When companies want an increase in business profits, it’s common for them to start with sales and marketing, looking at how they can re-sell to former customers and re-engage leads that went quiet. While these two strategies have proved to yield results, they don’t include opportunities that are often forgotten which entail examining technology and payment processing in the workplace. If you are not looking into the following, you are likely leaving business profits on the table.
Research has proven that slow technology leads to decreased productivity. In a world where time is money, slow technology equates to a loss of income. One study reported:
Waiting for your computer to boot up can add up to 8.8 days of lost time over the space over a year.
A third of workers admit losing motivation when they have to wait on tech to respond.
Slow software has contributed to 10.4 days’ worth of wasted worktime.
Take inventory of the technology and software in your workplace and evaluate what’s not working, what’s working, and what can work better.
Popular technology used in the workplace that need to be fast and reliable include:
Desktop computers and laptops
Printers and fax machines
Payment technology (POS systems, credit card processing machines, and online gateways)
Popular software includes:
CRM software such as Salesforce
Cloud based storage solutions
Team based and task management systems such as Asana, Trello, or Wrike
A chargeback is a reversal of money from a merchant to a customer. Chargebacks work when a customer contacts their bank to dispute a charge. When merchants do not respond in a timely fashion and provide the proper documents to fight the dispute, funds are deducted from the merchant as the case becomes a chargeback.
Why do chargebacks happen?
There are several reasons why chargebacks happen:
Poor products or service. Customers are unhappy with the products or services provided by a merchant and the merchant refuses to issue a refund or the customer is unhappy and chooses not to ask for a refund.
Theft. The card owner did not authorize the transaction because their card was stolen.
Fraud. There are some people who just don’t want to pay for products or services and have learned that if they run a chargeback, once or twice, they may be able to get away with not doing so. This is of course highly illegal and can come with ramifications such as prison time.
Employee error. Customers were charged the incorrect amount by an employee and instead of contacting the business for a price correction, they contact their card companies to dispute the charge.
Chip liability shift. This is when merchants do have EMV compliant terminals but instead of requiring customers to insert chip cards, they allow them to swipe.
If this if the first time you are hearing about EMV, the term is commonly referred to as EMV chip or EMV card. The EMV meaning is the technical term for a payment method that securely accepts cards.
5 Ways to Help Prevent Chargebacks
Acrossall major cities we work with (just to name a few): Brooklyn, Manhattan, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Houston, we’ve found that restaurants and retail businesses are the top two targets for chargebacks. To help prevent chargebacks:
Always use credit card terminal machines that have chip readers (EMV readers).
Make sure every single customer signs their receipts and you save copies of these receipts.
Have employees ensure that credit cards being used are not expired.
Don’t accept credit cards without signatures on the back of them.
Always provide honest service.
It’s impossible to make every customer happy, especially in the restaurant business – not every person is going to like your food, but, excellent customer service is key. Do everything you can to resolve customer issues before or soon after customers leave. Customers typically have up to 120 days to file chargebacks, so soon after they leave your establishment, you still may have time to avoid them.
When choosing a payment processing company, always ask how chargebacks are handled – few will be fight chargebacks on your behalf as a value-added service which is something you need from a payment processor.
We have chargeback managers on-site in our Central, New Jersey office who have a process in place to save merchants the most money on chargeback cases. Through monitoring and analysis, our chargeback managers know when chargebacks occur and quickly notify merchants who then typically have 45 days to respond and get disputes resolved. Merchants are encouraged to respond to chargeback notifications as soon as they are received and provide the following information to dispute their request and retrieve their funds:
We have found that merchants who switched from traditional processing to our Net Zero Fee Program with cash discounting or surcharging on credit cards have seen a decrease in chargeback activity, which brings us to our next tip.
A true cash discount program is a type of payment processing that eliminates fees all together. It is offered by very few payment processing companies and some payment processors that do offer it, don’t follow the rules set forth by the card brands. Your processor should get and keep you compliant with the rules and regulations of cash discounting.
Since payment processing companies need to cover PCI Compliance and other administrative costs, merchants can expect to pay a small program fee (less than $50 a month – which is separate from credit card processing fees). The other fees associated with processing card which come directly from the card brands (such as interchange), are passed off to customers by a including markup on purchases. Customers are notified about this program via a discreet sign that is placed next to their register or location where payments are accepted.
Surcharging credit cards is another option that is similar to cash discounting. Surcharging entails adding a fee to a product or service on credit card transactions. However, this does not include debit card transactions. When executed in compliance with the rules and regulations set forth by the card brand, cash discounting is legal in all states. Surcharging is allowed in most states. You may be thinking … but wait, won’t my customers be upset about paying my fees? If they don’t want to, they can pay with cash. As a result, merchants on this type of program have seen significant increases in cash payments.
Created and developed in our Central, New Jersey payment technology office, Net Zero Processing Fees – our cash discounting and surcharging program – has saved merchants thousands of dollars each month on their credit card processing. Merchants have reported having little to no push back from customers and have said if they do have push back, it’s worth it for all the money they save on the program. Loyal customers understand that running a business can be hard and expensive and don’t stop working with their favorite businesses because of a small mark up on credit card payments.
Each year the Payment Card Industry (PCI) administers a data security (DSS) questionnaire, which is a set of security standards designed to ensure that all merchants that accept, process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. It is costly for processing companies to fund fraud fighting services for PCI so many merchants remain non-compliant, paying enormous fees while opening their doors up to security risks. Payment processing companies like Priority Payments Local have PCI compliance managers who assist merchants with becoming PCI compliant to avoid these fees.
A common question is, how much is a PCI compliance fee? This can vary from processor to processor with fees starting less than $50 a month and going all the way up to $150 a month. Not sure if you are paying this fee? Send us a copy of your processing statement via our secure email server for a complimentary analysis.
Priority Payments Local proudly works with small businesses, medium-sized businesses, and large businesses, helping them save money on secure payment processing solutions. Some of the main areas we serve include: New York City, New Jersey, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Washington DC, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Pennsylvania, and Atlanta, Georgia.
>> Contact us for a complimentary payment processing rate analysis.