Did You Know: Credit Card Surcharges In Florida Are Prohibited

Did You Know: Credit Card Surcharges In Florida Are Prohibited

Although merchants in most states are permitted to add credit card surcharges (but not debit cards or gift cards), Florida law specifically prohibits a surcharge.

State of Florida Statute: Credit Card Surcharges

501.0117 Florida Statutes, states, in part:

“(1)…A seller or lessor in a sales or lease transaction may not impose a surcharge on the buyer or lessee for electing to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check, or similar means, if the seller or lessor accepts payment by credit card…”.

The statute further states that:

“…(2) A person who violates the provisions of subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.”

To view a copy of 501.0117, Florida Statute; Click Here

In addition, violation of this Florida law could also place the merchant in jeopardy of losing credit card acceptance privileges at their place of business.

SURCHARGE OR CONVENIENCE FEE – What is the difference?

SURCHARGE:   An extra sum of money a merchant chooses to add to the purchase price when a customer uses a credit card.  This is added to offset the processing fee imposed on the merchant by the credit card company for each transaction.  The fee could range from 1.5% – 5%.

SOLUTION:  If you are in Florida or one of the other states prohibiting a surcharge, consider offering your credit card customers a discount to pay in cash

States where adding a surcharge is illegal:   Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.

Some of these states are contesting the restriction of credit card surcharges, so KEEP INFORMED.

CONVENIENCE FEE:  This is a fixed charge added to a purchase price when an alternative payment method is offered. Examples would be paying on line or by phone using a credit card.  An example if a business allows a customer to pay an invoice online, you are paying the convenience fee for the privilege of being able to pay on line.  Each card company may have different guidelines, so you must know these requirements.

THE BOTTOM LINE:  Stay abreast of changes in this realm, things can always change.  Read and know your contract provisions with each card network concerning Surcharges and Convenience Fees.  KNOW YOUR STATE LAW, as it can differ from your card network requirements, and the state law dictates.

If you ever have questions regarding processing, fees, or charges on your business statement Card Systems can help. Whether you have general questions or are looking for alternative processing contact us today @ 866.207.3298 or by email.

 

 

If you’d like to read more about credit card surcharges please check out our reference points:
Article 1
Article 2

Small Business Can Compete With Larger Rivals

Small Business Can Compete With Larger Rivals

Most small business owners ask themselves is ” will I be able to compete against my big box store and online competition?” When we hear the name Ace Hardware we may not always think about them being a small local business. In fact, each location is owned and operated by members of our local communities. You will notice that each Ace store has varying selections because the owners are empowered to make their own purchasing decisions. Inventory is not dictated by a corporate office, allowing each location to offer the right products and prices for their local community.

Ace Wins Big!

Locally owned and operated Ace Hardware stores throughout the country, have out-ranked Lowe’s, Home Depot and Menards as the favorite home improvement retailer. The small town hardware store achieved an incredible composite loyalty score of 63% in a Market Force Information study.  They beat the Big Box stores!

Of the four companies selected Ace Hardware’s score was 63%. The remaining competitors were  Menards 60%, Lowes 55% and Home Depot 51%. A poll of more than 7800 consumers was used to determine the home improvement rankings.  Ace Hardware was strong in most categories, especially ease in finding merchandise, knowledgeable and service-driven staff, and speedy checkouts.

Small Business Works For The D.I.Y. Consumer

The study also shows that 60% of the consumers polled consider themselves “DIY enthusiasts. Those are the consumers who make their own purchases and complete their own home improvement projects.  As for the “do-it-for-me” group, 22% purchase the material and outsource the work.

Home improvement could be a bright light in the retail sector with remodeling  projects on the rise and consumers more confident about investing in their homes,”  says Ray Walsh, CEO of Market Force Information,  “…retailers must continue to focus on the customer experience to differentiate their offer and capture a greater share of this growing market, excelling  in areas such as value, store cleanliness and merchandise variety and availability.”

Card Systems understands the challenges of small to medium sized businesses. One of the most complicated tasks is to determine what system is right for me? Whether you’re in need of a basic credit card terminal, point of sale system, integrated solution, or need to take payments online, we can help you choose the right solution for your business.  Call today 866.207.3298 or email for more information how we can increase your business efficiency and workflow.

 

Reference:
ACE 
HBS Dealer

Do You Get Robocalls?

Do You Get Robocalls?

We have recently received callers indicating “Credit Card Systems” has contacted them numerous times with a robocall.  A robocall is a computerized auto dialer that, when picked up, delivers a prerecorded message typically with a very friendly voice.  In the past, robocalls have been associated with emergency announcements and political campaigns.  More recently, these automated calls are an easy way for telemarketer scammers to get through to easy victims.  These automated calls are an inexpensive way for fraudsters to get a hold of your personal information.  This “con” initiated by robocallers like “Rachel” has been going on for years.

Real People Not Robocalls

We are not “Credit Card Systems” and we do not make robocalls.  Remember, if you get a robocall that’s trying to sell you something, that call is illegal unless you have given that company specific permission to call you.

What can you do about it?

  1. Immediately hang up
  2. Don’t press any keys to speak to an operator
  3. Do not respond in any way, it will probably lead to more robocalls
  4. Don’t give them your number to add you to their do not call list (they don’t have one)
  5. Never give out personal information
  6. Never call back
  7. Block their phone number (easy step on today’s smartphones)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has tried to shut down the process, but usually, the perpetrators are out of the country using US spoofed phone numbers.  And because they are still making money with the process, they just won’t quit.

For anyone unfamiliar with Caller ID Spoofing here is a brief summary: “Caller ID spoofing is the practice of causing the telephone network to indicate to the receiver of a call that the originator of the call is a station other than the true originating station. For example, a Caller ID display might displays a phone number different from that of the telephone from which the call was placed. Caller ID spoofing is used to describe situations where the motivation is considered malicious by the speaker or writer.” It’s important to note that

It’s important to note that caller ID displays can’t always be trusted and it’s possible that the originating caller may not be the number being shown on your screen. A quick Google search for “How to spoof caller ID” results in an astounding 241,000 plus results.

Card Systems NEVER makes robocalls and should you ever be in doubt of the legitimacy of a phone call please feel free to hang up and contact us by dialing 866.207.3298.

Meet The Clover Flex, POS In The Palm Of Your Hand

Meet The Clover Flex, POS In The Palm Of Your Hand

Help Your Business Run More Efficiently

The new Clover Flex is an all in one device that will help you better assist customers, no matter where they are in your business. Need to bust a line? Use the Clover Flex to work transactions and reduce line congestion. Having a device you can use anywhere your business takes you from the counter, the table, or in a customer’s home is sure to benefit daily operations.

A unique device that is just as easy to hold as it is to pass to your customer to complete debit or signature transactions. Offering the ultimate in flexibility and customer service this device is sure to delight its users.

Clover Flex Features

  • Built-in barcode scanner and receipt printer
  • Compatible with existing Clover devices
  • Fully operation Point of Sale applications in the palm of your hand
  • Fast and Flexible wi-fi and 3G wireless options
  •  Electronic signature capture and receipt tracking
  • PIN entry without the need for an additional pin pad
  • Swipe, Dip, and NFC enabled
  • 5′ HD screen with touch display
  • Built in camera
  • Lightweight all in one solution weighing approximately 1 pound

This device is truly as flexible as your business needs. Whether you need to take an order online and complete it at the counter, tableside checkout, or sidewalk sale the Clover Flex can handle the task quickly and easily. This device will even allow your employees to clock in and out with photo verification. Maybe you would like to add a gift card or loyalty club for your customers? You can manage it all from this powerful handheld device and the easy to use Clover online dashboard from any internet connected computer.

Contact us today for more details about how the Clover Flex can start helping your business today!

Call 866.207.3298 or email

Using Surge Protectors To Keep Your Equipment Safe?

Using Surge Protectors To Keep Your Equipment Safe?

Florida, known to hold the title for the lightning capital of the United States. Are you protecting your electronic equipment with surge protectors and battery backups?

Hurricane season spans June 1st through November 30th.

  • Review your homeowners’ policy (Keep in mind there is a 30 day waiting period for flood insurance to take effect)
  • Prep a bag in case you have to leave
  • Weigh out the reasons for travel insurance, if necessary
  • Lastly, keep an up to date backup of your business and personal electronic records

Hurricanes aren’t the only things to be concerned about, with this season comes heavy rains, high winds and worst of all, LIGHTNING!   According to the National Weather Service, the central Florida peninsula from Tampa Bay to Cape Canaveral has the highest lightning concentration in the United States, 90% of the country’s lightning strikes happen in that region between the hours of noon and midnight.

It’s also important to use common sense when engaging in outdoor activities or working outside. (e.g. construction workers, park rangers, golfers, campers etc.) These are the people lightning effects the most. Lightning can travel 10 miles but it has been indicated in some situations to travel as far as 50 miles. Local schools have adopted lightning meters for these instances in particular. There are several smartphone applications that will alert a user when lightning is within a 10-mile radius. Check out Weatherbug, which seems to be popular with most local news outlets.

Keeping Your Home and Business Safe

With Florida being the lighting capital of the world be sure you take extra caution to protect your valuables. Especially business owners, make sure your insurance is intact, that your security system has battery backup, you may want to consider eGuarded’s wireless security system.

Surge Protectors

Most of all be sure you have your computers and point of sale equipment connected to “surge protectors” at a bare minimum or opt for the extended protection of a battery backup with built-in surge protection.  Are uncertain what type of protection you need for your home or business? Feel free to give us a call us at 866.207.3298, we can help you protect your devices.

Hacker Awareness and Internet Security

Hacker Awareness and Internet Security

Today more than ever it’s difficult to turn on your television, tablet, smartphone, or computer without being alerted that another attack on the internet is taking place. At times we hear about hackers taking control of millions of computers with the looming threat of shutting down hundreds of organizations or limiting access to consumer-owned devices. It seems as though it’s a daily routine. Don’t make yourself an easy target for a hacker.

Being hacker aware by making data security a priority to business owners and consumers alike; after all, we’re all someone’s customer.

What are we supposed to do and where do we start?

This is a good beginning to giving you an idea of where some of the faults can be found. Take a look at this interesting Cyber Risk Pressure Test provided by Traveler’s Insurance, to see where you stand. Guidelines like these can help you implement policies in your business, as well as being more conscientious when it comes to protecting the security of your own identity.

Knowledge Is Power Hacker Beware!

Navigating the road to safe payments is the first thing any business owner should be thinking about. Not just to protect your personal business assets but to secure sensitive customer data from being stolen and used fraudulently. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) has established a guideline for business owners to follow in order to protect themselves and customers from wrong doing.

The following is a sample of some shocking statistics compiled relating to businesses being hacked.

$20,752 the average cost to a small business due to hacking

60% of small businesses experienced a cyber breach

71% of hackers attack a business with under 100 employees

60% of small to medium sized businesses involved in a breach close within six months

69% of American consumers worry about the theft of their payment card data

Reference: PCI Security Standards

How To Reduce Your Risk

  • Always change default passwords to strong passwords that aren’t easy to guess ex. Fr0gHa!R95
  • Keep software up to date
  • Install and schedule regular virus scans
  • Encrypt data whenever possible
  • Protect any network connections, including wi-fi with a strong password

At Card Systems we not only provide our customers with the best and most secure means of payment processing, we also partner with our sister company eGuarded in order to provide the best guidelines outlining the hiring process.

 Our customers are our most valuable asset and so is your protection.  If we can help please call 866.207.3298 or email your questions