The only question we cannot answer - is the one you have not asked. Call us with your business and merchant services questions and use our experience to grow.

Merchant Account Questions

Merchant Services, Payment Gateways, Terminals
Call (800) 528-0775
or Click Here to Complete PreApplication

Important Phone Numbers for Card Issuers

VISA Merchant Verification Service - 800-847-2750 - AUTOMATED

Option 1, Address Verification: enter in the numeric portion of the street address and zip code and credit card number and it will tell you if there is a match.

Option 2, Issuing Bank Phone Numbers: enter the credit card number and it will provide you with the 800# for Issuing bank, and you can call and verify the name on the account.

VISA INTERNATIONAL Address Verification - 800-228-1122

Master Card Assist - 800-622-7747 (to acquire Issuing bank phone number)
Provides you with phone number for bin range, Press 2 if you are a merchant. Press 1 for English, (then) Press 2 for a merchant.

Discover Address Verification - 800-347-7988 - AUTOMATED
(You will need your Merchant Number).
It only verifies a card member's address. It does not provide any other information.

American Express Address Verifications - 800-528-2121
Option 3 allows you to verify name and address.

 

International Credit Card Verification - International Telex Verification

 

To use it, call the normal card authorization phone number (800) 228-1122 and hold for an agent.

Don't press ANY selection for a destination or you will get trapped and eventually dumped. Just wait. I waited nearly three minutes. Your mileage may vary.

Once an agent comes on, state that you have an International Address to Verify.

The agent will request cardholder information and will ask for the address you have. They will also ask for your merchant number.

If the Issuing Bank is available at the time of the call, the Issuing Bank will be contacted by a telex operator.

If the Issuing Bank is NOT available or cannot be reached via phone, the telex operator will take down all appropriate information & contact the merchant/representative once the Issuing Bank has responded to the inquiry.

This service is not for any particular provider or bank. If you are a merchant on the First Data Platform, which most of us are, you can use it now to verify those international orders you want to ship.

 


Information on Merchant Processing - Click A Topic

Keyed Transaction

Discount Rate

Transaction Fee

Batch

Address Verification System (AVS)

Card Verification Value (CVV2)

Fraud Prevention Advice


Monthly Minimum

Charge back

Statement Fee

Online Statement

Non-Qualified Discount Rates

Gateway

Host

Set-up Fees

Platform

Merchant Processing Banks

Interchange Cost

Monthly Billing



Keyed Transaction

This means the credit card is being keyed whether it be through offline software, a piece of equipment, or real-time processing at a gateway.

Back to the Top

Discount Rate

Discount rate is a small percentage that is deducted from the total cost of an order. The marketplace typically runs between 2.25 % and 3.0 % of the charge. Example: If your rate is 2.5%, $100 sale would cost you $2.50 plus the transaction fee.

Back to the Top

Transaction Fee

This is a small fee that is charged each time a transaction is run. A transaction could consist of an authorization or closure of your batch at the end of the day. The marketplace on transaction fees is typically between $0.15 and $0.30.

Back to the Top

Batch

A batch is simply taking all of your sales at the end of the day and sending them off to the bank for deposit. Most of the time gateways and terminals are set up to do so at a certain time each night.

Back to the Top

Address Verification System (AVS)

This verifies a match with the customer’s billing name and address against the credit card number provided. AVS is mandatory on the Internet to help against fraud. You can find it in the fine print and/or miscellaneous fee section on the bank application. Visa/Master Card AVS fees typically run between $0.05 and $0.10 per transaction. There is no guarantee that the order is good when you get a full AVS match. The Fraudster might have both. Also, if you don’t have a match, it still might be a perfectly good order; it could mean that the customer just moved. AVS is verified with the billing address. See Fraud Prevention advise for more info.

Back to the Top

Card Verification Value (CVV2)

Three-digit security number that is printed on the back of most credit cards. Requiring this number on orders can reduce credit card fraud significantly when used in conjunction with AVS. American Express has a four-digit security code printed on the front of their cards.

Back to the Top

Fraud Prevention Advice

You want to be cautious on all Internet orders; however, there are some red flags to look for that you will want to be extra cautious with. And they are as follows:

  • High sale amount, typically $200 or more.
  • First or second day air
  • Different shipping address than billing address
  • Customer using a free email address, such as yahoo or hotmail, is a small red flag in conjunction with these others.
  • Bad Contact Phone Number or Email Address

Each merchant has their own procedures by which they verify orders. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO VERIFY ORDERS. If you want additional verification, see Issuing Bank Category for merchant verification services.

Back to the Top

Monthly Minimum


This is the amount of fees you must meet with the processing bank each month, usually $25.00. If month-end sales do not make the monthly minimum, the merchant account holder must make up the difference. The monthly minimum chips its way down with each sale and hits zero when you achieve about $1,100 in sales for the month.

Back to the Top

Chargeback

When a customer disputes a charge on their credit card and asks their credit card company (issuing bank) to remove the charge. Charge-back fees typically run between $25 and $30. Statistically, the number one reason for charge back is the customer does not recognize the name of the merchant they purchased from on their statement.

Back to the Top

Statement Fee

This is simply a monthly fee to cover cost of processing of statements and customer service. Typically runs between $10 and $20 per month.

Back to the Top

Online Statement


Gives you the ability to view your deposits online on a daily basis.

Back to the Top

Non-Qualified Discount Rates

These are transactions that cost typically 1.5% - 2% more per transaction - usually because the transactions are riskier, per Visa/Master Card. Examples: International orders, foreign cards, corporate cards, transactions that are authorized and not captured as sales within 48 hours, transaction is missing information when batched, such as AVS or order number.

Back to the Top

Gateway

Gateways give you the ability to process on the Internet. They bring the customer’s authorizations in for sale and capture and send them out to the processing bank for deposit. Examples: Authorize.net, USAePay.com, Verisign, Yahoo, etc. Gateways typically run between $15 and $20 per month and $0.05 to $0.10 per transaction. Yahoo is uniquely a host also.

Back to the Top

Host

This is the company that hosts the web sites. Provides a shopping cart for customers to purchase and work in conjunction with the gateway. Examples: Yahoo, Storehost.com, MonsterCommerce.com, etc.

Back to the Top

Set-up Fees

This is an up front cost to the merchant to set up their merchant account and/or gateway. Set-up fees typically run between $50 and $300.

Back to the Top

Platform

A platform is simply the link between the gateway, software, equipment and the processing bank. Platform follows Visa Master Card regulations and determines transactions as qualified or not and passes that information to the processing bank for deposits.

Back to the Top

Merchant Processing Banks

The bank that processes your transactions, your deposits, your money, minus a fee. These deposits typically take 1-3 business days. Processing banks are charged a rate determined by the platform (per Visa/Master Card) and mark it up.

Back to the Top

Interchange Cost

This is the cost the processing banks are charged from Visa/Master Card. All banks have the same cost. The difference between one and another is how much they mark up their profit and fees to the merchant.

Back to the Top

Monthly Billing

The standard procedure from the merchant account processor is to deduct the fees out of the batch to be deposited. Upon request, the merchant processor can deposit the full amount batched.


Back to the Top