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It seems there is some price competition going on!
PPI (the over-the-phone credit card terminal that many of us have been using) now processes their payments through YAPSTONE, just like the new "online payments" feature at HomeAway.
I received an e-mail last week from PPI.
They have reduced their credit card rates, and now their rates are much better than what is being offered thru the HomeAway system!
Their rates are now 2.5% for ALL credit cards, including international and rewards/points card, which were most of my credit card transactions.
And, they charge a flat fee of $4.99 per Echeck transaction, no % deducted.
Awesome! This is much better.
AND ... they are setting it up so you can send online invoices, and the customers can pay via e-mail / online, too! (But so far that is not 100% ready yet. I am chomping at the bit to use it! Especially now with their new, lower rates.)
AND ... unlike the HomeAway system, the customer will not have to actually make a reservation in HomeAway for you to send them an invoice. (Or, you do not have to go into HomeAway and pretend to the customer, so that you can generate an inquiry to yourself, which is what I have done for my non-HomeAway customers.)
AND ... you don't have to deal with HomeAway's fussy drop-down lists to send the Invoice ... you can send an invoice for whatever amount you want, just like in the old days of last week, when we used to take all the payments over the phone, and it could be according to whatever schedule and with whatever specific amounts we wanted.
In short, with PPI, we can do it OUR WAY.
I hope ! They don't have the online system up, so I haven't started using it yet
But I am very excited about this new development.
Here is the message from PPI (Copied and Pasted directly from my e-mail, so you get the info directly from the horse's mouth.)
We have been following up with all of our existing customers here over the past few days regarding some changes to our pricing and products available for all of our vacation homeowners.
New Products & Pricing are outlined below……
Credit Card & E-Check Acceptance for VRBO, HomeAway & VacationRentals.com Customers
Set Up Fee - $0
Monthly Fee - $0
Qualified & Non-Qualified Discount Rate & International Credit Cards – 2.5%
Transaction Fee - $0
Terminal/Gateway Fee - $0
Electronic Check - $4.99 (No % Deducted)
Just to clarify the products you will have available:
Virtual Terminal – This allows you to process real-time Credit Card/E-Check transactions through a secure online portal instantly over the phone with your guest.
Online Invoice – If you do NOT want to take your renter’s credit card/check information over the phone, you can create a professional invoice in minutes to send to your renter. Through the online invoice, the renter will have the option to pay via Credit/Debit card or E-Check – you are immediately notified by email that you have received payment.
I have some more updates on PPI's new online payment system.
They have it fully operationally for accounts in the U.S.A. and Canada.
They are hoping to have it fully operational for international credit cards starting in mid-July.
That being said .... I sent an online invoice through PPI, to a customer in Taiwan, before I knew that the system is not supposed to be operational for customers outside USA and Canada. And somehow he got it to work anyway. A lot of our customers are international, so I think it's going to be really cool when PPI does the full roll-out later this summer.
Here's the info from Robert Lawson of PPI.
The PM e-Invoice is currently configured to accept US & Canadian credit cards and US checks. This functionality is fully operational today. The PM Virtual Terminal can accept international credit cards today. As I mentioned previously, we are working diligently to improve/add the online invoicing tool to support international transactions as well. We are doing everything we can to incorporate this into our mid-July release.
I know exactly what you mean. I sent 2 invoices to a customer on 7/12 and she paid the first one on 7/13 and the second one on 7/15. I haven't received payment yet from PPI. They advertise that you will receive payment in 2 to 3 days, but that is NOT TRUE. The only way I can find out what is going on with my money is to keep called customer support. I have never received an update from them without calling customer support myself. To this date, I still haven't received my payment. I am VERY dissatisfied with their service.
My rental property is in Canada. I don’t believe this is available in Canada as of this moment. I’m new here and read with excitement about PPI Card System as fully operational in Canada. So I login to my HomeAway property account to see how I may sign up for it. I saw “Payments NEW!” at the left side below Reservation Manager. Excited, I clicked on it, followed by a “Get Started Now” button. Then an online payment setup window appears where I entered my name, email address, my primary address where I live, but alas there was a hurdle – the State only list U.S.A. and nothing about Canada, same with Zip code, won’t take my Canadian Zip Code. I called the Help Line. I was informed it’s not available in Canada.
So, is it still not available for us up here north of the 49th parallel, or I’m doing something wrong in applying? Help!
The PPI system is not the same as the HomeAway system.
TFV, when you went into your HomeAway acccount and clicked on "Payments, NEW!" that was for the HomeAway system, not the PPI system.
Here is a link to find out more about the PPI PayPros system ... they seem to be affiliated in some way with HomeAway ... that's how I found out about them in the first place ... so that makes it a bit confusing. But ... the system they are offering is DIFFERENT from the one in the "accept online payments" section of your HomeAway account.
I know for sure that they are two different systems, because I am signed up for both, and I can see the differences between the way each one of them works.
I'm happy that I'm signed up with both systems ... each has their pro's and con's, and so I will use whichever one is more convenient to me, based on whatever the situation is.
Bottom line: it is important for you to know that the PPI system is not the same as the HomeAway system. They are two separate things, and I am signed up for both.
One obvious difference between the 2 systems ....
With PPI, in order to sign up, I had to fill out quite a bit of info on line, and then I was contacted by a customer service representative, and then had to fill out some complicated forms and scan then and fax them back in, along with a copy of a voided check ... I felt like I was refinancing my house, LOL!
So PPI does a lot more screening and stuff .... which I thought was important at the time, since they are setting us up to be credit card merchants, and they want to make sure we're not fraudsters or anything like that.
Then .. when HomeAway came out with its new online payment system ... I was blown away by how easy it was to set up! All I had to do was enter in my bank routing number and account number and a few other small things I believe .... in just 5 minutes I was all set up!
I posted about how exciting that was ... in the online payments forum, which has to do specifically with the HomeAway system.
In that forum, you can see how excited I am about being able to make online payments. Online payments first became available through the HomeAway system, and shortly afterward PPI made it avaliable, too. I really like the "ease of sending invoices" in the HomeAway system, and I also like the flexibility (no restrictive drop-down boxes, we can do it our way!) of the PPI system. I am sure that I will be using both systems.
The HomeAway online system seems to be an actual PART OF HomeAway, as in ... staffed by HomeAway employees ... whereas the PPI system seems to be a separate entity with its own employees, and yet is affiliated and/or a partner with HomeAway. Not sure, but that's my feeling on it, based on my interactions with both systems so far.
BTW .... I want to make it especially clear that I am not saying that either system is good or bad. I only pointed out the difference in the "set up and registration process" as a way of pointing out that these are 2 different systems, managed by different people, who apparently have different philosophies. As an example, one has a more thorough screening process, and the other does not. I can see the advantage of being very detailed and thorough like PPI, and I can see the advantage of being fast and convenient, like the HomeAway system. I wasn't trying to critique either system by saying that .... I was only trying to say that if you are a customer who uses both, it will be very clear to you that these are 2 different companies and 2 different systems.
I just called PPI Home Away and will not use them because I require a $500. security deposit for my vacation rental that I refund following our guest's visit. PPI Home Away will not refund the transaction fee that was originally charged, unlike other entities. My guests would be extremely unhappy with a partial refund and I refuse to be out the difference.
Hi everyone -
I wanted to let you know about a weekly ReservationManager webinar where we'll provide an online product demonstration followed by questions and answers between you and the ReservationManager product team.
We look forward to your participation!
I attended one of the Reservation Manager webinars. It was helpful and informative and I will now be signing up for it. The only problem with the webinar was that attendees also had to call in by telephone for the audio portion. Very strange - not sure why it couldn't all be done online.
HI tfv -
Our partner PPI supports Canadian merchants - please visit their site to set-up a merchant account.
While we don't yet have support for PPI in ReservationManager, we are working to add it and hope to be able to provide an integration timing update soon.
I am new to renting out our vacation home (this is my first month). I immediately signed up for Reservation Manager with their credit card processing because it seemed the easiest way to rent quickly and easily. It worked because within a few weeks I had the summer booked out. No waiting for checks or money transfers and the first person who paid their deposit by credit card or echeck received their dates. That was the only fair way to do it and some people did loose out by waiting just 1/2 a day.
I didn't have time to attend the webinar. I'm pretty familiar with credit card processing from my job enough to know that integrating it through the website is the best way to go (not paypal or taking the ccard # and entering it myself!). But now that I read these posts I'm a little confused as to the difference between PPI and going through Reservation Manager. I thought they were one and the same. What are the differences? The only thing I'm not happy with is the $4,000 max transaction. I wish there was a way to increase this to $5,000..
I believe PPI is its own company.
Meanwhile the Reservation Manager is a service offered by HomeAway.
I use both.
Please see my posts above for some info on the differences.
Here are some things I've noticed from my experiences ... if anybody knows better, feel free to correct any mistakes I have here ...
With PPI, you go to a separate login that has nothing to do with you calendar at HomeAway. You send people online invoices so they can make payments, and you can set the online invoice to be whatever you want, whenever you want. When you bill someone for a security deposit, and then you refund the money ... with PPI, you have to pay processing fees coming and going ... which means you have to pay 2.5% x 2 = 5% of the security deposit as a fee (assuming the full amount of the security deposit is refunded). PPI also gives you the option of accepting credit card info over the phone. When you accept credit card info over the phone, you have the option of doing the security deposit as an "authorization" which doesn't actually charge the guest, and you save a lot of $$$ in terms of processing fees. PPI has 2.5% transaction fee for international and U.S. domestic credit cards, and $5.00 flat rate for Echeck. I received an e-mail from PPI saying that these were the rates that PPI would be offering all customers (merchants / business owners), but I have since heard from other people that they get even lower rates, and I've since heard talk that these rates are actually NOT the ones intended to given to all PPI customers. So with PPI, possibly the processing fees / rates may vary, depending on how much business volume you've been doing, how long you've been a customer, etc.
To use Reservation Manager, you log in through your account at VRBO or HomeAway. You respond directly to the guest's inquiries within the Reservation Manager system and you set up a payment schedule that is built in to the process. Reservation Manager automatically reminds people to pay their bills when they are due (this does not happen with PPI). Also because Reservation Manager is linked to your calendar at HomeAway / VRBO .... if someone books it by making payment, your calendar becomes automatically reserved for those dates. (This does not happen with PPI. PPI is not linked to your HomeAway calendar AT ALL.) When you bill someone for a security deposit, and then you refund the money ... with Reservation Manager, you get refunded all the fees; so it comes out to be a free transaction. With Reservation Manager, there is no option to take credit card info over the phone, it's all online payments. Reservation Manager has 2.5% transaction fee for U.S. domestic, and I believe 3.75% for international ... and a 1% fee for Echeck. With HomeAway Reservation Manager, it seems their rates are the same, no matter who you are, how much volume sales you're doing, etc.
Hope this helps ...
Hi acsolis -
sfvacationhut gave a nice summary response, but I wanted to add a few additional points. ReservationManager is our integrated inquiry mgt, quoting, and online payment tool which is integrated into your listing and calendar (as described above). The first payment processor to be integrated into ReservationManager is VacationRentPayment. While I cannot guarantee anything, VacationRentPayment will work with you if you need to increase your transaction-limit to more than $4,000. Call them directly at 1-866-584-5078, Option 1.
Payment Processing Inc. (PPI) is another payment processing partner. As mentioned above, we don't yet have support for PPI in ReservationManager, but are working to add it and hope to be able to provide an integration timing update soon.
Vtwinbabe, Just wanted to let you know its not the credit card processor's fault. Once you make that "sale" transaction as opposed to an "authorization" for the security deposit the processor incurs fees as well. Most of the 2.5% fee that the processor charges comes from MC/Visa interchange and they will not reimburse the processor so the processor cannot reimburse you. For a processor to tell you otherwise is suspicious to me. Also, I would require the $500 security deposit by check or cash equivalent. What if you have to keep part of their security deposit and the renter does not agree with you? You will open yourself up for a chargeback and probably loose without concrete proof that they were at fault. For this reason I've use the $49 insurance and billed the renter and it has worked out very well. Just my two cents. :-)
I don't know if it's "suspicious" for a credit card processor to refund the transaction fees for refunds.
PayPal does refund the fees for refunds.
The HomeAway Reservation Manager system does, too. Reservation Manager allows you to charge the money for the security deposit, and then refund the amount, without having to pay a processing fee. Unless the HomeAway Reservation Manager system is actually doing it as an Authorization?
But I know for sure that PayPal is not doing it as an authorization. I receive funds in PayPal ... let's say it was supposed to be $250, but I only get $243, due to the fees. If I refund the money to the guest (the buyer) in PayPal, the person receives the full $250 back. When I look at the transaction it says ... $243 being refunded by seller (that's me) and $7 being refunded by PayPal (due to the fees). So for whatever reason ... PayPal is willing to refund those processing fees back to the guest (the buyer).
ReservationManager does not run the transaction as an authorization, rather then funds are being charged to your guests card and deposited into your account. When you refund the deposit, your net proceeds are credited back to the guest, and the fees that VacationRentPayment collected are also credited back to your guest, such that they receive a full refund of all monies paid. Hope that helps. Patrick
For PPI use the authorization hold "Auth" transaction to reserve your $500 secuirty deposit. The cost is twenty five cents regarless of the amount. If it becomes neccessary to use the guests security deposit to settle their account you perform a one time "Capture" transaction that takes some or all of the pre authorized amount and turns it into a sale. The Authorization hold automatically roles off the guests creidt card after 30 days so you can't use it in advance. it does not show up as a sale on your guests card, unless you convert it via capture but will apply to their credit limit while in place. This is the same method used by rental car angencies and many hotels. The VRBO reservation manager allows you to take the security deposit as a sale and refund it without any charges. It also has automated billing.
I guess PPI does not want the rental business, because that would not work for even a 1 week rental, you would loose access to the preauthorized funds prior to settling the account after checkout. How can they support the lodging industry with this policy? That must be real recent change, or they failed to tell me that, I stopped using them a couple of weeks ago when I switched to RM due to better credit terms.
I recently found out that PPI changed their terms after I opened the merchant account with them and never told me. When I recently called them to review their rate terms they told me when a customer uses a credit card affiliated with an airline mileage program, they will charge me an additional percentage to cover that cost, I recall that being 2.5% or more. I don’t think PPI is very competitive and the VRBO RM is much more suited to the rental business, and it’s nice the payment system is integrated into the VRBO RM.
Sophie, thanks for alerting me to the PPI authorization timeframe change. I will definitely check into that because it certainly makes it difficult to do security deposit pre-auths if guests stay more than just a few days. I'm a new PPI customer and have been pleased with the service so far, plus the 2.5% discount rate and no fees is great. Bayside, my terms and conditions info from PPI says that corporate and rewards cards at both at the 2.5% rate, so I'm a little concerned by your post. I will need to confirm that.
Being able to independently send invoices by email to guests is a huge plus, which the Vacation Rental Payments system does not offer outside of Homeaway Reservation Manager. I cannot use HA's Reservation Manager because it's not detailed enough for my needs, so PPI is really the best choice for us.
I had been using PPI for my credit card payment because of the flat 2.5% charge. Now I have discovered a fee that I wasn't aware of. When I called to find out what it was, I was told that it is a VISA network fee. They claimed it is not their fee because it is a direct pay through from VISA. When I told the PPI customer service rep that I had not been notified, she reviewed her records and said the information had been sent to me with my March statement. Since I hadn't processed credit card payments during March, I hadn't received that statement. Currently, their rates are still better than VacationRentalPayments, but discovered this new fee was a disappointment.
We (you & I and others) had been talking on the other thread before swlinphx got us closed down, so I posted here.
After I found out that Reservation Manager is now works with PayPros (PPI) also, I unlinked from VacationRentalPayments (VRP) and linked with PayPros.
I just got a statement and had a $7.00 fee. It is a variable fee based on volume. So, for example, tier 1 is less than $50 in sales per month and the fee is $2, tier 4 is $1,000-3,999/month and the fee is $7. My charges had been $1500, so I was hit (unexpectedly) with the $7 fee.
The most annoying part is that it isn't mentioned anywhere and when I called customer service, they tried to say it wasn't "their fee" - that it's an across the board for anyone using VISA.
VRP does not list this additional fee so I don't know if they have it or feel it will be absorbed in the 3.75% they charge for international. Or maybe they aren't admitting to it either? As far as I'm concerned, this was lack of disclosure by PPI.
And when we were talking about it under the other thread, I wasn't yet aware of this additional fee.
I think swlinphx was a convenient reason for the moderator to lock the thread. I switched to PayPros F.K.A PPI after discussing and confirming their terms and conditions. I reviewed and signed an agreement with Paypros, and no fees were disclosed, pass through or otherwise. I asked about monthly fees, annual fees, account setup fees etc. They told me there were none! I have not received a statement yet but if they are accessing a fee that they did not disclose, I am going to be really ticked. If it’s something coming from Visa then I would expect all card processors would be passing it along, which does not appear to be the case.
I was told that this is just a VISA fee and the letter I now received (via email when I called to ask what the fee was) states that it is a "Fixed Acquirer Network Fee" (FANF) started by VISA on April 1, 2012.
Apparently it is just starting to show up on June statements, arriving this month.
From internet searching, it appears that MasterCard & Discover may also start something similar - if they haven't already. Not sure but I haven't gotten anything from PPI indicating MC or Discover. The
PPI customer service representative also suggested I stop taking VISA - maybe to boycott this fee? - but since I am not point of service to swipe card, I have no way of knowing if the card is Visa, MC, or Discover.
PS. I just figured out my effective rate when I allow the $200 deposit by credit card.
At 2.5%, the service charge is $5. With the new VISA network fee, I am assessed an additional $5 (if the credit card is VISA - which is a preferred international card).
So my service charge on $200 is $10. Therefore, the actual rate I am charged is 5%.
That is higher than the 3.75% VRP charges for international.
Depending on the mix of domestic vs international, it may be better to use VRP for processor than PPI.
Industry Terms: FANF
This is the latest installment in The Official Merchant Services Blog’s Knowledge Base effort. Well we want to make the payment processing industry’s terms and buzzwords clear. We want to remove any and all confusion merchants might have about how the industry works. Host Merchant Services promises: the company delivers personal service and clarity. So we’re going to take some time to explain how everything works. This ongoing series is where we define industry related terms and slowly build up a knowledge base and as we get more and more of these completed, we’ll collect them in our resource archive for quick and easy access. Today’s term is:
Fixed Acquirer Network Fee (FANF)
The Fixed Acquirer Network Fee is a new fee instituted by Visa. It began on April 1, 2012 and is a response from Visa to deal with the losses incurred by the Durbin Amendment’s hard cap on debit swipe fees.
FANF applies to the acceptance of all Visa-branded products and is based on both the size and the number of merchant locations. The FANF fee will be based on volume reported in July 2012. Visa requires U.S. acquirers to provide new merchant location reporting for the tracking of this fee. The new reporting requirements include a monthly breakdown of acquired merchants, number of merchant locations, and merchant sales volume by merchant Taxpayer ID.
For Card Present merchants, with the exception of Fast Food Restaurants, a merchant Taxpayer ID with physical locations is assessed FANF on a per-location rate basis. For example, Card Present Merchants with one to three locations will see a pass through per location per month fee of $2. Price per location per month increases according to the number of locations – upwards of $65 month for merchants exceeding 4000 locations. Card Present High Volume MCC Merchants with one to three locations see a pass through per location per month fee of $2.90. Price per location per month will increase according to location — upwards of $85 month for merchants exceeding 4000 locations.
Customer Not Present, merchant aggregators and merchants primarily operating as Fast Food Restaurants (MCC 5814) are assessed based on gross merchant sales volume originating from any Visa-branded card. Merchants that fall into this category with monthly gross sales volume ranging from less than $50 a month on the low end will see a $2 a month fee- to merchants with gross sales exceeding $400 million at a $40,000 a month fee. There are some 18 tiers, with a merchant falling into a volume tier of $8,000 to $39,999 a month seeing a new $15 per month FANF fee.
Visa also waives the FANF for eligible Charitable and Social Service Organizations (MCC 8398). The FANF waiver for Charitable and Social Service Organizations is provided through a quarterly rebate process that Visa has indicated will be defined at a later date.
The United States Department of Justice antitrust division opened an investigation March 13 into Visa Inc.’s PIN-debit strategies. FANF is a key element in the investigation.
To find out more about the new fees from Visa, MasterCard and Discover in 2012, click THIS LINK and read our Blog post about it.
From what I have read online…VISA and MasterCard are rolling out these new fees to merchants to replace revenue they lost from debit swipe. It remains to be seen if VRP/Yapstone will be passing these fees along as well. The justice department is investigating but don’t hold your breath on that one.
Today The Official Merchant Services Blog wants to review the details of VISA’s new Fixed Acquirer Network Fee (FANF). On April 1, 2012, Visa began charging this new fee. But it has taken about this long for it to catch up to merchants and their statements. The process sort of knocked its way down like dominoes falling — The fees went in effect in April, but were based on May’s activity, so didn’t show up until June’s statements, that many merchants are now noticing here in July.
These fees are new, and start to show up on statements where they hadn’t appeared before and they have the appearance of being hidden fees. This development goes against the Host Merchant Services policy of no hidden fees. Which is why we’ve attacked this story so vigorously in our blog, trying to keep our readership up to date on these new card association fees affecting the credit card processing industry.
The HMS Guarantee
Host Merchant Services wants to assure its customers that it sticks by its guarantee. HMS will never increase their fees for their customers. HMS continues to offer the guaranteed lowest rate. And that rate is frozen. Unfortunately, Card Association Fees are new, and are not part of any current pricing model. They are also mandated and initiated by the credit card companies themselves — Visa, MasterCard and Discover. All processors everywhere will be adding them to their pricing structure. So your statement will start showing new fees moving forward. But we here at Host Merchant Services will help explain what they are, where they come from and why they’re just now appearing on your statement. So please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your statement.
Now About Those Fees
FANF is the most high profile of the new fees. But it’s name is a bit misapplied, as the fee itself is not “fixed” in any sense of the word. The FANF is a monthly fee that will affect all merchants to a varying degree. For card present businesses like retailers, the amount of the Fixed Acquirer Network Fee will be based on the number of locations a business has. For card not present businesses like e-commerce operations, the FANF will be based on gross Visa processing volume. So the “Fixed” fee’s actual amount varies based on multiple factors. Those variables are:
For example: card-not-present business processing between $8,000 and $39,999 will be hit with a Fixed Acquirer Network Fee of $15 a month opposed to just $2 for a card present business with similar volume and one location.
Besides FANF, Visa also is implementing a Transaction Integrity Fee and making revisions to its Network Acquirer Processing Fee. Visa’s Transaction Integrity Fee is a new $0.10 fee that will apply to U.S. domestic regulated and non-regulated purchase transactions made with a Visa Debit card or Visa Prepaid card that fail or do not request Custom Payment Service (CPS) qualification. On the other hand, the Network Acquirer Processing Fee on Visa-branded signature debit will be reduced — going from $0.0195 per authorization to $0.0155 per authorization. The fee for credit card authorization will remain $0.0195 per authorization.
Just so you know, the information did not come with a statement, it was a separate letter all by itself. So Ice0606 ... you should have received it.
Actually I haven't used PPI in a long time, but a few months ago I received a letter in the mail from PPI. It said that there would be a new monthly fee from VISA. The letter said that I had up until a certain date, which was a few weeks in the future, to cancel my account with PPI; otherwise, I would begin being charged this monthly fee from Visa. I found it very annoying and was planning to cancel my PPI account because of it, but I have not gotten around to doing that yet. (It has been a very busy last few months for me, I've been busy with other stuff, besides vacation rentals.) Thank goodness, so far I don't believe I have been getting any monthly charges from PPI, but it's possible because I haven't yet gone through the recent months of financial activity with a fine tooth comb.
Thanks for the info.
I had assumed that I should have received a disclosure by mail, but I did not.
When I called to ask customer service about the additional fee, I was told that it was included with the March statement.
I have no idea either way because I did not receive it. - Might have been delivered to wrong residence?
During the conversation the customer service representative emailed the letter and VISA billing table to me and that was the first time I saw it - after the fee was assessed.
The thing was, when I did the calculations, even though a single deposit of $200 will now cost me an effective rate of 5% (if it is a VISA charge), it still may be better than the 3.75% on all reward or international credit cards that VacationRentalPayments (other HomeAway/VRBO processor that will link with ReservationManager) charges.
I'm going to have to figure it out.
The real kick is that, using online payment, the homeowner has no idea if the credit card used is VISA, MC, or Discover until the fee shows up on your statement.
The customer service person told me that I could stop taking VISA, but since I don't have point of service to swipe card, I have no idea.
Trying to keep up with fees and changes is at least a part-time job in itself
I own a rental home in Nevis, West Indies and I live here. When I contacted HA for advice on accepting credit cards they told me they couldn't help but PPI could. I contacted PPI asking for help and got a curt response:
"I appreciate your interest but were unable to set up out of the country merchant accounts"
I wrote back telling them I had been referred by HA and was there any other direction they could point me. Their next response was even shorter:
"HomeAway and VRBO gave you wrong information."
What a wonderful customer service department they have!
Over the past month I have received several sophisticated e-mail phishing scams via HA and VRBO. Having researched I learned that scams are also being perpetrated on renters sending money by wire. This all means that we are losing out badly by not being able to offer our prospective renters the ability to secure a payment via credit card. I do have a PayPal account here but for some reason PayPal have decided to increase their fees to all customers in St Kitts & Nevis to 4.5%. This seems extortionate and I refuse to use them. Squareup do not offer services outside the 50 states.
Does anyone know of a service we can use to accept cc's outside the USA?
Has anyone considered passing the credit card fees on to the guest? That is allowed now by the credit card companies as they recently settled a law suit
Retailers will be able to charge their customers more for paying with credit cards under the terms of a multibillion-dollar settlement announced late in the day on Friday.
MasterCard, Visa and major banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, agreed to pay more than $6 billion to settle accusations that they engaged in anticompetitive practices in payment processing.
The settlement is the culmination of a lawsuit brought in federal court on behalf of roughly seven million merchants in 2005. Merchants said that the companies engaged in price-fixing to charge high fees for processing credit and debit card payments.
In addition, the merchants claimed, the payment processors unfairly banned stores from compelling their customers to use less expensive methods of payments like cash and checks.
“Our decision to settle is based on our belief that MasterCard and our stakeholders are best served by an amicable resolution,” Noah Hanft, MasterCard’s general counsel, said in a statement.
Joseph Saunders, the chief executive of Visa, reiterated that the settlement was in the best interest of all the parties. Together, MasterCard and Visa have agreed to pay $5.2 billion.
As part of the settlement, MasterCard and Visa additionally agreed to reduce the charge to process transactions for eight months. That fee reprieve is estimated by the plaintiffs to be worth $1.2 billion.
“We think this is a historic victory,” said K. Craig Wildfang, a lawyer with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi who represented the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
The retailers battling the card giants include Kroger and Safeway.
Last year, retailers won another victory over what financial firms can charge them when customers use a different form of plastic, the debit card.
Under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, banks had to reduce “swipe fees” that they collect from merchants each time a customer makes a purchase with a debit card.
Under the credit-card settlement on Friday, worked out over months of negotiations, merchants can charge higher prices to consumers who decide to pay for their purchases with credit cards.
A customer, for example, who buys a $100 item with a credit card might be charged an additional $2.50. A judge still needs to approve the settlement.
Until now, the card companies banned merchants from adding such a surcharge, although gas stations and other retailers sometimes offered a discount for customers who paid in cash.
Lawyers for the merchants said the ability to charge for credit card use would not necessarily result in greater costs for consumers, but rather can be used as a way to push the credit card processors to reduce the amount they charge merchants.
Retailers have long sought to be able to charge customers more who pay with credit, reasoning that levying greater fees would help reduce their overall costs for accepting the plastic.
Merchants pay roughly $40 billion in fees each year to MasterCard and Visa issuing banks, Mr. Wildfang said.
The American Bankers Association said in a statement that while the banks “may not like all the results in this case, our industry is ready to put this matter behind us.”
Frank Keating, the association’s president, said: “Let’s be clear — retailers, not consumers, benefit from today’s resolution.”
Bay, I've been following this suit and was happy to hear that "we" merchants may have won this round, at least so far.
I consider my banking fees to be a business expense and don't think I've ever paid more than $400 a year (This includes CC processing fees, account charges, etc.- all tax deductable. AND iI like tax deductions!!!)
I've never really considered offering a cash discount since I do all my bookings and payments long distance. Processing echecks still come with a fee as well. So, it wouldn't really work for me, unless a reservation was far enough out that I could manage the whole mailing of checks, making sure they clear, etc.. But I can see it working for those who live close to their properties.
Good topic for those living close to their homes though.
Yes. I already pass on my credit card fee for balance due. When we rent in Hawaii, the policy is to pay deposit by credit card and balance by check. That is what I now do for my rental. However, I now allow the balance to be paid by credit card if the customer is willing to pay the credit card fee, which I call a "credit card convenience fee."