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Square Up and PayPal are Payment Aggregators | Benefits and Drawbacks

Posted by Alex Neir on Fri, October 19, 2012 @ 01:56 PM
Payment Aggregator
First let’s discuss what a payment aggregator is. A payment aggregator establishes a merchant account and then lets other businesses accept credit card payments and bank transfers on the aggregators account. The payment aggregator facilitates the credit card transaction or bank transfer on behalf of the business. The business is then paid by the aggregator for the completed transactions.

The benefit of using an aggregator’s account to facilitate electronic payments (Square Up or PayPal) include:

  1. Fewer requirements for establishing the account. Most aggregators require only simple contact information and rarely require any financial documentation or credit information.
  2. Simplicity of set up.  Most of the time the account can be applied for and set up immediately.
  3. Ease of use. Most aggregators have identified a niche market and have simplified their system to accommodate their target market. For example Square Up is ideal for low volume mobile merchants that want to achieve a swiped card rate. PayPal’s niche is low volume internet businesses that want a simplified payment processing solution for website stores.
  4. Cheap. Most aggregators pricing, for facilitating electronic payments, is less expensive than a traditional merchant account up to a certain volume level. At what volume should you switch off a Square Up account? At what volume should you switch off a PayPal account?

Drawback of using an aggregator’s account to facilitate electronic payments (Square Up or PayPal) include:

  1. Money is not your money. The business receives a payment from the aggregator. The funds collected from customer’s credit card transactions or bank transfers are the property of the aggregator. The aggregator then makes a payment, equal to the total received from all the transactions, back to the business. Less fees of course. Now these businesses would not be in business long if they withheld funds from businesses that use their account. But it is very important to know that if you violate your terms of agreement they can hold your funds indefinitely. You don’t own that money.
  2.  Expensive at higher volume levels. Once your monthly volume exceeds a predetermined level, the cost associated with using an payment aggregators service is more than a traditional merchant account. When using Square Up, once your volume exceeds $4,300 it is cheaper to establish your own merchant account. When using Paypal, once you exceed $2,000 a month you are better off with your own merchant account.
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Tags: Merchant Account, Payment Aggregator, PayPal Comparison, Merchant Account better than Square Up, Square Credit Card Reader

Bad Merchant Service Provider | Tips on how to avoid them

Posted by Alex Neir on Fri, June 29, 2012 @ 11:31 AM
Bad Merchant Service Provider

With so many companies offering merchant services it easy to find numerous providers that are interested in only one thing - taking your money. Accepting credit cards is important for a business to be successful, however selecting the right merchant service provider is as important, if not more.

When shopping for a merchant service provider it is advisable to give yourself ample time to review and understand the account before moving forward. Rushing to get the account set up is the fastest way to lock yourself into an account and contract that is unfavorable. Make sure to read the entire agreement and ask questions on the items you are unsure about.  A bad merchant service provider will be unwilling to spend the time necessary for you to feel comfortable with what you are signing up for.

Remember, you get what you pay for. The cheapest provider is usually a good indicator for a bad merchant service provider. No merchant service provider can attain wholesale pricing lower than another. That being the case, everything costs the same so the price charged should be about the same. If a provider is advertising rates significantly lower than the market rate they will make it up somewhere else. It’s simply a fact.  

A bad merchant service provider will be pushy with the sale and inevitably try to lease equipment or charge a huge mark up. Never, repeat never, lease processing equipment, you end up paying upwards of 10 times the actual cost of the equipment. Check prices for equipment on the internet so you know about what the equipment should cost. If you are being charged significantly more, you have an idea that the provider is not acting in your best interest.

A good provider takes the time to help you understand what you are signing up for. The rates for the service are clearly outlined and explained. A good provider is willing to negotiate the rates so that you are comfortable with the pricing.

The merchant services industry is extremely competitive and in order to stay in business a provider must offer good service and rates. Make sure to check the age of the company you are considering. If they have been around for 10 years or more, chance are they are doing something right.

Tags: Merchant Account, Bad Merchant Service Provider, Merchant Account Education

QuickBooks Merchant Account Solutions

Posted by Alex Neir on Tue, November 22, 2011 @ 09:59 AM
QuickBooks Merchant Account

Does your business run QuickBooks? Are you interested in offering credit cards as a form of payment for invoices you generate from your QuickBooks account?

Integrating a credit card payment solution into the QuickBooks environment is exactly what we have done. Our QuickBooks plug-in installs directly into QuickBooks Enterprise, QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier software applications.

The power of the plug-in is to directly apply credit card payments to invoices that are created within your QuickBooks edition. Credit card payments can be applied to new invoices, open invoices and can even be split on a single invoice with ease and convenience.

All credit card information is securely stored off site in our PCI-DDS compliant facilities. At no time is any customer credit card information stored on your computer or business servers. The application supports card present swiped transactions as well as card not present keyed transactions.

Installation is a snap and the functionality is easy to use as is mimics the QuickBooks workflow. For more information on this revolutionary product please call our friendly staff at (800)917-8026 and request a demo.  

Tags: Merchant Account, Credit Card Processing Account, QuickBooks Merchant Account

Payment Processing Solutions for Every Business

Posted by Alex Neir on Tue, September 20, 2011 @ 12:24 PM
Payment Process

Payment Processing Solutions for Every Business

Every business needs a payment process that is convenient, well structured and dependable. The right process will save you time, will be cost effective and will eliminate potential issues from occurring. 

For Any Business

Whether your business is in retail, media, sports, health, etc., they can all benefit from credit card payment processing. This payment process is suitable for any business.

  • Retail - Merchandise is purchased and sold from an established and fixed location.
  • eCommerce - Used for buying and selling products and/or services via electronic systems, such as the Internet and other PC networks.
  • Mail Orders / Telephone Orders - The main source of income for a merchant is provided through mail and telephone sales.
  • Wireless - Wireless processing is utilized by merchants who operate their business remotely. A mobile business needs the ability to effectively process wireless payment transactions.

With the right service you will receive:

  • Experience - The right payment processor will have the experience and know how to efffectively deal with and meet any need that may arise.
  • Exceptional customer service - The right processing service will be available to answer any questions or concerns 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Expert Chargeback Management - Working with the merchants to decrease the amount of chargeback conflicts and disputes, as well as supply adequate procedures for payment processing.
  • Effective Fraud Prevention Tools - The right processor will effectively combat fraud. A good process will help to reduce fraudulent transactions from occurring. The processor will support systems including, MasterCard SecureCode, Verified by Visa, the Card Security Codes (CVV2, CVC 2, and CID) and the Address Verification Service (AVS).

The Takeaway

Merchants must be diligent in their search for the appropriate payment processing solution for their business. The right processor will be able to suit your needs and will provide the most efficient solutions. The ideal processor will have a well maintained processing structure, will meet specific areas of expertise and will provide excellent rates.

If you would like to speak to a represenative at Maxx Merchants to discuss a customized solution specifically addressing your businesses unique needs please call (800)917-8026. Or shoot us a messaage on our contact us page.

Tags: Interchange Fees, Merchant Account, Mail and Telephone Order, Payment Processing, Internet Credit Card Processing

Small Business Startup – Setting Up a Merchant Account

Posted by Alex Neir on Tue, August 09, 2011 @ 10:32 AM
Denver Credit Card Processing

Small Business Startup – Setting Up a Merchant Account

Starting a small business can be equally vexing and liberating.  Any given enterprise can present the ambitious entrepreneur with a wide array of perplexing variables.  Paramount to the success of any consumer based business, particularly one in a metropolitan environment such as Denver, is the ability to accept the widest possible selection of payments. 

  1. Denver credit card processing can be handled by an assortment of merchant banks, easily found and readily available. What follows is a concise list instructing the determined business owner on how to obtain such an account. 
  2. Complete a merchant account application.  This is a standard form in which basic information relating to both the business as well as personal information about the owner is collected.  Details such as social security number, address, contact info, and bank account information are all required inclusions.  
  3. Agree to a personal guarantee, accepting liability for all debts should the business fail.
  4. Provide necessary documents of business identification. These include Articles of Incorporation, or, if the business in question is a sole proprietorship, a list of all Doing Business As (DBA) names.  In addition if the business requires a license to operate this must be presented as well.
  5. Three months of financial statements pertaining to the business are typically required. In the event that the business has already been accepting credit cards and is simply looking for new service, recent processing statements will also be necessary.
  6. Provide a voided check from the bank account associated with the business, opened with the listed DBA name.
  7. Submit to a credit check.
  8. A local inspection is required to determine if the physical facilities of the business are sufficient to conduct the owner's intended service.
  9. The owner must clear a check of the Terminated Merchant File.
  10. Lastly, a satisfactory examination must be made of the owner's previous merchant agreements if applicable.

The process of starting a Denver credit card processing account is quick and easy once your business is organized and ready to go. Please give us a call at (800)917-8026 if you would like to get started with a credit card processing account.

Tags: Merchant Account, Credit Card Processing Denver, Denver Merchant Services

When is an Actual Merchant Account Better Than Square Up

Posted by Alex Neir on Thu, July 21, 2011 @ 12:44 PM
Merchant Account Better Than Square Up

When is an Actual Merchant Account better than Square Up

When is an Actual Merchant Account better than Square Up? The short answer, when your sales total more than $4,300 a month.

The Square Up mobile processing solution is a great deal for very small businesses that are transacting less than $4,300 a month. Square Up advertises no monthly fees with a qualified rate of 2.75% combined with a non-qualified rate of 3.50% and $0.15 per transaction. This account set up is very attractive especially for businesses that are mobile and have relatively small sales volume.

So when does it make sense to set up an actual merchant account? There are a few factors to consider.

  1. Square Up’s $1,000 weekly cap
  2. A merchant account is less expensive at a monthly sales volume above $4,300

Square Up’s $1,000 weekly cap – Square Up imposes a weekly cap of $1,000 in card-not-present sales. If the account exceeds the $1,000 cap all monies that exceed the $1,000 cap are held for 30 days.

A merchant account is less expensive at a monthly sales volume above $4,300 – When we look at the percentage of total cost for both an actual merchant account and Square Up account we see that the total cost for a merchant account drops below 2.75% when sales exceed $4,300 for the month.

 Merchant Account Better than Square UP

This analysis assumes the following:

  • Average sale amount of $25
  • Total monthly service fees for the merchant account total $19.00 a month
  • Total monthly service fees for Squared Up total $0.00 a month
  • Per transaction fee for the merchant account is $0.20
  • Per transaction fee for Squared Up is $0.00
  • Qualified rate for the merchant account is 1.49%
  • Qualified rate for Squared Up is 2.75%

Another important consideration when considering a switch from Squared Up to a merchant account is to make sure the new solution has the same mobile credit card processing capability.

If you are interested in how this information was compiled please drop me an email at 

Tags: Merchant Account, Merchant Account better than Square Up, Square Credit Card Reader

Credit Card Processing in Denver, CO

Posted by Alex Neir on Tue, June 28, 2011 @ 06:52 AM
Credit Card Processing Denver

Credit Card Processing in Denver, CO

Is your business located in Denver or the surrounding areas? Are you looking for local credit card processing in Denver? Do you want the added comfort of a local business that is able to respond personally to any issues you may have?

Maxx Merchants located in Denver is a premier provider of credit card processing. Founded in 2001 Maxx has consistently maintained a top 5 standing with Wells Fargo for merchant retention. In other words Maxx Merchants consistently exceeds customer expectations when it comes to credit card processing.

Maxx Merchants offers a full line up of credit card processing products for the Denver market. Some of which include:

Our sales staff is required to maintain a rigorous understanding of our entire product suite with detailed comprehension on how to adapt each product to the specific needs of each business. Every sales associate maintains a working relationship with the business / merchant for life of the account. This attention to customer service ensures each business is set up correctly and is well cared for.

In addition to a dedicated sales representative each business has 24 hour a day 7 days a week access to technical support. Maxx’s tech support is US based, live, English speaking personnel that have direct access to the bank-end credit card processing network. This results in first call issue resolution. If your account experiences difficulties you are 1 call away from a resolution.

Our attitude is the customer comes first. We will do everything in our power to make sure your experience with credit card processing is a good one. Please allow us to show you how integrity, professionalism and attention to detail translates to a partnership for your credit cards processing needs.

Tags: Merchant Account, Credit Card Processing Denver, Payment Processing

Top 7 benefits of accepting credit cards for your business

Posted by Alex Neir on Thu, May 19, 2011 @ 02:12 PM
Accepting Credit Cards

Top 7 benefits of accepting credit cards for your business

Credit cards are one of the most accepted payment systems for the purchase of goods and services that add ease and convenience for both buyers and sellers. Lets look at how businesses can benefit by accepting credit cards as a mode of payment.

  1. According to the researchers on consumer’s habit, people using credit cards to make purchases are mostly impulsive by nature. The average credit card user buys 2.5 times more than people who use other forms of payment. The obvious conclusion, any business that offers the convenience of credit cards as a form of payment can increase their revenue.
  2. When you accept credit cards as a way of transacting payment, it creates a sense of security in the mind of your customers. If the product does not live up to the standards for which it was advertised, there is a dispute process in which the customer can get their money back.
  3. It has been proven that credit cards help to enlarge the sales of a business by embracing a wider customer base. The ease and convenience of using a credit card to pay, plays a significant role in generating greater sales.
  4. Companies that offer an online purchase option from their websites enable greater hours of operation. Credit card payment from the website allows for business automation that results in greater sales with less expense.
  5. International sales become easy with an international merchant account. An off shore international account allow for sales to be completed in native currency with deposits linked to a single account in any desired country.
  6. Credit card transactions are processed in real time. So settlement is quick and easy without the need for complicated account receivable management.
  7. Setting up a credit card merchant account takes less than 24 hours. 

Tags: Merchant Account, Accepting Credit Cards, Payment Processing

Credit card processing, a bad experience

Posted by Alex Neir on Thu, May 05, 2011 @ 03:06 PM
Credit Card Processing

Credit card processing, a bad experience

Like many things in life, individual experience with credit card processing shapes an opinion of the industry. More often than not, that experience is greatly influenced by the sales representative that was hired to complete the account set up. If your business has had a bad experience with a credit card processing account, the rep was most likely the reason!

Why was the rep the reason for a bad experience?

Within the credit card processing industry the vast majority of companies setting up accounts are referred to as Independent Sales Organizations (ISO), with the actual underwriting and functions of the account being handled by a credit card processor. The relationship between the ISO and the credit card processor is outlined in a contract between the two entities. The contract spells out the agreement and terms for which the ISO is able to sell credit card processing.

Each ISO negotiates their contract with the credit card processor individually to determine the specifics of the service the ISO is able to sell. Things like the commission payout, price, quota, and restrictions are all specific to each ISO’s contract. What this means is that a sales representative for one ISO may be able to waive the monthly minimum fee and annual fee on a credit card processing account while another representative, working for the same processor, can not.  

Another major aspect of a perceived bad experience with credit card processing has to do with the price. Again, it’s important to understand that the price is a function of the contract in place with the processor. The sales representative your business works with has clearly defined pricing established with their processor. In order for the sales representative to make money they must “mark-up” the resale rate offered to your business. Therefore, if you feel like you have been taken advantage of, it is likely that the sales representative you are/were using had poorly negotiated contract pricing, or they are/were greedy. 

Therefore, it is exceedingly important to select am ISO and sales representative that is able to set their own pricing. A good organization will be able to work directly with your business to customize a pricing structure that meets your businesses specific needs.

Another important item for consideration when selecting an ISO and sales representative is how they conduct their business. Your sale representative shouldn’t disappear once the credit card processing account has been approved and set up. Your sales rep should be available to consult your business on best practices, issue resolution, account maintenance and general support. Your credit card processing account should be a health relationship built on trust and responsiveness for as long as the account is active.

The credit card processing account agent you select functions as your ambassador and advocate for the life of your account. Selecting the right one can completely alter your experience and ultimately change your perception of the industry.

As a wholesale ISO, Maxx Merchants has established themselves as a leader in the credit card processing industry with exceptional pricing and the industries best customer service. Allow me the opportunity to set up your account and I guarantee your expectations will be exceeded. Contact me directly at (800)917-8026.

Tags: Merchant Account, Payment Processing, Bad Experience with Credit Card Processing

Best practice account set up for international credit card processing

Posted by Alex Neir on Wed, April 27, 2011 @ 04:08 PM
International Credit Card Processing

Best practice account set up for international credit card processing

Does your business sell products internationally? Are you looking to establish a solution that is compliant with association regulations and sustainable?

Visa / Master Card association regulations state that a business should have only one Merchant ID (MID) per product line. However, there are exceptions to this rule, a merchant is permitted to have multiple accounts for a product line if the intention is to acquire greater volume limits. Multiple accounts are also permitted to route international transactions to an appropriate account for processing. NOTE: It is strictly prohibited for a merchant to acquire multiple merchant accounts in order to spread charge back volume and occurrence.

I order to achieve the best possible rate for processing international credit card transactions, it is important to route the transaction to a specific account for processing. This is achieved through the set up of multiple merchant accounts in addition to deployment of software that determines the IP address of the computer initiating the order. Once the origination of the order is determined the transaction can be routed to the appropriate merchant account for processing.

All United Stated originated sales should be routed to a US based merchant account. In order to establish a US based merchant account the requirements are as follows:

  1. Incorporation in the United States
  2. United States Bank Account
  3. United States based credit history
  4. United States identification

With a US based merchant account you will have a 5% - 10% limit on international transactions.  There for any non-US originated sales need to be routed to an international or off-shore merchant account for processing.

International merchant accounts can be set up in numerous countries. Most merchant account providers offering international / off-shore merchant accounts will handle the entire account set up. Set up typically requires incorporation in the selected country as well as establishment of a domestic bank account. Again, the incorporation and bank account set up are offered as a service of the merchant account provider. Once complete, all international transactions (with the exception of the US based transactions if you are able to establish a US based account) should be routed to this account.

Lastly, all domestically originated transactions (relative to the businesses home country) should be routed domestically.

This merchant account solution set up ensures your international sales are routed to the account where you receive the best possible rate for processing.

For more information pertaining to merchant account set up for international sale please contact us at (800)917-8026. 

Tags: Merchant Account, International Credit Card Processing, Credit Card Processing