The first thing you should know is that there are a series of what are called interchange levels which affect the cost of a charge at every stage, depending on a number of factors—including the type of card presented, specific information contained in the transaction and how/when the transaction is processed.
Here are tips on how you can prevent being assessed higher processing fees:
1. Swipe the card, key-entered transactions are charged higher rates
2. Obtain a valid authorization from the terminal/register
3. Provide all original electronic authorization information at the time of settlement
4. Settle transactions daily
5. If you are key-entering often, clean your terminal’s magnetic-stripe reader
6. For card-not-present transactions, ask the customer for the card expiration date and include it in the authorization request
7. Use fraud prevention tools such as Address Verification Service
Reducing chargebacks is another way to save money. A chargeback is a reversal of a payment card transaction that occurs when a consumer files disputes with their bank/card provider.
Following these tips can help you reduce chargebacks:
1. Keep copies of your sales transactions and respond to retrieval requests by sending sales draft copies immediately
2. To avoid duplicate processing, reconcile your batches daily and ensure that the register/terminal totals match daily receipts
3. A timely sales slip submission, with written explanation of the validity of the charge, is needed to reverse a chargeback when a customer denies making/authorizing a transaction
4. To be valid, the sales slip must include both cardholder signature and card account obtained directly from an imprint of the card itself or from electronically reading the magnetic stripe
5. Upon swiping a card, if the card number does not match the number embossed on the face of the card, ask for a different form of payment
6. Credits must be processed correctly and on time
7. Authorize all transactions, and accurately record the approval code on the sales slip
8. Never process a transaction on a card prior to or after the valid date
9. Sales transactions must not be processed prior to delivery of the product purchased. Proof of delivery, signed by the cardholder, should be obtained for every credit card transaction in which the merchandise/service is not delivered immediately at the point-of-sale
10. Ensure that your customers are aware of your return policy at time of purchase. Stick to your policy. Display the policy at the point-of-sale and print it on your sales slips, directly above the cardholder signature
– First Data Thought Leadership
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