What is a Risk Hold?

 

 

What is a Risk Hold? 

 

Have you ever had your credit card deposit placed on Risk Hold? We understand the frustration you feel when this happens. A Risk Hold is common for new merchants and can also be used when you have a very large transaction or a questionable transaction. Risk Holds are implemented by the funding bank and not your processor. Your credit card processor has no control over this but may be able to help get the money released sooner by acting on your behalf.

 

A risk hold is a fairly a routine procedure that many merchants experience in their first few weeks of processing. It can create fear and uncertainty but you will almost always receive your money sooner or later. A Risk Hold may hold up your settlement payments for as long as a week but more likely about 72 hours.

 

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Where Do My Credit Card Fees Go

 

 

Where Do My Fees Go?

Many merchants falsely believe all of the fees they pay go to their credit card processor. If that was the case there would probably be a lot more credit card processors out there today. The truth is, your processor actually keeps a very tiny portion of the transactions. This blog is intended to provide a clear understanding of how those fees work, what they do for you, and how you can avoid additional fees that you don’t need to be paying. This is a guide on how fees are calculated for most merchant accounts:

The transaction begins the moment your customer swipes, taps, keys or inserts their credit or debit card to pay you for goods or services. Fees are usually based on the amount of the transaction. This amount is determined by important factors such as your merchant services provider, such as Chosen Payments, your bank and the customer’s bank, and the card brand, such as MasterCard, Visa or Amex that issued your customer's credit card.

Some processors charge a fixed price per transaction without charging you any additional fees. Others charge a little more than what the credit card issuer would charge directly. Some processors have a tiered pricing system that depends on the type of card presented and other variables not within your control. These include rewards cards, government cards, corporate cards, non-rewards cards etc.

 

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Credit and Debit Card Skimming Continues to Grow


 

  

We continue to warn about credit card skimmers because it has become big business. As a merchant, you have an obligation to protect credit card data entrusted to you. This includes protecting and monitoring your credit card equipment and online processing. The latest trend is for thieves to install micro cameras allowing the thief to easily see the PIN code being entered into a keypad.

 With this in mind, we will focus on sharing tips on what you should be looking for as a merchant as well as being a consumer that likely uses ATM's and other electronic payment points. It really only takes a quick inspection to look for things that might be amiss and cause you to become a victim of identity and credit card theft. Skimming works by retrofitting card readers such as an ATM or gas pump card reader with a camouflaged counterfeit card reader. The counterfeit reader records all of the information from the magnetic stripe on the back of your card. The thief can then duplicate your card onto a new blank credit card or simply capture all the data needed to sell on the black market.

You may wonder where a person might get such sophisticated equipment to do this. The truth is, skimming gear is readily available online at a cost of about $400. In most cases, the companies selling card readers are legitimate businesses that sell the readers to companies for use with point of sale systems. However, the sale of such equipment is completely unregulated. Since there are no regulations, skimmers can also buy them. A typical bundled package includes a card reader and a card writer.

A thief will usually buy a card skimmer that matches the type of device type he plans to attack. As an example, he might by a gas pump style reader and then connect it to the circuitry of the real card reader in a gas pump. The card skimmer has a magnetic stripe reader and local flash memory that stores the card data. Newer advanced skimmers are equipped with 3G radios that transmit skimmed data back to the thief in real-time over a cellular network. This eliminates the need for the thief to ever come back to collect the skimmer and data. It also reduces the chance that law enforcement will catch the thief by setting up a stake out and waiting for the thief to return.

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Signatures – Do You Need Them or Not?


 

 

Signatures – Do You Need Them or Not?

Earlier this year the four major credit card brands, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover all made announcements that they would no longer require customers to sign for credit card transactions. The dollar amount didn’t matter anymore. You may remember that grocery stores stopped asking you sign for small purchases quite some time ago. Yet, everywhere you use your card, from an airport parking lot to restaurants, we are still asked to sign the credit card slip. You may wonder why. Here is some information about signatures.

#1 – You Don’t Need a Signature

The message was poorly delivered to merchants and they simply lack the knowledge. We would like to think that Chosen Payments merchants all know because we delivered the message to our clients in many different formats. However, many people don’t take the time to read our newsletters (which are chock full of information) or they simply are stuck in their ways.

In case you missed it, let us tell you about it again. Attention merchants, you no longer need to ask customers to sign for purchases. Yes, even if the transaction is $1,234.56. Our largest merchant transaction last week was $85,000 in a single transaction. No signature was required. This should speed up the checkout process.

#2 – You Think You Need a Signature 

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