Credit Card Processing

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

It has been a LONG time since I have been south and I have to tell you the difference between processing is EXTREME and maybe giving you our perspective will help you better understand how different this is for us.

1. We never let our cards out of our hands... EVER! That means that we don't hand it to anyone. The processing handsets are either attached so that we have access, or they are bluetooth and are handed to us. I'm going to repeat this, because so many people don't understand this... DON'T TOUCH MY CARD. You can copy it, clone it, photograph it.... we don't feel safe with anyone else handling it.

2. For small amounts, up to $100 (but the CostWarehouse has a $200 limit), we tap. And when I say tap, it's card or phone. (Apple or Android). How much? A fast food restaurant might as well put up a "Going Out Of Business" sign if they don't have tap. And some of the stores have signs up that they don't have tap. We assume it's there. And we use it for everything, including gasoline, food, etc. The only button we have to hit is CREDIT or DEBIT, though at most places they ask and push it for you. (No PIN needed, you pay and walk, it's about 1 second to complete the whole transaction.)

3. I signed a transaction for the first time in 5 years or longer. We don't sign, we have PINs. The fact that the machine asked us to sign... was just so Twilight Zone for us. At the B&B is the only place a see signature lines and it is almost always for visitors from the south. Everyone else is Chip & PIN. 

4. We don't "dip". You put your card in and wait for the system to ask for your PIN. This caused us to wait because some were still reading magnetic stripes. I wonder what happens to those who no longer have them. That's right, there are already cards out there with no magnetic stripe... it's no longer needed, so some issuers have stopped using them. How do you pay for a bus/subway ticket when they are still trying to read a relic?

5. Here at the B&B we are infinitely careful to process with people in front of us. We deal with a lot of foreign cards... if we make an error, we VOID the transaction while it is still live because not only is there an exchange rate, there is also a 2.5% to 3% currency fee. If we process a credit, it's paid again in the other direction. This could cost the client 5% to 6%. By processing with the guest, they can verify and validate and they are assured that we did it right. Their PIN confirms the transaction. It's almost impossible to contest a transaction with chip as the card was present and so was the person putting in the PIN. We sometimes do just a C&P AUTH to validate that the card owner was here and their PIN as well.... makes it very hard to do any chargebacks, since they had to be here to have put the card in.

So, the next time you deal with a foreigner, keep this all in mind. We ended up paying cash for most things just to avoid having to hand over our card or "dip" because we are afraid of having our card cloned (it's happened to me personally 4 times already when visiting the south.) Maybe it's just my luck...but remember how most of us feel about handing out card over, when it is something we NEVER do at home, to us, just asking for our card seems very suspicious.

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Momma Smurf's picture
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12/06/2010

Once again Generic has a radical response to our southern ways.  13,000 guests here in 13 years and no one has ever ever ever ever been a paranoid freak-out when we physically take their card in the lobby to process in the office.  Kinda reciprocity of trust... we're not paranoid about our valuable antiques and collections on display in our home being stolen. 

We actually have two accounts: one for Swipe and one for Key.  Swipe does not allow anything but swipe; unless it deems the chip to be corrupt.  AND it will always ask for a PIN from those not in the US.

Get over it.

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Haters gonna hate. 

Aren't you the one who asked a guest to give you their PIN?

Momma Smurf's picture
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We physically walk non US people into our office and they enter their PIN. It's a pain for them as well, and they admit that it's annoying to have to do so.  Otherwise, no one else could care less how or where the transaction is handled.  We've never had a chargeback in all these years and are thankful that signatures are no longer required. Perhaps it's simply the quality of our guests.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

And in the category of proving my point of why you need a machine with bluetooth... the fact that people don't want to let go of their cards or have to put a PIN in.

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02/15/2017

If you can get the entire world on one page when it comes to cc processing - you're a better person than all of us...so good luck. Until then I think we will ALL have to deal with ALL the different machines, methods, dips, swipes and more... Some may "feel" more safe, when another way is just as safe. IF you had to pay for something on site here, I'd have to touch your card to chip it or swipe it...so pay or don't stay...

Was just recently in NYC and the Subway reads a magnetic strip on a pre-paid card to deduct the fare from your balance...well if the card gets tattered it is a pain...as you stand there at the gate causing a bottleneck because of the still used magnetic strip... There's a whole big world out there that needs updated...or does it...? Remember when it does, we, the consumer, are still the ones who have to pay for it...now more than ever places I purchase are adding the processing fee ON TOP of my total sale, and they tell you so! - State government, little mom & pop shops, and we may just be next - it's either that or we raise our prices...hmmm, let's do that...wink

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

The local card for that is a proximity card... it has a chip on the inside. Most public transport is. Some places have already moved to allowing you to have it on your phone instead. And a few, just deduct it from a CC as you tap and pay on the system.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I have a transponder so I can blow through tolls now. I got it because  our turnpike (the ONLY toll road in WV) offered a deal 3-years unlimited for $24. I do not use the turnpike often because it is doenstate, but it was nice 2-weks ago when I was coming home from downstate and just buzzed through. It will also be nice when I go visit my kids and it will just dip into my account - not grubbing for change.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

We, of course, don't use the same transponders. Why can't we agree on a standard? In any case, the only state that will sell us transponders is NY and I don't do enough to bother.

Of course they have a different transponder for Europe. But some of the tolls were tap... so we just waved the card and it opened the gates.

We were in France a few years ago and went to buy our rail ticket. Just slipped in our card with a chip and paid. But it only went in far enough to read the chip. An American fellow with no chip kept on trying to force his card in. We had to tell him to go inside to the wicket to pay, the card reader only did chips. The card readers for gasoline here are also a bit weird to outsiders. You put your entire card in, but you have to leave it in until the end of the transaction, you don't pull it out. The chip must be connected to validate the PIN.

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02/15/2017

We have machines here in the states that take the whole card until the end of the transaction too...and the taps, and the dips...

The bottom line is it would be nice to have a consistent process globally, but the fact - as we can see here - is that magnetic strips in their entirety are not going away yet, and there will always be a new or different transponder, card reading device to deal with...and to get everyone to use the same swipe/tap/dip/chip reader is pert-near impossible - so we deal...

Generic's picture
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They are pretty consistant now between Canada, Europe and parts of Asia. I know of only a handful of places here that still read the magnetic strip. And Visa and MC have already authorized banks to start removing the strip. Which is the reason that they insisted that the US finally implement the chip. The PIN thing is a different problem... as I say, the US is the only place I have ever been asked to sign a slip.

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

I ate at a little Brazilian restaurant (locally) and was surprised when the waiter brought over something for me to run the card. It wasn't square or one of those things in a phone or ipad.

First time I've seen one but I liked it. 

smiley

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

It's the norm around here. A few places, usually M&P will have you pay a cashier instead, because they don't have a portable unit.

JimBoone's picture
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12/18/2014

Perhaps we are small enough that it has not been an issue with our guests, including some from up your way. I normally insert the card although all within sight and arms reach of the guest and certainly he/she would be welcome to insert the card if desired, it does take a minute or two as the machine asks me which clerk, which room and a few other questions. A pin card is welcome, easy for me to step out of the way and the guest enter the pin and hit go. We take only a rather minor deposit through the online system perfering that the card be present and the chip read when the guest checks in. 

It may well be the credit card processors that are dragging their feet, I asked about chip card when we were first told of their arrival and the answer was always "we're working on that, don't have a program for  you yet", got tired of their lack of interest and went with a different processor who could provide the machine to accept the chip card.

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

I process with a US based processor. The Ingenico iwl220 is what we use. We paid extra to get the BT unit so that we can hand it to people rather than have them come into the office. We can even go to their room and do it.

JimBoone's picture
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Generic wrote:

We paid extra to get the BT unit so that we can hand it to people rather than have them come into the office. 

Different physical arrangement with us sort of eliminates the need, guest rings bell and steps in door, at that point he/she can touch the table with the registration sheet, I'm standing to their immediate left in front of credit card machine, no need for a card to leave their sight, when slip is signed guest departs by same door with room key, rooms all face the common porch.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

We don't have a reception desk, per se, we do it in the hall. So the machine is in the office.

JimBoone's picture
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12/18/2014

Generic "reception desk" makes me smile as it sounds so impressive, real life, less so, in truth we are simple folks.

Our "reception desk" is a small table just inside the front door/front room to our apartment with a clipboard, office is a small marble top dresser from grandma's attic that holds the credit card machine, phone and computer.

Check in really doesn't take, but a minute except in those cases where folks feel the need for the entire party with kids and luggage must crowd into my living room and wander about before going back outside, we all have out fun times.

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