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iPhone Payment Processing – Accept Payments with your iPhone

Posted by Alex Neir on Thu, April 14, 2011 @ 10:45 AM
iPhone Payment Processing

iPhone Payment Processing – Accept Payments with your iPhone

Are you looking for an iPhone payment processing solution that is secure and easy? Look no further than the iDynamo by Magtek. The iDynamo is a simple and elegant credit card swipe that attaches easily to the bottom of an iPhone, iPod or iPad. The iDynamo works with the iProcess payment processing application available free, through the App Store.

The iDynamo in conjunction with the iProcess app gives your business a robust and secure mobile payment processing solution. The solution is PCI DSS compliant in which all card holder data is encrypted at the read head, effectively eliminating fraud. The iProcess application automatically displays the encrypted card holder information and allows for a customer signature to be captured directly on your iPhone, iPod or iPad. Customer receipts can automatically be emailed while you maintain a fully executed authorization to collect payment.

iPhone Payment Processing

Made for iPhone

It is important to note that for the iPhone payment processing solution to be fully functional, your business will need a merchant account that is compatible with the iProcess application. The merchant account is necessary for the solution to communicate with the card holders bank to authorize and collect the payments initiated by the iPhone payment processing solution.

For more information including a detailed quote for setting up an iPhone payment processing solution for your business please provide us with the following:

Get Me Started

Tags: Merchant Account, Maxx Payment Gateway, iPhone Payment Processing

Protect your business from merchant account fraud. Card Testing.

Posted by Alex Neir on Tue, October 05, 2010 @ 03:27 PM
Merchant Account Fraud
Does your business accept payments from a payment gateway or ecommerce site? What you pass back to the customer when the credit card is declined may expose your business to a new form of merchant account fraud, called card testing and end up costing you a bundle.

Maxx typically recommends making the response to the customer as vague as possible and specific as necessary. After all, the goal is to retain the customer’s order through offering helpful messaging in the case of an error. There is a very important balance here as you do not want to provide too much information making it advantageous for card testers to use your site.

Card testing fraud is a two step procedure. Step one is the practice of using a computer program to test credit card numbers until a valid card number is found. Step two is to use a similar program to then find the correct expiration date to validate the transaction.

Your merchant account and gateway charges you for every transaction regardless of weather the transaction is approved or declined. There for if your site is providing the correct information to a card tester they will typically attempt as many transactions as necessary to get a card number and expiration match. The result – hundreds, if not thousands of attempts. Depending on you’re contracted per transaction rate, this could result in substantial costs to your business.

How can you protect your business?

First, block the IP addresses for known card testers. Here is a list of the IP addresses for know card testers.

Second, develop an error messaging strategy with different responses depending on the error passed from the gateway. Again, a good practice is to be as vague as possible and specific as necessary.  

Some Examples:

General: We are terribly sorry but the card you are attempting to use has been declined. Please use an alternate credit card and submit your order again. If you are still experience difficulty please contact us directly at (800)xxx-xxxx and we’ll be happy to assist you.”


AVS mismatch, or other error: We are sorry but the address and zip code entered does not match the information on file with your credit card issuer. Please re-enter the address and zip code. If you are still experience difficulty please contact us directly at (800)xxx-xxxx and we’ll be happy to assist you.”

It is always a good idea to monitor your transaction closely to insure you are not victimized by fraud attempts. If you feel you are experiencing an abundance of merchant account fraud attempts there are numerous tools available to help mitigate credit card fraud. If you would like information on these tools please contact us at (800)917-8026.

Tags: Payment Gateway, Maxx Payment Gateway, Merchant Account Fraud

When is a merchant account better than PayPal?

Posted by Alex Neir on Tue, September 14, 2010 @ 03:28 PM

When is a merchant account better than PayPal?

When is a merchant account better than PayPal
This is a common question that most businesses struggle with when deciding to add payment processing to a web site. When should a PayPal account be utilized and when does it make sense to move to a merchant account?

First we need to look at the typical charges associated with a PayPal account and merchant account. To accept payments over the internet you need a payment gateway and a payment processing account. The payment gateway’s job is to capture the cardholder information from the business website, encrypt it and send it to the payment processing account.  The payment processing account then authorizes, settles and deposits the funds into the business bank account. PayPal combines these services into one fee structure. The typical payment processor will split the two charges out. Both are represented below.


Set-Up Fee

Monthly Fee


Transaction Fee

Merchant Acct















Now when examining these costs they don’t have much relevance unless we look at the costs as a percentage of sales. I have calculated the cost (as a percentage of sales) at various monthly sales volumes with a sales price of $25.

When is a merchant account better than PayPal

After analysis the answer to our question “When is a merchant account better than PayPal?” becomes clear:

  • On paper, PayPal looks to be a very cost effective solution and certainly is if you’re monthly sales volume is below $2,000 a month.
  • A merchant account is better than PayPal when your monthly sales volume exceeds $2,000 a month

Now our analysis up to this point has been an examination of direct purchase costs.  We need to also look at the cost savings in terms of ease of use and time.


  • PayPal has a delay in depositing sales into the business bank account and can place a hold on the money at any time without notification
  • PayPal does not allow access to card holder information including the credit card number
  • PayPal’s shopping cart is vey basic and can not handle shipping charges with any sophistication and offers no tax calculation.

Merchant Account

  • The payment gateway allows integration with most commercially available shopping carts. This allows your business the freedom to select a shopping cart that has the right features and functionality for your check out process
  • Allows your business to tailor the ordering approach to your customers, therefor maximizing sales
  • Allows for taxes and shipping to be calculated based on business rules
  • Allows complete control of customer information for entry into a marketing and sales database
  • Disclosure of the card holder’s information including the ability to edit the credit card number for easier refunds and chargeback investigation
  • Offers more freedom to manage your business

In conclusion, a merchant account is better than PayPal if your business if transacting more than $2,000 a month in sales. In addition a merchant account is a better solution if you require more flexibility and freedom to tailor the shopping experience to your specific business needs.

Time to open a merchant account? Download our free guide to avoid costly mistakes.

Tags: Payment Gateway, Maxx Payment Gateway, PayPal Comparison, Payment Processing

Starting an ecommerce website

Posted by Alex Neir on Mon, July 12, 2010 @ 05:18 PM

Starting an ecommerce website
Are you at the point where you need to start an ecommerce website to begin the process of offering your products and services online? If the answer is yes then I have a handy little guide to help get you started. The process of starting an ecommerce website begins with the website itself. It is always best to select a website that gives you the ability to update your content, products, prices, etc., on your own rather than relying on the developer. Some popular CMS (content management systems) include Wordpress, Drupal and Joomla. internet concept backgroundYou will want to select the platform that work best with your shopping cart. We talk about that in just a bit. 

The next consideration when starting an ecommerce website is selection of a shopping cart. The shopping cart software allows you to set up your products and services for sale on the Internet. There are many commercially available shopping carts available to choose from. You will want to select the cart that offers the functionality you are looking for. You will want to look for a cart that offers merchant tools, supports many payment options, offers configuration for shipping and taxes, offers real-time statistics and reporting, and has the appropriate security. You will also want to select a shopping cart that is compatible with your payment gateway. This will illuminate the cost associated with integrating your shopping cart and merchant account. Maxx Merchants is compatible with over 25 commercially available shopping carts.

Your next step when starting an ecommerce website is the hosting service. The hosting service provides a home for your website on the Internet and allows your customers to reach you. You will want to select a hosting service that offers the appropriate functionality for your site and shopping cart. Most services offer various packages for a monthly service fee. I like as the hosting is free and they let you upgrade as necessary for any functionality you might require.

So you have your website, your hosting service and your shopping cart all dialed in but the most important part of starting an ecommerce website is accepting payment.

There are 2 pieces that need to be considered when starting an ecommerce website; The Payment Gateway and the Merchant Account.

The payment gateway is the application that connects your website shopping cart to your merchant account. The job of the payment gateway is to collect the credit card information from the customer, encrypt it and sent it to the merchant account for processing. When selecting a payment gateway you want to select one that is compatible with your shopping cart, offers good pricing, has the ability to facility all payment functions (payments, voids, refunds, etc), offers robust fraud protection, is PCI compliant and has an interface for you to run reports on your sales. The Maxx Payment Gateway offers all these features giving you complete control over your transactions.

Next is selection of a merchant account. The merchant account’s job is to authorize the card that is being used for payment and then deposit those authorized transactions into your bank account. It’s important to choose a merchant account that offers good rates on processing, has 24 hour turn around on settled transactions, offers live customer support, has high approval rates and low merchant attrition. You want a processor that stands behind your account and consults you as to the very best way to set up your ecommerce website. Maxx Merchants can provide you the level of service you expect for your merchant account.

The last piece of the puzzle in starting an ecommerce website is your marketing. All of your efforts are wasted if no one knows your site exists. Make sure you design your site with all the current search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. You will also want to post your new site on all the most popular social networking sites.
Good luck and if you need any assistance I am here to help and you can contact me directly.

Alex Neir – (800)917-8026,


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Tags: Payment Gateway, Ecommerce, Maxx Payment Gateway