March 2016

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

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:

  • 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!