Considerations for Financing your Equipment Purchases

Certain pieces of equipment can accelerate your business operations and streamline your production or services. However, there’s no need to drain a significant amount of money from your business for your next equipment purchase. You should be able to acquire the pieces of equipment you need without the heavy upfront cost. Consider financing your equipment and pay smaller chunks of money over a certain amount of time.

Cost/Benefit Analysis

Before financing your equipment, you must consider the cost vs. the benefits. How will this piece of equipment benefit your company? What purpose will it serve? Is it something you can do without if you do a little planning and coordinating? If you find that the benefits outweigh the cost, equipment financing is right for you.

Financing Terms and Costs

Carefully read through any financing terms and carefully calculate the cost of your payments. Can your business afford the payments, or will they put unnecessary financial burden on you? Will you have to cut costs in other areas? Will your payments increase over time? How much principal will you pay vs. interest?
Does the Financing Company Care about your Bottom Line?

It’s no secret that companies do what they do for the money. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t companies who truly care for their clients and want to advocate for their success. It’s important to understand the mission of your financing company, and how they intend to help you succeed vs. how they intend to help themselves succeed. Do a little exploring to find your perfect fit, and don’t be afraid to look up potential companies’ past customers to find out more about their individual relationships with their clients.

Benefits of Choosing to Finance

If you decide that financing is the right decision for your company, there are several benefits. First, you can strengthen your financial position by slowly paying your financing costs over time rather than the expensive upfront cost. Financing allows you to reserve cash each month for smaller, more convenient payments, continue to grow your revenue, and further save for unexpected costs and emergencies. Many financing companies offer affordable and fair interest rates, and are willing to offer you deferment programs, as well as seasonal payment programs.

Use Vision Payment Solutions to finance your new equipment, accelerate your business, and better your operations. We offer instant financing up to $100,000, unparalleled client services, finance terms from 12-60 months, and the opportunity to upgrade your equipment with a simple, one-page document.

Contact Vision Payments to find out more about our financing services and apply for your Vision Payments merchant account!

Benefits of Merchant Capital Funding

With the current state of the economy and the heavy competition it fosters, small businesses are failing left and right. While this isn’t necessarily the fault of anyone, there are ways to avoid going under while still maintaining your bottom line and keeping your staff intact.

Merchant capital funding isn’t a standard bank loan—meaning that there usually isn’t an egregious set of standards you need to meet in order to qualify for the loan. They can be highly beneficial to your growing business, and they can be secured easily.

You can do what you need to do

Maybe your location is off-putting to customers, and it needs a renovation. Or, maybe it’s time to open a second location to reach more customers and generate more revenue. Securing merchant capital funding can:

  • Help you expand your products and services, which provides greater appeal to your customer base.
  • Upgrade your equipment and machinery, which will help improve your processes and avoid outdated equipment.
  • Launch advertising campaigns, run special promotions, or even just purchase inventory you’ve been desperately needing.

No matter what your business needs, merchant capital funding is the ideal solution.

Many funding companies offer advantages over others

Vision Payment Solutions has high approval rates, automatic collection, no application fee, and does not require personal collateral to back your loan.

Revenue-based collections

Merchant capital funding typically works on an income-type basis. Many companies will give you your loan in exchange for a percentage of your credit card sales until the amount loaned is paid off. This way, you are still generating income, you don’t have to plan out your loan payments, and nothing is paid in a lump sum. You can easily monitor your income, and avoid seeing a large loss with every payment.

High approval rates

Many small businesses don’t have the credit score and collateral to secure such a substantial bank loan. A standard bank has a series of standards that are generally unrealistic for small businesses, which prevent them from securing the capital they need. With merchant capital funding, you are exponentially more likely to be approved for your loan, and the approval is always accompanied by very reasonable terms and conditions.

Vision Payment Solutions is an ideal provider of merchant capital funding with the dedication to your success that you deserve. Contact us to learn more about our funding services, and apply for your merchant capital fund today!

What is Credit Card Interchange?

In a credit card transaction, there are more parties involved than just the customer and merchant. There is the credit card association (Visa, MasterCard, etc.), the financial institution from whom the customer received their card (card-issuing bank), the customer, the merchant, the merchant service providers, and the bank that the service provider represents. When a purchase takes place, the customer’s financial institution authorizes release of the funds. The funds are then transferred to the merchant’s bank account, minus the interchange fee.

An interchange fee is the “cost” of a credit card sale.

While this concept may seem a little confusing and vague, it’s quite simple. The interchange rate is determined by the credit card association—note that credit card associations that offer perks and incentives tend to have higher interchange rates, as those perks and incentives require a certain cost to operate. A typical interchange rate may look like this: 2.20%+$0.15. The first figure is a percentage of the sale, and the second number is a “per-sale” cost. Larger merchants can negotiate the cost of the credit card interchange if their volume of sales is higher, as well as their revenue per sale.

The interchange fee is typically divvied up between three different parties. A majority of the fee, known as a card association fee, goes to the card-issuing bank—about $1.75 of a $100 purchase. Nearly $0.10-$0.20 goes to the credit card association, and the remaining money goes to the merchant account provider.

So where do you fit in, and where does Vision Payments Solutions fit in?

As the merchant, you will be the recipient of a majority of the revenue. While the idea of these fees seems daunting, accepting credit cards is one of the most important ways to increase your profits, and appeal to a large customer base that relies on credit cards as their primary forms of payment. With millions of credit card owners and users, the best thing you can do is increase your customer reach, and accept the small fees as a part of processing credit cards.

Vision Payment Solutions will act as your merchant account processor, and oversee the credit card transactions and transferal of funds to your merchant bank account. We offer assistance in matters of merchant services, credit card payment processing, and merchant credit card processing. Visit www.visionpayment.com to learn more about our payment solutions, and our merchant account processing services!

Avoiding Fraud Liability

It is estimated that nearly half of the fraudulent card payments in the world occur in the United States. More than ever before, there is immense pressure on merchants and businesses to up their security, and avoid being liable for fraud.

  1. If you haven’t switched to the Europay, Mastercard, and Visa (EMV) chip reader system, it’s time to do so. Any business who chooses to avoid making the switch is exponentially more likely to experience a security breach, and will be held accountable for not making the switch. Check with your payment processor to learn more about EMV chip readers, and set up your EMV POV terminals right away.
  2. Ensure that your staff is fully-trained on new technologies. After switching to the EMV chip readers, explain the technology and how to properly charge the card. Also ensure that you monitor your staff to watch for possible security risks, as a lot of security issues and fraud can come from within the business. Trust your employees, but do so with discretion. Open an anonymous system for your employees to report fraud or liabilities for fraud. Teach your employees to spot bad checks, counterfeit money, and fraudulent credit cards, and to keep themselves and customers in check.
  3. Create a system of checks and balances within your business. While it can seem efficient to assign all accounting and auditing tasks to one or two individuals, all internal and external auditing and accounting practices need to be divided evenly between a handful of people—this keeps your employees accountable, and makes it easier to identify the responsible party when a task hasn’t been performed properly, or there are signs of fraud. Your employees can also keep each other in check, and feel incentivized to report suspicions of fraud.
  4. If you accept payment through an online payment portal, gather all of the information related to the card. This includes the full name on the card, the number, the expiration date, and the CVV number on the back.
  5. Recognize certain signs of fraud—however, keep in mind that these signs don’t automatically validate an instance of fraud. Some of these signs include: the credit card is declined, billing and shipping ZIP codes don’t match, buyer places an order via email or phone, an unusually large order is requested in addition to same day/next day shipping, buyer asks to split order between multiple credit cards, and buyer includes special instructions that include paying a third-party vendor, person, or shipping company. Remember that there are often reasonable explanations for some of these actions, but they should always be approach warily.

The Benefits of Mobile POS Systems

Point of sale (POS) systems are a necessity for retail businesses, like clothing stores and restaurants. In the past, the POS system was a large, heavy cash register. Nowadays, POS systems have literally become pocket-sized.

Mobile POS apps for smartphones, iPads, and other tablets are the future of retail businesses. Vision Payment Solutions offers several mobile and tablet based solutions. They allow you to take orders, manage inventory, access information, and view reports with just a few taps. What used to require multiple machines and a hefty amount of paperwork has been reduced to an efficient, sleek mobile app.

Mobile POS Apps Provide Improved Customer Service

When you’re a server in a restaurant, you can carry the mobile device directly to the table, creating instant communication between the table and the kitchen. Mobile POS apps allow for quick tableside payment acceptance that your customer will appreciate, as their credit card will always remain in sight.

A mobile POS app lets the customer handle their experience. These apps can provide digital menus and send digital receipts. Digital receipts reduce environmental waste, while also reducing costs for the retailer, since they will no longer have to worry about reordering thermal receipt paper and printers.

Mobile POS Apps Save Money and Space

With the rising trend in mobile restaurants and food trucks, mobile POS apps become even more beneficial. These eateries operate in small spaces on limited budgets, so it’s not financially or spatially wise to use a large, full-service POS system. An app on an iPad / tablet will not take up any space at all, and it completely eliminates the cost of installing a large POS system.

These solutions offer a cost-effective mobile POS system, as low as $49 per month for your first device, and $24 per month for each additional device. Traditional POS systems can cost $2000 or more with all the required components, while also taking up a large amount of space.

Increased Sales

When you use one of the solutions offered by VPS, you will maximize floor and counter space in your restaurant or store. You can take advantage of more floor or dining room space. Add more seating or merchandising opportunities, and increase your sales.

If you’re running a pop-up or food truck, you can accept credit cards with ease. With our secure, convenient card-readers, customers no longer have to fret over getting cash out of an ATM. Pre-calculated tips will also incentivize customers to provide you with a tip, so they don’t have to worry about calculating the tip themselves.

You can truly make the most of your finances, space, and resources with the mobile POS apps from Vision Payment Solutions. Let us get you set up with the modern, easy-to-use Talech app today so you can start increasing your revenue and customer satisfaction.

Protect Your Customer’s Personally Identifiable Information

It’s no secret that the Internet has opened up our personal details to everyone in some form or another, whether it’s a social media page or a criminal record. In the data world, this information is officially called personally identifiable information (PII) which essentially means any information about an individual that can be directly or indirectly used to identify, contact, or locate that person. This information includes medical, educational, financial, legal, and employment records.

This information is extremely valuable and essential to protect. When you run a business, you have will often have access to your customer’s PII. They are trusting you to be responsible with protecting their sensitive information.

The CSR Breach Reporting Toolkit from Vision Payment Services is an information security breach defense, preparedness, and response service that helps those using merchant payment solutions protect their customers’ PII. This toolkit is designed to help you quickly react to a data breach when PII is lost, stolen, or compromised.

Successfully protecting PII includes a combination of encryption, threat protection, data-loss prevention, and policy compliance. A well-run organization will employ numerous security protocols to ensure that their customers’ PII is constantly safe and secure. Organizations large and small need to follow all the legal requirements of the state and federal government so customers’ PII remains secure.

When you use our merchant services, you get to set strict rules regarding access to data, how the data is received, stored, and transmitted, what information can be sent within the organization, and what can be passed along to third parties.

A culture of openness with your use of data is important. However, this policy shouldn’t be consistent across all data types, especially PII. Access to this information should only be granted to select employees. It is also essential that your partners and vendors with access to PII have maximum protection. Make sure you understand exactly how your partners are storing customers’ PII for you, and how they handle access control.

Protecting PII all comes down to employee education. Developing policies and providing regular training for data handling is the best way to make sure you are always prepared to handle any security breaches or problems that might occur. Requiring employees to use a two-step verification process will help keep information safe in the event that a password is stolen.

Using the CSR Breach Toolkit along with employee training and education is a bulletproof way to protect your customers’ PII so you can perpetuate trust, and maintain their business.

Five Questions for Your Merchant Account Provider

Every merchant account provider has a unique set of services that require attention before signing up with them. Finding the right merchant account provider is an involved process that calls for both research and attention to detail. If you’re in the market for a new provider, here are a few questions you should be asking before you sign on the dotted line.

1. How is Your Customer Support?

You never know what kind of situation you might need help with. Make sure you payment processor offers the customer support you’re looking for. Your best bet is signing up with a company that provides 24/7 services with live support. Live support can come in the form of face-to-face, phone, and live chat. If you want to make sure you’re getting the service you’re looking for, make a test call to see how long it takes to talk to an actual person.

2. Are you PCI Compliant?

PCI compliance is enforced by the PCI Council. These standards ensure that merchants and merchant account providers are following best practices. Non-compliant companies can actually face substantial fines for neglecting their PCI compliance, and might affect how your company does business in the long run. If you find that your prospective merchant account provider’s services are in violation of PCI standard, do not do business with them.

3. What is Your Security Like?

Credit card processors are no stranger to the widespread threat of fraud. With recent changes to credit card liability laws, you’ll want to make sure that your account is protected against all forms of fraud.

4. Are Your Services Compatible With My Shopping Cart?

Your payment gateway, or the software that connects your shopping cart to your processor, is a vital part of your operation. Every merchant account provider’s software is different, which might mean that it isn’t compatible with your online shopping cart. According to experts, most processors work with Authorize.net, which provides software that is universally compliant.

5. What Kind of Fees Will I Be Charged?

Hidden fees can be both annoying and costly. Will you be facing monthly charges? Annual fees based on usage? Experts suggest that merchants should pay no more than $200 annually on additional fees. Online merchants can expect to pay a little more at $300 annually. Ask your potential merchant account providers about any additional fees that they might require, and find out what specific actions on your part might lead to additional charges.

Contact Vision Payments today at (877) 674-2286 to find out more about what you should be looking for in your merchant account provider. We’ll walk you through the process and help answer all of your questions so that you’re well-informed about your merchant account.

How to Make Sure You’re Getting the Most out of Merchant Processing

At Vision Payment Solutions, we offer a full spectrum of merchant processing products and services for business. We provide merchant accounts to allow acceptance of credit and debit cards, offer hardware and software terminals, develop integrated cash register systems, and fund thousands of dollars for your business.
If you’re new to merchant services or simply interested in starting a merchant account, it’s important to be well-informed before making a decision so you can get the best deal possible. As merchant account service provider with over 60 years of experience, VPS has some tips and words of advice you should keep in mind when choosing a merchant processing service.

Be prepared

As a business owner, you should become familiar with the credit card and credit card processing industries. Research fees and rates, as well as the differences between cards and start collecting quotes and comparing data. When you start the process with educated clarity, you will be able to sensibly select the right service for your business.

Get acquainted with common pricing models

The three standard pricing models in credit card processing are flat rate, tiered pricing, and interchange plus (cost-plus pricing.) Flat-rate pricing is used by processors like PayPal and typically works best for small monthly volumes. As the name suggests, tiered pricing has three levels: qualified tiers, mid-qualified tiers, and non-qualified tiers. Processors bundle the transaction rates to offer you these tiers.
Interchange plus is the best model for processing a monthly amount of over $2,000. Interchange uses the comprehensive cost that card brands charge to process your transaction, which means you get access to hundreds of wholesale costs and have a pre-negotiated rate as well.

Make sure to ask questions

When you are negotiating a merchant account, you need to consider various fees. Ask the following questions to ensure that you are fully aware of all possible fees:
-Is there an annual fee?
-Is there a monthly minimum penalty?
-Am I signing a contract term? What is the termination fee?
-What is the monthly service fee?
-What is the statement fee?
-Will the fees be debited monthly or daily?
-What kind of online reports will be available?

Purchase updated technology

It’s essential to have current credit-card terminal technology if that is how you’re receiving transactions. Sometimes there are free equipment options in exchange for reasonable contract terms. Make sure to never lease the equipment, as this always costs extra. If you choose to use a virtual terminal or payment gateway, ensure that it serves all necessary functions. Virtual terminals can save you a significant amount of time, as you simply bill customers on an automatic monthly cycle instead of requiring someone to manually charge the card.

Vision Payment Solutions wants to keep your business up-to-date in a constantly shifting industry Through our flexible hardware, software, and e-commerce solutions we’ll help your payment system evolve along with your business, rather than fighting against it. To learn more about our services at Vision Payment Solutions, visit visionpayments.com

Merchant Processing Terms and Definitions

Vision Payments is dedicated to making merchant processing as simple and hassle-free as possible for all of our clients. If you’re new to the payment processing game, you might wonder what exactly you’re getting into. To make things easier, we’ve created an A-Z beginner’s guide of merchant processing terms to keep you in the know:

Authorization: The approval given from a participating customer’s bank in order to approve a transaction. Upon authorization, a code is generated for that specific transaction for tracking purposes.

Chargeback: A chargeback occurs once a credit card holder disputes a credit card transaction with their credit card issuer. Once a dispute has been filed, the disputed amount is withdrawn from the merchant’s bank account, giving them ten days to fight the chargeback with proof of the transaction (signed receipt, proof of delivery, proof of purchase, etc.) Merchants might also be subject to a chargeback fee should the original dispute prove valid.

Credit Card (or Third Party) Processors: Credit card processors handle the details of processing credit card transactions. The transaction must pass from a merchant, to an issuing bank, to the merchant account provider in order for an individual transaction to be completed.

Issuer: An issuer is the institution that has issued a credit card to a business or an individual. They are one of the key players in completing a transaction as they help to approve the credit card payment to the merchant.

Merchant: This one is pretty self-explanatory. A merchant is the business selling goods or services bought by a consumer.

Payment Gateway: A gateway acts as a middleman between a merchant’s payment software or website and the payment processor itself. In some cases, the gateway acts as the payment processor.

PCI Compliance: PCI standards were created by major issuing banks in order to protect consumers from identity theft and ensure greater security during transactions. Processors now charge what is commonly known as a PCI compliance fee to insure against data breaches and hackings. Never sign up with a Merchant Processor that is not PCI compliant.

Point of Interaction (POI): The actual instance in which a credit card’s information is read by a merchant’s payment processing software. Most POIs fall under the category of integrated circuit (chip) and/or magnetic strip-based payment transactions.

The more you know before signing up for a merchant processing account, the better prepared you’ll be to choose the payment processor that works for you. If you have any questions about signing up for a merchant account or wish to sign up for one, feel free to contact VPS today at (877) 674-2286.

Payment Gateways for Beginners

If you’re a merchant looking to step sell and promote our products on-line, one of your first steps is to learn about the ever-important payment gateway. Payment gateways have made significant strides over the past few years, and are quickly becoming a popular solution for a wide range of E-commerce merchants
Here are a few basic facts about Payment Gateways:

What exactly is a Payment Gateway?

A payment gateway is an e-commerce application that authorizes all credit card payments between a consumer and a merchant. Payment gateways can be used by e-business, online retailers, and brick and mortar businesses to customize their credit card payments.

How Does a Payment Gateway Work?

The transaction process might look complicated at first glance, but a payment gateway’s role is relatively simple. Once a consumer places their order, their credit card information is recorded by the payment gateway and encrypted before being sent to the merchant’s web server. The information is then sent to the acquiring bank’s server, then transmitted to the Card issuer (MasterCard, Visa, etc.). The card issuer either approves or denies the transaction, then sends the response to the gateway. Once the transaction is approved, it is considered complete!

How do Payment Gateways Protect against Fraud?

There are several methods used by payment gateways to protect both consumers and merchant services from fraud, including: 3D secure, address verification services, IP address-based, and other types of identity verification.

What Payment Gateway Should I Use?

Every business is different; therefore, every business has different needs as far as their payment gateway is concerned. Vision Payments works with over 35 different payment gateway solutions, allowing you the freedom to choose the gateway that works with your company. We recommend the following solutions:

  • Authorize.net
  • NMI
  • USAepay

For more information about payment gateways and what you should be looking for, contact Vision Payments today. Our customer service representatives can walk you through your payment processing account and help you decide which gateway best suits your needs. Call us today at 877-674-2286!