Credit Card Processing Payment Processing Technology

Smile to pay by MasterCard has some privacy concerns

Payment giant, MasterCard has raised some debate about data storage and tracking with their new biometrics checkout.

The company is rolling out a controversial program which allows shoppers to pay at checkout with just a smile or hand wave, as it tries to secure a piece of the $18b biometrics market.

Civil rights groups have raised eyebrows towards face recognition technology; however this is not keeping MasterCard from proceeding with a biometric checkout. The company claims it will speed up payments to make for shorter lines and provide more security than a standard credit or debit card. The payment company also said the new payment system
would be more hygienic, tapping into the Covid health concerns.

“Once enrolled, there is no need to slow down the checkout queue searching through their pockets or bag,” MasterCard said. “Consumers can simply check the bill and smile into a camera or wave their hand over a reader to pay.”

The program pilot launched at five St Marche supermarkets in São Paulo, Brazil. Shoppers were able to register for biometric payments in store or via an app with their local Payface partner.

A spokesperson for MasterCard reported UK rollout was near and that the company was having good conversations with potential partners

The program is part of MasterCard’s efforts to enter the contactless biometrics technology. According to KBV Research data, this market segment is expected to be worth $18.6b by 2026. The payments giant is competing with big tech rivals such as Amazon, which has palm readers at its stores.

MasterCard says there is research suggesting that 74% of global consumers had a “positive attitude” towards biometric technology. This has a attracted criticism from US politicians due to data privacy concerns and activists have also raised concerns over data storage and tracking.

Data and security concerns using biometrics are real. A password can be changed, your smile and wave can’t. If biometric data is hacked, the risk of fraudulent activity could be considerably higher than current payment methods.

What lots of savvy small business owners use these days is opt to use remote deposit, the process of recording a check image which can be transmitted electronically in place of a paper check. The process of taking a picture from any smart phone is seamless through the mobile app and the funding is faster.

MasterCard has taken steps to protect and encrypt this data, but as biometric payments become more common the use of this data will evolve and it may become harder to protect ones’ privacy.

Credit Card Processing Home Service Repair Businesses Mobile Check Processing Payment Processing Technology Small business tools

Payment Apps for Business

Appliance repair companies with two or multiple technicians in the field use a variety of credit card processing equipment but that’s not necessary with todays advanced technology. Did you know that your appliance business can accept all forms of payments for services from a smartphone using an app.

With the world moving to smartphones it only makes sense to move ALL your payments to remote payments too. Knowing the ins and outs will help you compare the many different features you have at your fingertips.

What are the processing rates for each app. Do they use interchange plus, flat rate and do they allow you to surcharge? You’ll also need to be able to determine what you need to stream line reporting or if the app exports needed accounting data.

Common Types of Payment Apps


Zelle works well for very small or family appliance repair companies. The app has been adopted by many national banks and works by having the money move within minutes, directly into your bank account associated with your profile.

The downsides of using Zelle are it only works if your current bank currently offers it.  If you have more than two technicians it won’t allow for sub accounts so everyone making deposit access the same account.  Savvy business owners also need to easily recap deposits at the end of day or week. If you have a healthy business and more than two technicians, deposits get combined making it harder to reconcile.

Zelle also doesn’t offer remote check uploads. It is just an app to send funds.  It is free for customers to send however you will need to check with Zelle to see what they will specifically charge your business.


Venmo was originally created for friends to send or receive money quickly. It has feature like splitting bills and adding fun notes which helped it to catch on quickly with Gen X and Y’s.

The app now allows for business to accept payments.  You can add a business profile to a personal profile easily. There is no monthly fee however be aware there is a low seller transaction fee of 1.9% + $0.10 on business profiles (fee can change & other fees may apply).

It’s pretty easy to create a business profile if you have an existing Venmo login.  This will allow you to track personal transactions separately from business. You can accept payments virtually through their app with a unique QR code which is a secure simple way to pay.

Venmo has a couple of downsides.  The app doesn’t allow for remote check uploads and like Zelle. If you have several technicians it doesn’t offer sub accounts so all deposit go directly into one account.

iWallet Business

iWallet Business is a revolutionary app that’s designed to process credit cards and accept checks in the field. Using iWallet Business gives your technicians the freedom to essentially accept all forms of credit cards and also make remote check uploads in the field (including corporate checks, consumer checks, cashier’s checks and money orders). This sets it apart from the other two apps.

It is easy and free to download iWallet Business for both android and iPhone. The app supports accounting functions needed to run a successful business and includes QuickBooks integrations for accounting. Sign up and account approvals are fast. The app includes bank level security and has a QR code touchless processing feature to keep your employees and customers safe from germs.

The key feature is iWallet Business is one of the only a few business apps that converts paper checks into electronic transactions. This allows businesses to receive funds faster and improve working capital. It works by selecting the check icon at bottom of app, using a smart phone camera your technician can upload checks directly into individual accounts. Individual sub accounts keep every technicians business private and easy to reconcile at the end of the day/week.

If your technicians want to get a little extra for their good work, iWallet offers a tipping option. In the app tap “Tipping” and turn the toggle on.

With all these three apps, you can optimize the speed of invoice collection. The only caveat is if you want to keep all customers happy you need to accept all forms of payments.  Look for remote check uploads to convert all forms of paper checks into electronic transactions. This will set your business apart while saving time by not having to run them to make bank deposit at a local branch.

Credit Card Processing Interchange Plus Small business tools

The Importance to Compare Different Payment Pricing to see Which Models is Best to Achieve Your Goals.

Payment innovation has evolved and customers are using credit cards for payments more and more because it’s convenient.

But do you know what Interchange Plus, Fixed rate, Cash Discounting and Surcharge Pricing means? If not it this should help you to understand the different pricing models.

Payment Pricing Models

When it comes to credit cards, there are lots of cards your customers will use. Reward cards, platinum cards, student cards, no-fee cards, low-fee cards and travel cards, and each type comes with a different rate for processing. This is a fee that the merchant pays every time someone uses that card.

Every credit card brand (e.g. Visa, MasterCard, Discover) has a published, percentage-based on the interchange fee that they charge every time their cardholders uses their credit card – the cost of authorizing the charge.

Effective Rate

The effective rate is what you are being charged. The best way to know your effective rate is to take a recent statement, look at your fees, than divide that number by how much you processed in credit card sales.

The problem with traditional pricing models is they can hide the interchange cost which allows them to charge a markup. Processors consolidate a variety of rates into a smaller numbers; essentially “round up” to the highest rate in each tier. This makes monthly statements easy to read and makes it hard to see what the real rate the transactions are charged. It also allows the possibility of paying higher rates!

Interchange Plus

Interchange plus, also referred to as “cost plus” pricing, is straightforward pricing. Using cost plus pricing is transparent because it is more difficult to have hidden fees. With this pricing, processors take all the bank fees, card brand fees and pass them to the business owner, then add their markup fee (i.e 20%). You can check out all the interchange rates as they are published by Visa and MasterCard.

With interchange pricing, the business owner pays the non-negotiable interchange fee for the type of credit card and the payment processor markup. The markup is calculated by adding the interchange fee, a basis point mark-up and a per-transaction fee charged by the payment processor.

By showing you the actual interchange costs, interchange-plus pricing allows you to easily see what the markup is. This encourages processors to set reasonable markups plus this transparency helps ensure you are getting the best rates.

Fixed Rate Pricing

The fixed rate model, aka “flat rate” is simple which why it is appealing to appliance repair business owners.  If you want to know your real operating costs, paying a flat rate for processing will make the most sense because there are no hidden fees.

Fixed rate is easy to understand and can result in bottom line savings. Business owners can easily calculate credit card processing fees since the rate is the same each month, no matter what type of card or transaction method is used.

Apps like iWallet Business offer a consistent low flat rate which is why it lots of appliance repair business owners are switching to this. For budgeting you know what to expect—2.3% processing for businesses that process over one million per year and 2.5% for under.  

Cash Discounting

A true cash discount program gives the customer a discount for cash payments and avoids additional costs. This model passes the cost of acceptance back to customers who choose to pay with a credit card or debit card.

Giving discounts for cash is legal in all of the 50 states and is well received by the customer. Cash discounting has been around for decades and gaining in popularity. Gas stations have used cash discounts for many years. Paying with cash costs the customer a little less per gallon than paying with a credit card. There are a handful of specific rules to follow to stay compliant, be sure to work with a provider that will help you navigate these rules.

Surcharge Pricing

A surcharge program is a type of credit card processing where you charge the consumer an additional fee “surcharge” on top of the cost of service to cover the merchant processing cost. Surcharge programs are currently legal in almost all 50 states.

A surcharge program recoups merchant service fees that are charged when the customer presents a credit card as payment. A surcharge program doesn’t feel as good to the customer because it adds the additional fee at checkout.

Selecting the best option for your business Paying with a credit card is convenient and fast, but the processing rate differs on each credit card with effects your fees. On top of that monthly fees are determined by the card types, and merchant fees are added on top of the actual cost. It can be hard to decide between the different programs so be sure to consider the many before implementing a new program into your operations. Learning the different terms and how they can help your bottom line and potentially keep more money in your bank account.

Credit Card Processing Interchange Plus Payment Processing Technology

Compare Your Credit Card Processing Fees to See If You Can Save Money

The rates that you pay will vary depending on the processor and the pricing model of your individual payment processer.  

If you’re considering a new credit card processor, here’s valuable information to help you compare your options so you won’t be misled.

What is Your Savings Potential?

Check your most recent statement to what you are currently paying. If you process over 1m annually and are paying more than 2.5% this may be a good time to push back on your current provided and ask for a fee reduction.

Or it may make more sense to explore other competitive options to learn how you can save on fees. If you have the tools and education, your decision to stay with current processor or move will be easier.

Interchange Plus

Interchange-plus is a pricing model where credit card processors break down the fees that go to the bank or credit card issuer and their markup. There are two components — the interchange fee determined by the card networks and a markup set by the credit card processing company.

The transaction fees that the merchant’s bank account must pay whenever a customer uses a credit/debit card for payment. The fees are paid to the card-issuing bank to pay handling costs, bad debt costs, fraud and the risk involved in the payment approval.

What you need to understand is that there are hundreds of interchange categories – all with different rates. Different categories apply to different transactions, but the processor doesn’t control when they apply. In any given month, multiple interchange rates will appear on your statement; however these rates are the same no matter which processor you use.

Interchange –is the fee that comes directly from the card networks like Visa and Mastercard.  Payment processors have no control on these rates, and are required to pay.

Plus – The “plus” is the markup that your credit card processor is charging on top of the interchange fee. This is the percentage fee and a transaction cost.

Generally, interchange-plus pricing is more favorable for small businesses compared other with pricing models such as This is because interchange-plus is not only more transparent, but businesses usually end up paying lower processing costs with this model.

Here’s how interchange-plus stacks up compared with other common pricing models.

Tiered Pricing

Tiered pricing is probably the most common credit card processing model because it simplifies your fees by breaking them down into three main tiers — qualified, mid-qualified and non-qualified.

Qualified Rates –Transactions that fall under this category have lower fees attached to them,

Mid-Qualified – Is the percentage rate charged whenever they accept a credit card that does not qualify for the lowest rate

Non-Qualified –These transactions will charge your higher rates for.

The nature of a transaction will determine the category in which it belongs. Debit cards and non-reward credit card transactions typically fall under the qualified rate, while transactions involving corporate cards, higher rewards cards, and card-not-present transactions would be under the non-qualified category.

Since your transactions are categorized into 3 tiers, the tiered model makes your statement easier to read. The major downside is the tiered pricing model lacks transparency when it comes to your fee breakdown.

Blended Pricing

Blended rates are bundled so that the merchant is paying one overall cost each month which includes a percentage of the transaction total plus a flat fee. This pricing model is used by Square, Stripe and PayPal and the rate might be 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions. There is no clear way to determine what you are paying becasue fees are charged at an equal and unchanged rate month-to-month.

Flat Rate

Flat Rate pricing means that the credit card processor is charging one flat rate for all credit card transactions, regardless of the fluctuating interchange rate. This model is designed to cover all aspects of your processing in one cost.

Don’t Forget Hidden Fees

Be sure to read the contract because sometimes there are hidden fees that add up.

Cancellation Fee – Many processors use contracts with cancellation fees. They know that once you sign that contract, which are usually three years, you’ll have to pay to get out of it.

Processing equipment – Companies like Square, Cover and require the purchase of card readers or POS equipment.

If you want to take more money to the bank by saving on processing fees you should consider iWallet Business App. iWallet has two flat rate processing plans; one for under 1m and 1 for over 1m. No fees to sign up, no equipment to purchase and you can cancel anytime for free.  Understanding what is the best payment processing will help you save money. Do your processing research and select the best pricing model for your business needs.

Credit Card Processing

Best Time to Shop for Deals

With Christmas behind us, the end of year bargains are here! Don’t you want the best deals you can find — especially during these tough times? Whether you are looking for specific items like winters clothes, warm coats, holiday decorations or a new car, these deals start now with many more are to be found all year long.

December is typically one of the best months to purchase a several items like a new car. reports the highest discounts off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, 6.1% on average.  Salespeople work on goals, monthly, quarterly and yearly that combined with new models make it a great time to snap up a deal. And starting the day after Christmas, look for deep discounts that are many times 50% or more off on decorations, ornaments, artificial trees, and similar wrapping paper.

Sale ads, coupon savings are everywhere but if you can wait till the end of the month it is truly the best time to shop. Are you wondering what you should purchase this month, or wait until 2021? Below are tips on when to purchase popular big and small ticket items as some months in the year are better than others for certain purchases. Here is a plan that can help you to save money throughout 2021.

New Year’s presents a fresh start to 2021 and for shopping deals.

  • Gym Memberships- COVID permitting, gyms offer sales to help get new members signed up.
  • Fitness equipment- Time to get in shape and retailer offer fitness equipment and apparel sales.
  • Bedding and linens- Department stores hold bedding and linen “white sales” in January with deep discounts on sheets and towels.
  • TVs and electronics- Just before the Super Bowl, retailers normally discount TVs and other home-theater essentials.

The month of love and gifts, plus time to buy major items.

  • TVs- Sales into February and with Super Bowl being the primary reason and the best time to buy a new TV.
  • Winter items- With cold weather winter tapering off, retailers look to selloff inventory of cold-weather products like apparel and winter sports gear.
  • Home goods- Retailers run home and apparel sales before Presidents Day.

March is a little slower but there are always sales to be found.

  • Tax software- With tax-prep ahead, retailers many times will discount items.
  • Grills- Get ready for summer grilling now so you can avoid the price increases when summer arrives.
  • St. Patrick’s Day essentials- Retailers, bars and restaurants usually discount green-themed clothing, party supplies, food and drink specials.

April showers bring spring deals.

  • Tax themed items- Retailers and restaurants offer Tax Day discounts and freebies on services.
  • Vacuums- Need a new vacuum, manufacturers like Dyson many times have nice markdowns.
  • Easter candy- Take advantage of the day after Easter for big markdowns on stuffed animals, plastic eggs and more. Buy now and save for 2022!

May flowers are here and sales are too!

  • Small kitchen appliances- Time to find discounts on your favorite kitchen appliances.
  • Furniture- Memorial Day is one of the three best months to buy furniture and home décor.
  • Spring apparel- By May, retailers will discount spring clothing that has already been hanging on racks for a month or two.

June brings opportunities to snag deals.

  • Gym memberships- Summer is a good time to look for membership or class package deals.
  • Lingerie- Yes Victoria’s Secret host its Semi-Annual Sale. Stock up now and save!

July temperature goes up but prices fall.

  • Patriotic items- Look for Fourth of July red, white and blue products, sporting goods, and outdoor furniture.
  • Personal electronics- Retailers such as Best Buy and Amazon (Prime Day) run July promotions.
  • Apparel- No need to wait till end-of-summer, sales start now.

Summer product close out sales!

  • Outdoor products- Price slashes on lawn mowers and other outdoor equipment.
  • Back to school month- Time to buy pencils and expensive laptops.
  • Swimsuits- Swimming isn’t over days, but swimsuits are all on clearance so buy for next year.

September has its fair share of good buys too.

  • iPhones- Apple usually announces and unveils its new iPhones and many times drops prices on the current phones.
  • Appliances- Expect a series of blowout deals in the week leading up to Labor Day, including promotions on appliances big and small.
  • Mattresses- Time for Labor Day mattress sales at both department stores and mattress centers.

Halloween season brings deals on these products.

  • Jeans- New inventory arrives for Fall so grab a new pair of jeans.
  • Outdoor furniture- Temperatures drop and patio furniture, outdoor living products go on final clearance.
  • Candy- Halloween brings discounted candy for trick-or-treaters. Many times the larger bags are a better buy.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales at last!

  • Electronics- Look for deep discounts on smartphones, TV’s activity trackers, computers and gaming systems.
  • Home appliances- Time to buy washers, dryers, dishwasher and refrigerators.
  • Tools- Home items like ladders and toolboxes are also on sale.

Holidays bring gifting discounts across all areas.

  • Toys and games- Retailers run toys and games specials to move the items.
  • Electronics- Black Friday promotions run from over into this month.
  • Winter Clothes- Shoppers can take advantage of after Christmas sales on fall clothing!
Credit Card Processing

No Contact Matters More Now Than Ever

The Thanksgiving holiday has set a record only it is not the kind of record to brag about. The U.S. is experiencing a surge in COVID- 19 cases. As Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year’s approach, no contact matters now more than ever before!

Families were asked not to gather but many didn’t listen. As a result the U.S. has set a record number of COVID-19 confirmed cases and the numbers are continuing to rise daily! One of the biggest problems America is now facing is hospitals are almost at full capacity. There are very few beds available and emergency rooms are filled! Feeling the strain, some hospitals have resulted to setting up tents. Governors’ in many states have re issued stay at home orders in regions where hospitals surpassed 85 percent intensive care occupancy.

Even though the FDA has approved the first of two vaccines, the public still needs to do their part to control the pandemic. To help mitigate the spread, implementing safety into your everyday work and personal lives is easy. Wear a face covering to cover your mouth and nose in public at all times. The mask will help to protect you in the event you come in contact with someone infected. Disinfect and clean all surfaces daily which include doorknobs, handles, light switches, tables, desks, phones, keyboards, computers, as well as sinks, toilets, faucets and countertops.

The bigger issue is COVID may be spread through people not showing any symptoms. According to the CDC, the virus is thought to be spread mainly from person-to-person. Which is why it may spread between people you are in close contact or through droplets when an infected person sneezes or coughs nearby. Healthy practices are essential to protecting you and your love ones.  Follow the obvious guidelines like avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands were just cleaned.  Make sure to wash your hands often, with soap and for a minimum of 20 seconds.  And wash again after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing. Always avoid close contact with anyone sick.

Eliminate sources of infection

Businesses also need to eliminate as many sources of potential infection. Finding contactless touchpoints will also help reduce the possible sources of infection. Going contactless may become the new normal. There are free apps like QR menu and payment apps which are the safe and secure to use. Anyone can view menus and make payments from their own mobile devices. No fees to sign up or to down load the apps.

It has been reported that even religious organizations are weighing their options for the well-being of their congregations. Many have set up make shift arrangements for outdoor services and have incorporated Zoom worship services, video and phone calls.

With very few beds remaining the biggest takeaway is to eliminate crowded places, limit holiday social gatherings and large family parties.  Staying safe should be top priority. Making sure you everyone wears masks and stays at least 6 feet apart at all times. Keep plenty of clean masks around, place hand sanitizer throughout your business, house and car.

For an up to date data snapshot of how COVID-19 is impacting individual hospitals in your area visit

Credit Card Processing

California Small Businesses Get Help to Stay Open During COVID

COVID-19 has presented several challenges for small businesses, employers and their employees because cases are rising at an alarmingly rapid rate. Most especially for businesses in California where more than 1 million cases have been identified as of December 2020.  Big cities have been the most effected. In Los Angeles alone it was reported by the NY Times more than 370,000 people have had the virus. The state is struggling as they are experiencing the fastest increase in cases to date.

California is home to 4.1 million small businesses which represents 7.2 million workers in California. The state’s mom-and-pop business owners were slowly beginning to reopen after suffering through months of shutdowns. Small business owners were eager to get back at it. Now with the numbers on the rise and partial closures back in place, there are a number of different resources to take advantage of.

State resources

Small businesses drive growth and create jobs for the state and should implement all resources available to them. California Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 can take advantage of temporary Tax Relief in way of state grants and free business apps to stay open. Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced the state will support business throughout the pandemic.

  • Main Street Hiring Tax Credit, which authorizes $100 million in hiring tax credit for qualified small businesses. The credit is equal to $1,000 per qualified employee, up to $100,000 for each small business employer- application opened December 1, 2020
  • Automatic three-month income tax extension for taxpayers filing less than $1 million in sales tax.
  • Extends existing interest and penalty-free payment agreements to companies with up to $5 million in taxable sales.
  • Expanded interest free payment options for large businesses affected.
  • $500 Million for New COVID Relief Grant for Small Business administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA).  Funds are awarded to selected intermediaries with established networks of Community Development Financial Institutions to distribute relief through grants up to $25,000 small businesses throughout the state by early 2021. Non-profits are eligible for these grants. Visit here for updates on availability.
  • Click here for the full list of state support for businesses.

Small business online resources to stay open safely

Small businesses should also do their part to keep their customers and employees healthy.  It is so important to maintain a safe environment for everyone who enters their location. There’s a lot to think about and staying open looks different depending on your business. Here are some free resources and tip to help.

  • Advertise health and safety measures on your website, window or email communication. Let them know they can expect a safe COVID free zone.
  • Implement touchless menus. Free QR menu codes offer contactless ways to view your menu and works with restaurants, bars, spas, and any business with a list of services.
  • Contactless health assessments are a smart, germ free way to screen customers. QR health assessment provides free QR codes.
  • To make contact tracing easier have all customers fill out a free online assessment, print it and keep on file for 30 days.
  • Prevent germs by using free QR payments, a contactless way to accept payment for goods or services.

Income loss from COVID-19 has presented significant challenges to small business owners and their employees. With the new the state support, business should jump on the financial opportunities the governor has created. Whether you’re open or planning to reopening, it’s a smart idea to also implement new COVID resources now or develop a plan so you are ready. Customers want to feel safe.