Tips for Avoiding Merchant Service provider Fraud

UOB : Merchant Services

Securing credit card processing services from a merchant service provider is key to doing business with modern consumers, for whom credit is the top payment method for purchases large and small. But you have to be careful, as the necessity of merchant accounts spawns fraudulent websites that serve three purposes: to gather your information Best White Label Payment Gateway to (a) use it for financial fraud, (b) sell it to someone else, or (c) to draw payment before closing the website down. Are there ways to avoid such scams as you go about equipping your business with the necessary accounts? Thankfully, the answer is yes. Below, we list four tips for avoiding fraudulent account providers.

Because hosted sub-domains are easier and less expensive to start than single domain websites, scammers use them for temporary money gathering schemes that often last only weeks. While there’s nothing innately suspicious about websites that use hosted sub-domains, there is about an account provider that uses one instead of having its own domain. If you come across a provider that works out of a sub domain, move on to a provider that doesn’t.

Paying fees in addition to tier pricing rates is part of doing business with a merchant service, but be on the lookout for fees that sound unfamiliar and aren’t collected by other providers. When doing business with a legit service provider, you can expect to pay the following fees: authorization fee, which occurs every time a bank that issued a card processes a transaction that the card initiated; statement fee, which goes toward general overhead; monthly minimum fee, which is the difference between your actual fees and your minimum fees allowed; batch fee, which occurs when you send in a day’s worth of transactions for payment; annual fee, which goes toward account maintenance; and an early account termination fee.

Providers with consistently high page rankings are preferable to those with lower page rankings for two reasons: their website is frequently visited, and is therefore open to more scrutiny; and they invest in making their website highly visible over the long-term, which is something scammers never do. A high page ranking is generally considered to fall within the first page and a half of search results.

After observing the tips above, it’s a good idea to check a company’s record at the BBB for unresolved customer complaints. Companies that care about their customers and their professional image always find a way to resolve customer complaints, regardless of the complaints’ nature. If a company has unresolved complaints on its record, it’s best to find one that doesn’t. Otherwise, the next unresolved complaint could be yours.

A guest calls your hotel and wants to book accommodations, and is willing to give his or her credit card number to you in order to reserve a room. But your hotel is only first come, first serve and is not set up for credit card reservations. So the guest hangs up, dials your competitor, and books a room there instead.

Connect your front desk system with your reservations database. Then guests can reserve their rooms with a credit card number, which is then held on file and is available for payment when they check in. A busy secretary is trying to plan her boss’s business trip. She sees your hotel online on a corporate travel website and is impressed. But before she tries to book a room, she realizes that she cannot do so without dropping what she is doing and picking up the phone. But there’s another hotel on the site that accepts online reservations, so the secretary clicks the mouse a few times, types in a credit card number, and arranges accommodations in less than a minute.

Set up your merchant services account so that it can accept credit card reservations online. In today’s fast-paced world, even the idea of a minute or two delay might be the difference in filling a room or losing business to a competitor. A man is ready to check out of your hotel. But because he ordered a pay-per-view movie and drank a couple of beers from the minibar, there are extra charges added to his bill. So instead of a smooth checkout, he must wait an extra five minutes while the clerk calculates the additional charges and adds them on to the original bill. As a result, the man is late for his business meeting, so he vows never to stay at your hotel again.

Allow your guests to pay for their rooms in advance with their credit card. This eliminates the need to stop by the front desk on the way out – and also gives you a way to add amenity charges to your guests’ bills at a later time. A group of guys is staying at your hotel for several days. They decide to order a few drinks at your hotel bar before dining in the restaurant on the property. But they don’t like the hassle of paying for their drinks at the bar, closing out their tab, and then paying for their meals later at their table. The next night, they choose somewhere else to eat and relax.

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