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FAQ

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Merchant Accounts

A merchant account is a bank account that holds funds captured from credit card transactions. The moment a credit card is processed the funds are transferred from the cardholder into the merchant account. From there, funds are settled out to a regular business bank account in about 36 hours.

It’s as easy as completing a short merchant account application! We’ll get you started, submit to the payment processor and finalize account set-up. Most accounts are approved within 24 to 48 hours.

Many processors now offer online web access for a small monthly fee or sometimes for free. Check with your processor for availability. If access isn’t offered, it may be time to review your provider.

NO, our processors handle the merchant account business of many banks. In addition, we offer a variety of outstanding terminal programs designed for the perfect fit for your business, not just a standard terminal -one size fits all piece of hardware. We provide both first class service and we work with the kinds of businesses that most banks consider risky, such as new enterprises, Internet businesses, or Mail Order/Telephone Order (MOTO) businesses, as well as take into account your internal processing methods and efficiencies.

Yes, you do! Indeed, we keep your old merchant account active for the first month just in case. After having received your first month statements, you will request to cancel the old account. The process is easy and can be completed within minutes, at your convenience.

Credit Cards

Yes, typically for most merchants, but not by as much as you may think. The difference is usually less than 3 pennies for every $10 charged.

Once the terminal software is installed, it will be able to accept Visa and MasterCard transactions. American Express and Discover can be added to your terminal free of charge pending approval.

There is simply no reason for a business currently accepting credit cards not to accept debit cards. In some situations, debit cards are the most cost-effective form of plastic payment a merchant can accept.

Thankfully, yes! Spending time keying in transactions is old-school considering today’s technology, and you’re paying a higher rate for card-not-present transactions. There are numerous desktop software and web-based solutions available. Visit our website for details.

Rates and Fees

Although there are merchant service providers out there that advertise the best and lowest rates, your Discount Rate depends on several factors that every merchant service provider is subject to. These factors include Monthly Transaction Volume, Transaction Method and what type of business you have. We offer a full analysis and quote proposal based on your current processing statements, or pertinent business information if you don’t already have a merchant account.

Naturally, accepting credit cards is not a free service. In fact, this may be the one service that has the most middlemen! Every time you accept a credit card the following people all receive a fee from the transaction:

  • Card Issuing Bank (they get the biggest cut)
  • Card Association
  • Acquirer
  • Processing Bank
  • Member Service Provider / Independent Sales Organization
  • Sales Agent

So who gets to pay these fees? The merchant, as they are the ones least in the position to ignore credit cards. Consumers can choose to use another form of payment if necessary, but merchants need to accept credit cards if they wish to stay in business.

General

Each merchant account can only direct funds to one bank account. You would need to open a second merchant account.

When I batch out my terminal, funds do not get deposited into my account for at least 72 hours, is there any way to get money sooner?

If you are a retail business and do a lot of face-to-face transactions, a POS (Point-of-Sale) terminal is best for you. Mainly because you are able to swipe the card and you also get signed customer receipts; hence you obtain a better discount rate due to lower risk. If you do business over the Internet, a Gateway or Virtual Terminal would be best. For mail order or telephone order business, either a terminal or Gateway can be used. A Gateway has a ‘virtual terminal’ built in that allows you to log in and process transactions like a terminal online – you can perform these transactions at any computer that has Internet access.

The terminal is pre-programmed and customized for you. Once the terminal is delivered you just have to plug it in. The PC software comes with full support package. ACCS offers frequent and immediate help desk support to all merchants.

There is an additional monthly fee to process wirelessly because the terminal is communicating over a cellular or mobile network. However, wireless transactions can mean significant rate savings to you by allowing lower risk card-present transactions. When you key in a charge, you will pay a higher rate than if the card is swiped. Your processing volume plays an important part in determining the overall financial cost, although it will save you considerable time, which may mean more quality time for yourself or with your family.

Most processors partner with gift card providers and can customize cards for each merchant. Prices vary and some processors even provide them free of charge.

A quick review of your equipment will determine if you can take advantage of current technology. Terminals of yesteryear had to use a traditional modem and phone line to dial into the processor. Using today’s technology, most terminals sold have “Dual Mode” capabilities to use a modem or IP (an Ethernet port) via any internet connection. IP Processing is fully encrypted, transactions are super fast, use little bandwidth and are less expensive to process. It is a big win for you and the processor. You can even eliminate all your expensive phone lines and save more money.

Chargeback

A chargeback occurs when a customer or issuing bank disputes a charge from the merchant. For example, if a customer believed they were over-charged for an item and contacted their bank to dispute the charge.

If you have any questions about chargebacks, call our dedicated chargeback team at 1.800.672.5007.

Important: If you want to dispute a chargeback, you must follow the instructions on the chargeback notification. Capital Bankcard cannot formally dispute a chargeback on your behalf, even if the cause is atechnical issue.

The chargeback process

The chargeback process is split into four stages:

  • First chargeback
  • Second presentment
  • Second chargeback and pre-arbitration
  • Arbitration

First chargeback

  • Customer complains to their bank about a charge. Customers have
    12 months to dispute a charge on a MasterCard transactions, and 18 months to dispute a charge on a Visa transaction.This time-frame can change, depending on the reason for the chargeback.
  • Bank sends the dispute to the processor.
  • Processor pulls the funds from the merchant’s bank account and holds them in escrow or in a non-interest bearing account.
  • Processor sends a letter to the merchant advising of the dispute and asking for documents to support the merchant’s
    defense of the dispute. The merchant has 15 calendar days to respond, from the date the processor sends the letter.

Note: The merchant should include their business telephone number on the transaction receipt that they
send with their response.

Second presentment

1. The merchant sends documents supporting the charge to the processor. Examples of documents which may support a charge include the following:

  • Proof of purchase
  • Proof of delivery
  • Proof of address
  • Any communication with the cardholder
  • Signed contracts

2. The processor makes a decision about the chargeback. If it decides in favor of the merchant, the funds are put back into the merchant’s bank account within five days; if it decides in favor of the customer, the funds are put back on the customer’s card.

Second chargeback and pre-arbitration

If the situation escalates to this stage, and the merchant still disagrees with the cardholder and their issuing bank, they must file for arbitration.

Arbitration

If the cardholder/bank and merchant can’t resolve the dispute, they can present their cases to a Visa/MasterCard analyst for a decision. Arbitration costs money for both the customer/bank and the merchant.

Next steps

How can I defend myself against chargebacks?

One of the best things you can do to reduce your chargeback risk, is to invest in EMV-enabled hardware. It is much harder for fraudsters to skim and duplicate EMV cards because of the nature of the cards, andbecause of how EMV transactions are processed. With chargebacks related to EMV transactions, you can provide:

  • Documentation supporting that the transaction was made using an EMV terminal, but was processed on a card that does not use chip and PIN
  • Documentation supporting that the transaction was processed using a device that prefers chip and PIN cards, on a card that does not use chip and PIN
  • Proof of when a chip fault results in a fallback transaction
  • Proof that your terminal is able to accept chip cards

You should keep your transaction documentation for the following amounts of time:

  • Visa and MasterCard: 13 months
  • HealthCare transactions: Five years
  • Discover and American Express: Two years

A retrieval request is the process of a card issuer requesting transaction information from a merchant. This may be to satisfy a cardholder’s need, or to support a charge back right. The request is non-financial; however not fulfilling the request could result in a chargeback.

Each retrieval request has a request code which identifies why the issuer initiated the request.

If you have any questions about retrieval requests, call our dedicated team at 1.800.672.5007.

Important: You must fulfill a retrieval request and return it to First Data within 20 calendar days. This is to make sure that the card issuer receives the fulfilment on time.

When you receive a retrieval request, you should provide all available documentation to support the transaction. The documentation should relate to the reason stated on the retrieval request, and be returned by the date listed on the request.

Important: If you do not respond on time, or your response is inaccurate, the retrieval request may result in a chargeback with no re-presentment rights.It may also cause a compliance violation.

Documentation may include, but not be limited to, copies of:

  • Sales draft
  • Folio
  • Rental agreement
  • Any other documentation that you have kept

Documentation requirements

Documentation should:

  • Be clear and legible
  • Correspond with the correct retrieval request
  • Include the retrieval case number on each page

Note: Documents should contain all the elements required by your industry. For example, sales drafts must meet the minimum requirements listed later in this article.

Response requirements

Your response should

  • Be provided before the due date listed on the original notification
  • Include the original notification, as well as the retrieval case number

Note: If you send multiple responses, only the first response is used to fulfill the request. Sales draft minimum requirements:

  • Account number
  • Expiration date
  • Merchant name and location
  • Transaction amount
  • Transaction date
  • Description of merchandise or service
  • Ship to address (if applicable)
  • Authorization code (if available)
  • Cardholder name (if available)

Note: Sales drafts that contain a cardholder signature must include the details of the transaction on the same document, in order to link the transaction with the signature. This also applies to signature-capture receipts.

If you receive a chargeback you should:

  • Follow the instructions on the chargeback notification
  • Respond by the due date listed on the notification
  • Provide a written reply addressing all of the cardholder’s concerns
  • Provide copies of all transaction documents, including, but not limited to:
  • Order forms
  • Invoices
  • Contracts
  • Respond to all retrieval requests on time and provide accurate information

Note: Do not issue credit to an account when you receive a chargeback as the card issuer applies a conditional credit to the cardholder’s account. Any credit you issue after you have received a chargeback, may not be recoverable. You may be financially responsible for the credit, and the chargeback.

Important: The card issuer may reverse the chargeback if the information is sufficient. Chargeback reversals are conditional, as the card issuer may investigate the case further, by processing a second chargeback or pre-arbitration case.

Evidence of cardholder actions

Important: You must provide compelling evidence that the cardholder took part in the transaction. If applicable, you should provide evidence of the following:

  • Cardholder’s awareness that they purchased merchandise in “as is” condition, for example:
    • Signed disclosure
    • Screen print for e-commerce
  • Letter from cardholder admitting that they purchased merchandise “as is”
  • Cardholder’s non-compliance with a clearly documented cancellation policy, return policy, or applicable law

Evidence of your actions, If applicable, you should provide evidence of the following:

One or more undisputed payments for the same merchandiseor service You issued credit to the account to correct an error

Multiple fraudulent transactions did not occur, including:

  • Transaction documents
  • A written rebuttal explaining the multiple transactions
  • Pointing out differences between transactions such as:
  • Two different clerks
  • Times of transactions
  • Checkout lanes
  • Different merchandise purchased

Services were rendered

You attempted to repair or replace goods, or provide replacement services

You should also provide a legible copy of the transaction documentation to assist the cardholder in recognizing the transaction.

Additional actions for different merchant types:

As well as the actions described, you can also provide additional information for different transaction types. For more information about each merchant type, go to the following individual pages:

  • Keyed-entry or MOTO merchants
  • E-commerce merchants
  • Retail merchants
  • Recurring billing or service-based merchants

In addition to the actions described in How can I defend myself against chargebacks? keyed-entry or MOTO merchants can also provide the additional information as listed here. Evidence of cardholder actions If applicable, you should provide evidence of the following:

Person who signed for the merchandise was authorized to sign on behalf of the cardholder, or is known by the cardholder

Release form or waiver signed by the cardholder that allows packages to be delivered to the cardholder’s address without requiring a signature, and provide an unsigned Proof of Delivery (POD)

Cardholder agreed to accept the merchandise or services as provided Pickups:

  • Cardholder signature on the pick-up form
  • Copy of identification presented by the cardholder
  • Details of identification presented by the cardholder
  • Deliveries to a business address
  • Merchandise was delivered to the address—a signature is NOT required as evidence of delivery
  • At the time of delivery, the cardholder was working for the company at the delivery address, for example:
  • Confirmation the cardholder was listed as a director of the company Cardholder email address with the company’s domain name Evidence of your actions If applicable, you should provide evidence of the following:

Written correspondence between you and the cardholder, including:

  • Letters
  • Emails
  • Photographs
  • Faxes
  • Any other written correspondence
  • Imprinted transaction receipt
  • Shipping date, if the merchandise is in the process of being shipped

You shipped the merchandise to a positive AVS address and obtained Proof of Delivery (POD)

  • Domestic only—signed POD may be required to assist with resolving the chargeback
  • Delivery, or evidence that the goods or services were delivered as directed by the customer
  • Shipping and delivery of any replacement merchandise
  • Explanation of any differences when transaction dates, merchant name, or merchant location differ

In addition to the actions described in How can I defend myself against chargebacks?, e-commercemerchants can also provide the additional information as
listed here.

Evidence of cardholder actions If applicable, you should provide evidence of the following:

Transaction was completed by a member of the cardholder’s household

Transaction used data that had been used in a previously undisputed transaction, for example:

  • IP address
  • Email address
  • Physical address
  • Telephone number

Transaction history for registered online users including, for example,

  • Device type
  • IP address
  • Time and date of purchase

Cardholder accessed your website after the transaction date

Digital delivery:

  • The cardholder’s email address used at the time of purchase matches the email addressused to deliver digital goods

Site-to-store delivery, card not present:

  • Cardholder signature on the pick-up form
  • Copy of cardholder identification

Release form or waiver signed by the cardholder that allows packages to be delivered to the cardholder’s address without requiring a signature, and provide an unsigned Proof of Delivery (POD)

Cardholder agreed to accept the merchandise or services as provided

Direct connection between the cardholder and the person who received the merchandise or services, for example:

  • Photographs
  • Emails

Cardholder disputing the transaction has the merchandise or is using the service, for example:

  • Photographs
  • Emails

Evidence of your actions

If applicable, you should provide evidence of the following:

Verified by Visa was used

Written correspondence between you and the cardholder, including:

  • Letters
  • Emails
  • Photographs
  • Faxes

Any other written correspondence

Invoice or Proof of Delivery (POD) showing that merchandise was shipped before cancellation and has not been returned

You shipped the merchandise to a positive AVS address and obtained Proof of Delivery (POD)

  • Domestic only—signed POD may be required to assist with resolving the chargeback
  • Delivery, or evidence that the goods or services were delivered as directed by the customer
  • Shipping and delivery of any replacement merchandise
  • Explanation of any differences when transaction dates, merchant name, or merchant location differ

In addition to the actions described in How can I defend myself against chargebacks?​, retail merchantscan also provide the additional information as listed here.

  • Signed, magnetic swipe or imprinted transaction receipt
  • Documentation that the issuer authorized the transaction as a result of a technical fallback

In addition to the actions described in How can I defend myself against chargebacks? article, recurring billing or service-based merchants can also provide the additional information as listed here.

Evidence of cardholder actions

If applicable, you should provide evidence of the following:

Signed contract which states the terms under which the cardholder may cancel the service

Cardholder did not provide proof that they canceled under the terms laid out in the contract

For recurring transactions:

  • Cardholder is using the merchandise or services
  • Cardholder canceled within the same month as billing, and partial services were rendered
  • Cardholder did not attempt to cancel the services
  • Transaction date occurred before the cancelation date, or the cancelation occurred on the same day as the transaction

Evidence of your actions

If applicable, you should provide evidence of the following:

For recurring transactions:

  • Legally binding contract between you and the cardholder
  • A previous, undisputed transaction
  • You issued credit before the charge back—if the cardholder did cancel the service
  • Rebuttal stating:
    • Cardholder canceled in the middle or at the end of a billing cycle
    • You bill in arrears, after services are rendered
    • Transaction date occurred before the cancelation date, or the cancelation occurred on the same day as the transaction

A fallback transaction happens when the cardholder inserts a chip card into an EMV compliant device, but there is a fault with the chip. The device cannot read the chip, but allows the cardholder to complete the transaction using the magnetic stripe on the card.

Note: Because the device is EMV ready, and there was an attempt to process using the chip, the merchant does not take on liability for that transaction.

You can avoid chargebacks by using the following best practices:

Do:

  • Obtain the cardholder’s signature to confirm they received the merchandise in good condition
  • Be careful when manually keying an account number for approval to prevent keying errors
  • Obtain another form of payment if you receive a “Decline” response
  • Confirm you received valid authorization before processing all transactions
  • Confirm all your employees understand your authorization processing procedures, including voice authorization requirements
  • Ensure your merchant descriptor matches the name of your business, and displays correctly on the cardholder’s statement
  • Implement internal fraud prevention policies and procedures for suspicious activity
  • Issue credits to cardholders as needed and in a timely manner
  • Process all transactions in the proper currency, as stated on the transaction receipt
  • Properly disclose your refund policy for returned or canceled merchandise to the cardholder at the time of the transaction
  • Make sure your transaction receipts show the correct currency
  • Check the cardholder’s card has not expired when they present it for the transaction by visually checking the card.
  • Make a note on your rebuttal if you do not receive merchandise from a cardholder, who claims they have returned merchandise for being defective or not as described

Note: For the US/Canada region, cardholders have to only attempt to return the merchandise.

Do not:

  • Use credit cards to recover funds from previous chargebacks, bad checks, or any other incidents where a financial loss occurs
  • “Fish” for authorization by lowering the amount or altering any of the transaction elements
  • “Key Enter” or call to obtain a “Voice Authorization” after you receive a “Decline” response
  • Make any adjustments to the transaction documentation after the transaction, without consulting the cardholder and obtaining their agreement for any modifications
  • Batch out transactions multiple times
  • Continue to bill the cardholder’s account after you receive a chargeback
  • Force sale a transaction after you receive a “Decline” response
  • Process a transaction more than seven days after you receive a voice authorization
  • Split a transaction into separate smaller amounts to receive authorization, after you receive a “Decline” response

Note: You can use split-tender only when the cardholder uses multiple payment methods to pay for the transaction.

Additional actions for different merchant types

As well as these best practices, different merchant types can follow additional best practices to avoid chargebacks. For more information about each merchant type, go to the following individual pages:

  • Keyed-Entry or MOTO merchants
  • E-Commerce merchants
  • Retail merchants
  • Recurring billing or service-based merchants

In addition to the best practices described in How can I avoid chargebacks? ,keyed-entry or MOTO merchants should follow these additional best practices:

Do:

  • Imprint the front of the credit card on the bottom of the transaction receipt that the cardholder signs
  • Avoid hand-writing the account number on the transaction receipt

Note:You should use a manual imprinter; processors do not consider pencil or crayon rubbings as valid imprints.

Use the CVV2 Validation Program for key-entered transactions, in place of an imprint

Do not:

  • Alter the imprint
  • Imprint on the back of the receipt or imprint on a blank transaction receipt

In addition to the best practices described in How can I avoid chargebacks?, e-commerce merchants should follow these additional best practices:

Do:

  • Clearly indicate the expected delivery date on the transaction receipt or invoice
  • Contact the cardholder in writing if the merchandise or service cannot be provided or is delayed
  • Provide a valid customer service number and/or transmit a URL address with the transaction
  • Provide merchandise or services as described to the card holder
  • In the event the cardholder receives defective merchandise, or they do not receive the merchandise as described; resolve the issue at first contact
  • Ensure merchandise/services match the verbal description for non-face-to-face transactions at the time of purchase
  • Obtain positive AVS and ship merchandise to the confirmed address only (bill-to and ship-to address should match)
  • Participate in the ”Verified by Visa Program” for e-commerce transactions

Do not:

  • Charge the cardholder until the merchandise is shipped

In addition to the best practices described in How can I avoid chargebacks?, retail merchants should follow these additional best practices:

Do:

  • Ensure the cardholder’s card is present
  • Ensure your POS device is in working order and free from dirt and debris
  • Void errors at POS before batching out
  • Obtain a legible, signed, and imprinted transaction receipt ifunable to swipe the card. Verify the information on the receipt matches the card
  • Obtain a signature/PIN on all transactions with exception of those that qualify for the “No signature/no Pin” program
  • Educate your staff on the procedures to eliminate POS fraud
  • When running multiple transactions, obtain a magnetic-swipe for each transaction and the cardholder’s signature on each individual transaction receipt

In addition to the best practices described in How can I avoid chargebacks? , Recurring Billing/Service-Based merchants should follow these additional best practices:

Do:

  • Cancel the recurring billing as soon as the cardholder notifies you of their wish to cancel
  • Make sure billing and cancellation terms are clear in the recurring billing contract
  • Make sure you bill the cardholder for the correct number of installments for the correct amountaccording to the payment schedule
  • Offer the cardholder the option to cancel, if your internal policies allow

Do not:

  • Bill any installments sooner than agreed with the cardholder

You can identify an EMV card by the gold-plated contact pads on the card. EMV terminals communicate with the chip on the card using these pads.

Credit Card

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