Payment Technology Blog

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Microsoft Access and Payment Processing

I love Microsoft Access. It's one of my favorite applications. There is no application that makes it easier to manipulate data. From within Microsoft Access, you can link to virtually any data source, whip up queries, update data, spin out reports, etc.

It may not be as easy to use as FileMaker, or cross platform like 4D, but the tool set in MS Access is vast and has an extremely large install base, due to it being bundled with many versions of Microsoft Office.

Because of this, many small and medium size companies select Microsoft Access as the tool to help them run their business. Many people will create their own Microsoft Access databases, while others will hire a Microsoft Access developer to setup the database for them.

With Microsoft Access, the imagination is the limit! The automation potential is unlimited. Interestingly, with all of the applications that have been built using Microsoft Access, not many of them have credit card acceptance integrated.

Integrating credit card acceptance into an MS Access applicaiton is easy as 1-2-3! With the NELiX TransaX FleXPort examples, you simply have to cut and paste our code into your database, tweak up the code to use your fields instead of ours, and decide where you want to write the response! Voila! Instant payment processing in Microsoft Access.

NELiX TransaX has several Microsoft Access developers on staff that are happy to advise, assist or even perform the integration for our customers.

More information on integrating credit card and ACH acceptance into Microsoft Access

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

FileMaker and Payment Processing

FileMaker is arguably the easiest database to use on the planet. Anybody, regardless of their programming or database experience can pick FileMaker up and build a database.

This has always been FileMaker's greatest strength. People who use FileMaker typically do not want to move away from FileMaker because of the usability features that are inherent in the application. The fact that it's a cross platform solution that runs on both Mac and Windows is an added bonus.

Of course, every database platform has its advantages and disadvantages. Typically the trade off for ease of use is power. As an application grows more powerful, it also becomes more complicated. FileMaker has maintained it's ease of use for the last 20 years! But, to maintain that ease of use, it has sacrificed the power that some of FileMaker's competitors have. It is the standard trade off - most database vendors choose power over ease of use. FileMaker distinguishes itself by choosing ease of use over power.

The disadvantage of that philosophy is that, while it's extremely easy to use, more complex tasks become very difficult. For example, if a company is using FileMaker and they would like to add real time credit card acceptance or real time ACH acceptance, it is not an easy undertaking. It is difficult to integrate, and costly to setup.

NELiX TransaX has changed all of that! With the latest release of NELiX TransaX FleXPort (http://blog.nelixtransax.com/2008/10/nelix-transax-flexport-20-press-release.html), we have included sample FileMaker databases that show how easy it is to integrate payment processing within FileMaker! These examples work seamlessly with the NELiX TransaX Payment Gateway. FileMaker developers can easily copy and paste our scripts and calculations into their customers database and have real time payment processing setup with in minutes!

Best of all it is free! Any customers who use the NELiX TransaX Payment Gateway have access to this FileMaker integration example with full documentation without any costs.

This represents something extremely powerful for developers! It adds more tools in their arsenal when delivering solutions to their customers, which will generate more developer dollars. A partnership with NELiX TransaX will generate another stream of revenue for developers. Additionally, real time payment processing will save their customers time and money!

For more information, visit http://www.transaxdevelopers.com/filemaker

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

70%

70% is the percentage of all payment processing decisions that are made by a merchants technology advisers.

That is a statistic that I heard at ETA this past summer. I always knew that the technology staff/vendor played a key role in determining who a merchant processes with, but I never realized just how large that role was until hearing that number.

When you think about it further, it makes sense. When a retailer purchases a point of sale system, who will they ask about merchant accounts? The point of sale vendor or integrator. When an online merchant setups a shopping cart, or builds an e-commerce enabled website, who will they ask about payment gateways and merchant accounts? The web developer. When a company must process payments from within their enterprise system, who will they ask? The software vendor or developer.

Most technology people don't understand the impact of this fact. When the vendor, developer or integrator refers their clients to a payment processing partner, they are making an extremely important decision for both the client and the vendor, developer or integrator themselves. For the vendors, developers and integrators, this is a key point. Depending on which gateway they choose, they will be arming themselves with a tool set that they can use to better serve their clients. This results in increased business for the vendors, developers and integrators. It also allows clients to make the most out of their payment processing automation.

NELiX TransaX recognizes the importance of the IT community in the payment processing arena and welcomes partnerships. Learn more about becoming a partner with NELiX TransaX.

Monday, October 6, 2008

PCI Compliance - Storing Credit Cards in an Application

I frequently see the question posed in various forums and community sites on how to maintain PCI Compliance within a software application.

For example - "If my customer processes credit cards out of the system I built for them, how do I have to store the credit cards to be compliant? Do they need to be encrypted, double encrypted - double encrypted with an encrypted key, etc"

Let's face it - it's a scary world out there when you hand your credit card information over to a complete stranger. With all of the SQL Injection Attacks, Cross Site Scripting Attacks, Root Kits, Viruses, Trojans, Spyware, etc - it seems like there are many opportunities for a hacker to compromise a system. Additionally, we hear horror stories about identity theft every day, with systems being compromised left and right and massive amounts of personal data being stolen.

Add to that the hefty fines levied by Visa and Mastercard should a breach occur and card numbers get compromised - fines heavy enough to put any small or medium merchant out of business - it almost makes a merchant not want to store those credit cards.

So, what's the answer? The answer is to NOT store the credit cards in the application. By storing the cards, the merchant puts themselves at great risk. The NELiX TransaX gateway has a feature called the "Customer Vault". The Vault allows a merchant to process an initial transaction, and return a Vault ID. The Vault ID is then stored in the database. The credit card info used to run the initial transaction is discarded. Any subsequent transactions can then be run against the Vault ID without having to recollect the credit card information.

This process allows merchants to be clear of the liability of storing credit cards, whether encrypted or not. The cards are stored in the PCI compliant gateway. The liability is on us, not the merchant. Storing credit cards in general is a bad practice, and should be avoided at all costs.

More information the NELiX TransaX Payment Gateway

More information on PCI Compliance

Thursday, October 2, 2008

4D Payment Processing Integration

It always amazes me when I see a merchant who uses a enterprise wide database system to manage all of the processes for their business, but then goes to a swipe terminal to manually punch in credit card numbers when a new order comes in via fax or phone.

I was at a customer's office the other day and they had this exact scenario. They were using a 4th Dimension database system (commonly referred to as 4D) and did not even realize that processing payments directly out of their system was possible.

We brought up this possibility, and needless to say, they were ecstatic! The problem is that most developers don't know that this can be done or, if they do, they do not know how to accomplish it. In the 4D world, there are few companies out there with the knowledge needed to integrate the custom developed system with a payment processing system.

NELiX TransaX has made this easy! We have the sample code in 4D / 4th Dimension available for anybody to see. The sample integrates with the NELiX TransaX Payment Gateway to perform Credit Card, Debit Card and ACH (e-check) transactions.

You can download the code on our 4D Credit Card/ACH Integration page!

We have the same code in many programming languages - VB.NET, C#, Classic ASP, Microsoft Access, RUBY, PHP, etc. These examples can be found NELiX TranasaX FleXPort page.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Case Study: Banks and Programmers Don't Connect

At NELiX TransaX, we regularly encounter scenarios where computer programmers have trouble servicing clients in the area of payment processing. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but it presents two big problems for developers:

1. Integrating payment processing is problematic
2. Developers don't make any residuals income after the project is done.

NELiX TransaX can correct both of these issues. Check out this recent case study as it may relate directly to you.

Developer profile:
Expertise in all major programming languages and database types
Creates custom applications, both web and LAN based
Maintains/Modifies existing softwares
Referred clients to PayPal, Authorize.net, etc. for payment processing

Project:
Developing online purchasing system. Client uses QuickBooks for accounting.

Project Problems:
1. Gateway integration – limited options, bad documentation, and processor doesn’t understand programming

2. Security – client couldn’t operate without storing card holder data, not PCI compliant, gateway didn’t have good solution

3. Testing Support – developer couldn’t access the client’s gateway account to see transaction responses during testing

4. Data Management – client couldn’t export transaction data from gateway into QuickBooks. Manual, double entry was only way to update revenue accounts.

5. Opportunity Cost – developer spent too much time on integration, lost profit margin on project. Processor didn’t pay developer residuals on processing, lost out on future revenue.

Solution:
Partnership with NELIX TransaX

NELiX TransaX is the only payment processing provider, a fully registered ISO of Visa and MasterCard, whose founders came from the application development world. We have a team of programmers on staff who fully understand what you do, your daily processes, and the pains of custom development. We’ve been there ourselves and we are here to help!

NELiX TransaX has a suite of developer tools to make your life easier. Our payment gateway has several integration options, sample code in major and niche technologies, and thorough documentation. The NELiX TransaX Customer Vault allows you to store card holder information in our PCI compliant system so that you and your clients don’t have to worry about security. We have QuickBooks file exports to pull transaction data from our system on demand and our agent level controls keep you in touch with all of your clients accounts.

Best of all, we will pay you! Stop giving money away to PayPal! By partnering with us, you will earn ongoing, residual commission on all payment gateway accounts, credit card processing accounts, ACH accounts, and more. You can add value to your clients, make your programming life easier, and gain a new stream of income.

Interested in learning more? Contact NELiX TransaX today:

Call our professional Business Development Managers at 866-513-1547

E-Mail sales@nelixtransax.com

Register online

NELiX® TransaX LLC is a registered ISO/MSP of BancorpSouth Bank, Tupelo, MS.
NELiX® is a registered trademark of NELiX, Inc.

The biggest advantage of our gateway comes from power that it puts in the hands of your developers. Easily integrate with your application and take advantage of features to enhance your system.

We invite you to a live demo and the opportunity to build a partnership. Our promise to partners is, through innovation, today's products will be relentlessly enhanced into tomorrow's solutions.

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Rolling Meadows IL 60008-4800
P) 866-513-1547
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info@transaxgateway.com