Happy New Year, StorManites
...and what a start to the year we have had here in Australia! The popular saying "when it rains, it pours" could not be more true at this time; Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania have all experienced floods already this year after they have all been suffering through many, many years of drought.
For Brisbane locals like myself, most of us will know someone that was affected by the recent disasters - seeing the devastation was terrible but seeing everyone pull together and help each other was inspirational. My thoughts and wishes go out to all those businesses and individuals that were affected by the floods and hope the rebuild process is swift.
During the last 6 months, we have had a number of questions from storage businesses in relation to credit card payments and the difference between 'real-time' payments and direct debit/batched payments. You might ask "Why would I move to a direct debit payment system when I already charge my customer's credit cards monthly?".
There is more than one compelling reason to make the move. These are as follows...
- Security. Storing credit card details in your computer, on disc or in a drawer does not meet Level 1 PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards). In layman's terms, this means that as your customer's credit card details are not being securely stored, you and your customer's are open to credit card related fraud and indeed the payment card companies will fine those businesses where a breach of security occurs. For more information on PCI DSS, please refer to this website.
- Time. Punching in credit card numbers for every customer every month, fortnight or week takes time, not forgetting manually reconciling each payment back into StorMan. Why do it manually when you can have it done automatically and spend that time doing other things that generate revenue for the business? With Ezidebit 96% of direct debit/ batched credit card payments are collected and reconciled automatically on time every time. This means you only have to manage the failed payments process saving considerable time and resources. It improves cash flow too!
- Money. That time being spent doing administration work is hours of time that you may have to pay someone to do. Again, this time could be better spent having them concentrate on other areas of the business that will help to improve occupancy rates. Secondly, have you ever calculated the true cost of processing the credit cards in real time? A bank will generally charge set up fees, monthly fees, transaction fees and failed payment fees.
Real-time credit card transactions are based around a one-off cardholder initiated transaction where a immediate response to the success of this payment is required by both the cardholder and the business. For example, any purchase over the internet for goods and services, any payment of a bill via a phone automated system where the payer requires a receipt number.
These transactions are for one off only purchases and are treated similar to a card present transactions through an EFTPOS machine. In these types of transactions the storage of the card number is not required or recommended. You might use these real time facilities to collect funds from one off purchases such as storage boxes, tape and the like or for on line reservation deposits.
Real time transactions require a internet merchant facility due to the nature of the transaction (which brings extra costs). The bank view the merchant facility different to Batched transactions and have a different risk and compliance around them.
Direct debit/batched transactions are used for any type of reoccurring payment or for a group collection of transactions where the immediate result is not needed . For example: Foxtel monthly payment, a monthly donation to a charity or even the monthly rent for a storage unit.
The batch processing provides a lower cost solution when processing large volumes of invoices or transactions. Based on this being used for reoccurring transactions, the storage of the credit card number is critical hence the reason why providers of this service should have level 1 PCI DSS status.
Ezidebit are payment solution providers who offer both these options, direct debit/batched credit card payments (from bank accounts too) and real-time credit card payment methods. Our payment solutions are also able to integrate with your StorMan software which enables you to utilise our Level 1 PCI DSS status, giving your customers the highest payment security available whilst automating your payment collection process.
If you would like further information regarding payment security or payment methods, please do not hesitate to contact our consultants who are more than happy to provide cost-free, no obligation information. Our phone number in Australia is 1300 763 256 and New Zealand 0800 478 483. You can also visit us online.
Until next time - Happy storing!