Archive for February, 2015

It’s Just Double Dumb For Business Owners to Not be Apple Pay™ Ready!

February 21st, 2015

I don’t mean to infer business owners are dumb. We all do dumb things from time to time. I know, I’m an expert on that subject. It is just, shall we say, a less than wise thing to procrastinate getting your business ready to accept payments from existing and potential customers who want to use the new smartphone technology.

Consider these things. Apple™ will soon be releasing the Apple Watch™, which, like their recently released iPhone 6™ and iPhone 6 Plus™ will be ready to use with Apple Pay™ . How many millions will they sell? Are you going to look at getting one? How many people do you see using the new iPhone 6™ platform? My guess is a lot! According to their quarterly report there were 74.5 MILLION units of the iPhone 6™ sold in the last three months of 2014. It makes one wonder how many would have sold if they would have been readily available. I myself could not find one until February of 2015! How many do you think have sold this year with waiting lists at all of the Apple™ stores? How many units of the Apple Watch™ will sell when it is released in the near future?

Below are some questions I’ve received about the subject, along with answers.

What is Apple Pay™?
Apple Pay™ allows your customers to pay using their smartphone, (or soon their watch), to pay for goods and services. It is safe and secure. Each transaction is authorized by pin or fingerprint sensor and generates a one time token. Even if it is intercepted it is useless to the person trying to hack it. No card data or names are exchanged making it possibly the most secure method of payment available today.

How do I accept Apple Pay™?
Accepting Apple Pay™ is as simple, or more simple, than accepting a credit card as long as you have the right equipment. (see below).

What Equipment Do I Need?
You will need an NFC enabled credit card terminal or Point Of Sale System, (yes, both are available). Without this technology there is no path of communication between the smartphone and your payment equipment.

What Will It Cost Me?
There are no additional “transaction fees” or *discount fees” to the business owner to accept Apple Pay™. However, you will need updated NFC equipment. Many sales reps and processors may charge you hundreds if not thousands of dollars to upgrade your equipment. However, (here comes the shameless plug), I can upgrade your standard terminal for free as long as you use my office for processing. I can even get full blown Point Of Sale Systems placed for free as long as you pay the normal POS service fees.  Call our number as seen on this site or send or click contact us and send a message.  We will get back with you.

What is the Price of Doing Nothing?
When your customers get a new iPhone 6™ with Apple Pay™ they will eagerly seek out merchants who accept the technology to try it out. It is faster and more secure than traditional credit cards. Will you be able to accept their payments or will they need to find a competitor that does?

Consider these facts gleaned from the Apple™ quarterly report and the Macworld publication;

Apple pay is already responsible for 50% of mobile payments purchases at fast-food giant McDonald’s™

Apple Pay™ is already working with over 90% of the USA’s most used payment cards.

According to Credit Card giant Visa™ Americans are now twice as likely to carry a mobile phone as they are to have cash with them. Those between the ages of 18 and 34 are four times as likely.

Media website Business Insider claims that the use of in-store mobile payments will grow by 4,200% by 2018.

Even the government is signing on… President Obama signed an executive order mandating that certain government agencies ready themselves to accept mobile payments.

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter while you are here. You can also follow me on LinkedIn. Contact us, we will tell it like it is with no frills, no smoke and no mirrors.

Apple Pay™ is so Easy To Use but It Is Hard to Find Places to Use It.

February 19th, 2015

Many of you have seen my opinions on this in articles I have written. I am a firm believer that Apple Pay™ may well be the most secure way to make and accept payments.  See my opinion  on the Apple Pay™ platform in my Linkedin post on the subject.  I’ve also published what I think are the 3 best reasons to upgrade to NFC enabled terminals.

There are millions of Apple Pay™ enabled phones now in the hands of customers and they are looking for places to use the new technology. Savvy merchants are upgrading their equipment to take EMV because of the new rules. Make sure when you do that you can also take the various NFC payment forms such as Apple Pay™.

Choose a provider wisely and this equipment upgrade can be done free of charge. Choose poorly and it can cost hundreds of dollars. Now is the time to consider the upgrade. Being one of the salons, boutiques or sporting goods stores that accepts Apple Pay™ may help increase your customer base.

Please sign up for our free electronic newsletter below.  Keep up to date on what is happening in the electronic payments industry.

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How the 2015 EMV Rule May Affect Your Business.

February 6th, 2015

Do I Really Need New Equipment?

Well, kind of. The card associations saying that anyone who takes credit cards in the USA as a form of payment needs to update their credit card processing equipment in 2015. New equipment must be EMV enabled in order for you to reduce your liability.

That is all of the information most business owners get as far as what is going on with their cash flow. Many business owners hear that it is a “rule” and begin to panic. They scramble to become “compliant” with the new rules and end up spending far more money than necessary. The true story goes much further and is much simpler. When heads that are more logical prevail, this new rule is not nearly as frightening, (or expensive) as it at first appears to be.

What the #>%& is EMV?

EMV is an acronym that stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa. This is a global standard for the use of integrated circuit payment cards or “chip cards” and IC card capable chip readers that are either inside, or attached to, credit card terminals and automated teller machines, (ATM’s). The EMV rules are applicable only to the card present, (face-to-face) transaction environment. This technology has also made it possible to utilize other instruments of payment such as mobile phones with programs such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

For years, EMV payment technology has been the standard worldwide, except in the USA. Virtually all businesses in Canada and Europe use credit card readers that are EMV capable. To put it simply, it is a more secure method of authenticating and completing credit and debit card transactions. It is much more secure than the magnetic strip technology that is widely used in the USA.

What If I Say To Heck With It and Not Upgrade My Equipment?

Possibly nothing. There are no fines and nobody is going to come in to inspect your equipment. However, there are many good reasons to make the change but one of the real dangers to your business is the liability shift that will occur on October 1 this year. Here is a timetable of when liabilities will shift to your business from the banks on fraudulent transactions;

On October 1, 2015: liability for fraudulent transactions will shift from the bank to (ultimately) the merchant on fraudulent sale transactions for Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. (Looks like most of them to me!)

On October 1, 2016: MasterCard liability will shift to the ATM owner for MasterCard transactions.

On October 1, 2017: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover liability shift will occur for pay-at-pump gas stations, as well as for Visa and American Express at ATM’s.

As you can see, the big date for most business owners is October 1, 2015.

So? How Can That Affect Me?

Imagine if you will that October 2015 arrives. You have not updated your card processing equipment. Your current equipment can read the mag strip on the customers’ card but not the embedded chip in cards that have them. You sell $500 worth of goods to a customer and swipe the customers’ magnetic strip credit card through your outdated credit card reader. If the transaction is fraudulent, you are out the $500. You are liable to pay it back. In addition, you are out the cost of the merchandise.

Now imagine that you have updated your equipment to EMV capable terminals. In the same scenario as above, it is the bank and not the business owner that becomes liable for the fraudulent $500 transaction. Even though you used the magnetic strip capability on your updated terminal to swipe the card and complete the transaction, the simple fact that you could have completed the transaction with EMV technology just saved you 500 bucks!

Fraudulent transactions can be due to lost or stolen cards, counterfeit cards or any other reason. It is a sad, but true fact that magnetic strip cards are easily counterfeited once the cardholders’ data is obtained illegally.  You can always give us a call on our toll free number to simply ask questions about this new rule and how it may affect you.  Reading is good, talking is better.

I Can’t Afford That Kind Of Loss. What Should I Do?

The bottom line is updating to the new technology payment processing equipment is a wise thing for business owners to do. It is more secure and makes fraud less likely. We are all in this together. Anything any of us can do to prevent fraud and identity theft is a good thing.

The good news is the sky is not falling as some of the banks and credit card sales representatives would have you believe. They simply want to sell equipment and make money. They want business owners to wring their hands, furrow their brows and reach for their checkbook. This is not necessary. If you find the right independent processor this new equipment is provided to business owners free of charge. The time is now to contact a reputable representative and make the switch to 21st century card processing technology. Remember, the liability shift date is October 15 2015. Do it sooner if possible to avoid the last-minute rush.

Sign up below for our newsletter to keep updated on changes in the electronic payments industry.  Add me on Linkedin to get my musings about changes in the electronic payments industry.  You can also check out my opinion on upgrading to NFC payments equipment at Ezine articles.  You can give us a call on our toll free number to simply ask questions about this new rule and how it may affect you.