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Category Archives: Merchant Processing


Visa Tackles the Biggest EMV Issue

EMV has rolled out to stores and Visa Quick Chipcredit card terminals around the world. It’s the new standard for secure transactions, and people are encouraged to use their chip-enabled cards whenever they have the option.

One of the major complaints about EMV (it may be the only complaint, really) is how long it takes to run a card with a chip. Traditional magstripe transactions allow you to swipe once and the final amount and authorization are handled afterwards. With the current EMV software, customers have to insert their card and leave it in the terminal until the total of the purchase is known and authorized. This process takes about 15 seconds, which may not seem like much on paper, but when you’re standing in a line of 5 people those seconds can really add up. Visa is working on a fix to make EMV transactions faster and more convenient for both cardholders and merchants.

Plastc: How a Payment Card Should Work

2016-02-18 11_22_45-Plastc _ Bring Intelligence to the Way You PayPlastc is a new spin on old tech, and it’s extremely impressive. In a previous post about credit card technology, Plastc was mentioned but not really explained, so that’s what I plan on doing here.

The idea is, using Bluetooth, an app, and a magstripe reader, you load your existing debit & credit cards into the Plastc card, where it is stored on flash memory. The card itself uses an e-ink touchscreen with a PIN system to make sure that only you can access the information stored on it. Once you’ve unlocked the card, you select which card you would like to use, then swipe, tap, or use the EMV chip to make your payment.

Are you still swiping your card in stores? Stop.

October 1st 2015 came and went with little fanfare. Many businesses upgraded their point of sales terminals to be compatible with the new EMV standard, but I’ve noticed a surprising amount haven’t made the switch yet. These aren’t small time, mom & pop shops that I’m referring to either. Massive retailers that tend to be the targets of POS systems hacks are simply ignoring the fact that there is a serious vulnerability in the machines they’re using to process an ever-increasing number of credit and debit card payments. Whether it’s because of the characteristic feet-dragging of the bureaucratic decision makers that have to approve an upgrade of a technology system, or a simple lack of caring that they are now liable for credit card fraud on non-EMV (Chip) systems, enough time has passed to make the decision as a consumer to insist upon an up-to-date, secure system.

Stay Ahead of the Hackers

social-engineering-manipulate-peopleOn October 1st the EMV liability shift occurred. Now, merchants are responsible for any fraud that happens during processing. Although we’ve been told to prepare for this change for a full year, only 40% of American card-holders have gotten their chip cards. Unfortunately, this slow adoption rate has given rise to new scams.

Pretending to be a card issuer, individuals call up strangers and ask if they have gotten their new chip cards, if the answer is “no” the hacker then asks the unsuspecting victim to update their account information in order to receive the new card. In reality, you do not need to update your account to receive your card. Your credit card company will do that for you.

Security Essentials for Small Businesses

digital-security-padlock-protection-binary-virus-hack-malwareWith the increased frequency and sophistication of modern cyber attacks, it is more important than ever for business owners to educate themselves and their staff about the dramatic effects of a data breach. With so many big businesses making the headlines for failed security over the past year (Target, Sony, Anthem, just to name a few), it’s easy to think breaches only happen to Fortune 5’s, but poor security affects everyone. In fact, one report found that 71% of security breaches target small businesses (Trustwave Global Security Report).

And, unfortunately, it’s easy to understand why:

  • There’s often no dedicated IT person in SMB organizations

NewtPay Zero & Political Campaigns: Optimizing Donor Contributions

political_campagin_contributionWith the 2016 presidential election approaching, candidates are now firmly focused on their campaigns. November 8th, 2016 is not too far off, and candidates are racing to raise millions of dollars – millions which will be spent on what many experts predict will be the most expensive election cycle in U.S. history. This leads us gracefully to the topic of processing payments, and how donor funds get from point A (your hands) to point B (their campaign machine). Most donors fail to realize that there are processing fees involved in all ACH, debit, and credit card processing activities.

The Fight Against Fraud

Safe bankingFraud is a scary thought in today’s merchant environment. Whether it be large-scale hacks on payment systems, or singular attempts of identity fraud, the amount of individuals seeking to gather personal information and swindle consumers out of their own money is ever increasing.

When shopping online, in-store, or on the side of the street for that unique piece, there is always the risk of our personal banking information being compromised. It is a business risk that consumers and merchants take in order to purchase and sell.

Will Retailers Be Ready for EMV?

EMV1While the clock is ticking down toward the October 2015 EMV liability shift, an increasing number of analysts are questioning whether the majority of U.S. merchants will convert by that deadline, or at all.

According to reports in Banking Info Security, though the forthcoming shift will mean that issuers or merchant that do not support EMV will assume liability for fraud that is the result of a compromised mag-stripe card transaction after October of next year, that potential cost alone is not acting as a significant enough motivator, particularly for small banks and retailers.

Is Clover Mini the Ultimate Utility for SMB?

clover miniLast month, First Data announced the launch of Clover Mini, the newest member of the Clover family of products. The Mini rethinks the payment terminal, giving business owners an “all-in-one” solution to help streamline operations, expand business and customer intelligence, and improve overall customer experience, all while securely processing payments with the very latest technologies available.

Clover Mini’s specs are impressive; the device includes an integrated magnetic stripe reader, EMV Card “dip”, built-in NFC (for Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay), front-facing camera, audio jack, SIM Card slot, and integrated thermal printer. Businesses can connect the Mini to their infrastructure through WiFi, 3G Mobile Data, or even Ethernet.

Digital Dining

Digital DiningAre people even going to restaurants anymore? Why travel the distance when you can have any type of cuisine delivered straight to your door. If you do go, are you being served or are you using a computer or iPad to put in your order?

Food service stations and restaurants are going digital! Point of Sale (POS) systems are being used to take orders in restaurants. Now customers can use a tablet to look at the menu and then put in what they want, pay and then get their food at the table or at a pick up counter.





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