Don’t Have Dangerous Gaps in PCI Compliance

Stack of multicolored credit cards close-up view with selective focus.

When you’re looking for a payment processing site so you can make personal online transactions, you might just use the first thing you come across. But when it comes to your business, you want to back up your choice with some research. Different payment processing tools, like PayPal, Stripe, and BAMS, offer a wide array of benefits and supplemental features. The most important thing for your business, however, is PCI compliance.

 

How does PCI compliance apply to your business?

PCI DSS, or the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a list of standards for securing payment processing details. If your company even touches payment information, whether you’re storing the information or just accepting, processing, or transmitting it, then you’re responsible for maintaining a secure environment for that data. That’s why more and more companies are using third-party providers to handle payment processing. If payments are routed through another site entirely, your liabilities are limited.

How do you know which processing service provides the best PCI compliance?

The best way to know which service is for you is to start studying your own business. How do you usually get paid? Online stores will have a lot of individual transactions. Subscription service providers, whether they provide online services or something physical like landscaping, may have automatic payments. If your company provides freelance services, you may need to invoice clients for monthly services or varying amounts.

Once you know how your company sends requests for payment and receives payment, start looking for exceptions. Stripe, for example, doesn’t have an inbuilt invoicing tool so you will need to check your additional third-party services for PCI compliance. PayPal does offer more PCI compliance, but only at certain levels of subscription.

Most e-commerce payment processing platforms are all but required to have PCI compliance, but your company may be liable for any gaps. So look for those gaps before finalizing your choice. Browse our blog for more ways to choose the best platform for your business.

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3 Ways Payment Processing Reports Can Help Your Marketing Team

Payment Processing reports. Numbers graph

Marketing strategies rely on having information. You need to know as much about your prospective customers as possible so you can reach out to them effectively. A lot of that information comes from your website traffic. What your visitors do, how they interact with the site, and what items they buy form a large part of your understanding. But the information you can gather through Google Analytics and lead generation isn’t the end of your information-gathering abilities. Payment processing reports can tell you a lot about your customers and your store. Here are some tips:

What three things can you learn from your payment processing reports?

1. What’s the average sales total?

It’s not just enough to know how much money your store is making every day or each month. It’s also important to know how much each customer is spending each time they come into your store. This gives you a lot of information about buyer behavior. Unless your store is specifically designed for small frequent purchases, like a convenience store, then larger purchases are better. Reports can let you know if your marketing and store arrangement efforts are working.

2. Which credit card types are your customers using?

Credit card type also tells you a lot about different customer personas or hypothetical characters built around the standard behaviors and interests of your target markets. But card types also matter based on the agreements you have for different types of merchant services. If you have a lot of transactions through one card type, you can negotiate for a lower percentage. If you have few transactions through credit cards, you can decide if a surcharge for small payments is right for your company.

3. How many transactions are happening at different terminals?

Different terminals at your store get different amounts of traffic. This data can let you know if one point of sale is too out of the way or is left unmanned. It can also let you know when the primary terminal is too busy and your store needs a new arrangement.

For more ways to use payment processing reports, go to BAMS.

Solid Alternatives to Stripe and Paypal Mobile Payment Processors

Young woman buying goods from the internet and entering number security code from credit card on smartphone. Mobile payment processors concept

With so much of the business world moving to the web, having secure and functional methods of processing payments has become a top priority. This space has typically been dominated by Paypal and Stripe but many alternatives have sprouted up. Each has its own set of benefits and shortcomings but some may be a better fit for your budget or needs. Here are some of the ones making waves:

BAMS

Bank Associates Merchant Services or BAMS is a service that is dedicated to affordable options for small, low-risk businesses. The goal is to provide an excellent product and service that helps your business become as profitable as it can possibly be. This demonstrates itself in the effort to form strong relationships with their clients to truly understand the needs of your business and processing objectives.

TransferWise

While a little bit different from the others, TransferWise is invaluable to businesses operating on a global scale. Their focus is on making international payments easy and affordable. In the past, it can be costly to send money across borders and the wait times could be excruciating. TransferWise has done away with this, their fees are often half of what a bank transfer might be and transfers typically happen within 2-3 days. This is one of the best options for international businesses or those who have clients across the world.

 

 

There you have it, some alternatives if you are considering switching or just getting involved in e-commerce. Every service has something unique to offer and it is crucial you find what is right for your needs. If you’re seeking a change in your payment processing or any help with payment processing, consider discussing your options with BAMS here.

Get Your Money Faster with a BAMS Merchant Account

Writing on whiteboard a lightbulb and currency symbols (next day funding concept).

The one thing better than getting money is getting it faster. It used to be that with merchant accounts, getting your transaction money in the bank in 24 hours was considered fast. After all, there are still a few companies out there that take 3 days! Now, however, even 24 hours is slow. That’s because it’s possible to have the money in your account in just 12 hours.

More Business Flexibility

 

This is the main practical benefit of a 12-hour turnaround from transaction to funding. Transactions done in the morning can fund your inventory orders or pay your other bills that same night. This is great for just-in-time business models or for unexpected, urgent expenses.

Most of the time, however, the desire for faster payouts doesn’t arise from a specific plan. Instead, people inherently understand that they’re better off when there is less delay in funding. Then, when the time comes that money is needed right away, it’s there. It’s also always nicer to see your money in your bank account instead of pending on a merchant account screen.

Regardless of your reason for wanting faster payment settlement, our 12-hour funding merchant account has you covered. We also offer many other benefits with our accounts, like a free Authorize.net gateway and lower fees. This makes switching to a BAMS account a great business decision all around.

To eliminate the long wait for funding and cut your overall payment processing costs, just contact us today. We’ll be happy to get you set up with a superior merchant account right away.

The E-commerce Processing Rush is Far From Over

Atom connect with blur fashion retail shop e-commerce store concept

When e-commerce processing first came into existence, analysts predicted that it could become a multimillion-dollar industry. Now, it’s clear that what once seemed lofty was actually understated. Billions of dollars change hands online, and the vast majority does so via credit card transactions. This makes e-commerce processing more important than ever.

Is There Still Room to Enter the Online Business World?

With the emergence of giant online retailers, small brick-and-mortar companies may wonder if there is still opportunity online. The answer is definitely yes! Local companies can improve their businesses substantially by offering services like store pickup, pre-orders, online appointment setting, and more. Of course, competing head-to-head with the giants is also a possibility, and for those with a unique enough offering, it may be worthwhile.

What Should You Look For in an E-commerce Payment Processor?

One of the key things to seek is low fees. For obvious reasons, it’s good to keep these and other backend expenses low.

Along these lines, look for one that includes an Authorize.net gateway for free, like BAMS. Some processors charge a substantial amount for this, but not all.

The next thing to look for is a fast settlement of funds. The faster transaction money gets into your bank account, the better. Here at BAMS, we can get the money into your bank account in a day or less.

To get started on expanding into the e-commerce universe, just contact us. We’ll be glad to answer all of your questions and get you set up to accept payments online.

Key Benefits of the OptBlue Program

American Express and other credit card

Allowing customers to pay for a product or service using a credit card is a very important convenience that can directly result in higher sales. While there are clear advantages to allowing a consumer to use credit cards for payment, it can result in some drawbacks including the requirement to pay fees and delays in the receipt of cash. For those businesses that accept American Express, taking advantage of the BAMS OptBlue program would be very beneficial. There are a variety of advantages of the OptBlue program that can make it a great investment for any business.

Quicker Turnaround

One of the biggest problems with accepting American Express is that it can take a long time to receive your funds after a sale. With the traditional American Express plan, it can take three to five business days to receive your funds. This can create a cash flow problem and also require a business to use a line of credit, which can increase the borrowing costs. With the OptBlue program, you can receive your funds in as little as 12 hours.

Fees

Another advantage of the BAMS OptBlue program is that it can be a far more affordable option than traditional American Express payment programs. With a traditional American Express program, you will incur transaction fees of $3.50 per transaction and a fee of 3.50% for dollar charged. With BAMS OptBlue, the costs are much lower as the transaction fees are only $0.10 per transaction and the fee is as low as 2.30%. For those businesses that take in a lot of different American Express payments on a monthly basis, this can lead to a significant amount of administrative expense reductions.

 

If you are interested in the BAMS OptBlue program, contact us to learn more about the program benefits and how it can help your company.

Why Every Site Should Have E-Commerce Payment Processing

Paper boxes in a shopping cart on a laptop keyboard. Ideas about e-commerce payment processing

It may seem like just yesterday when you could put up a site and have people come into your store to shop, but with the speed of technology’s rise, that might as well be a million years ago. Now, people want to buy precisely when they’re in the mood – and they don’t want to have to go get their items, either. Your site may put them in that buying mood, but if you can’t follow through by allowing them to buy from your site and have their items delivered, they’ll go to a site that is properly enabled. This is why your site must have a shopping cart and e-commerce payment processing all ready to go.

Fortunately, it’s not hard to bring a site into the modern world. Unlike just a few years ago, you don’t have to figure out a lot of arcane programming to get your products into a cart and integrate that cart with a payment processor. A plethora of shopping cart options – both free and paid – offer plenty of solutions for your products, software offerings, and more. The best of them integrate easily with payment processing solutions like ours with no more than the entry of some key information.

The payment processing itself is simple when you use a solution like ours. BAMS integrates with all of the most popular shopping carts and can be used with some of the lesser-known ones as well. Importantly, we offer free access to the Authorize.net gateway that powers most e-commerce transactions. You won’t have to worry about programming anything – your supported online cart and our payment processing solutions will work together without a hitch.

To get started on making your online shop competitive with others in your field, just contact us. We’ll be happy to explain everything about e-commerce payment processing.