Information on Merchant Accounts,
Ecommerce and Credit Card Processing

May 31st, 2006 by Jamie Estep

Things you should never do with your merchant account.

Filed in: Merchant Accounts |

Coffee SpillJust a reminder of a few simple things that you should avoid doing with your merchant account. The first two things can get your merchant account shut down, and the second two can cost your business extra money for nothing.

Don’t Ever:

  1. Process your own credit card.
  2. Refund to a different card than what was charged.
  3. Refund cash on a credit transaction.
  4. Forget to batch.

Processing your own credit card:
This is considered a type of fraud. Never, ever, process the card of the person who signed for the merchant account. Not even for a dollar. If you need some extra money in your bank account, get a cash advance on your credit card, take out a loan, anything, just don’t expect to fill your bank account by processing your own card.

Refund to a different card than what was charged:
This is also considered a type of fraud, even though you may not know that you are refunding to the wrong card. If the customer doesn’t have that exact same card, and you don’t have a software or POS system that automates refunding a credit card, issue a store credit. Never refund to a different card.

Refunding cash on a credit transaction:
Refunding your customer is refunding your customer, right?


If your customer paid with a credit card and they you need to refund them, refund to the card they used to make the purchase, and only to that card. Some online and PC based software systems retain credit card information so that you can issue a refund without seeing the card again. If the customer doesn’t have the card, and you don’t have a system that automates the process, you can issue store credit.

Giving a cash refund on a credit transaction, opens you up for a chargeback that you cant win. After you lose the chargeback, you just lost 2 times the amount of the purchase, once for the cash refund, and once for the chargeback.

Forget to batch:
Forgetting to batch out your transactions daily will cause them to downgrade. It also increases the amount of time that it takes for your transactions to be deposited into your bank account. Downgrading can more than double your cost for processing that transaction. Many businesses are setup to automatically batch each day, and other need to manually batch every day that they process credit cards. Don’t be one of the businesses that realizes that you haven’t been getting your money for two months, because you haven’t batched out your terminal.

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