Payment processing can be complicated. We want to make it un-complicated. Every industry has its own set of technical terms that the usual layperson isn’t familiar with (and why would they be?). Here are a few commonly unknown or misunderstood terms in the payment processing world described in what we like to call “plain English.” Give them a once over – and remember: we’re here to help with any questions you have!
Interchange is the rate set by a credit card association that we (your merchant service provider – or MSP) pay to the issuing bank. These rates vary based on several factors like card type (debit/rewards/business) and the way a card payment is accepted (chip/swipe/online). These interchange rates apply to and are the same for all MSPs, no matter how big or small.
Assessment fees are charges incurred as part of processing a credit card. Revenue generated from these fees goes directly to your credit card company (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) and is subject to change at their discretion. This means that no credit card processor can offer you a lower rate or better deal on these assessment fees.
Europay, MasterCard, Visa (which make up the acronym EMV) is currently the most secure way to run transactions from a plastic credit card or debit card. This technology uses a computer chip on your card to authenticate the transaction. As of October 1st, 2015 if a business can’t accept an EMV chip card and has to swipe the magnetic stripe, the business is 100% liable for any fraud dispute. The business automatically loses the dispute and is liable to refund the customer, regardless of if the transaction was fraud or not.