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Increases to Visa and MasterCard Processing Fees Beginning October 2013

Visa and MasterCard have just announced additional processing fees that will impact all merchants beginning with transactions processed as of October 1, 2013.  The fees will add $0.0025 for each settled transaction for both Visa and MasterCard.  For Visa, this is known as the Base II Fee and MasterCard refers to it as the Settlement Fee.  In addition to these settlement fees, Visa will be tacking on $1.00 image document fee, assessed when disputing a chargeback, while MasterCard is adding $0.45 per chargeback support document.

The impact of the settlement fees will essentially be to add $2.50 per 1,000 transactions settled.  The additional chargeback fees will impact the representment process, but will not have any impact on chargebacks that are not being represented.  Depending on price point and success rates, it could make representing chargebacks less lucrative for some merchants.  Those with high price points and good success in disputing chargebacks will likely still want to continue.

If you have any questions about how this will impact your specific business, please reach out to your main contact at PLC, or contact us at

Braintree Acquired by eBay to Expand PayPal’s Mobile Marketshare

In a move to expand PayPal’s mobile payments position in the marketplace, PayPal owner eBay has acquired payments gateway Braintree for $800M, announced today.  In addition to being a payments gateway, Braintree also owns mobile payments solution Venmo, which it acquired last year.  Venmo allows users to pay each other via text messaging, among other things.  As an increasing number of consumers are transacting on mobile devices and with merchants looking to capitalize in omnichannel marketing, this is a very interesting acquisition to watch.  eBay expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter of this year.



By | 2013-09-27T16:19:08+00:00 September 27th, 2013|Categories: Blog Post|Tags: , , |0 Comments

E-Commerce Merchants Selling in Brazil, Listen Up

The Association of Brazilian Credit Cards and Services Companies (Abecs) recommended that issuers no longer accept transactions using Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC).  As a result of this recommendation, two major issuers in Brazil, Itau and Bradesco, have stopped allowing purchases using DCC on credit cards they issue effective as of September 13th.  With DCC, merchants control when they hit the consumers’ cards with the foreign exchange rate.  For these two major issuers who will no longer accept DCC transactions, they are regaining control over charging their cardholders the FX rate.


DCC is useful for merchants who sell cross-border because it enables them to present an offer in the shopping cart in the purchaser’s local currency.  According to Abecs’ Executive Director, Ricardo Viera, his agency was fielding complaints from consumers who had purchased in Brazilian reals but were seeing transactions on their credit card statements in U.S. dollars.  By disallowing DCC, merchants could face two headaches – increased shopping cart abandon rates and different processing for customers in Brazil.


Merchants who are selling into Brazil will need to monitor whether this impacts their sales and processing costs enough to warrant alternative options, such as setting up domicility in Brazil in order to present and settle transactions in Brazilian reals.

For more information on the switch, visit our friends at

By | 2013-09-16T20:50:59+00:00 September 16th, 2013|Categories: Blog Post|0 Comments

Mobile is the buzzword, but what does it mean?

The answer for most card not present subscription merchants is an overwhelming “not much”. While mobile payments remain a hot topic and are the focus of much media attention, there isn’t necessarily a consensus on what mobile actually means. For some merchants, it refers to payments using near field communications (NFC) while for others it means simply using a mobile device, such as an iPad, to shop online.

The payments revolution is much more meaningful to point of sale retailers. Enabling small businesses to grow by accepting payments through a mobile device via a tool like Square or speeding up transactions in London’s tube by offering NFC payments are shaping up to have a real impact on how merchants conduct business – in the physical world.

In the virtual world of card not present transactions, the impact of the mobile revolution is still unclear. For recurring billing merchants, it’s possibly even murkier. New currencies like BitCoin and other payment methods could have a greater impact on CNP merchants in the near-term. The focus for CNP merchants should remain on decline prevention and recovery strategies, fraud prevention, and improving processes while keeping an eye open on the future while the brick and mortar world helps mobile payments platforms work out their kinks.

By | 2013-05-16T21:02:13+00:00 May 16th, 2013|Categories: Blog Post|0 Comments

How safe is your credit card data?

It seems you can’t turn on the news or open the paper without reading another story about credit card data breaches. As data is being exchanged via more media and with more frequency, these breaches seem an unavoidable risk of being a credit card consumer. The popular crowd discount site, Living Social, fell victim to one of the latest massive exposures of personal data – with 50 million accounts affected. During the investigation it became evident that credit card data was not exposed, but user information including passwords, emails, phone numbers, were.

By | 2013-05-16T21:00:28+00:00 May 16th, 2013|Categories: Blog Post|0 Comments

Extending the Lifetime Value of Your Customers

Engaging in an ongoing relationship with a customer is challenging under the best of circumstances. When you are a merchant in the business of continuity, billing for a good or service with a set frequency – weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, or anything in between – maintaining this relationship for the duration is the crux of your revenue stream. We will always lose some customers due to the customer’s desire to end the relationship. What’s untenable is losing a valuable customer who wishes to remain a customer, but whose billing fails. Payment declines can cost merchants thousands to millions of dollars in lifetime value of a customer.

The universe of credit and debit cards that churn is about 40% each year. So continuity programs without decline prevention and recovery tactics are losing almost half of their otherwise happy and willing customers. The rate of churn is largely due to data breaches and lack of customer loyalty to a specific issuer. Data breaches have been on the rise in the past decade as an increasing number of transactions and data are being housed online. Cardholders are more likely to switch plastic as they are solicited by other issuers with promises of lower interest rates, more points/rewards, or the ability to consolidate debt with lower payments.

What’s a Merchant to Do?
Implementing best practices around preventing, recycling, and recovering declines is key to extending the lives of those customers that wish to remain customers. Understanding the nuances between decline codes and how to treat each will help close the gap between approvals and declines. Detailed reporting that gets to the heart of your card type mix and enables you to delve deeply into the process flow can give additional insight into […]

By | 2013-05-16T21:03:19+00:00 May 16th, 2013|Categories: Blog Post|0 Comments