How to Evaluate a Payment Processor

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When it comes to payment processing, it can be quite confusing. The system can be difficult to understand even basic things, such as what your rate is and the various fees that go along with accepting credit cards.

However, accepting credit cards have become crucial in the world of business today. Our society is shifting towards going paperless, with consumer purchasing preferences moving towards credit cards as opposed to cash. As a business owner you should be aware of these trends to make sure you’re not paying any hidden fees and charges that affect your profits. Here are a few tips for evaluating a payment processor.

Their Rates and Fees

With payment processors, there are a variety of factors that go into the rates and fees you’ll pay to process payments. Some of these may include; monthly sales volume, amount of years you’ve been in business, credit rating, etc. Some processors will advertise a flat rate across the board while some make a customized payment solution, just like we do at Gulf Management Systems. In your search for a processor, some will offer lower rates for business that utilize swiped transactions, sale’s through a credit card machine. This tends to be the most secure and least risky solution.

Their Customer Service Process

As noted, many businesses are unaware of payment processing rates and extra fees involved. This often results in people getting locked into contracts and overpaying way too much for their payment processing. At Gulf Management Systems our payment consultants will go over all our recommended options based off your business and individual needs. We explain all the fees involved, where they come from, and how we will be able to save you the most money. Many business owners are unaware of the various options at their disposal such as credit card processing, E-Checks, and ACH payment processing.

The Application Process

Some companies in the past would send a representative to your place of business to verify the location but that is rare this day and age. Throughout the application process you should be prepared to provide documents such as your business license, tax returns, and other financials. This typically require a two-way access to your bank account if they accept you. This will allow them to deposit funds into your account or even withdraw them in the case of a chargeback.

Takeaway

In all, choosing the appropriate payment processor is a very important decision for your business. At Gulf Management Systems, we’ve been helping business process payments for over 25 years, see how we can help you!  

The 5 Best Ways to Collect Customer Payments

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For business owners, keeping up with payments can be difficult at times. To ensure timely payments, your customers should have a variety of payment options that facilitate an easy transaction on their end.  Having payments that come on time is very important and reduces headaches and frustration!

While payment technologies continue to advance, customer expectations continue to rise. To adapt to this, your business must offer several ways for customers to make payments. No one wants to mail in a check or pay over the phone, they need to have multiple available channels to make payments!

Add a Payment Button To Your Website

Incorporating a simple “pay now” button to your website can be a huge benefit to your customers. Being able to accept payments online is a big hurdle many businesses face. Adding e-Commerce to your business's website is a great way to increase revenue and attract customers. This allows customers to make purchases or pay bills at their personal convenience, saving you time asking for a check or other forms of payment.

Send Online Invoices

Invoices are a common way many professional companies send bills to customers through email. Sending traditional paper invoices to take too long and often results in late bill payments. Through online invoice technology, you’re able to streamline the collection of your payments online. Customers can simply hit a button before being directed into a payment portal to securely make their online payment. With more payments occurring online, customers expect every business to offer online payments.

Accept Recurring Transactions

Accepting recurring payments from customers is the easiest and most cost-effective way to take payments. ACH Payments allow customers to pay from their bank account and every month on a set date the payment will be taken out from their account. Customers can be charged monthly, yearly, or on whichever payment schedule they are on. ACH payments are also the safest way to accept transactions for both customers and businesses. The main benefit of recurring transactions is that customers don’t need to manually enter payments every time they need to make a payment. The transaction is safely processed every month utilizing ACH payments.

Take Payments On-The-Go

For businesses that are on the move, accepting mobile payments can make a big difference. For service-based businesses, they typically rely on customers mailing in checks or writing down credit card information. Using a simple mobile payment system, Gulf Management Systems allow merchants to accept payments wherever they are. Less people carry cash these days and customer preferences are leaning towards credit and debit card payments. Having this kind of flexibility allows businesses to increase their revenue and eases of payments for their customers.

With the right payment technology partner, your business can accept a variety of payments. At Gulf Management systems, we create a customized payment solution that fits YOUR business, contact us today and see how your business can succeed with us!  

Benefits for Businesses to Accept Card Present Transactions

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What is a Card Present Transaction?

Accepting credit card payments in person with a mobile device reader which captures data from swiping a magnetic strip card, dipping an EMV card, or tapping for NFC / contactless transactions, such as a smartphone utilizing Apple Pay. A card present transaction is not only secure for your business but it also creates a sense of security for your customer.

Why should I accept payments in person with a card reader?

There are many reasons to care about accepting a card present transaction. The main reasons are:

1.    The card present transaction will help lower your cost of processing

2.    The card present transaction will help lower your chargeback liability

Lower Processing Fees

Keying in card information will qualify the transaction as a card not present transaction which will always have a higher cost. The higher cost usually always come from the credit card processing fees that make up your rate which are interchange fees, assessment fees, network fees, etc. The fees for card not present transactions are always higher because the chance for fraud and chargebacks are much higher.

With a card present transaction, the cardholder is physically present with the card at the point of the transaction. Credit card processing fees are much lower for card present transactions because the reduction in liability in fraud and chargebacks are much lower. Thus, qualifying you for lower cost credit card processing fees, and ultimately saving you money.

Reduce Chargeback Liability

Card networks (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX) and processors presume card-present transactions are less of a risk. However, as a merchant, you will always have liability for chargebacks with card present transaction, but your chances with the card not present transactions will usually be a lot higher.

The EMV liability shift that took place a couple years ago now plays a crucial role in your business regarding EMV chip cards. However, if your business accepts an EMV card by swiping and/or keying it in you’re liable for the fraud that can occur. Using an EMV capable card reader, the fraud stays with the processor.

Learn Today

Speak with a payment consultant today to learn how to not only lower costs from credit card processing fees but to also process more secure transactions. Call us at 800-947-3156 to see how we can help your business!

ACH Billing is Made Easy with Gulf Management Systems

What is ACH Billing and How Can It Help My Business?

If you’re unfamiliar with ACH billing look at our previous post on ACH. However, ACH processing is a powerful method of payment both for receivables and payables, as it can help streamline cash flow from many aspects of business operations. ACH has many uses as it can serve many different facets for a business from a receivables perspective, from offering an optional payment method versus credit cards, not to mention it is usually more cost effective from the merchant perspective, it is commonly used for recurring billing and is also a method of account on file for variable debits.

ACH processing for receivables can be processed by various payment processing software, point of sale hardware, and by an ACH payment gateway API which gives a lot of flexibility for billing for many types of businesses. ACH is also useful in terms of payables for streamlining many business operations from direct deposit (payroll), payouts, and reimbursements. ACH processing for payables is facilitated by various methods from uploading NACHA files facilitated by software and is also API driven by pushing credits for direct deposit.

The Gulf Management Advantage

Utilizing Gulf Management Systems billing software, merchants can process one-time payments, recurring payments, or variable payments, efficiently and securely. Our billing software offers your business many other advantages. You’re able to edit payment information & schedule payments with our fully functional web-based software. We allow businesses to Accept all payment methods, such as credit cards, ACH, and eCheck. There are also simple reporting features along with free authorization and payment forms. We can transform your business into an omnichannel solution, with online, in person, and telephone payments.

Discover How ACH Can Help Your Business

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The Benefits of using SOAP API

SOAP(Simple Object Access Protocol) is a messaging protocol specification which exchanges structured information within the specification of the web services within computer networks. It’s necessary because it induces independence, extensibility, and neutrality. SOAP allows the processes running on separate operating systems the ability to operate and communicate using XML(Extensible Markup Language). Read more to see the benefits of SOAP API.

One of the advantages of SOAP is that it has universal description, discovery, and integration features. It acts as a director of web service interfaces which are described in the language of WSDL(web services description language). SOAP also allows businesses the flexibility of integrating their existing software using its protocols which is important. This integration allows multiple platforms such as Solaris, Linux, or Windows. SOAP can be utilized for facilitating batch or single ACH transactions.

There’s also a few other advantages to SOAP. The neutrality of SOAP especially makes it suitable for the use of any transport protocol. The implementations that often use HTTP as a transport protocol, but there’s also other transport protocols that can be used. When SOAP is combined with HTTP exchanges, it tunnels easily through the existing proxies and firewalls. Lastly, SOAP is available in XML and all its facilities, which includes the extensibility and internalization of the XML Namespaces.

SOAP is a valuable API and is what Gulf Management is run through for our ACH transactions. Contact us today if your business would like to facilitate ACH transactions through our API.

Find out how our payment processing can assist your business!

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Why Credit Card Processing is Necessary for Small Businesses

For most businesses accepting credit cards is the norm these days. However, many small businesses are still resisting the implementation of credit card processing. Some are afraid of the upfront charges and transaction fees involved. There’re many benefits however of these systems which can’t be ignored. Find out the benefits of payment processing for small businesses.

New Market Opportunities

Accepting credit cards will allow merchants to increase their sales and is also a smart move in the long-run. There’re several different markets now available once a business begins accepting credit cards. For businesses looking to go online, accepting credit cards on this space is essential. Having a secure company website is the first step to accepting customer payments. Once a business begins to accept credit cards, they can also choose to take their business on the go and accept mobile payments.

Ease of Purchase

To run a successful business, the needs of the customer must be met. Most customer payment preferences are debit and credit cards. This is mainly because of ease of use and security. When customers visit a business that only takes cash, they aren’t likely to want to shop there again. On the other hand, when a customer visits a business taking credit cards, they will always be able to easily make a payment. Cash is slowly becoming obsolete and even small businesses must move with this trend.

Legitimizes Your Business

By letting customers know that you accept credit cards, they acknowledge a sense of trust with your business. Customers have a sense of trust and security with their credit cards and will instill that same trust in your business. Merchants can expect that the implementation of accepting credit cards will legitimize their business in the eyes of consumers. For many businesses still on the fences accepting credit cards can be easy! At Gulf Management Systems, we can help your business accept credit cards today!

Find out More about Accepting Payments! 

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The Benefits of Accepting Mobile Payments

Mobile payment systems allow customers to pay from their phones. The types of mobile payment systems vary but most payments are made via mobile apps.  There’re many benefits to this that can help businesses.

The Advantage for Businesses

It’s Cost Effective

Offering a mobile payment solution such as a barcode scanner or mobile card reader is a cost advantage compared to a credit card terminal. Most businesses already have a terminal solution, but these are a great solution to implement regardless. Keeping up with customer payment preferences is very important.  Most credit card terminals from the banks charge merchant’s transaction fees and monthly fees as well.

Consumer Engagement

Offering mobile payment solutions simply makes the checkout process a lot easier and quicker. This could increase returning business and consumer satisfaction. There’s also a chance that businesses can benefit from impulse buys from customers who might not have wanted to take their time to make a purchase. Customers are also more likely to trust your business if you accept mobile payments because most mobile payments require a two-way factor authentication.

Reduce Wait Time

For retail merchants, they can reduce their store lines with mobile payment technology. Since mobile payment technology can be taken anywhere, there’s no need to simply take payments in one place anymore. For floating businesses or merchants with people on the sales floor, payments can be accepted in just about any location. This is also an opportunity for salespeople to upsell products or assist customers finding products. Sales can now easily be processed via mobile phone, tablet, or laptop.

Easily Accessible Data

Through mobile payment technology, customer data is more accessible and easier to track.  With this data, you can utilize different tactics to improve future campaigns and sales. After the sale with a mobile payment solution, you can access customer behavioral information which can be very valuable. You can see customer spending habits, preferred payment methods, frequency, and much more. Utilizing real-time customer information allows businesses to tailor their offerings according to consumer behavior.

 

Utilizing mobile payment systems can be a valuable tool for businesses. If you would like to get started accepting mobile payments contact us to get started!

Why You Should Accept Credit Cards Online

If your business is expanding or moving into the e-commerce space, its going to be necessary to find a processing service to accept credit cards. For some business owners that aren’t familiar, credit card processing can be intimidating. For businesses that have a physical storefront, they’re missing out on a lot of sales by not selling online. They are limiting their business to their local area opposed to being found online by just about anyone in the world.

Here are a few key reasons on why you should accept credit card payments.

More Shopping is Happening Online

Businesses across all areas have found the value in moving their transactions online. Being able to accept payments online is an additional revenue stream. Regardless of what you want to sell online, if marketed correctly people will find your product or service. There’s millions of people every day searching for products online, a huge market to be tapped into. Less people are doing retail shopping, and this is even more of a reason to have an online presence accepting payments.

Accepting Credit Cards Online is Easy

The way most credit cards work is by encouraging spending to reap their benefits or rewards. As a merchant, this is an advantage to your business. Since purchasing items online is easy for customers to do, it encourages repeatpurchases. Once your website has a shopping cart platform and is set up to accept payments, consumers will be able to access your site and buy goods as they please. For businesses that have recurring billing, your customers can simply enter their credit card information once and can choose to get charged on a set date every month. This allows for an increased cash flow and less difficulty processing payments.

Most Transactions are Made using Credit Cards

Customers both online and offline prefer paying with credit cards, which is used in about 90% of online transactions. This is due to the accessibility and security credit cards offer. For online shoppers there’s also a sense of trust once they provide their information to a seller. The most important factor is setting up a reliable system to process and accept payments for potential customers.

If you’re ready to start accepting credit cards online, call us to get started with this process. We’ve worked with businesses for over 25 years helping them accept payments and can do the same for you!

 

The Advantage of Using ACH with Your Payment Gateway

A payment gateway is a connection that allows businesses to integrate payment processing into their website. The gateway ensures that important information passes through securely from customer to merchant and then from merchant to the payment processor. The advantage to using a payment gateway is that customers everywhere can access your shopping cart securely. Merchants are also safe from any fraud attempts or possible misuse. Through a payment gateway, you’ll be able to accept debit and credit cards, electronic funds transfer, and most importantly ACH processing.

ACH (automated clearing house) processing is one of the cheapest methods to accept payments and can save your business as much as 80% compared to credit card processing. This is the ideal solution for businesses that process payments on a recurring basis, such as gyms, tanning salons, and much more. Typical credit card fees can range anywhere from 2.50%-2.75% whereas ACH processing is a flat rate. Here at Gulf Management solutions, we provide a flat rate of $0.50 per transactions to save our merchants who process a high amount of transactions.

It’s also best to partner with a well-known payment gateway before implementing ACH processing. At GMS we offer our ACH processing through popular gateways such as Authorize.net, First Data, NMI, and Plug’NPlay. The advantage of using ACH through a payment gateway is that there’s no involvement of card payments, just bank accounts. It’s also one of the most secure payment solutions because it’s regulated by the federal government and is managed by NACHA (National Automated Clearing House Association).

 There are also many advantages to going with ACH processing. It’s much easier for your customers to track their payments since the merchant name is listed on their bank statement. There’s also no need to worry about late payments from customers, once they enroll the payment will process on the same date every month with no late fees. ACH removes the likelihood of stolen credit or debit cards being used in the purchase. Traditionally, a merchant will take out $.01 from a customers account to make sure there are sufficient funds and will have them confirm the transaction to confirm identity.

At Gulf Management Systems, we’ve been helping customers implement ACH processing for over 25 years. Contact us today if you’d like to learn on how we can help you.

Why ACH Billing is an Advantage for Businesses

We all know that credit cards and debit cards are outpacing cash currently. But why is it a good idea for a business to consider other methods to make and receive payments? The reason is associated with the high processing costs involved with debit and credit card transactions. A great alternative to these high rates is ACH (Automated Clearing House). The ACH network is the main source of transactions in the U.S. where money moves from one bank to another trough payments made via ACH transactions. The ACH network is one of the largest and safest payment systems in the world. Check out the advantages ACH billing services can have for your business.

Lower Transaction Fees

One of the biggest advantages of ACH is very low processing fees. Through ACH money is moved between the banks of an individual and/or business through a clearinghouse, which keeps the cost of transactions low. For example, typical credit and debit card processing fees range from 2.00%-2.75% and would cost an average $2.50 for a $100 transaction. On the other hand, the ACH fees of Gulf Management systems are typically only $0.50 per transaction. For businesses that process thousands of transactions, these fees will add up!

Hassle Free

ACH was established to make money transfers efficient and simple. There’s no more need to worry about processing checks. As a business owner, your customers also don’t need to worry about forgetting about their monthly payment. With ACH they are easily able to set up recurring or one-time payments via ACH. Also, since ACH deals with two banks, there are no longer issues with credit cards not processing for simple reasons such as a customer losing their card, the card being stolen, etc. There is less to worry about for both the business and customer.

Security

Unlike dealing with checks, transfers of ACH are direct with no middlemen. There is no more worry about checks being misplaced or forged. Some customers might be concerned with submitting their bank account information. To deal with this, some ACH payment processors carry out a two-way validation to confirm the identity of both individuals. With Gulf Management Systems, our ACH gateway features allow businesses to validate bank information and authenticate consumers. This is a great security aspect for both the customer and business. 

Recurring Billing

ACH benefits business with a subscription model such as gyms, tanning salons, and just about anyone. This allows businesses to accept recurring payments hassle-free with low transaction fees. ACH is a great choice because there is a low flat fee per transaction.  In the past, the more transactions businesses made the more they were charged in fees. With recurring payments, there is also less invoicing and emailing clients. Businesses are also able to enhance their social image by reducing their use of paper and other materials.

At Gulf Management Systems, we have been specializing in ACH processing for over 25 years. Contact us today and we can help your business save money and increase efficiency with ACH processing!