May 14, 2018
10 Things

10 Things I Know About ... Card payments

Keith Reardon is managing partner and founder of Worcester payment processing firm Commonwealth Consulting Group. Reach him at

10) Payment card industry compliance – One of the biggest pain points in accepting credit/debit cards is annual PCI certification. Talk with your provider to reduce your scope.

9) Credit and debit card processing fees – Our industry is fully commoditized. Do not be sold into flat rates or qualified pricing, as you are not getting the true costs.

8) Proper merchant category code – Ensuring your business is set up with the proper MCC code can help to significantly reduce costs.

7) Accepting business, corporate and purchasing cards – Special rates are available for accepting a business, corporate or purchasing card for Visa & MasterCard.

6) Accounting and integrations – Having to process payments in one system and then reconcile in another can be cumbersome. Integrating payments with your software like QuickBooks, Sage, Oracle, etc. will make payment acceptance less time consuming.

5) Chip card (EMV) acceptance. As of Oct. 1, 2015, all businesses (except pay at the pump gas stations) were required to process the chip on a card. If your company doesn't, upgrade immediately to avoid automatic chargebacks.

4) E-Commerce. EMV has reduced fraud by roughly 65-70 percent. Therefore, fraudsters are hacking small business online stores at an alarming rate. Ensure you have a SSL Certificate for your domain and your shopping cart is secured and encrypted through it.

3) Near-field communication acceptance – With the increasing use of Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc., NFC is an easy way to allow your customers to pay you.

2) Point-of-sale systems – Make sure the POS you select is agnostic to what credit/debit card processors you can work with. When a POS forces you to work with a processor, there is a monetary partnership between them not in your best interest.

1) Cash and debit discount program. It is illegal to surcharge a customer if they are paying by credit card in Massachusetts in a card-present situation. With new processing software, you can build in card costs to your margins and offer a discount if someone uses cash or a debit card.


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