Information on Merchant Accounts,
Ecommerce and Credit Card Processing

December 28th, 2005 by Jamie Estep

Hospital ID theft: How to protect yourself – The Red Tape Chronicles –

Filed in: Industry News | 1 comment

Hospital ID theft: How to protect yourself – The Red Tape Chronicles –

Identity theft is a huge risk in the credit card industry but the credit card industry is by no means the only target for identity theft.

December 16th, 2005 by Jamie Estep

Smart Cards really aren’t that smart…

Filed in: Merchant Accounts |

Smart Cards looked like they were going to be the next big thing for credit card processing, for about 30 seconds.

A smart card is a small microchip that is implanted in a plastic card or a credit card. It is able to store a large amount of information in a very small space, and is not affected by magnetic fields, weather or really anything. Smart cards also have encryption capabilities that a magnetic strip could never have.

So, why aren’t Smart Cards more popular?


November 18th, 2005 by Jamie Estep

Credit Card Processing Equipment Information Center

Filed in: Credit Card Equipment, Merchant Accounts |

We just published an area devoted to information about credit card machines on the Merchant Store website. I will be putting up answers to general question about credit card machines there, and there are already some great pages geared toward people who are new to the processing industry.

Information about credit card processing equipment.

October 28th, 2005 by Jamie Estep


Filed in: Industry News |


I had never heard of this charge before. It doesn’t come as a surprise, as banks now make more from fees than they do from interest. Just another way to add money to the bottom line at the expense of their customers.

October 27th, 2005 by Jamie Estep

How to dispute a credit card purchase

Filed in: Merchant Accounts |

MSN Money – How to dispute a credit card purchase

Here is a great article about the responsible way to dispute a credit card charge. Many consumers don’t know that if they make a chargeback, the merchant will most likely have to pay a considerable fee just as a result of them charging it back. A responsible merchant would try to right their customer as best they can.

I have long thought that consumers should have some negative action against them if they charge back merchandise and lose. This would help to stop the few free-loaders who abuse the credit card system to get free stuff at the expense of the merchant.

October 25th, 2005 by Jamie Estep

SMP Releases Internet Payment Gateway Study

Filed in: Industry News |

SMP Releases Internet Payment Gateway Study

October 24, 2005 (Omaha) – Strategic Management Partners (SMP) announced today that it has released an in-depth study of US based Internet Payment Gateways. The study revealed a number of key factors affecting this growing sector of the merchant acquiring industry.

October 24th, 2005 by Jamie Estep

The Effects of Walmart Suing Visa and MasterCard!

Filed in: Ecommerce, Merchant Accounts, My Favorite Posts | 1 comment

If you’ve been reading the news over the past few years, you may remember that Walmart has sued Visa and MasterCard several times. While most people don’t remember or care about what Walmart was suing over, corporate lawsuits are about as common as people, the effects of these lawsuits probably have had a direct affect on your business.

Back in 2003, Walmart and thousands of US based businesses won a class action lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard. When the dust settled, there was a 3 billion dollar settlement, and Visa and MasterCard were forced to abandon their coveted ‘all cards accepted policy’.


October 21st, 2005 by Jamie Estep

American Express sues over topless club tab

Filed in: Industry News |

American Express sues over topless club tab – U.S. Business –

$241,000 is a pretty large tab for a strip club. This will be interesting to see which party wins.

October 20th, 2005 by Jamie Estep

Credit card verification numbers

Filed in: Ecommerce, Merchant Accounts | 1 comment

CVV2, CID Verification

Card verification numbers, known as CVV, CVV2, CID, CVC, are printed 3 or 4 digit numbers on credit cards that are not encoded in the magnetic strip on the back of the card. Card verification numbers are used to help prevent businesses from processing a fraudulent transaction. By creating a number that is not contained in the magnetic strip, a consumer must have the specific credit card on their person to be able to read the numbers. Visa, MasterCard, and Discover have a 3 digit number printed on the back of the card while American Express has a 4 digit number printed on the front of the card. Each card issuer has a different name for the verification number, but ‘card verification number’ is a generally accepted term.

Is it OK to give out my Card Verification Number?
You should never need to give out your number if you are at the place you are making a purchase. If you are buying something over the phone or on the internet, then it is acceptable to give out your number if asked. Make sure you are shopping with a reputable business before you give out your credit card or card verification number. Also, your card verification number is not your PIN (Personal Identification Number) used for debit card transactions. Do not ever give out your PIN to anyone.

Card verification for merchants:
Online and phone order businesses should require a card verification number for every transaction processed in order to help prevent fraud. By requiring the card verification number, you are ensuring that your customer actually possesses the card they are paying with, protecting yourself from fraud and costly chargeback expenses. You are also protecting any consumer that may have had their credit card number stolen. You are protecting your business and consumers from credit card fraud. Most processors actually require that all internet transactions use the card verification systems with every transaction. There is no extra cost for processing using card verification, so there really isn’t any reason not to use it.

October 19th, 2005 by Jamie Estep

Website Merchant Account Requirements

Filed in: Ecommerce, Merchant Accounts |

To accept credit cards on your website you will need a merchant account. Before you ever go to apply for a merchant account for your website, make sure your site will meet the requirements to setup a merchant account.