illustration by Rosaleah Rautert
Here’s what the numbers mean:
The first digit signifies the type of card:
- 3 – travel/entertainment cards (ie, American Express & Diner’s Club)
- 4 – Visa
- 5 – MasterCard
- 6 – Discover
The next set of numbers vary by card type:
- American Express – Digits 3 & 4 are the type and the currency, 5-11 are your account number, 12-14 are the card numbers within the account and digit 15 is the verification check digit.
- Visa – Digit 2-6 are the issuing bank number, 7-12 or 7-15 is your account number, and digit 13 or 16 is a verification check digit.
- Mastercard – Digits 2 & 3, 2-4, 2-5 or 2-6 are the bank number (depending which number is in digit 2). The digits after the bank number up through digit 15 are your account numbers. Digit 16 is a verification check digit.
What is a verification check digit anyway?
All credit card numbers make use of the Luhn Algorithm, which is a simple check sum formula used to validate identification numbers. To pass a verification check, each digit is doubled. Any double digit numbers are added together (14 becomes 5). Then the numbers are all added together. If that number is divisible by 10, then the number is valid. It is a simple method to used to distinguish valid numbers from a collection of random digits.
Are you looking for a new way to connect with your clients? Mobile messaging is one of the most cost-effective and affordable marketing mediums available to businesses today. Producing and distributing marketing material can be expensive, but mobile messaging costs pennies per transaction. Here are a few reasons to consider mobile messaging:
1. Mobile Messaging is Measureable - your messages can be tracked and monitored in real time. You will be able to judge your clients response immediately and change your strategy if necessary.
2. Mobile Messaging is Effective – your clients need to opt-in to receive message from you, so that makes them highly qualified sales prospects. Your message reaches your client through their most personal communication device, their mobile phone.
3. Mobile Messaging is Innovative and Interactive – there are 5.3 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, or about 77% of the population (mobi thinking). Let’s face it, everywhere you go ~ it seems like everyone around is either talking, texting or checking their email with their cell phone. You can use mobile messaging to send your clients appointment reminders, booking confirmations, coupons, and alert them to any specials your business may be having. You can also just keep contact with your clients by sending inspirational quotations, travel and weather information, just to name a few.
If you are interested in learning more about Maxx Mobile Messaging, give us a call anytime!
You have seen it in many establishments….a small sign by the register that reads “Minimum purchase of $10 for credit card sales.” What many merchants and customers were unaware of, was that in the past, merchants that made these minimum requirements of their customers to use credit cards were in violation of their contract agreements with the credit card companies.
As a result of the credit card reform, this is no longer the case. Customers paying with credit cards are allowed to charge any amount on their card…even one penny. Small charges can be costly to a merchant. So if you do wish to impose a minimum purchase requirement, you must comply with a few simple rules:
- VISA: The minimum purchase requirement must not exceed $10 and it cannot be applied to debit card purchases.
- AMERICAN EXPRESS: The minimum purchase requirement must be the same for all credit cards that the merchant accepts.
- MASTERCARD: Mastercard has not currently changed their policy regarding minimum purchase amounts, but is planning on doing so in the future.
Paying off your credit card every month makes good financial sense and paying on time will reflect positively on your credit scores. Even if you do both every month…you still could be hurting your credit score.
Here’s how: If you use too much of your limit every month. For example, let’s say you have a $10,000 maximum on your credit and you made $9,000 worth of purchases. Your credit score is, in part, determined on your available credit. Even if you pay off your balance the day you receive your bill, your scores will reflect that you are using 90% of your credit limit. This will knock dozens of points off your cards.
So what can you do? Here’s a few solutions: First, request a higher limit on your card so you are using a smaller percentage of your available credit line. Second, spread your purchases over more than one card. Third, make 2 payments a month ~ the first just before your credit card’s closing date and the second payment just before the due date. The first payment reduces the balance that is reported to the credit bureaus that is used to calculate your credit scores. The second payment ensures that your card won’t be marked as having a late payment.
At Maxx, an ACH Merchant Account is a web-based processing tool designed for small- and medium-sized businesses. It facilitates the electronic transfer of an authorized payment from your client’s checking or savings account into your business’ bank account. You can also use this feature to set up automatic payments to your vendors.
- Improved cash flow and risk reduction
- Lower Transaction costs
- 48 to 72 hour settlement times
- No more late payments
- An addition payment method to satisfy your clients that want to pay on-line without using a credit card.
An ACH payment is the same as a check payment, so the risk of NSF does still exist. However, the electronic delivery of ACH transactions are placed in the payment process faster than paper checks; therefore the incidence of NSF is generally reduced.
The most common ACH transactions are:
- WEB – Web initiated entry allows electronic authorization through secure internet pages
- PPD (prearranged payment and deposits) – this allows the merchant to create and process recurring billing plans
- CCD (corporate cash disbursement) – these are business to business transactions. Two examples of CCD are paying vendors and payments to sales staff.
If you are interested in learning more about ACH and how your business could benefit from this feature, give us a call!
Company Name: Grow
Owner: Deree Kobets
Number of Employees: 2
Services Provided: Clothing, gear and furniture for the modern organic kid
Address: 1943 W Division St (Damen), Chicago, IL 60622
Telephone Number: (773) 489-0009
Web Site Address: www.grow-kids.com
grow is a modern boutique specializing in organic and healthy products, clothing, gear, and furniture for babies and children. At grow, we have chosen a selection of modern design products that we believe are the most functional, stylish and healthy. The grow boutique opened in Chicago’s East Village neighborhood in 2006 as the city’s first healthy baby lifestyle store.
- We only carry products that we, as parents, would use.
- Most of our products are organic, non-toxic or eco-friendly.
- We provide excellent customer service.
- We have a brick-and-mortar store where we explain the features and benefits of each product daily.
- We have a local warehouse of inventory so that local Chicago-area customers can choose personal delivery and assembly.
- We hand-pack most of our shipments with eco-friendly packaging.
- We don’t want you to buy what you don’t need. (You should spend money on a few quality items rather than all those things that are marketed at you that you don’t need).
Nursery design: We love to design nurseries with functional and stylish items! Whether you start with the dimensions of the room or if you know just one of the products that you like, we can help you complete a stylish nursery layout free of charge!
If you require assistance with nursery design or a have question about a product, please call us at 1-877-747-grow (4769).
Not in the Chicago area? No problem! Our products are available on-line at www.grow-kids.com
On June 29th, the Federal Reserve issued the final rule on the Durbin Amendment. Ultimately, it’s viewed as a win for retailers who will see a decline in the transaction fees associated with accepting debit cards. The hope is that business owners will pass the savings on to their customers. In response to pleas made by the banking industry, the savings are not as deep as originally planned.
Currently, debit card interchange fees range between 1- and 2-percent of the amount of purchase. That has added up to $16.2 billion in fees paid by merchants in 2010. The amendment, which is part of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul legislation, allows the Federal Reserve the right to institute a fee cap on the interchange fees merchants pay banks to accept debit cards. Originally, the fee cap was set to take place July 21, 2011 limiting banks with more than $10 billion in assets to a maximum 12-cent fee charged to the merchant per debit card transaction.
Instead, as of October 1, 2011, the planned effective date for the new rule, those fees will be capped at a maximum of 21-cents plus 0.05 percent. Once that rule takes effect, merchants will see a savings of nearly 48% than before on their debit card interchange fees for a typical transaction of $40.
In a statement following the Fed’s final ruling, Durbin said that small businesses will see some relief from previously unrestrained interchange fees imposed by issuers, and that the result could lead to increased competition, discounts and lower prices.
Banks continue to argue that lowering the fees collected by merchants will significantly hamper their ability to run the networks that make debit cards work safely and reliably.
The U.S. Senate rejected a plan backed by large banks for a six-month delay in a Federal Reserve rule to cap the debit-card swipe fees set by Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. Banks and payment networks argue that the fees are necessary to maintain the infrastructure and technology of a processing system which brings more revenue to merchants than they pay out in interchange fees.
Senator Durbin and his supporters feel that reducing the fees and increasing competition in the debit-card market will cut down on one of the largest monthly expenses for many retailers. These savings will be passed on to consumers in turn.
Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the National Retail Federation issued the following statement after the Senate voted 54-45 to reject the Tester-Corker amendment that hoped to delay the swipe fee reform:
“This is a landmark victory for American consumers that will give them the break from skyrocketing swipe fees that they have been seeking for years. With the economy still trying to gain momentum and consumers facing skyrocketing costs for necessities like food and fuel, this badly needed reform will help ensure our nation’s economic recovery. It will prevent more than a billion dollars a month from being pocketed by big banks and, in turn, allow retailers to hold down prices for consumers.”
The caps proposed by the Federal Reserve in December and scheduled to take effect July 21 would cut revenue by about $12 billion a year at lenders including Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and JP Morgan Chase & Co. In the most extensive lobbying fight to arise from Dodd-Frank, the banks pushed to roll back or delay the Fed rule, battling efforts by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp., who would pay less under the caps.
Visa and MasterCard establish the swipe fees, or interchange, and pass the money to card-issuing banks. The central bank has proposed capping the fees at 12 cents a transaction, replacing a formula that averages 1.14 percent of the purchase price. This will reduce the average debit card swipe fee collected by the bank by nearly 75%!
Maxx is thrilled to introduce you to The Jasin Facial Rejuvenation Institute!
Maxx Merchants Client Profile
Owner: Michael E. Jasin, MD
Number of Employees: 9 (Including Doctor)
Services Provided: Facial Plastic Surgery (Surgical and Non-Surgical Procedures)
Address: 13801 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Suite 305, Tampa, FL 33613
Telephone Number: (813) 975-3223
Web Site Address: www.jasinfacial.com
About the Jasin Facial Rejuvenation Institute
Here at the Jasin Facial Rejuvenation Institute, we believe in keeping our procedures as simple as possible. We tailor your procedure to meet your needs and conform to your schedule. Our procedures are minimally invasive with minimal downtime.
Our signature procedure, the Simplicity Facelift, offers all the benefits of a traditional, large incision lift with a less invasive one hour procedure done under local anesthesia. The Simplicity Necklift is another minimally invasive small incision procedure, which is more focused on treating laxity and fullness of the neck.
The Non-Surgical Facelift uses a combination of injectable fillers and BOTOX® to rejuvenate the face without surgery or significant downtime.
We offer seven different levels of laser skin resurfacing so that our treatments conform to your lifestyle instead of making your lifestyle conform to the treatment.
To learn more about the Jasin Rejuvenation Institute, please visit our web site www.jasinfacial.com