Electronic Checks Valuable for Travel Merchants

Electronic Checks Valuable for Travel Merchants

International tourist numbers have been increasing for the past six years in a row.  More than 1.5 billion people travelled abroad in 2015 alone. As a result, cross border transactions have been getting easier and more widespread over the years. 

That’s a huge number of people looking to go outside their country and spend on a holiday. Which is why travel agents, transportation companies, hotels, online booking apps, and banks have all made it much easier to spend money abroad.

But the level of security hasn’t kept up with the increasing levels of convenience.

If your business caters to international tourists, you may find that it’s a lot easier to offer tools for foreign transactions than it is to actually secure these transactions. Accepting card payments from customers is quick, but risky.

What are the risks?

Most people understand currency risks that affect an international business. But the bigger risk is the lack of security for online card transactions made across borders.

The problem is different countries have different standards of payment security. Some countries are compelled to implement measures such as bank verifications while other countries take these regulations less seriously.

Different regulations and security standards make it difficult to fully appreciate and mitigate the risks involved in international payments.

America is notoriously behind on credit card security. The US losses more to credit card fraud than the rest of the world combined.

If you operate a business in the travel industry, you most likely face this issue on a daily basis. Fraudsters try to use stolen or fake credit cards. Legitimate customers initiate a chargeback in order to avoid paying in what is known as “friendly fraud”.

Your resources are inadequate to fully face this threat and deal with the complex global payment system. You’re often left at the mercy of the client or the acquiring bank when it comes to the safety of your payments and this could have a negative, long term effect on your revenues.

But you’re not helpless. There are ways to protect your business from this rising tide of international payment fraud.

What can you do?

The best way to protect your business and sales is to sign up with a payment processor who can offer a customized travel merchant account.

Accepting echecks gives you a more secure way to process payments. Echecks allow your customers to pay when their card is maxed out or not available. And many Americans simply prefer to pay for travel with a debit from a bank account rather than a card.

Electronic check transactions are considerably more secure than paying by cards or traditional paper checks.

It is much more difficult for cybercriminals and customers committing friendly fraud to perpetrate their dishonest actions with echecks. Accessing bank accounts is harder than obtaining card information.

And chargebacks are more difficult with echecks than with cards.  Echecks generally require the customer to visit their bank, swear out an affidavit, and submit supporting documents.  With card chargebacks, all a buyer has to do is call their issuing bank to initiate a chargeback.  

Conclusion

Over the past decade, the travel industry has transformed. While sales are up, customer spending habits have changed. Millennials are more likely to travel abroad than the generations before them and they prefer spending money online.

Investing in your payment system by opening a travel merchant account is not just about reducing risks, it’s about offering your customers security. Echecks are far more secure than cards when you take payments online or by phone.  

How will accepting echecks help your company?

Contact info@nationalach.com today.

 

 

Echecks for Loan Modificiation

Modifying loans is a much-needed service. If your business offers this complex service you already know there is no lack of demand.

However, a lack of investment in compliance and technology has had an impact on services. Borrowers are facing increasing challenges to get their loans modified appropriately.

But the Home Affordability Modification Program (HAMP) has managed to streamline the process and boosted the number of borrowers who can qualify for loan and mortgage modification.

Service providers have increased alongside the shift in demand. But more than two years ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published a set of rules and regulations for firms in the industry.  In a recent report, the CFPB found that American borrowers were still being harmed because many loan modification companies failed to invest in better compliance and technology.

In such a crowded market, improving service quality and technology has the potential to make your business stand apart. Here are three ways you could make your loan modification business succeed.

Automate To Reduce Errors

One of the key findings of the CFPB report was that loan modifiers were not able to manage data appropriately. All the information about modification options and client details were lost because the technology was outdated and the staff lacked training.

This is a relatively easy problem to solve. Automated payment networks like Automated Clearing House (ACH) can drastically reduce the number of errors at the point of sale. An ACH or echeck account allows your business to automated the process and take the human out of the equation.

The reduced chances of errors and reliability of electronic check processing helps boost customer confidence.  Clients  feel secure with an efficient electronic payment system that ensures all data is collected & managed properly.

Invest in Compliance

With proper staff training and data collected from an an echeck or ACH merchant account, complying with regulations is a lot easier. CFPB servicing rules require a thorough process that helps the borrower stay up to date with payments. With an ACH account your business has access to a well-developed, and nationally recognized platform. The platform makes it easier to offer loan modification services and take recurring payments throughout the year to service the loan. This should help your business stay on par with the standards set by the CFPB.

Protect Your Clients

Protecting client data securing the payment is of the utmost importance. An ACH account grants access to a platform  that can allow your to process echecks which electronically debit funds from clients’ bank accounts. Echecks are a better, more secure option as compared to traditional checks and even credit cards. A direct debit to your business’ ach account is much more stable, considering people don’t change bank accounts as frequently as credit cards.

The payments can be made through multiple channels and the system is designed for recurring billing models like loan modification. This ACH account can help you prevent chargebacks and reduce the level of fraud as well. You can accept payments online through an API or allow clients to pay over the phone and through the mail by means of a virtual terminal.

Each year, $39 trillion and 22 billion electronic financial transactions move through this highly secure system. The system is so widespread, businesses across the country sign up simply to offer convenience and security to their clients.

Conclusion

Getting a loan modification merchant account will help you secure your clients, comply with the rules and reduce errors. These three simple steps can vastly improve your service quality.

Interested in accepting echecks from your customers?   

Contact us to learn more about this payment network.

Echecks Better for High Ticket Orders

The higher the dollar amount of a specific transaction, the greater the risks involved.  The risks and responsibility of fraud and chargebacks. extend to you as the merchant as well as to your processor & acquiring bank.  

Some industries process high tickets on regular basis.  For example, government and business-to-business sales routinely have high ticket transactions.  

And many businesses selling to consumers also have high ticket items. For instance, jewelry, furniture, home appliances, collectibles, electronics, precious metals, and automobiles are all high ticket transactions.  

The value of these transactions requires added steps for security. Traditional credit cards are woefully ill equipped to handle such transfers.

Credit cards security in the United States is considered by a number of experts to be the worst in the world. Retailers, banks and payment processors are all trying to pass the buck on the issue and the only clear winners are the fraudsters who attack vulnerable victims.

Even the recent chip-and-pin transition (meant to make cards safer to use) in the US was an utter failure. Expats and foreign businesses have often complained about the lack of security features in America’s card infrastructure. Close to $3 billion was lost due to chargebacks and credit card fraud in the US in 2014.

Card companies charge high rates for high ticket transactions due to the increased risk of security breaches, chargebacks, and fraud. Substantially increasing your cost of sales and your operating expenses.

For these reasons, companies selling high ticket items are far better accepting payments through an echeck payment gateway.

Echecks:  Safer, Faster, Cheaper

Electronic payments (such as echecks) are making business transactions faster, safer and cheaper. While the use of paper checks is on the decline, the use of electronic checks for payments is rapidly expanding.  More than one-fifth of all transactions in the US are through echeck payment gateways, according to the Federal Reserve Bank.

Echecks electronically deduct the amount of the payment from buyers’ bank accounts.  The funds are then automatically settled to sellers’ bank accounts.  Echecks are supported by a  strong online security system. 

Payment processors who offer these echeck payment gateways to businesses can assist with collections, verify customer identification documents and even prevent fraud or chargebacks.

Overall, electronic check processing is quite efficient since most of the processes are automated. By taking humans out of the equation, costs are lower and the service is less prone to errors. The electronic system allows businesses to receive funds faster and manage their invoices more effectively. Administrative costs are lowered.

And rates for electronic check processing is always lower than card processing.  Saving you money on processing expenses.

Customers also like the convenience of paying through a bank account.  A recent survey found that a vast majority of millennial renters would prefer paying their rent electronically, rather than with cards and physical checks. The convenience is a huge benefit for consumers.

Managing Risks For High Ticket Purchases

Traditional card processors tend to classify high tickets sellers as high-risk merchants. This compounds the problems for such merchants, as the risk of chargebacks prevents them from accepting card payments.

As we’ve seen, card payments are not ideal for high ticket sales. Most merchants selling high ticket items encourage buyers to chose an echeck payment option to reduce expenses.  And lower exposure to risk.

For business-to-consumer purchases, high ticket sales can be revoked only within 40 days (for echeck payments) or 60 days (for ACH payments). Customers are also required to provide additional documentation and evidence to support a chargeback claim making it far more difficult to initiate an echeck chargeback than a card transaction.

With a card transactions, consumers can chargeback up to 180 days after the purchase was made. And charging back is easy.  Customers simply call their issuing bank to dispute a transactions.  Most of the time, the issuing bank sides with the customer against the merchant.  Lots of savvy shoppers know how to play & win the chargeback game, resulting in losses to you.

For business-to-business sales, the revoke period for electronic check processing is only three days.  Offering businesses much needed protection for commercial transactions.  

Adding Electronic Checks to Your Payment Options

Echecks give you significantly benefits for high ticket processing compared to cards.  

  • reduce payment processing risk
  • decrease operating expenses and cost of sales
  • lower processing costs
  • give your customers another way to buy from you

With echeck and ACH merchant accounts, you can accept payment online, by phone, fax or mail, or batch upload to a secure site.

Integration to a website is through an API.  MOTO orders are processed through a virtual terminal. Batch transactions can also be submitted if preferred.

The echeck payments gateway is fully compliant with all security regulations. Technical and operational support are available 24/7.  And you have a dedicated account manager who provides you ongoing guidance and support.  

How are you handling payment processing for your high ticket sales? 

Contact us  today.

 

eChecks for Online Merchants

Accept Checks Online

Want an easy way to increase sales 8-20%?  While saving money on payment processing costs? Simply add echecks  as a payment option to your checkout page.

Get More Orders

Electronic checks give customers another way to buy from you. Obviously, the more ways customers have to pay you, the more sales you will make.

The Federal Reserve reports than 27% of Americans do not have credit cards. Yet more than 90% of US households have bank accounts and can make purchases with electronic checks.

Moreover, many Americans with cards are either near or at their limits. When a card sale is denied, offer the buyer the opportunity to pay with an electronic check instead. You’ll be amazed at the number of sales you’ll capture that otherwise would be lost.

Reduced Risk for You

Credit card transactions have a higher risk of contingent liabilities for merchants than do electronic check transactions.

Buyers can chargeback a credit card transaction for up 180 days after a purchase is made. Yet, with echecks, a consumer has only 60 days to revoke a transaction. And for business-to-business transactions, the buyer has only 3 days to revoke a transaction.

It’s also more difficult to revoke an electronic check transaction than a credit card transaction. For card payments, customers are able to call their card issuing bank to initiate a chargeback. The issuing bank usually takes the side of the consumer against the merchant.

However, to revoke a check transaction, a consumer often has to swear out an affidavit to chargeback a transaction, a more challenging and time consuming process.

Competitive Advantage

Online shoppers have virtually unlimited sites from which to buy goods and services. After all the time and effort you spend trying to get buyers to visit your site, it is a shame to loss a sale because you don’t accept echecks.  

With a fast click of a mouse, you can lose a sale to your competitors who offer echecks as a payment option if you don’t.

Conclusion

Alternative payment options such as electronic checks are among the fastest growing sources of increased revenues for internet merchants.

Shoppers trust electronic check payments.  Millions of Americans regularly pay for goods and services with echecks. If you don’t accept electronic checks, you lose sales to your competitors who do.  

Add electronic checks to your checkout page.  Get more sales from customers who don’t have cards or are maxed out on cards.  Or simply prefer to pay you with an electronic check.

Interested in increasing sales with echeck payments?  

Contact info@nationalach today.

How PCI Compliance Relates to ACH Payments

What is PCI Compliance?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, commonly known as PCI DSS, has long been the leading authority in terms of security for the credit card processing industry. Its reliability makes PCI enormously valuable when it comes to protecting not just card information, but any type of sensitive data, such as ACH payment processing credentials.

The misconception that only large companies that have huge processing capabilities need to be concerned with security will hopefully become less widespread. Today’s context makes it necessary for all merchants, irrespective of size, to protect sensitive information, and PCI DSS provides the necessary framework to do so. 

PCI is required for card payments.  Yet, it also adds protection for ACH payment processing.  

How PCI Helps Prevent ACH Processing Fraud

PCI compliance was introduced in the payment industry to stem the tide of fraud losses, but unfortunately, not all entities respect it as they should. A recent study released by the American Bankers Association (ABA) suggests that, in spite of the best efforts of banks to prevent fraud, their task is rendered difficult by retail data breaches.

These breaches, which have become the norm in recent years, are made possible by insufficient security protection.

The good news is that ACH payment processing, online banking, and wire transactions taken collectively make up just 2% of the losses reported by the ABA. Fraud losses, however, continue to increase, mainly because not all parties involved in the payment ecosystem are equally concerned with security and prevention.

The consistent implementation of PCI standards would make it considerably difficult for fraudsters to make a breakthrough to your ACH payment processing.

Tips to Protect Your ACH Payment Processing Account

Each business that uses ACH payment processing needs to do its share in this collective effort to prevent fraud. Even though ACH payments accounts register less fraud attacks, the risk is far from non-existent.

Since ACH payments are often low risk, ACH transaction processing is largely automated.  Therefore, detection of fraud might not occur in time to stop it. Given the fact that business accounts have just 3 days to reverse an ACH payment processing fraudulent transaction, it would be unwise to disregard this risk.

Some components of the PCI standard considerably reduce the prospect of suffering ACH payment fraud.  These include:

  • Maintaining a firewall
  • Using encryption when transferring sensitive data
  • Making sure that the virus protection is up to date
  • Putting into place a security policy that each employee needs to follow

How Employees Contribute to Fraud

Fraudsters can get access to ACH payment processing  information by targeting employees with tried-and-tested techniques,

For example fraudsters install  malicious software as email attachments.   When the employee clicks on the attachment, the harmful software is installed.  Some newer, more sophisticated, and quite effective techniques involve social engineering and impersonation.

These threats can be addressed by providing training to employees that handle ACH payment processing information on how cybercriminals perpetrate their acts.  

Also, two-factor authentication is an increasingly used method of securing payment information.

Regardless of what security measures a merchant decides to adopt, they need to be implemented and followed as consistently as possible, until they become a part of business as usual.

Conclusion

Following PCI recommendations for safe payment processing is a wise strategy.  Protect your business by following PCI standards for secure processing. 

Interested in finding out more? Contact info@nationalach.com

 

Why Payment Processors Add E Checks

International and US payment processors understand that additional payment options at checkout result in more orders for merchants using the processing platform. The more ways customers have to pay, the more sales are made.

The US ecommerce market will hit $434 billion in sales within the next 2 years.  Merchants throughout the world want access to US buyers.  And depend upon their payment processors to help acquire more orders from US customers.

How can processors drive more transaction volume while helping their merchants get more sales? By providing the payment options preferred by US buyers.

Echecks are second only to cards as the preferred method of payment by US consumers. Over 30% of internet purchases are made with alternative payments such as echecks. In addition, echecks have substantially lower risk of fraud than cards.

Benefits of E Check Payments

  • Obtain orders from buyers that don’t have cards or are maxed out on cards.
  • Get sales from buyers that prefer to pay with an electronic check rather than a card
  • Alternative to card declines.  If a card transaction declines, offering an echeck payment option can rescue the sale
  • E checks have far fewer chargebacks and returns than cards.  

Integrating eChecks with Processing Platforms

Integration to your payment processing platform is easily accomplished with an API. All reporting and management functions are available to your merchants when logging on to your system.

Merchants can accept checks online.  And accept check by phone, mail, and fax (MOTO) orders by entering transactions in a virtual terminal.  Batch uploads to a secure FTP site are also available.  

Electronic check processing is available for businesses in all industries, including high risk merchants.  

eChecks on the Checkout Page

Electronic checks are a familiar method of payment for US consumers. At checkout, buyers select the “pay with echeck” option. The customer enters payment data information, including name, address, and account information, and submits the transaction for payment.

Electronic check verification is available, which gives you the ability to confirm account information prior to sending transactions for processing.  Check verification keeps returns low, saving you money on processing, while protecting the electronic check processor accounts.  

For additional security, identity verification can be provided verify the identity of customers.  Digital signatures can be used one to verify the identity of customers.  These options are often used by high risk merchants or high ticket merchants.  

Electronic checks are one of the best ways for international merchants to get more orders from US buyers. Helping your merchants boost sales while increasing profits.  

Are you a payment processor interested in adding echecks to your platform?

Contact info@nationalach.com today