuickBooks desktop. Users of the above desktop services will continue to be supported past July 31, 2024 and can keep renewing their subscriptions—it’s simply a “stop sell” of any new subscriptions after that date.

Indications of a QuickBooks Desktop Phase-Out

Intuit’s announcements regarding the future of the QuickBooks Desktop version have been fairly sparse on information. However, it’s worth noting that Intuit has been steadily discontinuing versions of Desktop as far back as 2018 (QuickBooks Desktop 2020 was discontinued on May 31st, 2023). 

So, it’s a reasonable assumption that future versions of Desktop will also be phased out on a rolling basis (similarly to how Microsoft no longer supports old versions of Windows).

Not only that, but Intuit has made it clear that the future of the QuickBooks system lies with their online version. Intuit’s Firm of the Future blog post published in November 2023 states:

 “We encourage you to consider QuickBooks Online because we have continued to innovate and improve on it. There are products that meet the needs of every client, from the simplest to the most complex. Additionally, all future innovation will happen in QuickBooks Online.”

Given the growing ease and flexibility offered by cloud-based services, it’s not surprising that Intuit is pushing its users to transition away from local applications. Moreover, the current set-up requires Intuit to maintain development teams and operational support for two separate software platforms (desktop and online).

In Intuit’s own words, “Intuit built an integrated, online platform because that’s the way innovative companies have transformed productivity, and because it helps provide the best time- and money-saving benefits. Simply put, an online platform can deliver benefits that a desktop product cannot. What’s more, our online products now meet the needs of almost all QuickBooks Desktop users.” 

Impact on Current QuickBooks Desktop Users

Unsurprisingly, these announcements have caused concern for business owners who are currently using versions of QuickBooks Desktop. Does this mean that every company currently using QuickBooks Desktop will need to transition to a new system? Not necessarily.

Let’s start with the discontinuation of QuickBooks Desktop 2021.

Intuit references this “service discontinuation policy” on its support site. This means that if you don’t upgrade your software by May 31, 2024, access to services including QuickBooks Desktop Payroll, live technical support, payment processing, Online Backup, and Online Banking will be cut off. 

While you will still have access to the 2021 system past this date, it cannot be linked to the wider Quickbooks ecosystem and you won’t be eligible for further security updates. This practice is also referred to as “sunsetting.”

Technically speaking, this means businesses that don’t require add-on services can continue to use QuickBooks Desktop 2021 past the discontinuation date. However, the lack of customer support or further security patches leaves your business highly vulnerable to data breaches or system outages you would have to handle on your own. Instead, it’s highly recommended to switch to another QuickBooks solution.

QuickBooks Desktop 2021 users can consider upgrading to a newer version of QuickBooks Desktop, like QuickBooks Desktop 2023 or 2024. Since Intuit is discontinuing older versions of QuickBooks Desktop on a rolling basis, getting a new version of the desktop software will ensure you are supported for a while longer.

This brings us to the more recent announcement by Intuit that new subscriptions of several QuickBooks Desktop products will not be available to U.S. subscribers after July 31, 2024. The most important thing to note here is that this change does not impact existing subscribers. If you take out a new subscription before this date, Intuit will continue to provide security updates and support (although the announcement doesn’t state how long this support will last).

In both scenarios, QuickBooks Desktop users have another option—switching to QuickBooks Online (QBO).

QuickBooks Online vs QuickBooks Desktop

Traditionally, online-only software apps come with some limitations, namely that they struggle to boast the same breadth of features and workflows as desktop software. However, the evolution of cloud-based software development has made it possible for online applications to not only match the capabilities of offline systems – but surpass them.

Because cloud-based systems allow for easy, real-time integrations, QuickBooks Online now offers a range of easy add-ons within the QuickBooks ecosystem that have either limited functionality on desktop or require additional fees for implementation. This includes QuickBooks time tracking, payroll services, live bookkeeping support, and more.

QuickBooks ProAdvisors can help businesses transition to QuickBooks Online and optimize the setup for specific business needs. Depending on the size of your company file, transferring over to QBO can take as little as an hour.

So, how does QuickBooks Online compare with QuickBooks Desktop?

Anywhere access vs. local access. With QuickBooks Online, checking on your customers, invoices, paychecks, and more from any smart device is easy. This is highly convenient for business owners who are always on the go or operate from multiple business locations. Because QuickBooks Desktop is locally installed, you’ll only be able to use it on that one device. This can raise access issues if the device is not easily portable.

Automatic vs. manual updates. Because QBO is a cloud-based platform, product updates, and security patches are applied automatically and don’t require businesses to remember to implement updates onto their device to access new features.

One-off vs. ongoing cost. The key downside of QuickBooks Online—and the reason why many small businesses are reluctant to make the switch— is that it’s only available via annual subscription pricing as opposed to a one-time purchase of the software. This needs to be factored into ongoing operational expenses, which may require a rethink of budgets.

QuickBooks Desktop Alternatives

Zoho Books

Zoho Books is a cloud-based accounting software solution that’s part of the wider Zoho business ecosystem. It allows small to medium-sized businesses to manage accounting, expense tracking, and automation of data entry and invoicing. With standard plans starting at $12, it’s a cost-effective option for businesses that need a basic accounting system. It also offers multi-currency support, making it suitable for businesses that regularly handle international transactions.

FreshBooks

Freshbooks is predominantly designed with small businesses, freelancers, and non-profits in mind that require a simpler invoicing and bookkeeping solution. In addition to a strong range of accounting and invoicing tools, FreshBooks offers a very user-friendly platform and reporting features that make it easy to keep track of outstanding payments. At just $13.75 per month for the most expensive premium plan, it’s one of the most affordable accounting software options out there. However, it does come with fewer customization capabilities.

Xero

Xero is an easy-to-use cloud-based accounting solution that offers a full toolkit of accounting and business management features, as well as fully customizable business reports such as chart of accounts and inventory. Because it offers an unlimited number of user seats on all of its pricing plans, Xero is a much better option for larger businesses and businesses that have an in-house team of CPAs than QuickBooks, which charges a high cost for more than five user seats. However, it’s important to note that Xero doesn’t have such a robust customer support system, with no live chat function available.

Sage 50cloud

Sage 50cloud, formerly known as Peachtree Accounting, is an accounting software solution designed for small and medium-sized businesses. Like QuickBooks, it’s a desktop-based system that needs to be locally installed and run off a designated device, though it does have cloud connectivity. This makes Safe 50cloud a good option for businesses who prefer not to transition to a fully cloud-based system.

Final Words

While QuickBooks Desktop version is not going away completely any time soon, Intuit’s shift to primarily cloud-based applications is going to have an impact on some businesses. Fortunately, business owners have several options on what to do next; they can upgrade to a newer version of QuickBooks Desktop, transition to QuickBooks Online (QBO), or have a fresh start with different accounting software outside of the QuickBooks ecosystem. 

The best option will depend on your business’s specific needs and budget, but it’s safe to say that a cloud-based system offers numerous advantages including better accessibility, seamless integrations, and more room to scale.

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Quick FAQs about QuickBooks Desktop Ending

Q: What is happening to QuickBooks Desktop 2018?

Intuit has officially cancelled the QuickBooks Desktop 2018 software in 2021, and will discontinue critical security updates for the software starting from June 1, 2021. Intuit also plans to stop providing support services such as Online Banking, Desktop Payroll Services, Live Support, and Online Backup.

Q: How can users ensure their data is protected after the discontinuation of QuickBooks Desktop 2018?

To protect their data and maintain access to essential features, users will need to switch to a newer version of QuickBooks like QuickBooks Online. As part of the upgrade process, Intuit will help users protect their data by ensuring a smooth transition between the software versions.

Q: Should users switch to QuickBooks Online, and what advantages does it offer?

Yes, users should consider switching to QuickBooks Online since it provides increased functionality, efficiency, and convenience compared to QuickBooks Desktop. QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based platform accessible through a web browser, integrates with platforms like Stax, and offers unique features like smartphone access, uploading receipts through a phone, and faster reconciliation.

Q: What is the difference between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop?

QuickBooks Online is cloud-based, meaning it can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. In contrast, QuickBooks Desktop is installed on a specific computer and can only be accessed from that machine. In terms of costs, QuickBooks Online operates on a subscription model with a monthly fee, while Desktop has a one-time purchase cost with an optional annual subscription for additional services like customer support.

Q: Which is better: QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop?

For smaller businesses or those needing anywhere-access, QuickBooks Online is often more suitable. For larger businesses with more complex accounting needs, Desktop might be better. That said, it all boils down to your needs and preferences. If regular access from various locations or integration with other cloud-based apps is important, QuickBooks Online is the better choice. Meanwhile, for those who prefer a one-time purchase, Desktop is more suitable.

 

You Might Also Like: Pro and Con Review of Quickbooks Online (QBO)

How to Find the Right Credit Card Terminal for Your Business

Many merchants face the trouble of sifting through numerous credit card machine options, looking for a terminal that fits with their business. There are many different types of payment terminals to choose from, and you need one that’s going to help your business operate the most efficiently.

Selecting the right payment processing terminal will not only help reduce your processing costs, but it’ll also increase your profits. Let’s take a look at some payment terminal options and the types of businesses that best match their features.

TL;DR

  • A credit card terminal is a device commonly used by businesses to handle credit and debit card transactions. 
  • There are many different types, including some that can take payments on the road.
  • Choosing the right type of terminal for your small business requires understanding your business needs and doing your own third-party research on providers you’re considering.

The Best Payment Terminal Companies For Your Business

Level Up Your Terminal with Stax Card Readers

What is a Credit Card Terminal?

A credit card terminal is a device commonly used by businesses to handle credit and debit card transactions. They can also take contactless payments from mobile wallets. It’s the tool customers use to swipe, insert, or tap their cards, transmitting the transaction details to the payment processor for approval. 

They’re essential for ensuring smooth and secure electronic payments at retail outlets, restaurants, and various businesses that accept card payments. Most importantly, they enable your business to offer a wide range of payment options to your customers.

Types of Credit Card Terminals

Credit card terminals are available in a few different types, each of which provides its own benefits.

Countertop terminals 

Countertop payment devices are stationary devices typically found at cashier counters in-store. They connect via phone lines, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi and are ideal for businesses with a fixed checkout location.

Mobile card readers 

These are portable devices that connect to smartphones or tablets. They’re great for businesses on the move, such as food trucks or delivery services, allowing transactions to happen anywhere with a cellular or Wi-Fi connection.

Wireless terminals 

Wireless terminals are similar to mobile card readers in that these terminals offer mobility. However, they operate independently without the need for a separate mobile device. They connect wirelessly to cellular networks or through Bluetooth, enabling transactions in various locations within a specific range.

Virtual terminals 

Virtual terminals are software-based interfaces that allow merchants to process payments via a computer or tablet. They’re often used for phone or online orders where the card isn’t physically present.

Integrated payment systems 

These are terminals that integrate with the POS systems (point-of-sale), combining payment processing capabilities directly into the business’s existing software, acting as an all-in-one system.

Your business may use only one type or multiples depending on your needs and business model.

Learn More

The Traditional Retail Payment Terminal

Businesses such as retail stores or restaurants involve face-to-face interactions with your customers, therefore your credit card transactions with them are exclusively in-person. These are referred to as “card-present” transactions, which basically just means the cardholder and credit card is physically present at the time of sale. For this type of transaction, your best payment terminal option would be a countertop point-of-sale (POS) model.

Countertop credit card terminals allow you to swipe your customers’ credit cards through a credit card reader to process the transaction. If you want to add a PIN pad, you’re enabling greater security, and in that case, you can also process debit cards and EBT cards as well.

You also have the option to add a receipt printer to a countertop terminal. You can then print out a credit card receipt that the customer signs (that you retain for your records), and a copy is printed for the customer as well.

While card-present transactions are standard, it’s also possible to use a countertop payment terminal in a “card-not-present” (CNP) situation. Merchants who accept mail, telephone/fax, or online orders can send the credit card information to the terminal (via keyed in transactions) in order to process the sale.

RELATED: Will a Stax Wireless Card Reader Improve Your Business?

Recommended Credit Card Terminals 

If your business needs traditional credit card terminals, consider the following:

Dejavoo Z11 The Z11 countertop terminal has EMV and NFC capabilities built-in, and can accept all modern payment methods, including mobile and contactless credit card payments (e.g., Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Wallet, Visa payWave, MasterCard PayPass). It has a touchscreen display and PIN pad, making it easy for customers to enter their payment information at checkout.

Dejavoo Z8 The Z8 is similar to the Z11 in that it also supports EMV and NFC technology. Like the Z11, this credit card machine also lets you accept both mobile and contactless debit card and credit card payments. The key difference is that the Z8 isn’t a touchscreen device.

PAX A920 The A90 comes with a 5″ IPS touchscreen and 2″ thermal printer, making it a sleek and portable payment terminal that works both as a countertop card reader and mobile device. Powered by an Android operating system, the A90 lets you accept payments behind the counter or even on the sales floor.

Mobile and Wireless Payment Terminals

Outside of traditional retail are mobile and wireless terminals. These usually work best for merchants and service professionals who operate in the field and need payments collected at the customer’s home. Mobile and wireless credit card terminals work over an internet connection (either via WiFi or a cellular network), and are a great solution if you’re an on-the-spot merchant. These terminals also offer a better alternative if you’re tired of billing your customers and waiting for the payments to come through.

These devices are also gaining popularity in retail and hospitality. Thanks to their mobile functionality, retailers can ring up sales on the shop floor, while restaurant staff can bring the checkout experience to diners. Both instances help streamline payment processing and improve guests’ experiences.

Stax offers NPC mobile readers for small to mid-sized merchants looking to accept mobile payments anywhere they conduct business. With absolutely no additional equipment to purchase, all a merchant has to do is download the app on their mobile device, activate the application, and right then, they have a handheld terminal at their fingertips. This mobile payment processing solution is compatible with iPhone, Android, and RIM operating systems, and it’s supported by all major wireless providers.

Wireless terminals could also be the processing solution your business needs. These are compact and portable, and they allow you to keep up with sales in the field with more secure processing.

Mobile and wireless terminals enable merchants to go beyond traditional point-of-sale and cash-only operations. They both provide a new, updated, and innovative way to accept credit card payments from customers.

Recommended Payment Solutions

The following payment solutions are our top recommendations for businesses that need a mobile-friendly payment terminal.

Stax Pay

Stax Pay is a mobile app that’s available both on iOS and Android platforms. This powerful app enables you to accept payments using your mobile device. Just connect it with Stax’s Bluetooth mobile reader, and you can start swiping EMV chip cards effortlessly. Plus, with its PCI-compliant tokenization, you can rest assured knowing that your customers’ credit card information stays secure.

SwipeSimple: Mobile Chip Reader

The Mobile Chip Reader by SwipeSimple is a lightweight and compact device that has built in contactless technology, as well as a magstripe and EMV chip reader. The device connects to your phone via Bluetooth and is meant to be used with the SwipeSimple mobile app.

Virtual Credit Card Processing Terminals/eCommerce

Today’s customers rely heavily on the Internet to find services and shop for products. Merchants who accept “card-not-present” transactions, either online or over the phone, would benefit from a virtual terminal. Since there’s no need for a physical and traditional credit card terminal, a virtual terminal uses software to process online transactions.

At Stax, we use NPC Secure as a virtual terminal for our internet-based merchants who process and manage telephone, and even face-to-face transactions. As long as you have an internet connection, you can process payments directly through your website.

Restaurant Manager With Shipping Companies Processing Payment Via Payment Terminal Companies

Recommended Solution

At Stax, we have three different subscription-based pricing plans as well as access to direct cost processing with no contract, no markup, and no hidden fees. Learn more about how Stax can benefit your business and eliminate those higher processing fees.

You Might Also Like: Looking for an in-person Card Reader Terminal for Your Bar?

Selecting the Right Payment Terminals for Your Small Business

There are numerous credit card terminals, readers, and solutions in the market, so selecting the best one can feel overwhelming. You can simplify the process by following these tips:

1. Figure out your needs (and wants)

Take the time to figure out your payment terminals and processing needs. Do a bit of introspection for your business and ask yourself questions like:

  • What does your checkout process look like?
  • What payment types do you need to accept?
  • Will you need a mobile card reader?
  • Are you looking for a merchant account?

2. Understand fee structures

There are several ways that payment processors structure their fees. (You can learn more about them here.) At Stax, we offer a subscription-based pricing plan as well as access to direct cost processing with no contract, no markup, and no hidden fees. Rather than taking a cut out of your sales, we simply charge a flat membership fee and give you access to wholesale credit card processing costs. With Stax, businesses often save up to 40% in payment processing costs.

To choose the most cost-effective provider, you should start by looking at your credit card processing volumes. Most credit card and debit card processors charge a markup based on your transaction values, which means the more you process with your credit card processor, the more you pay.

3. Read customer reviews

Once you’ve got a shortlist of providers that fit your needs and are within your budget, you need to verify that the company is actually reliable and good to work with. These days, there are a lot of third-party sites that collect reviews on B2B software providers, like Capterra and G2. By reading through these reviews, you can verify the claims that the company makes during the sales process.

Get the Right Credit Card Terminals for Your Business

Looking to level up your payment processing?

Get in touch with Stax today to learn more about the credit card terminals we offer and the payment solutions that would benefit your business the most.

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FAQs about Credit Card Terminals

Q: What are some of the best payment terminal companies for my business?

Some of the best payment terminal companies include Dejavoo, PAX, and Stax. Each of these companies offers different models of payment terminals, such as the Dejavoo Z11 and Z8, and the PAX A920, that cater to various types of businesses.

Q: What are the benefits of choosing the right payment terminal for my business?

The right payment terminal can help reduce your processing costs and increase your profits. It can also streamline your checkout process, improve security, and offer an enhanced experience to your customers by accepting different types of payment methods, including mobile and contactless payments.

Q: What is the difference between a traditional retail payment terminal and a mobile or wireless payment terminal?

Traditional retail payment terminals are primarily used for in-person transactions at retail shops or restaurants. On the other hand, mobile and wireless payment terminals are ideal for businesses that operate on the go and need to collect payments at the customer’s location. These terminals work over an internet connection and provide a convenient alternative to billing customers and waiting for payments.

Q: What are some recommended payment solutions for businesses that need a mobile-friendly payment terminal?

Mobile-friendly payment solutions include the Stax Pay mobile app and the Mobile Chip Reader by SwipeSimple. Stax Pay allows you to accept payments using your mobile device, while the Mobile Chip Reader is a lightweight and compact device that can connect to your phone via Bluetooth.

Q: What is a virtual credit card processing terminal?

A virtual credit card processing terminal is a software that enables merchants to process “card-not-present” transactions online or over the phone. This type of terminal is beneficial for businesses that operate online and require an efficient way to process payments directly through their website.

Q: How do I select the right payment terminal for my small business?

To select the right payment terminal for your business, consider your payment processing needs, the types of payments you need to accept, and whether you need a mobile card reader. You should also evaluate your credit card processing volumes as most processors charge a markup based on your transaction values.

Q: How can Stax benefit my business in terms of payment processing?

Stax offers subscription-based pricing plans and access to direct cost processing with no contract, markup, or hidden fees. Instead of taking a cut from your sales, Stax charges a flat membership fee and gives you access to wholesale credit card processing costs. This could result in savings of up to 40% in payment processing costs for your business.


 

Credit Card Processing for Small Business: 9 Tips for Accepting Payments Securely and Cost-Effectively

Just starting out with your small business? Finding great credit card processing rates may seem impossible, but there’s hope. By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to secure credit card processing rates that make big businesses jealous.

TL;DR

  • Not all credit card processing companies are created equal. To ensure that you’re able to take payments in a cost-effective way, be sure to carefully compare their fee structures, contract terms, and available features. Look for transparency in pricing, no hidden fees, and options that suit your specific business needs.
  • Make it a point to choose the right pricing models. Prefer interchange-plus pricing over tiered models for transparency and control over costs; avoid leasing terminals by purchasing affordable ones outright.
  • It’s best to avoid long-term contracts. Opt for flexible, month-to-month contracts without hidden fees for credit card processing to avoid being locked into unfavorable terms.

Here are Stax’ Top Credit Card Processing Tips.

In today’s world, knowing how credit card transactions work is super important for any business owner, given that card transactions make up the bulk of all payment transactions. No matter if you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for a while, making your credit card system work better can really help your business grow—by saving you money, making your systems more efficient, or improving your customer experience.

Avoid Non-Mandatory Contracts

No one likes to be stuck in a contract, from cell phone contracts to credit card processing contracts. It’s common in the credit card processing industry to lock clients into multi-year contracts filled with hidden fees. Contracts are not mandatory, especially contracts with cancellation fees. Most processors will actually waive that fee if you tell them no, so don’t be afraid to speak up. If you can, find a company that doesn’t offer contracts—or offers rolling month-to-month contracts.

If you do opt for a contract, you should read the terms very carefully, looking for hidden fees, rate changes and other specifications that may end up costing you money. 

It’s also worth asking ahead of time what the renegotiation process would look like. It’s not unusual for companies of any type to raise rates quite a bit when starting a new contract, and it’s best to be prepared for what to expect. 

Be sure you know if there is a date you need to provide an opt-out by if you end up switching processors, as well. Some contracts will automatically renew (potentially at higher rates) if you pass a certain date without providing notice that you’re ending usage of the processor.

Learn More

Find Affordable Terminals and Avoid Leases

Credit cards and EMV terminals are cheaper than you think. A good terminal can cost around $250 these days, so don’t try and lease one if you have the money to buy one upfront. If your processing company offers to include one in a contract, always make sure to read the fine print to see how much they’re charging you for it. It’s usually better to buy one yourself and get a cheaper rate.

Avoid Tiered Pricing

If you’ve had a business before, then you’re probably used to tiered pricing. It’s expensive and unneeded with its lack of transparency, so stay away from it at all costs. 

Instead, go for interchange pricing. Interchange results in lower costs and doesn’t include any surcharges. Paying interchange rates instead of tiered rates is a common practice among big businesses and it’s the best option for you as it gives you the most control over costs of all the pricing types.

Always Know Where Your Money Goes

Before you start looking for a good credit card processing rate, you need to do your research. Learn where your money goes by looking up interchange and assessment fees. Interchange, as we mentioned earlier, is the best way to go when choosing a pricing option. They are a fixed credit card processing expense, and they’re the same for all processors. Here are the Mastercard and Visa interchange fees, for example.

Assessments are also a series of rates and fees charged by Visa and MasterCard, and they are the same across the board.

Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean processing companies can treat you like one. Credit card processing rates are the same for all businesses, big or small, so don’t let them make you feel insignificant as a small business starting out. The bigger you think, the smaller your rates.

Secure your transactions

Ensuring your customers’ transactions are secure isn’t just in the customers’ best interests. It’s in yours too.

Secure transactions ensure you can maintain a trustworthy reputation with past and future customers, as well as reducing the financial losses that come from the fines and legal fees associated with compromising customer data. 

One of the most famous data breaches happened to Target in 2013. They were required to pay an $18M settlement, but losses are estimated to top $200M. A large part of that was simply lost customer revenue. Their earnings dropped 46% afterwards because people were afraid to shop there. It was a potent example for everyone of just how important your company’s reputation for security is with your customers. 

Optimize your credit card processing speeds

Slow transactions are, at best, an annoyance to customers, and at worst, result in lost sales, especially online. In order to improve processing speeds, you should make sure your POS equipment is up-to-date and that your internet connection is both stable and fast. Part of this includes performing regular maintenance on your hardware- and software, and ensuring that your settings are configured for reduced friction. 

For instance, you should reduce the amount of prompts that an employee or customer might have to click through in order to actually proceed with payment. 

Use Address Verification Services (AVS)

AVS is a fraud prevention measure for online and card-not-present transactions. It’ll compare the billing address provided in the transaction to the billing address on file with the card issuer. The service can determine if the addresses are a perfect match, partial match, or not a match at all. 

AVS does not prevent all types of fraud, but it’s a good way to detect suspicious transactions. Generally, you’ll implement AVS directly through your credit card processor, and you’ll need to monitor its effectiveness over time to improve the system.

Train Your Staff To Handle Data Securely

For in-person transactions, it’s crucial your staff is able to take payments in an efficient and trustworthy manner. Customers need to feel that their data is secure and that transactions don’t take any longer than necessary. Furthermore, your staff is likely the weakest point in your security due to the factor of human error – among other things. Providing your staff with education on how to handle customer data can help prevent data breaches that even a well-intended employee might cause.

There are a few key areas to provide training on:

  • Recognizing what potential risks may look like (such as common phishing tactics).
  • The physical measures required to keep customer data protected, such as locking devices or safely stowing and securing any actual paperwork with customer data.
  • Require employees to create strong passwords for any systems they access (this includes implementing two-factor authentication wherever possible).

Leverage Your Data

Your credit card processing solution will ultimately gather a lot of unique data on customer behavior and preferences. Analyzing this data in the reports your processor provides can help tailor marketing efforts and improve overall business strategies. The data gathered by a credit card processor is particularly handy in identifying trends and patterns – and therefore forecasting what business will likely look like during a certain time period. 

At this point, most businesses do use systems other than the credit card processor as their central operating system (think an ERP or eCommerce site host). Because of that it’s crucial to ensure that any credit card processor you choose can integrate their data with your preferred central system. Otherwise, you’ll be unable to compare data in real time – and all data comparisons will result in a headache of manual effort.

Many of our tips apply to how Stax works, with no contracts, surcharges, and optimized terminals that pair perfectly with our subscription pricing plans.

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FAQs about Credit Card Processing For Small Business

Q: What is credit card processing for small business?

Credit card processing for small businesses involves enabling these businesses to accept payments through credit cards. This process requires a merchant account, which is a special type of bank account that allows businesses to receive payments in multiple forms, including credit and debit cards.

Q: What are credit card processing fees for small businesses?

Credit card processing fees for small businesses are various charges that businesses incur to accept credit card payments. These fees are typically a combination of percentage-based and flat fees and can vary based on the credit card processor, the type of card used (credit or debit), and whether the card is present during the transaction. 

The main types of fees include interchange fees (paid to the card-issuing bank), assessment fees (paid to the credit card network like Visa or MasterCard), and the payment processor’s markup.

Q: How do I accept a credit card payment for a small business?

To accept credit card payments for a small business, you first need to set up a merchant account with a bank or an independent payment processor. After this, you choose the appropriate hardware and software for processing transactions. This could be a traditional credit card terminal, a point-of-sale (POS) system, or a mobile card reader that works with smartphones or tablets. You also need to ensure you have a payment gateway if you’re accepting online payments.

Q: What’s the cheapest way to take card payments?

The cheapest way to take card payments often depends on the volume and nature of your transactions. That said, comparing different providers and negotiating for better rates can also help you in finding the most affordable solution.

It’s also important to choose a payment processor that offers a merchant-friendly pricing structure. As mentioned earlier, tiered pricing is NOT the best option because it often lacks transparency and can be more expensive in the long run. In tiered pricing, transactions are categorized into different tiers (qualified, mid-qualified, non-qualified) based on various criteria, and each tier has its own fee. This model can be confusing and unpredictable, making it hard for businesses to forecast expenses. 

Instead, opt for a transparent and cost-effective pricing method such as interchange-plus or subscription. 

Q: How can I start taking credit cards for my business?

First, choose a credit card processing service that aligns with your business needs. Once approved, you will need to acquire the necessary hardware (like credit card terminals or mobile card readers) and software for processing transactions. If you’re planning to accept online payments, setting up a payment gateway is essential. Finally, ensure your system is compliant with industry security standards (PCI DSS) to protect your customers’ card information.  

Demystifying Credit Card Interchange Fees: What You Need to Know [2024 Rates and Updates]

When you research payment solution providers, you’ll start hearing the term “interchange” used when talking about payments. Interchange is the fee that credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard charge businesses to accept their cards.

The interchange fee depends on a number of factors and isn’t always easy to understand. In this article, we will break down credit card interchange fees so you will know exactly how much you’re spending when running your business.

In this post:

  • What are interchange fees?
  • How much does interchange cost?
    • Visa interchange fees
    • Mastercard interchange fees
    • Discover interchange fees
    • American Express interchange (OptBlue)
  • What is the total cost of accepting credit cards?
    • Set rate processing
    • Subscription rate processing

TL;DR

  • Interchange fees are not collected by your payment processor or bank; they go directly to the card-issuing banks.
  • Interchange fees vary significantly depending on the card issuer, the issuing bank, type of transaction and/or merchant type. Memorizing all of the nuances is impossible, but understanding the interchange rate range most common for your business is a good best practice.
  • While interchange fees are unavoidable, there are strategies to help minimize their impact, including choosing a cost-effective payment processor, implementing surcharging, and more.

What Are Interchange Fees?

Interchange is the fee credit card companies charge businesses to accept their cards. Essentially, the merchant pays the card brand for the convenience of accepting this payment method since that is the way your customers want to pay.

Interchange fees help cover the risks associated with accepting electronic payments while ensuring your company has access to guaranteed payment when a customer makes a purchase. Interchange fees are simply a cost of doing business.

Understanding the concept of interchange fees is crucial for businesses looking to optimize their payment processing costs. These fees are set by the payment networks and are typically expressed as a percentage of the transaction value or as a fixed amount per transaction. The exact fee structure varies depending on factors like card type, transaction type, industry, and location.

It’s important to note that interchange fees are not collected by your payment processor or bank; they go directly to the card-issuing banks. Your payment processor, however, plays a role in facilitating the transaction and deducts its own processing fee from the overall charge.

Debit card transactions generally have lower interchange fees compared to credit card transactions. This is because debit cards are linked directly to the customer’s bank account, and the risk of non-payment or default is lower. By actively encouraging customers to use debit cards, businesses can effectively reduce the interchange fees associated with card payments.

While interchange fees may seem like an added expense, it’s crucial to recognize the value they bring to your business. Accepting credit and debit cards allows you to cater to a wider customer base, improve customer satisfaction, and enhance the overall shopping experience. By offering convenient payment options, you can attract more customers and increase sales.

To ensure the interchange fees you pay are reasonable and competitive, it’s essential to regularly review and negotiate your fee structure with your payment processor. Stay informed about any updates or changes in interchange fee schedules to ensure you’re paying the most optimal rates for your business.

Additionally, optimizing your payment processing infrastructure and implementing measures to minimize chargebacks can have a significant impact on reducing interchange fees. By investing in secure payment gateways, fraud detection systems, and robust transaction processing protocols, you can lower the risk of chargebacks and avoid unnecessary fees.

Remember, while interchange fees are an inherent part of accepting card payments, implementing smart strategies and staying proactive can help you minimize their impact on your business. One such strategy includes implementing credit card surcharging to offset the cost of interchange fees. By understanding the fee structure, promoting debit card usage, and optimizing your payment processing operations, you can effectively manage and reduce interchange fees, ultimately improving your bottom line.

Interchange fees are an essential consideration for businesses that accept card payments. These fees are a cost that businesses incur to facilitate the convenience and security of card transactions. While it’s true that businesses pay interchange fees, it’s important to understand that they are a necessary part of the payment ecosystem.

Interchange fees enable payment networks and card-issuing banks to cover the costs associated with maintaining the infrastructure, managing fraud risk, and providing the benefits and rewards programs associated with credit and debit cards.

As a business owner, it’s crucial to factor in these interchange fees when evaluating the overall costs of accepting card payments. By understanding the dynamics of interchange fees and implementing strategies to optimize their impact, businesses can effectively manage their expenses and find a balance that allows them to provide convenient payment options to customers while minimizing the amount they pay in interchange fees.

How Much Does Interchange Cost?

Interchange fees vary widely across card brands, credit card networks, card types, and how you process cards. Credit cards that offer points or rewards cards typically come with higher interchange fees, as do corporate cards.

Generally, debit card transactions are much less expensive than credit card payments for you to process and come with a lower interchange rate than credit cards. Card-present transactions also incur lower rates compared to card-not-present transactions. However, an exemption to this is debit cards issued by a bank with less than $10 billion in assets, also referred to as “exempt”, often a local bank or credit union—these have some of the highest interchange rates of all.

While you have control over whether a cardholder’s card is swiped or keyed in at the point of sale, you can’t control what kind of card they use. That’s why interchange varies so widely. For a $100 transaction, a swiped Mastercard debit card will cost you around 27¢. However, for the same transaction, using a Visa corporate commercial credit card will cost you around $2.60. It’s easy to see how over the course of the year, these fees can stack up.

Below, we’ll give a sampling of interchange rates for the most popular card brands. Please note there are many other categories not covered in this table, including variations by card type, business type, whether the bank is regulated or exempt, and more.

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Visa Interchange Fees

As mentioned earlier, interchange fees will depend on several variables. Before reading on, let’s also clarify the terminology you’ll see below. 

Beyond the card type (debit, or the various kinds of credit cards), you’ll also see “exempt” or “regulated” which indicate different fees for debit cards. The Durbin Amendment established these two ratings to differentiate the card-issuing banks based on their assets. 

For card issuing banks with assets in excess of $10 billion, these are regulated; card-issuing banks with less than $10 billion in assets are non-regulated and fall under the “exempt” category. The difference in these fees does vary significantly and is something the merchant has no control over or visibility into when the customer presents their card to pay.

Below is a list of common interchange for various scenarios, for the full list of interchange fees by Visa card type, refer to the guide linked below:

Transaction Type Card Type or Bank Classification/Interchange Fee
CPS/Retail, Debit – Card Present Exempt: 0.80% + $0.15

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.21

CPS/Card Not Present, Debit Exempt: 1.65% + $0.15

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.21

CPS-Restaurant, Debit – Card Present Exempt: 1.19% + $0.10

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.21

CPS/e-Commerce Basic, Debit Exempt: 1.65% + $0.15

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.21

CPS/Retail, Prepaid Exempt: 1.15% + $0.15

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.21

Retail, Credit, Performance Threshold III Visa Signature: 1.65% + $0.10

Visa Signature Preferred: 2.10% + $0.10

Traditional Rewards: 1.51% + $0.10

Small Merchant Product 2, Credit  Visa Signature: 1.43% + $0.10

Visa Signature Preferred: 1.88% + $0.10

Traditional Rewards: 1.43% + $0.10

See full Visa interchange rates.

Mastercard Interchange Fees

You’ll see below that MasterCard and Visa do not use the same criteria to delineate the type of transaction or card types, nor does their official guidance use the same verbiage. However, you’ll find the average interchange fee range of percentage plus the flat fee per transaction is similar to other popular card issuers.

Transaction type Program Name (Card Type)/Interchange Fee
Restaurant World (USD): 1.85% + $0.10

World High Value (USD) 2.00% + $0.10

Small Ticket (Transaction Amount <$5), Card Present Core (USD): 1.65% + $0.02

World (USD): 1.90% +$0.02

World High Value (USD): 2.30% + $0.02

Small Ticket (Transaction Amount <$5), Card Not Present Core (USD): 1.95% + $0.02

World (USD): 2.20% +$0.02

World High Value (USD): 2.60% + $0.02

Regulated POS Debit, purchases and purchases with cash back Debit Rate (USD): 0.05% + $0.21

Prepaid Rate (USD): 0.05% + $0.21

Payment Transactions, Debit and Prepaid Cards Exempt Debit (USD): 0.19% + $0.53

Exempt Prepaid (USD): 0.19% + $0.53

PIN Debit Payment Transaction Rate (USD): 0.19% + $0.53
PIN Regulated POS Debit Rate (USD): 0.05% + $0.21

See full Mastercard interchange rates.

Discover Interchange Fees

Discover does not publish its full interchange rates online, so below is an estimate provided by a third-party provider. Please note that for debit cards, the fees will vary depending on whether the bank is regulated or exempt and for credit cards it will vary depending on whether the card is swiped or hand-keyed.

Card Type Interchange Fee 
Discover Debit, card present Exempt: 1.10% + $0.16

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.22

Discover Debit, card not present Exempt: 1.75% + $0.20

Regulated: 0.05% + $0.22

Discover Consumer credit card Swiped: 1.56% + $0.10

Keyed: 1.87% + $0.10

Discover Rewards Swiped: 1.71% + $0.10

Keyed: 1.97% + $0.10

To access full Discover interchange rates, you need to use a verification code provided by your acquirer.

American Express Interchange Fees

American Express works differently from the other brands in that the card type does not impact the processing rate. Instead, your industry or merchant category code (MCC) will play a larger role in deciding how much you pay in credit card processing fees.

For smaller businesses, you’ll probably be accepting American Express through their program called OptBlue. Through OptBlue, your payment technology provider will determine how much you pay for AmEx and bundle it in with the ability to accept more popular card types. This way, you can accept AmEx customers (who historically have higher ticket prices) without breaking the bank.

You can read more about the OptBlue program at Merchant Maverick.

How Do Credit Card Interchange Fees Work?

As you can see, interchange fees vary from one credit card network to the next. These fees are set by Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express every April and October. As for how these fees are split, a percentage of the interchange rates goes to the card issuers aka card-issuing banks—e.g., Capital One, Chase, or Bank of America. The rest of the fees go to the credit card brand. This is important to point out because it shows that interchange fees are not charged by your payment processing company (and thus, they’re non-negotiable).

Payment processors typically charge a markup on top of the interchange, which is essentially how they make money. So while you technically can’t negotiate your way to lower interchange fees, you can still save on overall payment processing costs by working with the right provider.

How Much Do You Pay?

At the end of the day, how much you’re paying for credit card processing relies on your payment solutions provider. Many payment processors like Stripe, Square, PayPal, and bank merchant services offer flat-rate processing. Some others, including Stax, offer subscription-style processing that gives you access to the lowest rates of interchange.

Avoiding Higher Interchange Fees

In the modern digital age, electronic payments have become the norm, with credit and debit cards being widely used for transactions. However, along with the convenience of card payments, businesses face the challenge of interchange fees, which can significantly impact their bottom line.

Choose the Right Payment Processor

The choice of payment processor plays a crucial role in managing interchange fees. Different processors offer various pricing models, so it’s essential to compare options and negotiate competitive rates. Look for processors that provide transparent pricing structures and offer interchange plus pricing, where the interchange fee is passed through directly without any markup. This approach can help you avoid unnecessary additional charges and optimize your fee structure.

Optimize Card Acceptance

Understanding the types of cards you accept and their associated interchange fees is key to minimizing costs. Payment networks classify cards into different categories, and fees vary depending on factors like card type (credit or debit), payment method (chip and PIN, contactless), and industry-specific cards (corporate, rewards). By optimizing your card acceptance policies, you can encourage customers to use lower-cost payment methods and reduce interchange fees.

Encourage Debit Card Usage

Debit cards generally carry lower interchange fees compared to credit cards. Actively promoting debit card usage among your customers can help lower your overall interchange fee expenses. Consider offering incentives, such as discounts or rewards, for customers who choose to pay with their debit cards. This not only benefits your customers but also reduces your payment processing costs.

Streamline Processing and Reduce Chargebacks

Efficient transaction processing and minimizing chargebacks can have a positive impact on interchange fees. Implementing secure payment gateways and fraud detection systems can help reduce the risk of chargebacks, which can result in costly fees. Furthermore, optimizing your payment infrastructure to streamline processing and minimize errors can help prevent unnecessary charges and improve overall cost efficiency.

Regularly Review and Update Your Fee Structure

Interchange fees are subject to change, as payment networks periodically update their fee schedules. It is crucial to stay informed about these changes and periodically review your fee structure to ensure you’re paying the most competitive rates available. This review process may involve renegotiating with your payment processor or exploring alternative options in the market to find the best fit for your business.

Consider Surcharge Programs

Depending on your region and applicable regulations, you may have the option to implement surcharge programs, where you pass on the interchange fees to customers directly. While this strategy requires careful consideration and compliance with legal requirements, it can be an effective way to offset interchange fees (especially for a small business) and transfer the cost to the end-user.

Interchange fees are charges imposed by payment networks, such as Visa and Mastercard, for processing card transactions. While these fees are unavoidable, there are several smart strategies that businesses can employ to minimize their impact. In this article, we will explore practical tips to help businesses navigate and reduce interchange fees effectively.

Here’s how these different rates work:

Tiered Pricing

A common pricing model in the payment processing realm is called tiered pricing. This method bundles the interchange rate with the processor’s markup and then puts your transactions into three tiers: qualified, mid-qualified, and non-qualified.

Card payments that are in the “qualified” tier incur lower rates while “non-qualified” transactions cost more to process.

Here’s where things get dicey: how transactions are categorized is completely at the discretion of the processor. What some payment processing companies consider as “qualified” may not be the same for others. There’s no transparency with tiered pricing fees, making it difficult to figure out whether or not you’re overpaying.

Set Rate Processing aka Flat Fee Processing

With set rate processing, you have a non-negotiable flat fee per credit card transaction, regardless of card or industry type. For instance, Stripe charges 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction. So whether you’re accepting a debit card with a 0.05% + 22¢ interchange rate or a corporate card with a 2.50% + 10¢ interchange rate, you pay the same rate.

While this may seem simpler at first, the reality is that you could be overpaying for credit card processing with these systems. In the example above, Visa would receive the .05% + 22¢, while Stripe would be making a whopping 2.5% + 8¢ on your transaction. That’s why we introduced simple subscription-based pricing.

Interchange Fees And How To Understand Them | Payment Processing

Flat Subscription Rate Processing

Subscription-based processors have a similar concept to other subscription services you’re used to, such as warehouse stores like Costco. You pay a low fee to get access to warehouse pricing on goods, where you then can buy as much as you want with no cap on savings. Stax’ subscription pricing starts at just $99 per month. Regardless if your sale is $50 or $5,000, you pay the flat cost of processing without a percent markup.

Every business is different, which is why we don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. Based on the types of cards your customers are using and your average transactions, we’ll be able to show you exactly which type of plan makes sense for your business.

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FAQs about Interchange Fees

Q: What are interchange fees?

Interchange fees are charges imposed by payment networks, such as Visa and Mastercard, to businesses for processing credit and debit card transactions. These fees are set by the payment networks and go to the card-issuing banks to cover various costs, including infrastructure maintenance, fraud protection, and rewards programs.

Q: Do I pay interchange fees directly?

No, interchange fees are not paid directly by businesses to the payment networks. Instead, they are deducted by your payment processor or acquiring bank and passed on to the card-issuing banks.

Q: How can I reduce interchange fees?

While interchange fees are unavoidable, there are strategies to help minimize their impact. These include negotiating competitive rates with your payment processor, optimizing card acceptance policies to encourage lower-cost payment methods, promoting debit card usage, streamlining processing to minimize errors, and staying updated on fee structures to ensure you are paying the most competitive rates available.

Q: Are interchange fees the same for all types of cards?

No, interchange fees vary depending on factors such as card type (credit or debit), payment method (chip and PIN, contactless), and industry-specific cards (corporate, rewards). Debit card transactions generally have lower interchange fees compared to credit card transactions.

Q: Can I pass interchange fees on to my customers?

The ability to pass interchange fees on to customers depends on regional regulations and legal requirements. In most states, businesses may have the option to implement surcharge programs where interchange fees are directly passed on to customers. However, it’s important to research and comply with applicable laws before considering this option. CardX by Stax is the leader in automated surcharging compliance and can help your business implement passing on these fees properly.

Q: How often do interchange fees change?

Interchange fees are subject to periodic updates by payment networks. They can change annually or even more frequently. Staying informed about these changes and periodically reviewing your fee structure is essential to ensure you are paying the most competitive rates available.

Q: Is it possible to avoid an interchange fee?

It is not possible to completely avoid interchange fees when accepting card payments. Interchange fees are an inherent part of the payment ecosystem and are charged by the payment networks and card-issuing banks to cover various costs associated with processing transactions, maintaining infrastructure, managing fraud risk, and providing cardholder benefits. Your business cannot avoid paying interchange fees, but you can employ strategies to minimize the impact and optimize your payment processing costs.


 

How Adopting Mobile Payments Can Help Your Business Grow in 2024

Let’s time travel back, just 20 years ago, to the shopping mall. You’re making a purchase at a retail store, and the cash register is large, clunky, and painfully slow, even for 2004. 

Fast forward to now where much has changed, and research anticipates contactless mobile payments to exceed one billion users globally by 2024. Customers can pay with their watch or phone just by tapping it on a card reader, and businesses can host an entire POS system on a mobile phone. A lot has changed in 20 years, and businesses must either adopt a modern and mobile payment infrastructure or risk becoming about as relevant as the cash register in a mall department store.

So how can you adopt mobile payments for your business, and how can you benefit from these payment services? Thanks to the advancements in payment technology, the answers are not difficult to find. From hardware equipment to specialized merchant services, here’s how you can use mobile payment services to grow your enterprise this year.

TL;DR

  • Mobile payments have evolved significantly over the past 20 years, with current tech enabling payments through watches or phones. 
  • Major companies like Apple, Samsung, and Google have championed mobile payments through NFC-enabled digital wallets; businesses need compatible hardware for adoption. 
  • Adopting mobile payments is crucial for modern businesses to cater to broader audiences, streamline the checkout experience, and ensure operational relevance in the future.

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Upgrade Your Legacy Equipment for Mobile Payments

The world’s foremost mobile phone manufacturers, Apple and Samsung started to foster the use of mobile payments as early as 2014 and 2015, respectively. By using near-field communication (NFC), Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay services turned each company’s mobile devices into highly secure digital payment wallets. Google was a little late to the party, but it also followed with its method called Google Pay in 2016.

Thanks to these modern payment solutions, credit card, and debit card users can now complete their purchases without swiping or inserting their cards at the point of sale (POS) terminals. Instead, they can tap their mobile devices against supporting POS terminals to process their payments securely and efficiently by way of a digital wallet.

Why Is Adding Mobile Payments Important to Businesses Today?

Contactless payments are quickly gaining traction among users, and it’s not just younger generations and tech-savvy consumers. Major card issuers such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express each have hundreds of millions of NFC-enabled (near-field communication) debit and credit cards in circulation. Further, the adoption of various digital wallet app options—including Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Wallets—make accepting mobile payments a must-have for modern businesses.

Due to its simple yet effective way of making mobile payments, this method is one that is rapidly growing. Many enterprises are now focusing on making it a part of their checkout experience, whether they offer retail services or run other businesses in specific industries. With the promise of increased sales and a better reputation, it seems like it is par for the course to adopt a mobile payments solution.

But even as the adoption of tap-to-pay increases, contactless card and digital wallet payments through Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay need compatible hardware to work at POS terminals.

What Can You Do to Adopt These Mobile Payments Solutions?

Contactless payments are relatively new, only arriving in the U.S. in 2014. Because of this, outdated POS systems lack the ability to accept NFC-enabled credit and debit cards or mobile wallets. So, for businesses working with antiquated POS terminals, now is the time to upgrade to be able to better serve a wide swath of users with contactless cards and mobile wallets.

But not to fear—with the help of your payment processing partner, you can easily modernize your infrastructure and make sure your business is equipped to offer the latest payment processing hardware. So, if you’re operating with older hardware that only accepts EMV chip cards and swiped credit and debit cards, it’s time to talk to your payment processor and enter the modern era. Not only will this be a more secure option and allow for more efficient transaction processing, you’ll also deliver a better customer experience.

How Can Mobile Payments Help?

By accepting these mobile solutions, your business can cater to a broader customer base that now prefers using mobile payments. Accepting mobile payments streamlines the checkout experience for these customers, leaving them with a good impression of your business. After all, especially with a younger generation of patrons expecting modern technology, businesses not only need to but also benefit from meeting their customers where they are.

In the long run, this also future-proofs your operations for when these mobile solutions become the primary way to process payments. Instead of upgrading your payment infrastructure at the last minute, you can benefit from modern merchant services that will take on the challenge of changing times.

Use Card Readers to Turn Mobile Devices into POS Equipment

If the above information tells you anything, it’s the importance of modern payment terminals, including mobile POS systems that complement standard POS terminals. . But what if your business sells its services in the field? That’s where you can turn to mobile payment systems. There are many options available that plug into existing smartphones and tablets , such as the Swipe Simple B250 Reader available from Stax, to solve this problem effectively.

Some mobile card readers attach to modern smartphones or tablets to turn them into payment card processors, and some work on their own as separate devices. This means that these compact devices can work anywhere your customers are or wherever your services can go.  A standalone mobile point-of-sale system, such as the Clover Flex or Dejavoo QD Series are great options for dedicated mobile payment transactions.

Offering mobile payment options is attainable for small businesses and large enterprises alike as well. These compact options are compatible with Apple, Android and other smartphones and have the full functionality needed to process payments in the field.

Leveraging Peer-to-Peer Payments

One trend gaining traction with mobile payments is the use of applications such as PayPal and Venmo for more than peer payments. Many businesses, particularly small businesses, are using mobile payment apps to allow their customers to leave their physical cards at home and submit payments directly from their Venmo, Cash App or PayPal account to the merchant, and the funds are then transferred to the merchant bank account. Because the customer already has their bank account, debit card or credit card information connected to the payment app, the payment can be completed easily within the familiar payment app ecosystem, creating a seamless user experience.

While the fee structures for this service vary depending on the provider, peer-to-peer (P2P) payments are much more than money transfers between friends. There are also several authentication measures, such as verifying the phone number of the recipient or using a QR code to validate that funds are being transferred to the correct account. 

How Mobile Payments and Online Payment Options Intersect

For businesses doing business both in-person and online, you’ll find a lot of the widely used payment technology intersects. From a user experience perspective, making an online payment where all of your information needs to be entered manually is a huge hassle. 

Many modern businesses now accept mobile wallets when processing an online payment, meaning the customer can simply click to pay, with all their shipping and payment information automatically populated. Not only is that easier for the customer, but it is also more secure than traditional payments as all mobile wallet payments use tokenization to secure the payment information—meaning the customer doesn’t physically enter their card information into a browser to complete a purchase. 

This is the same technology as accepting digital wallet payments in person, so for businesses that implement standard POS and mobile payment options for in-person transactions and also do business online, you can serve all of your customers using the same payment technology.

How is This Relevant to Your Business?

With well-received trends such as pop-up stores and food trucks, businesses have found a lucrative model in mobile operations. Instead of waiting for customers to come to brick-and-mortar stores, you can now take your services to them. This increases your exposure and your ability to sell, while also cutting infrastructure costs. It’s a win-win situation from every aspect. It also applies to employees who deliver services through field services and delivery.

To go even further, the various types of mobile payments and NFC payments allow your business to move quickly and better service your customers. Mobile payment technology has come a long way in the last decade, not only in the NFC technology, mobile payment systems, and payment options available but also in its adoption by consumers of all ages. So, whether you’re reading this as a food truck owner, small retail business, professional services provider, or a multi-national large enterprise, mobile payments and digital payment trends are highly relevant to you.

What Can You Do to Adopt These Mobile Payments Solutions?

Mobile card readers are now supported by major credit card processors such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. This means that you can now get modern payment solutions quickly via credible merchant services providers.

To implement mobile payments—or any payments for that matter—the first step is to choose a trusted payment processing partner. Your payment processor has a huge impact on what you pay and the experience you and your customers have. Choose a processor with POS hardware and software relevant to your business and the ability to scale if and when your business grows. 

There is also a lot of research to do when evaluating options—it’s an important comparison to look at the cost and capabilities. At Stax, we want you to know how we stack up against the competition, which is why we frequently share a side-by-side analysis of our solutions compared to your other options. For more information, check out some of our comparison articles.

Now, let’s assume you made a choice you’re happy with and have all the equipment and software needed to process mobile payments. Educating your employees is the next hurdle to clear. Especially if the technology is new to your workforce, this is a make-or-break moment. Resistance to new technology can be a tough obstacle, so invest in training and make sure your employees are comfortable and well-versed. When your employees are on board, it’s far easier to get your customers accustomed to the new payment options.

Related Article: Your Definitive Guide to Mobile Payments

What is the Best Way to Use Mobile Payments?

One of the simplest ways to implement mobile payments is to turn your employees’ mobile phones and devices into credit card and debit card processors by using a plug-in card reader or accepting peer-to-peer payments such as Venmo or PayPal.

As a result, you can accept payment cards and other payment types virtually anywhere you sell your products and services. Mobile card readers can also cut through the time it takes for them to accept payments for a sale or after delivering a service. To add to their advantages, some mobile card readers also help you in preventing cash tracking issues by connecting with your POS software.

Of course, another simple option is to upgrade your POS options to handheld mobile terminals and a payment processor that supports your business in more ways than hardware.

At Stax, our modern payment services focus on going beyond ordinary merchant accounts. The Stax Platform allows for mobile swipe capabilities through our Stax mobile app. You can also key in payments or add the optional mobile reader to start swiping. Enjoy the ease and convenience of sending invoices and storing payment methods through the Stax Platform.

Contact us at Stax for a custom quote today to learn how our solutions can help you keep up with mobile payments this year. We will be happy to help you find the right solution for your enterprise.

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FAQs about Mobile Payments

Q: What are mobile payments and how have they evolved over the years?

Mobile payments refer to payment services that are operated under financial regulation and performed from or via a mobile device. Over the past 20 years, mobile payments have evolved significantly, with advancements in technology enabling payments through wristwatches or smartphones. Major tech giants like Apple, Samsung, and Google have pioneered mobile payments through NFC-enabled digital wallets.

Q: Why is adopting mobile payments crucial for businesses today?

Adopting mobile payments is vital for modern businesses to cater to a wider audience, streamline the checkout experience, and ensure operational relevance in the future. With an increasing number of customers preferring contactless payments for their convenience and security, businesses need to adapt to this trend to stay competitive.

Q: How can a business adopt mobile payments?

The first step to adopting mobile payments is upgrading your current payment processing systems to be compatible with the latest NFC-enabled devices and digital wallets. This might involve partnering with a reliable payment processing provider and investing in modern POS hardware and software. It’s essential to train your employees on the new technology to ensure a smooth transition and positive customer experience.

Q: What are the benefits of adopting mobile payments for businesses?

Mobile payments can help businesses cater to a broader customer base, enhance the checkout experience, and future-proof their operations. By accepting mobile payments, businesses can also increase their sales, improve their reputation, and stay relevant in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Q: What is the role of card readers in facilitating mobile payments?

Card readers can transform mobile devices into POS equipment, enabling businesses to accept payments virtually anywhere. Some mobile card readers can be attached to smartphones or tablets, turning them into payment card processors. This offers a practical solution for businesses that sell their services in the field.

Q: How do mobile payments and online payment options intersect?

Many businesses now accept mobile wallets for online payments, providing a seamless and secure checkout experience for customers. The technology used for accepting digital wallet payments in person is the same as that used for online transactions, allowing businesses to serve their customers with the same payment technology across different platforms.

Q: What is peer-to-peer (P2P) payment and how is it relevant to businesses?

Peer-to-peer payments allow users to transfer funds directly from one party to another through their mobile devices. Many businesses, especially small ones, are leveraging P2P payment apps like PayPal and Venmo to provide customers with a seamless payment experience. This method is secure, easy, and efficient, making it a popular choice for modern businesses.

Q: How can businesses leverage mobile payments for growth?

Businesses can leverage mobile payments to enhance customer experience, streamline operations, and expand their customer base. By adopting mobile payments, businesses can also stay ahead of the competition, increase sales, and improve their reputation in the market.

Q: How do mobile payments impact businesses offering mobile services?

For businesses offering mobile services like pop-up stores and food trucks, mobile payments allow for quick transactions and better customer service. They also help increase exposure and selling ability while reducing infrastructure costs. The various types of mobile payments and NFC payments enable businesses to move quickly and service their customers more effectively.

Q: What is the future of mobile payments?

The future of mobile payments looks promising. With the continued advancement of technology and increasing consumer demand for convenience and security, it’s expected that mobile payments will become the primary way to process payments in the future. Businesses that adopt mobile payment solutions now are positioning themselves for success in this evolving landscape.


 

What is Electronic Invoicing and How Does it Work?

A key part that any business undertakes is sending out invoices. From SaaS services to healthcare, virtually every business has to send invoices to get paid.

In the past, your invoice process was probably entirely paper-based. It might have involved printing out physical invoices, mailing them off to a client, and waiting for them to confirm, pay, or send proof of payment. That doesn’t have to be the case anymore.

Over the last several years, electronic invoicing (or e-invoicing) has taken the invoice management game to the next level, streamlining workflows and simplifying the entire process. In fact, research shows that the global e-invoicing market was worth $8.74 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $29.68 billion by 2027.

While there’s a growing trend shifting towards e-invoices, industry data shows that on average, accounts payable (AP) departments received over a third of their invoices on paper, despite a paper invoice error costing $53.50 to fix. Clearly, there’s still a way to go.

Want to learn more about all things e-invoicing? In this article, we’ll explain what electronic invoicing is (and isn’t), its benefits, and how you can successfully implement an e-invoicing solution.

TL;DR

  • Electronic invoicing (or e-invoicing/digital invoicing) is the process of billing your customer digitally or through the Internet, generally through structured data formats like XML or EDI. 
  • There are several reasons you might consider switching to e-invoicing, including lower costs, improved productivity, and fewer bottlenecks. That said, it’s important to ensure stakeholder buy-in and proper security.
  • To successfully implement e-invoicing, create a comprehensive strategy introducing the switch to e-invoicing, inform your customers well in advance, and focus on the benefits they’ll receive to drive adoption rates.

E-Invoicing and How It Works

Electronic invoicing goes by a few other names, including e-invoicing and digital invoicing. It’s the process of billing your customer digitally or through the Internet, instead of in-person or by mail.

However, the digitization of paper invoices is not the same thing as e-invoicing. If you take a photo of a paper invoice or use an app to convert it into a PDF invoice, that isn’t e-invoicing. If it wasn’t issued electronically and didn’t include structured data a machine can read or extract, it’s not an e-invoice.

E-invoicing has been around for decades, since the days of XML formats and electronic data interchange (EDI) for document processing and material procurement. Now, digital invoices are often prepared with billing software solutions, allowing customers to access their invoice data via their email or in an online environment. Most invoicing systems also let customers make payments through the portal.

Of course, like paper invoices, you need to include the same information on your e-invoice, including the customer and seller info, goods or services purchased, amount due, payment date, and invoice number.

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E-Invoicing Benefits

There are several reasons why you might switch to e-invoicing, including:

Overall convenience and improved productivity. Companies can avoid many hours of manual processing, using templates to quickly generate their invoice to send electronically and securely—wherever they are.

Automated and touchless invoice processing. Larger companies that regularly send recurring invoices can benefit from the automation functionality of e-invoicing, freeing up more time for their accounts payable department.

Early payments. Minimize the risk of late payments with paper invoices and improve your cash flow with quicker, streamlined payments updated in real-time.

Fewer bottlenecks. Manually adjusting errors on paper invoices costs time and money. With invoicing software, you can reduce the risk of human error and instantly make changes, all reflected instantaneously in your invoicing portal—i.e., your single source of truth.

Potential E-Invoicing Drawbacks

While the benefits of e-invoicing are quite clear, there are a few possible challenges you should keep in mind before you make the switch.

Ensuring stakeholder buy-in. Change can definitely be difficult, even if it’s for the best. If you have customers who are used to traditional invoicing, switching to electronic invoicing may take time and cause short-term frustration. If you’re struggling with getting everyone on board, check out our tips later in this blog to help overcome this challenge!

Ensuring proper security. Invoicing naturally means dealing with potentially sensitive data, so it’s important to not cut corners when it comes to e-invoicing! Make sure that your documents can be encrypted and securely stored in the cloud, and that the payment processing provider you work with offers the latest security standards, like PCI compliance.

How to Get Started with Electronic Invoice Processing

It can be hard to choose the right e-invoicing software for your business, but it’s important to take into consideration the needs of your department or company. Some general questions you should ask are:

  • What kind of functionalities and integrations do you need? How specialized should they be? Do their services comply with (inter)national standards for electronic data exchange, like EDIFACT or PEPPOL? 
  • Do you only need invoicing or accounting features, or also additional features such as project management?
  • How robust can the e-invoicing solution be, given your budget?
  • How scalable is the product? Will it be able to match your growth and needs over the upcoming years?

By taking the time to answer these questions, you’ll be able to choose the perfect invoice service provider for your needs.

How to Implement Electronic Invoicing Successfully

Once you’ve chosen a digital invoice provider, you’re only halfway there. After all, if your clients don’t make the switch with you, you’re back to square one. To make the transition process easy and seamlessly onboard your clients, here are some tips to take into consideration.

Create a comprehensive strategy introducing the switch to e-invoicing. If you’ve decided to go digital, it’s important to bring your clients alongside your thinking. This means you shouldn’t just send one update email and call it a day, but provide multiple opportunities for your customers to understand why you’re making the transition.

If you’re in healthcare and primarily bill individuals, you might consider creating an email, letter, and a short video with FAQs. If you’re in financial services and mostly invoice accounts payable departments, you could organize a webinar where they can speak to a representative about your new ERP system.

Whatever option you go with, make sure your messaging is consistent and straightforward.

Inform your customers well in advance of any changes. Old habits die hard, and expecting your clients to make a switch within a week is not only unrealistic but also poor customer service. For example, if you’re an accounting firm working with larger corporate clients, they may need to go through lengthy internal approval processes. By giving your clients enough time, you’ll avoid running the risk of them switching to a competitor providing paper invoices.

Focus on the benefits your clients will receive. Don’t only talk about why e-invoicing is a smart choice for your company. Instead, explain what’s in it for your customers.

  • How much time will they be able to save?
  • Will they need to contact customer service less frequently?
  • Will their data be more secure?

By answering these questions, you’ll be able to drive your e-invoicing adoption rates.

Provide incentives to your customers. Since you’ll be saving on costs once you switch to e-invoicing, consider allocating some of that budget to offering discounts. For example, you might offer a small discount on the next three invoices if customers switch to e-invoicing ahead of the final deadline. Alternatively, you could make a donation to a charity of the customer’s choosing on their behalf.

Avoid a “one size fits all” approach. While all your customers should be well-informed on your digital transformation towards e-invoicing, it might make sense to create a dedicated approach for high-value customers. Let’s say you’re a legal firm, and a small handful of clients account for over 70% of your revenue. If so, you could consider offering a 1-on-1 meeting with them to personally walk them through why you’re making the switch. This could be the manager of the accounts payable department or the CEO if it’s a smaller company.

Another option could be offering custom programs, where you accommodate certain requests your clients have, such as training sessions or deadline extensions. By recognizing the importance of your high-value clients, you’ll be more likely to keep them on board.

The Future of E-Invoicing

If you think you can get away with using traditional invoices for the foreseeable future, think again. E-invoicing is projected to have an annual growth rate of 25% between 2022 and 2029, reaching a market value of over $6 billion by 2029. Plus, more places are requiring it through a top-down approach. 

In 2014, the European Union, for example, put up an e-invoicing mandate that required all public sector bodies to accept e-invoices, so it’s not unlikely that the U.S. will follow suit to some extent down the road, with mobile-friendly alternatives becoming increasingly important. While it’ll definitely take some time to pick up in the U.S. and certain regions in the world, those who adhere to e-invoicing compliance will undoubtedly have a competitive advantage that will fuel their growth in the long run.

Wrapping Up

Adopting digital invoices can streamline your workflow, increase productivity, and save costs—all while providing an improved customer experience and staying ahead of the digital curve. With a little bit of time and effort, you can successfully implement electronic invoicing and keep your customers throughout the transition period.

Stax has an all-in-one payment platform that makes billing and invoicing simpler. We offer scalable e-invoicing solutions for each business, always with transparent pricing.

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FAQs about Electronic Invoicing

Q: What is electronic invoicing?

Electronic invoicing, also known as e-invoicing, refers to the process of billing your customer digitally, generally through structured data formats like XML or EDI.

Q: What distinguishes e-invoicing from digitization of paper invoices?

E-invoicing shouldn’t be confused with the digitization of paper invoices. If a paper invoice is scanned or converted into a PDF and issued, this does not constitute e-invoicing. To classify as e-invoicing, a bill must be issued electronically and must include structured data that a machine can interpret and extract.

Q: What are the advantages of e-Invoicing?

The advantages of e-invoicing include enhanced productivity, time-saving by avoiding manual processing, efficient and touchless invoice processing, and faster payments. E-Invoicing also reduces the risk of human errors and ensures all alterations are instantly reflected in the invoicing portal.

Q: What challenges might businesses face when implementing e-invoicing?

Switching to electronic invoicing can pose potential challenges like ensuring stakeholder buy-in and ensuring proper security. Stakeholders who are accustomed to traditional invoicing methods may resist the transition to digital invoicing. Furthermore, securing sensitive data involved in invoicing transactions is vital.

Q: How can a business implement e-invoicing successfully?

For successful e-invoicing implementation, businesses should create a comprehensive strategy to introduce the switch to e-invoicing. It’s also important to provide customers with ample notice of changes, highlight the benefits they stand to gain from the transition, and offer incentives to encourage adoption.

Q: What is the future of e-Invoicing?

E-invoicing is projected to have an annual growth rate of 25% between 2022 and 2029, reaching a market value of over $6 billion by 2029. More jurisdictions are starting to require it, indicating that its adoption will give businesses a competitive edge in the long run.

Q: What factors should be considered when selecting e-invoicing software?

Whilst choosing an e-Invoicing software, businesses should consider the needs of their department or company, the functionalities and integrations required, compliance with national and international standards for electronic data exchange, the software’s ability to match the growth and needs of the company, and the budget allocated for the solution.

Q: What information should be included in a digital invoice?

Like paper invoices, digital invoices should include customer and seller info, goods or services purchased, the amount due, the payment due date, and the invoice number.

Q: How does e-invoicing contribute to improved cash flow?

E-invoicing minimizes the risk of late payments associated with paper invoices and improves a company’s cash flow through faster, real-time updated payments.

Q: Does Stax offer an e-invoicing solution?

Yes, Stax offers an all-in-one payment platform that includes scalable e-invoicing solutions for each business, with transparent pricing.


 

Surcharging Tools and Tech: What You Need to Implement a Surcharging Program In-Person and Online 

If you’re reading this guide, you’re likely interested in implementing a surcharging program to offset credit card costs. 

More and more merchants are choosing to set up credit card surcharges (aka zero percent processing) because it helps reduce operational expenses and allows businesses to stay competitive amidst issues like inflation and economic uncertainty. 

Even more good news? Implementing surcharging is easier than ever. At the time of writing this, surcharging is legal for businesses in all US states and territories except Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Puerto Rico. And if you’re using a solution like CardX by Stax, you can rest easy knowing that our software automatically keeps you compliant with all surcharging laws

Now, as far as the checkout process goes, your surcharging program—when implemented correctly—shouldn’t add friction to the customer experience. With the proper hardware and software, customers will experience a smooth and transparent transaction process.

In this article, we’ll go over the surcharging tools and technologies you can use to implement zero percent processing seamlessly. From in-person hardware to ecommerce solutions, we’ve got you covered with the latest and most efficient options.

TL;DR

  • Credit card surcharging helps businesses offset operational costs by passing on credit card processing fees to the consumer; CardX by Stax offers industry-leading tools and ensures surcharging compliance for businesses.
  • For online transactions, CardX’s Lightbox solution provides a seamless checkout experience without redirecting customers, and for in-person transactions, the Dejavoo QD series terminals are recommended.
  • If you take payments over the phone, you can use a surcharging-compliant virtual terminal to implement your surcharging program. 

Implementing an online surcharging program

Implementing An Online Surcharging Program

You can implement surcharging online by using surcharging software with your ecommerce platform.

To provide the most optimal experience, opt for a solution that keeps customers on your website throughout the entire checkout process. CardX by Stax’s Lightbox solution is an excellent example of an online surcharging tool that lets customers have a seamless ecommerce experience. 

Here’s how it works: When it’s time to pay, CardX displays a Lightbox right on your website without redirecting customers away from the page. This feature can also be integrated with Click to Pay to even further reduce friction from the online checkout experience further.

The beauty of the Lightbox is it’s fully customizable, which means you can tailor it to match your brand’s look and feel. It also looks sleek and professional, so customers feel confident and assured during the payment process.

Moreover, CardX’s Lightbox feature is Level 1 PCI compliant, so shoppers can pay for their purchases (including the cost of payment processing) quickly and securely. 

More importantly, CardX by Stax ensures that your online surcharging program complies with the necessary regulations—all while promoting a smooth and uninterrupted checkout experience. 

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Implementing an in-person or in-store surcharging program

If you’re looking to accept payments and implement surcharging for face-to-face transactions, you can do so with the right credit card equipment. The right hardware will depend on your payment processor and surcharging provider. 

Be sure to have a conversation with your providers to confirm that your business is equipped with credit card terminals that will allow you to implement surcharging. 

Dejavoo QD Series for surcharging

At CardX by Stax, our top picks for in-person surcharging are the Dejavoo QD2 mobile wireless terminal and the QD4 countertop.

Dejavoo QD2 Mobile Wireless Android

Qd2

QD2 Mobile Wireless Android is a robust and adaptable mobile terminal perfect for taking payments anywhere in your facility. Whether you’re a retailer that wants to ring up sales or the floor or a medical practitioner that needs to take the checkout experience to the patient, the Dejavoo QD2 has got you covered. 

Plus, the sleek and modern design makes it an attractive addition to any point-of-sale environment. It’s a great way to convey that your business is technologically advanced and customer-centric.

Some of the key features and specs of this terminal include:

  • 4G and WiFi capabilities
  • Silicone protector available
  • Internal PIN Pad and contactless 
  • Same AURA software as Z Line, so there’s no learning curve if you’re already familiar with the Dejavoo Z series
  • Large touch screen 

Check out the complete list of specifications here

Dejavoo QD4 Countertop Android

Qd4

The QD4 is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a countertop terminal. Ideal for locations with dedicated checkout areas, the QD4 offers fast and efficient transaction processing, paving the way for smooth customer experiences.

And just like the QD2, the QD4 has a smooth and modern look and feel, so your business will exude professionalism and contemporary charm.

Some of the key features and specs of this terminal include:

  • Ethernet & WiFi 
  • Internal PIN Pad and contactless 
  • Same AURA software as Z Line, so there’s no learning curve if you’re already familiar with the Dejavoo Z series
  • Supports external PIN Pad (QD5 or QD3 PIN Pad)

Check out the complete list of specifications here

Implementing a surcharging program in your business office

Virtualterminal

If you operate in a more corporate setting and take payments over the phone, using a surcharging-compliant virtual terminal is a must. 

Again, the specifics for how to set things up will depend on your payment and surcharging providers. At CardX by Stax, our virtual terminal lets you complete an order with just a few clicks—no additional equipment or software required.

And like all of our solutions, CardX’s virtual terminal automatically ensures that all your payment and legal ducks are in a row. That way, you can run your surcharging initiatives with confidence. 

Bringing it all together

Credit card surcharging doesn’t have to be complicated. When partnered with the right payment provider, you can enjoy the benefits of zero percent processing and maintain a healthier bottom line. 

So whether you’re taking payments in-person, online, or in your office, see to it that you have the right tools and technology to offer a transparent and efficient experience for your customers.

Need help doing just that? CardX by Stax provides the right equipment and ensures surcharging compliance every step of the way. 

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FAQs about Surcharging Program

Q: What is a surcharging program?

A surcharging program allows businesses to offset operational costs by passing on credit card processing fees to the consumer. This practice is becoming increasingly popular among merchants due to its potential to reduce expenses and enhance competitiveness.

Q: Is it legally permitted to implement a surcharging program?

As of the time of writing, surcharging is legal in all US states and territories apart from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Puerto Rico. However, each business should monitor legislative changes and ensure ongoing compliance.

Q: What tools and technologies are needed to implement a surcharging program?

Implementing a surcharging program requires the right hardware and software. For online transactions, solutions such as CardX by Stax’s Lightbox can be used. For in-person transactions, credit card terminals like the Dejavoo QD series are recommended. In corporate settings, a surcharging-compliant virtual terminal can be employed.

Q: What is CardX by Stax’s Lightbox solution, and how does it support online surcharging?

The Lightbox solution from CardX by Stax is a surcharging tool allowing customers to complete their checkout on your website without redirection. The solution displays a Lightbox on your webpage at payment time, provides a seamless ecommerce experience, and is Level 1 PCI compliant.

Q: Can I use surcharging for face-to-face transactions?

Yes, using the appropriate credit card equipment, like the Dejavoo QD2 Mobile Wireless Android and Dejavoo QD4 Countertop Android offered by CardX by Stax, it is possible to implement surcharging for in-person, face-to-face transactions.

Q: How can I implement a surcharging program for payments taken over the phone?

Implementing a surcharging program for payments taken over the phone requires using a surcharging-compliant virtual terminal. Such terminals help to complete an order with just a few clicks and ensure legal compliance.

Q: How does surcharging benefit the bottom line of a business?

Surcharging helps businesses reduce credit card processing costs—an operational expense—by passing these costs on to the consumers. It allows businesses to maintain a healthier bottom line and remain competitive in the face of economic challenges.

Q: Do customers view surcharging negatively?

If implemented correctly, a surcharging program should not add friction to the customer experience. Whether online, in-person, or over the phone, the checkout process should remain smooth and seamless for customers.

Q: What steps should be taken to ensure compliance in a surcharging program?

To ensure compliance, businesses should work with a reliable partner such as CardX by Stax. Their software ensures ongoing compliance with surcharging laws, ensuring businesses can adopt such initiatives with confidence.