Payment Technology Blog

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Durbin Amendment

The recent Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 had largely no affect on the merchant account side of the banking business. That is, until the Derbin Amendment was attached and pushed through.

I recently had the opportunity to see Senator Christopher Dodd speak at ETA, and he explained how the amendment was pushed through at the last minute - nobody really paid attention to it, and it just got passed along with everything else.

The Durbin Amendment has some major ramifications to the payment processing industry. Specifically:
  1. A cap of 7 to 12 cents on most debit card swipe fees, a decline of about 80% from present levels

  2. The introduction of competition, by giving merchants a choice as to which debit network they process transactions over. For example, present arrangements effectively force merchants to process many Visa transactions over the STAR network, even if competitors like PULSE and NYCE offer to conduct the same transaction at a lower processing price.

  3. Merchants can impose a $10 minimum on credit card transactions (this number can be adjusted by the Fed as they see fit). Previously, Visa and MasterCard banned this practice in their merchant agreements.

  4. Merchants are allowed to give discounts at the register to those who pay with cash or debit cards. Previously, Visa and MasterCard banned this practice in their merchant agreements.
Of course, anybody who makes their money from selling merchant accounts is unhappy about this. The amendment is under review, according to Senator Dodd, so we may see changes in the future, but that will most likely take some time.

A great article about this amendment can be found here (and some of the information in this blog was taken from this article): http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/2011/durbin-amendment-explained/

Monday, July 25, 2011

Electronic Bill Pay and Presentment

Announcing the TRANSAX Electronic Bill Pay and Presentment Software - TRANSAX BillPay!

TRANSAX BillPay was built using the same high standards as our other technology offerings.

Our software is designed to hook into a merchant's backend system to receive accounts receivable data, and allows that merchant's customers to log in and pay their bills.

Customers can easily setup many different payment methods - both Credit Card and ACH. Automatic payments can be created. Payments can be made immediately or scheduled.

The system is flexible, easy to use and inexpensive. If you're interested in a demo, contact TRANSAX today!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

QuickBooks and Jobs

The TRANSAX QuickBooks Payment Processing Add-on now supports Jobs! Credit Card, ACH / E-Check / EFT, RDC / Remote Deposit / Check Conversion, batch processing, etc - all of the features available in the module can now be used at a customer or a job level!

More information on processing credit cards in QuickBooks using TRANSAX QB

Friday, July 15, 2011

How I won $2500 at ETA

This is the story of how I won $2500 playing poker at the North American Bancard Booth at ETA this year.

For the last ten years, ETA has been in Las Vegas every year. This year, their contract had ended with Mandalay Bay, and ETA was moved to San Diego. No gambling :-( Sadness. Or at least so I thought.

Every vendor at a trade show does whatever they can to bring people into their booth. Some vendors get extremely creative to get people into their booth. North American Bancard had a poker tournament at their booth as an incentive to get people in. So, being a poker player (not a great player, but not horrible - I'm OK), I said why not - and signed up.

There were 6 tables of 8. I was at the first table. Instantly I recognized the best player at the table (hint - it wasn't me). He was sitting at the opposite side of the table from me. It was a timed tournament. 45 minutes - person with the biggest stack goes onto the final table. 10 minutes left, there were 4 of us left. The player - sitting opposite of me - had the largest stack, by far, and it looked like he was going onto the final table. But, only a few minutes before the end of the game, I somehow took out the other two players on an "all in". My stack was suddenly the biggest at the table, and I went onto the final table.

When I got there, with the 5 other winners, I could tell every one of these guys knew how to play. Except one guy - he seemed kind of like a bit of a clown - he was obviously the worst player of the bunch of us - I could tell just by the way he carried himself and dressed.

By the end of the game, there were 4 of us left, and only about 15 minutes to go. Blinds were getting pretty high. The clown in the corner somehow had the biggest stack. He was just goofing around though - not taking the game seriously it seemed. Just like in the first game, I took the other two guys out - got lucky - on an all in. That left me and the clown, and he then ran down the clock.

Turns out the clown was the world series of blackjack champion a couple years back, and was a professional card player. I took second place, and won $2500. Woo hoo!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

ETA 2011

I was at the ETA show (Electronic Transaction Association) a few weeks ago. I wanted to blog about it earlier, but haven't had the time. It was a great experience! The show was in San Diego for the first time in years.

While I was there, I saw a monkey running around the trade show floor, sat in a Back to the Future Delorean replica, had way too many "bluetini's" (sponsored by American Express of course), and won $2500 in poker (a story for another blog).

Of course, I did a lot of business while I was there also! The great thing about ETA is that everybody from the industry is all in one place at one time. Well, not everybody, but a lot of key players are all in the same room at the same time. That is something that you really can't put a value on. Bank Cards, Banks, Processors, ISO's, gateway providers, terminal manufacturers, mobile technology, PCI compliance vendors, and so on.

There were great speakers this year - I really enjoyed listening to the keynotes specifically. Senator Chris Dodds spoke about the Durbin Amendment (I'll blog about separately) and Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple), spoke about technology and mobile processing. Both very interesting topics, given by two extremely interesting speakers.

All in all, it was a great show. Can't wait for next year!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Shopify

I just ran across this link while surfing the other day:

http://blog.shopify.com/2009/5/6/support-for-nelix-transax-payment-gateway-added-to-shopify

This was some time ago it seems, but it's always nice to find our technology integrated into a system that we weren't even aware of :-)

Shopify is a hosted gateway built using Ruby. TRANSAX has a Ruby component that is part of Ruby's ActiveMerchant. ActiveMerchant makes it extremely easy for any Ruby developer to download and install the TRANSAX payment processing libraries. Once downloaded, the Ruby developer can easily integrate points of payment - credit card and ACH acceptance - into their application.

TRANSAX was integrated into Shopify some time ago.

More information on Shopify

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tools for Android Developers

TRANSAX has released another update to the FlexPort ToolKit. The FlexPort ToolKit enables developers to easily integrate payment processing (credit card, debit card, ACH / e-check, remote deposit capture (RDC), etc) into their applications. With the latest release, a new class has been added specifically for Android developers.

Mobile payments is a growing market, and more and more app developers need a solution for accepting payments within the apps they build. Our tools make it as easy as plug and play to add points of payment into any Android app.

"This is the most exciting release to date," explains Matthew J. Schwartz, President of TRANSAX. "We plan to make it easy for mobile application developers to accept in-app payments."

The TRANSAX FlexPort Toolkit includes documentation, example integrations and modules for:
  • VB.NET 1.1
  • VB.NET 2.0
  • C#
  • Classic ASP
  • Microsoft Access
  • VB6
  • PHP
  • Ruby
  • 4D/4th Dimension
  • FileMaker
  • iMIS
  • Flex/Flash
  • FoxPro
  • ColdFusion
  • JAVA
  • Lasso
  • Android

"We have exciting new offerings in the near future in the mobile arena, " adds Adam O'Hare, Vice President of TRANSAX, " this market continues to grow, and we plan to continue to serve the development community."

More information on payment integrations using TRANSAX FlexPort

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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