An Introduction To BAMS’ Popular E-Commerce Integrations

Ecommerce

We now live in a digital world, and online shopping has become king. A 2018 study by NPR found that an astounding 75% of Americans have purchased something online, and every year consumers shift more and more of their shopping to the web. As the leader in electronic payments, we at BAMS understand how important it is for our partners to have strong, stable e-commerce platforms, and as a result, we’ve designed BAMS to integrate with all of the most popular payment gateways, online checkout solutions, and fully-featured e-commerce platforms. Here are just a few of the many e-commerce integrations available through BAMS.   


Authorize.Net

Authorize.Net is the world’s largest online payment gateway, allowing merchants to accept e-commerce payments with credit cards, ACH eChecks, PayPal, ApplePay, and more. Now owned by Visa, it offers outstanding security and fraud protection and an extensive list of third-party integrations. Authotize.Net also offers streamlined single-click payment options designed to enable transactions like charity donations to be made with a minimal headache for the end-user.

Magento

Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform owned by Adobe that has been used by over 250,000 online stores worldwide. Magento is one of the oldest players in e-commerce solutions, and its availability as a one-click install from a number of major hosting providers has aided its popularity. Like Authorize.Net, there is an enormous list of third-party applications that can be easily integrated with Magento stores to expand their functionality.

CyberSource

CyberSource is another e-commerce payment system owned by Visa, used by 400,000 merchants all over the world. It provides secure online checkout functionality to online stores, enabling them to accept major credit cards, as well as third-party solutions like PayPal. Its Decision Manager product is the world’s largest fraud detection system, processing and analyzing data from over 68 billion transactions annually.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a Texas-based e-commerce company offering online shopping products for websites, blogs, and social media applications like Instagram and Facebook. BigCommerce is highly scalable and offers hundreds of built-in features users can employ right out of the box without having to turn to third-party plugins. That scalability has made BigCommerce the number one eCommerce platform for businesses that bring in $1 million or more in sales each year, and it’s currently used by world-class brands like Toyota, Gibson guitars, and more.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a fully-featured e-commerce plugin specifically designed to operate with the WordPress content management system. Thanks to the widespread use of WordPress, WooCommerce has grown into one of the web’s most popular e-commerce solutions, boasting over 64,000,000 downloads. In addition to e-commerce and shopping cart functionality, WooCommerce offers a full suite of website themes, allowing users to build professional online stores using nothing but the WooCommerce platform and WordPress.

Volusion

Volusion is an all-in-one e-commerce platform that allows users to design fully-functional e-commerce websites from scratch using a suite of built-in tools and modules. It essentially acts as a content management system and e-commerce platform in one, allowing users to build out their online stores page by page, skin them with professionally designed themes, and then populate the shopping areas with all the flexibility and functionality required. In addition to its store and shopping cart features, it also includes built-in marketing tools like search engine optimization and social integration.  

 

Our long list of popular e-commerce integrations means that when you partner with us for your merchant account, you’ll be able to seamlessly integrate BAMS with your existing e-commerce solutions without having to worry about the hassle of changing your checkout process, your store setup, or your users’ experience. Contact us today to find out how BAMS can help you save money and streamline your online payment processing right away!

 

How Your Business Can Protect Itself Against Chargebacks

Chargeback Protection

Chargebacks are an unfortunate reality of accepting credit card payments, but they aren’t something businesses have to lie down and accept without a fight. Some chargebacks are completely legitimate, like cases where a purchase was made fraudulently by a third party. But many chargebacks are fraudulent, frivolous, or abuses of the system. In those cases, there is no reason for a company to accept losing the revenue, the product, and the additional chargeback penalty, and fighting back is in order.  

 

Preventing Chargebacks

The first step in chargeback defense is to work proactively to stop them from happening in the first place. While merchants can’t prevent abusive or fraudulent chargeback requests, they can take steps to help minimize legitimate chargebacks.

Make it clear where the credit card charges are coming from:

One of the most common causes of chargeback requests is customers checking their statements and finding unfamiliar purchases. Worried about potential fraud, they then contact their card issuer and attempt to stop the payment. Sometimes this happens due to legitimate fraud, but many times it’s simply a matter of the customer not recognizing the payment descriptor – the name shown alongside the transaction amount. It’s incredibly important that merchants make themselves easy to recognize by using descriptors that match their branding rather than numbered company names or parent corporations.

Ensure customer complaints are taken care of quickly:

Of all the valid reasons major credit card companies accept chargebacks for, a number of them relate to unsatisfied customers. Unreceived orders, products that don’t match their description, defective merchandise, and misrepresented purchase terms are a few of the many reasons customers can legitimately file a chargeback. The best way to defend against consumer disputes is to take care of them with good customer service before they ever reach the chargeback stage. Addressing customer concerns quickly and professionally, and issuing refunds where appropriate, is a far better route to take than risking getting nailed with a chargeback.

 

Fighting Chargebacks

When chargebacks do come in, it’s extremely important that businesses handle them quickly and put up as strong a defense as possible to avoid the negative implication with card issuers and the hefty penalties, which can reach as high as $100 per instance. Successfully doing so comes down to understanding the system and knowing how and when to fight back.

The best response is a timely response:

A chargeback that doesn’t receive a response is a guaranteed loss, and waiting too long to respond isn’t much better. There are strict deadlines that merchants have to meet in filing their chargeback responses, and missing even one of them renders the entire process moot. Arguably the most important factor in filing a timely response is to find out about chargebacks as soon as possible. Some payment processors notify merchants of disputes by mail, which is slow and ineffective. Others, like BAMS, use SMS notifications to alert merchants as soon as a chargeback or retrieval request is filed. That speedy notification is invaluable when it comes to getting a strong defense filed in time.

Know the codes:

Each card issuer has its own set of criteria for what it considers a valid chargeback. Those reasons are managed using a set of codes, and every chargeback request will come with an associated code identifying the reason for the dispute. Understanding what those codes represent is key to filing a valid chargeback defense, so merchants absolutely need to be able to decipher them. Visa’s codes, for instance, are laid out in the Dispute Management Guidelines for Visa Merchants, and cover four major areas – fraud, authorization, processing errors, and consumer disputes.

 

One of the best ways to avoid losses from chargebacks is to partner with a payment processor that understands how serious a concern they are for businesses and offers tools to help mitigate and manage them. BAMS offers a full suite of chargeback tools, including SMS notifications, an online dispute management platform, Verifi integration, zero-liability chargeback assurances, and more.

Contact us today to find out how payment processing with BAMS can help protect your business against unnecessary losses from chargebacks.

What Is Level 3 Credit Card Processing And How Can It Help Your Business?

Level 3 Credit Card

The average person doesn’t consider the VISA or Mastercard in their pocket to be any different from a company or government credit card – aside from the limit, of course. But there are actually significant differences in how corporate and government cards are used and processed. Those differences mean that not all merchants can accept all types of credit cards, and they also change the way issuing banks view transactions. The result is that merchants who can process these special credit cards – known as Level 3 cards – stand to benefit greatly.

 

Not All Credit Cards Are Created Equal

Banks categorize credit cards differently based on what types of cards they are and, more specifically, what’s required to use them. The credit cards consumers carry in their wallets that make up the vast majority of transactions are classified as Level 1 cards. Level 2 cards are often used for B2B purchases and require extra data to be captured in order to be processed. Finally, the largest corporate and government transactions are done using Level 3 cards, which require even more data to be captured and offer additional control to the cardholder, and additional assurances to the bank.

 

The Benefits of Level 3 Processing

The primary benefit of Level 3 cards to cardholders is the control they offer over card use. To the bank, Level 3 cards represent more fraud-proof transactions thanks to the enormous amount of information that needs to be collected to use the card. In return, the bank offers lower interchange fees to Level 3 payment processors – a kind of reward for the work required to handle all the extra data collection. The savings on those fees add up quickly, and that’s a huge benefit to the end merchant’s bottom line. As a result, companies that deal with larger corporate clients or government agencies should really consider upgrading their payment handling to include Level 3 data capture.

 

Getting Set Up to Take Advantage of Level Three Payments

Processing Level 3 transactions requires the capture of 15 to 20 additional line items on top of the data normally recorded on Level 1 card purchases. Those line items include things like invoice numbers, unit prices, item descriptions, and more. It’s a lot of data to capture, and doing it manually is a headache at best, and an enormous time-sink at worst.  Luckily, some electronic payment processors, like BAMS, can automate the capture and reporting of Level 3 data, allowing merchants to reap all the benefits of accepting Level 3 payments with none of the nightmarish manual data management.

With that in mind Level 3 processing isn’t appropriate for all businesses. At BAMS, checking for Level 3 optimization eligibility is part of our five-step price comparison process and one of the first steps in all of our partnerships. In addition to reduced fees, merchants that do begin accepting Level 3 cards open up a whole new world of high-end clients that other companies simply don’t have access to, so contact us today to find out how we can help your business begin accepting these valuable payments

Two Credit Card Policies Your Business Needs to Set in Stone

Credit cards are a big part of every business. If your store isn’t equipped for credit card transactions, you’ve already put a huge roadblock in the way of your company’s growth. But if you don’t have clear in-store and internal policies, even the best merchant services can’t help your business navigate new regulations. Here are two policies that your business needs to create and regularly review:

What’s your return policy?

Some stores don’t have a lot of returns. But whether you sell retail goods, professional services, or food, you need to have a return policy. It can encompass everything from a poor user experience to product exchanges depending on what you want for your business, but the allowances and limitations need to be clear. It also needs to be posted in your store and easy to find online. Making your return policy clear and visible is the best way to fight invalid chargebacks.

While you’re making any edits, make sure your merchant services can easily accommodate the policy. This includes more than making sure your equipment can handle reversing the transaction. Make sure the fees are low enough that you can afford the goodwill a good return policy brings.

What’s your information storage policy?

The benefit of a merchant services provider is that your company isn’t directly handling credit card information. This is incredibly important if you’re an online vendor. If you handle or store PII or credit card information, your company has to be PCI compliant and secure that information from cyber threats. Find a merchant services provider that acts as a third-party information handler. Also, train your in-store employee on how to treat any credit card information in the store. Ideally, your employees should never write down any details or even handle the cards. Find customer-facing machines to keep the line clear.

For more merchant services tips, browse our blog at BAMS.

3 Ways the Right Merchant Services Help You Keep a Positive Cash Flow

NY Merchant Services concept. Young startup entrepreneur small business owner working at home, packaging and delivery situation.

Merchant services play a large role in your business. They help you collect revenue, but they also impact your expenses. Find the right company that doesn’t disrupt your cash flow.

1. Reliable services let you know future merchant service rates.

Every business needs a forecasted budget. A great deal of effort in the business world is focused on how to record and predict revenue. But expenses are just as important. Fixed expenses are the best type of expenses for a business, but merchant services don’t fall under that category. The total grows along with your revenue, and additional fees can add up.

So make sure you merchant services provider is as transparent as possible. You need to know the rates down to the last decimal point, and they need to be numbers you can rely on without having to anticipate surprise rate changes.

2. You get the money in your account faster.

Different merchant services have different processes. Some companies send you back the funds after a few days, and it can take even longer for purchases that were processed after their office hours. Look for a merchant service that offers tight turnaround for purchases during work hours, late at night, and on the weekends. If your company has bills you need to pay, you need to have the cash on hand to do it.

3. You don’t receive unexpected chargebacks.

Credit card companies protect their customers, not merchants and stores. That means customers have an increasing number of ways to get their money back after a credit card purchase. Sometimes it’s a legitimate return, and other times it’s a sincere complaint about an unwanted charge. But sometimes it’s less than honest. No matter what the motivation behind the chargeback, you need to know about it so you can respond quickly. Chargebacks are becoming more frequent, and they can quickly eat into your cash flow.

Go to BAMS to find merchant services that are predictable, process funds quickly, and keep you updated.

Should You Choose the Lowest-Priced Merchant Services?

Compass with needle pointing the word best price. Merchant services concept

One of the hardest decisions to make as a merchant is which payment processing service to use. Most have arcane fee structures that make it hard to tell exactly what you’ll pay. There’s the discount rate, the transaction fee, the statement fee, and more. Even worse, some of the fee names are the opposite of what they sound like or are otherwise confusing.

Even with all of these nebulous terms, sufficient searching will eventually lead you to one or more merchant services that are clearly cheaper than the rest. The deal may seem so great that you wonder if there’s a catch! It’s almost impossible to find out just from the advertising, but the answer is “sometimes.”

Be Wary of “Just for You” Offers

When you get the contract to sign up for merchant services, be wary of clauses that indicate a much higher rate than what the salesperson tells you. Also be careful of high fees for canceling your account, adding or removing locations, and other such things. At the time you sign up, you might be told that the fees are waived “for you.” Don’t believe it. When you make a major change, expect the fees to be charged to your bank account – and to have to vehemently argue to get them removed.

Look for High-Quality Providers

Good providers have good reviews, a professional attitude, and a straightforward fee structure. You won’t be given a contract that says one thing and has a “waiver” written in by the salesperson. In short, a high-quality merchant services provider should present itself as one.

Once you find some candidates, then go through their fees and choose the ones with the lowest prices. By putting quality first, you’ll avoid bad companies and still save money on your payment processing fees.

For a merchant account that offers you great rates with no tricks, just contact us. We’ll be glad to serve your payment processing needs.