The Illusion of a Good Deal


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Information on how to keep from overpaying the processor.

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  • The Visa System is comprised of Issuers and Acquirers. Each of these entities has important roles and responsibilities. Issuers Financial institution that issues the cards to buyers Acquirers Have the direct link into Visa that facilitates each transaction Take transaction information from the supplier Format transaction information Process transaction information through VisaNet Check with the Issuer that the card is good Visa is an association that functions as the intermediary between Issuers and Acquirers. It provides three basic functions: Branding, including advertising and promotions Product development The VisaNet system that processes the transactions VisaNet is: The fastest and largest payment processing system in the world. Capable of processing 5,000 messages per second over 3,300 VisaNet Access Points (VAPs), four Visa Processing Centers and five Network Operation Centers worldwide. One of the largest, most reliable and sophisticated global communications systems ever created. Only NASA and the IRS have systems larger than VisaNet! The stand-in processor for all the other card brands, including MasterCard, Amex and Discover. VisaNet processes $830 billion in annual transaction volume
  • Using Visa cards for B2B purchases can also enhance the bottom line of your customer’s businesses by streamlining their purchase process and eliminating paperwork, such as purchase requisitions, purchase orders, invoices and checks. With less paperwork to handle, their employees will be more productive and they will be able to reduce costs. By using Visa Purchasing cards, companies set spending parameters for each card, so they can maintain control over card use. And Visa Purchasing reports provide companies with enhanced information that helps them with vendor management, program administration and spending control and audits
  • Visa Card acceptance can help to boost your bottom line in several ways: 1. Increased sales from companies that either want the convenience of using a payment card for B2B purchases or are starting to factor in purchasing card acceptance when they choose suppliers. Also, your company can be listed in Visa’s Supplier Locator directory on our Web site. Buyers can search this directory to find businesses that accept purchasing cards. 2. Improved cash flow thanks to faster payment. Suppliers receive payment usually within two business days of every transaction. 3. Accepting Visa cards simplifies the order process by eliminating paperwork and the need to process purchase orders, invoices and checks. 4. You can also minimize the need for costly credit approvals and collection activities since the financial institution that issues the Visa card assumes the credit risk. 5. When you combine the reduction in paperwork with minimizing credit approvals and collections activities, your transaction costs are reduced and employee productivity is increased. 6. As more and more companies go online to order products, Visa card acceptance opens this new sales channel for your company. 7. And of course, suppliers have a distinct advantage over competitors who do not offer their customers the speed and convenience of Visa card acceptance. 8. Visa acceptance also helps you acquire new customers and strengthen your relationship with existing customers. 9. Accepting Visa Purchasing provides suppliers with the ability to collect additional data that your customers can use for cost allocation, expense reconciliation, and compliance with sales and use tax reporting, thereby improving the level of service you provide.
  • The Illusion of a Good Deal

    1. 1. The information presented in this online seminar is for information purposes only, and is not intended as legal or financial advice. The information does not amend or alter your obligations under your agreement with Fifth Third Bank, or under the Operating Regulations of any credit card or debit card association.
    2. 2. Can you relate? Your Profit
    3. 3. POP Quiz Terms like Non-Qualified and Mid-Qualified are Interchange Categories. False Terms like EIRF and Standard are Interchange Categories . The customer CVC code will help qualify your transaction at a lower interchange. True MasterCard and Visa charge for AVS. MasterCard and Visa charge an Auth fee. The customer’s address has to match his/her billing address to get the best rate (CNP/MOTO Merchant). Level III/Data III has the lowest interchange cost on non- consumer cards (CNP/MOTO Merchant). False False False False True
    4. 4. Agenda <ul><li>What is Interchange? </li></ul><ul><li>The Number One Mistake! </li></ul><ul><li>The Number One Trick </li></ul><ul><li>Stop The Downgrades </li></ul><ul><li>Reward Cards (what’s going on here) </li></ul><ul><li>PAD…What is it? (is it costing you thousands?) </li></ul><ul><li>Statements: From Best to Worst (what you’re really paying) </li></ul><ul><li>Convenience Fees </li></ul><ul><li>What or Why Level/Data III? </li></ul><ul><li>Choosing a business partner versus a processor </li></ul>
    5. 5. What is Interchange? <ul><li>Interchange makes us the largest cost component for merchant transactions. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not include Dues & Assessments, Access Fees, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fee collected by Acquirer from the merchant for every Visa and MasterCard transaction. </li></ul><ul><li>The Fee is then passed through Visa and MasterCard to the issuing bank. </li></ul><ul><li>Depending on detail that is passed with the transaction (Level I, II or III), the transaction may qualify for lower interchange rates. </li></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Provides systems/operations </li></ul><ul><li>Develops products </li></ul><ul><li>Provides risk management </li></ul><ul><li>Provides advertising and promotions </li></ul><ul><li>Sets standards and rules </li></ul>Three key entities manage the payment system <ul><li>Issuers </li></ul><ul><li>Issue cards </li></ul><ul><li>Assume buyer’s credit risk </li></ul><ul><li>Generate reports </li></ul><ul><li>Provide customer service </li></ul><ul><li>Acquirers </li></ul><ul><li>Sign up suppliers </li></ul><ul><li>Underwrite supplier risk </li></ul><ul><li>Provide processing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Authorization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Settlement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Generate reports </li></ul><ul><li>Provider customer service </li></ul>
    7. 7. Breakdown of Cost Interchange represents 92% of the cost of this transaction. * Based on Average Ticket currently qualifying for the Visa Credit Retail Rate, 1.54% + 0.10 Total Cost = $0.94
    8. 8. The Number One Mistake!
    9. 9. Number One Mistake <ul><li>How does this happen? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Merchant’s lack of industry knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ISO/Bank lack of experience or knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is an ISO? (Independent Sales Organization ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An agency that re-sells Credit Card Processing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>99% of the time, your local Bank </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FYI… ISOs out number processors over a hundred to one </li></ul></ul>Being Set-up Incorrectly <ul><li>MOTO Merchant set up as MOTO </li></ul><ul><li>Card keyed </li></ul><ul><li>(Numeric Only) Street address entered </li></ul><ul><li>Zip Entered </li></ul><ul><li>Information on address does not match </li></ul><ul><li>Card clears at MOTO rate a .31 basis downgrade </li></ul><ul><li>MOTO Merchant set up as Card Present </li></ul><ul><li>Card keyed </li></ul><ul><li>(Numeric Only) Street address entered </li></ul><ul><li>Zip Entered </li></ul><ul><li>Information on address does not match </li></ul><ul><li>Card clears at EIRF rate a .76 basis downgrade </li></ul>Visa Consumer Card Interchange
    10. 10. Number One Mistake Being Set-up Incorrectly <ul><li>MOTO Merchant set up as Level III/Large Ticket </li></ul><ul><li>Card keyed with Level III/Large Ticket Data </li></ul><ul><li>Card clears Level III/Large Ticket .95% + 35.00 Tran Fee </li></ul><ul><li>MOTO Merchant set up Level II </li></ul><ul><li>Card keyed with Level II Data </li></ul><ul><li>Card clears Level II 2.00% </li></ul><ul><li>Visa Large Level III/Large Ticket </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most merchants are not aware this program exists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most ISOs can’t support it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of knowledge </li></ul></ul>$7,500 Visa Purchase Card Transaction $150.00 $106.25 30% Savings
    11. 11. Number One Trick
    12. 12. Number One Trick A processor can give you a very attractive base rate (the rate on page one of your statement) if they don’t have to disclose the rate they charge for downgrades. Another way of looking at it: Does it matter how much you pay for the base price of a new car, if they don’t have to disclose any of the add-ons? Interchange 01/31/08 0201014016 VI- CPS/Retail 2 (Emerging MKTS) -1,318.78 Transaction Volume 2% + .16 (data rate II) = 2.16% 1.89% + ? (data rate II) = ??? (a.k.a. whatever we debit your account) Over 80%
    13. 13. Stop The Downgrades!
    14. 14. Visa Consumer Card Not Present *Transactions originating from a Corporate or Purchasing cards do not require AVS. Also, recurring payment transactions do not require AVS as long as the transaction is not the first payment and the time between payments is less than a year. Consumer card transaction where card/ cardholder are not present No CPS Card Not Present Yes Yes Cleared within two days? No Yes One authorization per clearing message? Yes No AVS performed?* Electronically authorized? No Yes EIRF No Shipped within 7 days and trans includes order number and ECI? Yes No Authorized through intl. Automated Referral Service? Standard No Cleared within three days? Yes
    15. 15. MasterCard Consumer Card Not Present Yes No Yes No No *For MC MO/TO transactions, the authorization and settlement amounts MUST match unless the MCC is a Direct Marketing MCC. Consumer card transaction at MO/TO or E-Commerce location where card/ cardholder are not present Authorized? MCC in auth and settle match? Yes Cleared within three days? Merit I Standard
    16. 16. Commercial Card Data Requirements Visa U.S.A. – Effective April 2006 Level II <ul><li>Must include merchant zip code, location, description, Tax ID, and Sales Tax </li></ul><ul><li>NOTE: Customer Code is no longer required for Level II on Purchasing Cards at non-fuel locations </li></ul>Level III <ul><li>Available to Purchasing Cards ONLY </li></ul><ul><li>Must include merchant zip code, location, description, Tax ID, and Line Item Detail </li></ul><ul><li>NOTE: Level II Data (specifically Sales Tax and Customer Code) is no longer required for Level III on Purchasing Cards </li></ul>Purchasing Card Large Transaction <ul><li>Special rate for Purchasing Card Transactions For Large Dollar Transactions - Must Register </li></ul><ul><li>(Visa Registration Fee is 1,000) </li></ul>
    17. 17. Commercial Card Data Requirements <ul><li>B2B Requirements – Level I, II, & III </li></ul>Visa U.S.A. – Effective April 2006 GSA and Large Ticket requirements have NOT changed – Sales Tax, Customer Code and Line Item Detail still required This can not be accomplished on a dial terminal! Electronic <ul><li>Rate applies to commercial card transactions that meet CPS requirements but do not include Level 2 data. Tax Exempt not passing Level III or paper processing major </li></ul>Standard <ul><li>Worst case rate - Bad/missing data, late presentment, </li></ul>
    18. 18. <ul><li>B2B Requirements – Level I, II, & III </li></ul>Commercial Card Data Requirements The greater the amount of data provided… the better the interchange rate. MasterCard International Data I <ul><li>Must include merchant zip code, location, description, Tax ID </li></ul>Data II <ul><li>Must include merchant zip code, location, description, Tax ID </li></ul><ul><li>AND </li></ul><ul><li>Business / Corporate Cards must include Sales Tax </li></ul><ul><li>Purchasing Cards must include Sales Tax and Customer Code </li></ul>Data III <ul><li>Must include Level I and Level II data </li></ul><ul><li>AND </li></ul><ul><li>Line Item Detail </li></ul><ul><li>Unlike Visa, Business, Corporate and Purchasing Cards are eligible for MasterCard’s Data Rate III rate </li></ul>
    19. 19. <ul><li>B2B Requirements – Level I, II, & III </li></ul>Commercial Card Data Requirements The greater the amount of data provided… the better the interchange rate. MasterCard International Corporate Face to Face <ul><li>Face-to-face transactions w/ card stripe, signature and Data II data. </li></ul>Corporate Standard <ul><li>Default rate. Merchant cannot provide additional required data, has late presentment or bad data. </li></ul>Corporate Large Ticket <ul><li>Rate applies to non-T&E transactions with a large ticket size (which varies by merchant category). </li></ul>
    20. 22. Effective Rate Calculations <ul><li>Per Item Effective Rate: </li></ul><ul><li>To convert a Per Item Fee into a %… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take the Per Item Fee and divide it by the Average Ticket </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then multiply the result by 100 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This will work in determining the effective rate for a transaction or converting from a rate only versus rate + transaction fee </li></ul><ul><li>Example 1: </li></ul><ul><li>Rate at 1.95% + $0.25 Transaction Fee W/Average Ticket $75 </li></ul><ul><li>Effective Rate: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$ 0.25/$75 X 100 = .33% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1.95% + .33% = 2.28% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective Rate 2.28% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Example 2: </li></ul><ul><li>Rate at 1.95% + $0.25 Transaction Fee + $.20 AVS Fees + W/Average Ticket $75 </li></ul><ul><li>Effective Rate: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$0.45/$75 X 100 = .60% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1.95% + .60% = 2.55% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>+ Discount .0015 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective Rate 2.7% </li></ul></ul>
    21. 23. What is Pad Processor A Processor B (re-seller/ ISO) Swiped Transaction 1.75% Swiped Transaction 1.55% Keyed Transaction .31% Keyed Transaction .61% Total Total Processor A Processor B (re-seller/ ISO) Swiped Transaction 1.75% Swiped Transaction 1.55% EIRF Transaction .76% EIRF Transaction 1.20% Total Total 2.75% 2.51 % 2.16% 2.06% .30 Pad .44 Pad
    22. 24. From Best to Worst Sometimes things are not as they appear Statements
    23. 25. Best <ul><li>This one requires a little work. It does not show the downgrade rate, only the base rate ; however, it gives all the information needed to calculate your rate as well as manage your Interchange. While it is not misleading, it could be improved by giving the downgrade rates as long as partial rates are not located in several places. This one is an overall favorite for the novice (98% fall into the novice category). We call this one a “Factual Statement” while it could give more facts, it does give all the necessary information without becoming the dangerous “Lawyer’s Statement”. </li></ul>
    24. 26. <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>The transaction volume is $10.00 the adjustment amount .11 is the surcharge from MC and passed on to the merchant. To calculate your percentage, divide the fee by the transaction volume 0.11 divided by 10.00 This shows the merchant the percentage they are paying for the Data Rate I downgrade .11% </li></ul>Best
    25. 27. <ul><li>Like the best statement it shows the number and volume of transactions which is crucial in managing your cost as well as your Interchange. What’s very dangerous is, at first glance, it looks like the merchant is only paying 1.95 % + a ten cent transaction fee. After further review; the merchant is also paying a sales discount of .002200 as well as a Dues and Assessment fee of .000950 (on second page of statement not shown ). Not counting the transaction fee can be a crucial oversight. The effective rate of 2.27% versus 1.95% is very misleading. This one is nicknamed the “Lawyer’s Statement” because they data dump to the point you can’t find the truth buried in the pile of evidence. This one is a favorite for those highly skilled in Interchange </li></ul>Good
    26. 28. <ul><li>This one is nicknamed the “Political Statement”. It says a lot while saying nothing. It shows a ton of data while leaving out one key element - the downgrade transaction volume. With this missing you have no way to calculate your rate. Yes, it shows the base (contract) rate which is usually a lowball rate. Seeing how it is the only rate disclosed they typically give you a very low rate while making up their losses (and a whole lot more) in the non-disclosed rates on the downgrades (which usually make up the bulk of the merchants transactions). </li></ul>Transaction Volume Bad
    27. 29. <ul><li>This statement shows your rate but does not show the Interchange category (QUAL, MID-QUAL and NON-QUAL are not Interchange categories ). In other words, you know how much you’re paying; you just don’t know for what.This is especially dangerous because you have no knowledge of how your transactions are qualifying (keeping in mind that Interchange makes up 92 % of your cost). You can not improve when you don’t know what’s wrong. We call this the “No Comment Statement” because it tells you nothing. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>Worst
    28. 30. Convenience Fees Rules When Where Why
    29. 31. Convenience Fees Rules Per Visa <ul><li>A Merchant that charges a Convenience Fee must ensure that the fee is: </li></ul><ul><li>Charged for a bona fide convenience in the form of an alternative payment channel outside the Merchant’s customary payment channels  (i.e. paying for something via alternative method to normal process – instead of coming in to the DMV, you may pay via VRU or internet) - this is not allowed for Internet payment when the internet is the primary mode of operation (i.e. cannot charge a fee for purchases made at, however, they can charge a fee to pay the Macy’s credit card bill via the internet instead of by check or in person)  </li></ul><ul><li>Disclosed to the Cardholder as a charge for the alternative payment channel convenience </li></ul><ul><li>Added only to a non face-to-face Transaction (The requirement for an alternate payment channel means that Mail/Telephone Order and Electronic Commerce Merchants whose payment channels are exclusively non face-to-face may not impose a Convenience Fee) </li></ul><ul><li>A flat or fixed amount, regardless of the value of the payment due </li></ul><ul><li>Applicable to all forms of payment accepted in the alternative payment channel (ACH, Lock Box, other cards, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Disclosed prior to the completion of the Transaction and the Cardholder is given the opportunity to cancel </li></ul><ul><li>Included as a part of the total amount of the Transaction </li></ul>Source : Visa Operating Regulations
    30. 32. <ul><li>9 .12.2 Charges to Cardholders A merchant must not directly or indirectly require any MasterCard cardholder to pay a surcharge or any part of any merchant discount or any contemporaneous finance charge in connection with a MasterCard card transaction. A merchant may provide a discount to its customers for cash payments. A merchant is permitted to charge a fee (such as a bona fide commission, postage, expedited service or convenience fees, and the like) if the fee is imposed on all like transactions regardless of the form of payment used. </li></ul><ul><li>• A surcharge is any fee charged in connection with a MasterCard transaction that is not charged if another payment method is used. </li></ul><ul><li>• The merchant discount fee is the fee the merchant pays to its acquirer to acquire transactions. </li></ul><ul><li> Charges for Unique Transactions A merchant is permitted to charge a fee for a unique transaction in accordance with the Standards found in chapter 4 of the GCMS Reference Manual. </li></ul><ul><li>Excerpts from Global Maestro Rules July 2005 7.2.3 Merchant Surcharging Unless permitted by local laws or regulations, Acquirers must ensure that their Merchants do not require Cardholders to pay a surcharge or any part of any Merchant discount, or any contemporaneous finance charge in connection with a Transaction. </li></ul><ul><li>A Merchant may provide a discount fee to its customers for cash payments. </li></ul><ul><li>A Merchant is permitted to charge a fee (such as commission, postage, expedited service or convenience fees, and the like), if the fee is imposed on all like transactions regardless of the form of payment used. </li></ul>Convenience Fees Rules Per MasterCard Source : Excerpts from Bylaws and Rules (published April 2005) & Excerpts from Global Maestro Rules July 2005
    31. 33. What or Why Level/Data III?
    32. 34. Purchasing Card Usage: Buyer Benefits Streamlines the Purchasing Power Eliminates Paperwork Reduces Costs Increases Employee Productivity Provides Automated Controls Offers Customized Reporting
    33. 35. Card Acceptance: Supplier Benefits Increased Sales Volume Improved Cash Flow Fewer Credit Approvals and Collection Activities Increased Productivity New Sales Channel Less Paperwork to Process Customer Acquisition and Retention Reduced Costs Enhanced Competitive Position Improved Customer Service
    34. 36. Level III Incentive Interchange Rates CURRENT FEES Visa Fees MC Fees MC Purchasing $6,050 (at Data Rate I) Visa Purchasing $10,350 (at Comm. Electronic) Visa Corporate $11,040 (at Comm. Electronic) V/MC Business $47,610 $48,950 (at Comm Electronic/Data Rate I) TOTAL $69,000 $55,000 Current Effective Interchange 2.30% 2.75% *Optimal Effective Interchange 2.04% 1.75% Interchange Improvement % 0.26% 1.00% Interchange Savings = $27,830 22.4% Cost Savings to the Bottom Line Visa Commercial Cards* Corporate/Business Level II Purchasing Level III MasterCard Commercial Cards* Corporate/Business Data Rate III Purchasing Data Rate III <ul><li>Visa Commercial Card </li></ul><ul><li>$3,000,000 sales </li></ul><ul><li>30,000 transactions </li></ul><ul><li>$100 average ticket </li></ul><ul><li>MasterCard Commercial Card </li></ul><ul><li>$2,000,000 sales </li></ul><ul><li>20,000 transactions </li></ul><ul><li>$100 average ticket </li></ul><ul><li>Visa: 15% Purchasing, 16% Corporate, 69% Business </li></ul><ul><li>MasterCard: 11% Purchasing, 89% Corporate/Business </li></ul><ul><li>Merchant does Level I processing today, but not Level II or III </li></ul>Case Study
    35. 37. Sample Transaction Costs: Interchange Expense <ul><li>Commercial Electronic Rate (Level I): $11.10 </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial Purchasing Level II Rate: $10.10 </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial Purchasing Level III Rate: $8.60 </li></ul>Visa Purchasing Card: $500 transaction MasterCard Purchasing Card: $500 transaction 22.5% reduction in cost by processing Level III versus Level I data <ul><li>Purchasing Data Rate I (Level I): $13.35 </li></ul><ul><li>Purchasing Data Rate II (Level II): $10.25 </li></ul><ul><li>Purchasing Data Rate III (Level III) : $8.75 </li></ul>34.5% reduction in cost by processing Level III versus Level I data
    36. 38. Why Upgrade to Level III Support? <ul><li>Retain current customer requiring Level III detail </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fortune 500 companies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Universities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gain new customers with competitive edge </li></ul><ul><li>Realize interchange savings opportunity (30 basis points lower than Level II interchange and up to 90 basis points lower than Level I interchange) </li></ul><ul><li>Significant interchange savings opportunity available on some Large Ticket commercial card transactions greater than $4653(Visa) & $7272(MC) – Level III data required </li></ul>
    37. 39. Common myths to dispel... <ul><li>Level-3 is hard for a supplier to implement </li></ul><ul><li>It’s expensive - the supplier will have to pay more to the banks and will just pass the cost along to buyer </li></ul><ul><li>Level-3 requires significant volumes to be worthwhile </li></ul><ul><li>The supplier has to write an interface directly to the processing bank OR, the related... </li></ul><ul><li>The supplier has to purchase expensive software in order to provide Level-3 data </li></ul><ul><li>The supplier only has limited need for this... </li></ul>There are misperceptions and misunderstandings about Level III enhanced line item detail information for Purchase Cards... Historically, there was some truth to these generalizations. However, for the last several years they have not been accurate. Yet, their persistence holds back many organizations from participating with enhanced data.
    38. 40. Choosing a Business Partner VS a Processor Find a processor that will help you manage the evolving payment landscape and “navigate the networks” for you! <ul><li>Have expertise in the Business to Business market segment </li></ul><ul><li>Have Proactive Interchange Program </li></ul><ul><li>Share industry best practices </li></ul><ul><li>Supports Level/Data III </li></ul>
    39. 41. The Evolution of Credit Cards in B2B Transactions Presented by: Robert L. Day, AVP Commercial Interchange 1-800-884-0353 ?