Merchant Account Services

Archive for the 'Industry News' Category

Credit Card Companies Form Security Council

Thursday, September 14th, 2019

From CNet:

American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa International announced Thursday the creation of an organization to develop and maintain security standards for credit and debit card payments. It’s the first time the five brands have agreed on a single, common framework.

The newly formed Payment Card International (PCI) Security Standards Council will manage the PCI Data Security Standard, first established in January 2005 with the intention of making its implementation more efficient for all parties involved in a payment card transaction. That includes merchants, payment processors, point-of-sale vendors, financial institutions and more than a billion card holders worldwide.

The companies have come together despite being in competition with each other because they say ensuring better security will benefit everyone.

“First of all, it’s to protect the information of our mutual customers and to make the process of data security compliance easier,” said Rob Tourt, vice president of network services for Discover.

Having a single data-security standard is a critical issue for the entire industry and will simplify the process, said Brian Buckley, Visa’s senior vice president of international risk management.

“Our view is that this is first and foremost an important initiative to get data security in place for payment cards,” he said.

Having the common accepted set of rules should foster broader compliance, said Bruce Rutherford, MasterCard’s vice president of payments. Those rules include instructions on proper data encryption, common technical standards and security audit procedures.

The first action of the new council was to update the PCI security standard, which was promised in May. The revision gives instructions for how to implement the new standards and clarifies language that was previously considered vague. For example, terms such as “periodically” and “regularly” were swapped for definite deadlines like “annually” or “quarterly” where appropriate. A statement released by the newly formed council said the revisions were the result of feedback from vendors, merchants and payment processors.

Where to Order Visa Supplies and Logos

Tuesday, July 11th, 2019

A common question from merchants is where they can find logos and credit card related supplies for their business. Visa provides an online store for merchants which contains every day supplies, educational material, and promotional material some of which is free. You can find this at

General categories available include:

They also offer industry specific materials:

If you prefer live human contact you can also call them toll-free at 1-800-847-2311.

Decals and signage is free.

Google Checkout

Friday, June 30th, 2019

Google has officially launched its online payment system Google Checkout. You can register for it at

Google Checkout offers some interesting “extras” that make it stand out a bit from its competitors. Basically, they’ve tied promoting their new checkout service with their Adwords program. With Google Checkout and Adwords you get:

  • A cart icon next to your AdWords listings on Google shows that you accept Google Checkout
  • For every $1 you spend at AdWords, they’ll process $10 in transactions for FREE

Google Checkout is very similar to Paypal in terms of its functionality. Current functionality include:

  • Your customers are taken off of your website to Google’s website to complete the transaction
  • If you get a chargeback, they’ll reimburse you 100%, “if you follow our guidelines”

As of now their is no API that allows a merchant to have a transparent checkout using their system. The checkout page also is not customizeable. That means this Google Checkout will not be the choice of ecommerce stores that wish to maintain a professional look and feel by offering a seamless checkout to their customers. However, Google Checkout would be a good complimentary service much like many stores use Paypal now.

Google Checkout’s rates are very competitive when compared to Paypal. Google Checkout charges 2.20% + 30¢ per transaction compared to Paypal’s base rate of 2.90% + 30¢ per transaction. If a Paypal user wishes to have rates equal to Google Checkout they will need to have a minimum monthly processing volume of $10,000. Only Paypal users with a monthly volume exceeding $100,000 can expect lower rates then Google Checkout currently offers.

Google Gbuy Ready To Go

Wednesday, June 14th, 2019

Google’s Gbuy is set to launch in a limited capacity on June 28th. It will take six to eight weeks for new implementations to be completed but existing Beta testers will be ready to go immediately. Initially the merchants will not pay any fees for transactions processed through Gbuy. Rates are then expected to be between 1.5% and 2.0% which makes Gbuy a lower cost alternative to Paypal.

Gbuy will not offer a transparent checkout system like Paypal Pro what can be achieved with a true merchant account and gateway. Customers will be taken to Google’s Gbuy website where they will complete their transactions.

Discover to Drop ‘No Surcharge’ Ban

Monday, May 1st, 2019

Discover Financial Services announced in early February plans to eliminate the contested “no surcharge” rule on Discover card transactions. A spokeswoman for the company said that Discover will notify merchants of this development in June, and the policy will take effect this October.

The no-surcharge rule (which Visa and MasterCard also enforce) prevents merchants from adding additional fees to credit and debit card transactions in order to recoup the costs of accepting those cards. It primarily refers to high-priced rewards cards but could also be applied to lower cost debit cards.