Reducing False Positives in Fraud Detection

We’ve been hearing a lot about false positives lately as it relates to coronavirus tests. Such outcomes always result in stress and frustration.

But there is another kind of false positive that predates the pandemic – they happen when a legitimate credit or debit card purchase is mistakenly flagged and rejected. Result? Also stress and frustration – both for the person being declined and the business that has to relay the news.

Why Does It Happen?

As fraud detection tools screen every transaction more carefully, their filters sometimes catch legitimate sales as well, because of characteristics and patterns deemed suspicious. Having been burned too often in the past, merchants are now erring on the side of caution.

What Is The Result?

Start with the obvious – you just lost a sale for no reason. A 2017 Global Fraud Survey found that 3.1% of incoming orders of more than $100 were mistakenly declined. That can add up to several thousand dollars over the course of a year.

Did you lose a customer as well? In a 2015 survey of U.S. consumers, 32% said they wouldn’t shop with a merchant again following a decline. And angry customers are the ones most likely to tell the world what happened on social media. As a result, one declined transaction may result in dozens of customers taking their business elsewhere.

What Can You Do?

Obviously protection against fraud is essential, and every retailer should have advanced tools in place to keep them safe. But the challenge is separating the sales that are legitimately declined from the false positives.

Doing so begins with a secure and dependable payment processing solution. For any size business and any industry, the Cliq team can customize a payment solution that fits exactly what your company needs in order to help meet your business goals – including accurate results and satisfied customers.

Ready to get started? Contact us here

A “High-Risk” Business Needs a High Quality Credit Card Processor

Is your business considered high-risk? You may be surprised to discover that, to some merchant processing providers, it falls into that category.

You would expect to find online gaming, adult entertainment, bail bonding and debt collection under that classification. But credit card processors also contend that other businesses have experienced higher-than-average incidents of chargebacks, fraud investigations and refund rates. That list includes law firms, consumer electronics, and life coaching.

Sometimes it’s not even a matter of the products or services you provide. If your business is cyclical, or relies on subscription-based sales, you may find yourself in a category where credit card processors are wary over the volatility of your revenue.

At Cliq, high-risk is not a deal-breaker.

Our approach is to get to know your business and the people behind it. As a merchant services provider we want to help your company succeed, and to go beyond the typical services offered by other companies.

Does “high-risk” automatically mean higher rates for your merchant account, plus higher setup fees, payment gateway fees, and chargeback fees that will impact your monthly sales figures? Not necessarily.

Your business is unique. So we’ll discuss your options, and all of the factors involved with your credit card processing needs. If there are risk factors we’ll work with you to mitigate them when possible, so a rolling reserve or minimum reserve may not be required in every case. We’ll also offer suggestions on how you can reduce chargebacks, such as better communication with your customers about your return and refund policy.

The Cliq difference

We work with a wide range of industries, including those that are seasonal, such as camps. As your company’s needs change we’ll change with them, providing the solutions you need to keep growing and prospering.

Let’s talk about your needs, and how we can help

The COVID Challenge: How Cliq Can Help

How many of us believed back in March that we’d still be coping with the coronavirus pandemic in September?

No business will emerge from this unscathed. One of the priorities in this challenging moment is to keep your company afloat by maximizing the impact of every purchase, and making it as easy as possible for customers to shop with you online.

Your choice of payment processing provider can help you do just that.

The Cliq Difference

At a time when businesses are relying more than ever on their websites for marketing and sales, Cliq can help by delivering a payment processing solution that offers all of the convenience, ease-of-use and security business owners require, and that customers expect when they are shopping online.

Having worked with companies large and small in a wide range of fields, we can also discuss a marketing support strategy to help you grow your business – that’s something other payment processing services cannot provide.

And since you need to maximize the economic impact of every purchase made as these shutdowns persist, we’ll explain the payment structure options available to you, and what we believe would work best based for your type of business, projected sales volume, and other factors. While some costs are unavoidable, that may help you to avoid some convenience fees and other charges that cut into your profits.

Unfortunately, too many companies still think all payment processing solutions are the same. Talk to a Cliq representative today – and discover the difference between a payment processing provider and a partner in your success.

Experience the Cliq® Difference.

Working with Cliq is different. We as a company take pride in having an innovative emphasis in all that we do, consistently thinking of creative solutions for our clients and partners.

This philosophy trickles down from our CEO and Founder, Andy Phillips, to the entire team. Our team is small in size, yet mighty in capacity and this makes us different.

At Cliq, we take on the success of our clients first and foremost. If you win, we celebrate with you and if you have an issue, we work urgently to resolve it. Whether a business is just starting out, has been around for decades or is looking to revamp their current success into something different, we take the time to get to know you and your goals well. By getting to know who you are, and what your business vision is, we strategize and collaborate to create a plan of success for you.

This is the Cliq® Difference. Humans getting to know other humans for the purpose of supporting their vision of success. This lives true within our team, and to all those we get the opportunity to work with. Standing as an example for a different way of payment processing, focusing on creative solutions to attain mutual success through integrity and collaboration. Working with a company that lives the philosophy of supporting the success of all those around creates a different way of doing business.

Connect with a relationship manager to begin experiencing the Cliq® Difference now. https://www.cliq.com/contact-us/

Card Transaction Surcharges- What You Need to Know

Nobody reacts well to the word “surcharge.” It implies paying more for something to cover someone else’s expenses. But some merchants believe these fees are necessary as a way to recover all or part of the transaction fee from a card purchase.

The situation is further complicated by different terminology (the surcharge is called a “convenience fee” in some industries) and by varying state laws. Since 2013, VISA has allowed merchants to add surcharges in all but 10 states, but the legal settlement that established that precedent was recently overturned by a federal appeals court.

If and until new legislation is passed, here is some information about surcharges that may be helpful.

According to VISA Core Rules and VISA Product and Service Rules, U.S. merchants cannot impose a surcharge in circumstances where it is prohibited by other card brands. Surcharges are not allowed on debit cards and prepaid cards, including gift cards.

Notification of the surcharge and the exact amount or percentage must be made at the retailers’ point of entry and at the point of sale, and the amount must appear on the transaction receipt. For purchases not made in-store, such as via telephone or website, cardholders must be informed of the surcharge and have an opportunity to cancel the purchase.

The 10 states that do not allow surcharging under any circumstances are:

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Straight Answers From Cliq

Sadly, some of the confusion around surcharges emanates from less than scrupulous point of sale device providers. Some of these companies try to gain a competitive edge by telling retailers that surcharging is allowed on all card types, and that some surcharges can only be applied by using their “patented” system. They also charge retailers more – perhaps as much as $150 per terminal per month – to access this bogus privilege.

Retailers that are taken in by these schemes not only wind up overcharging customers and paying much more than they should for merchant processing services, they are also breaking the law.

This is why it is important to choose a merchant services provider like Cliq that will give you straight answers and make certain that your business practices in this area are in accordance with surcharge regulations as they exist now.

Since the possibility exists that laws will change, or that VISA and other card providers may withdraw their surcharging practices altogether (as American Express already does), some merchants have abandoned surcharging services now, figuring it may ultimately cost them more than what they’ll get back.

Talk to a Cliq representative about this issue if you have any additional questions.

Tips, Fees, and Time-Saving Solutions*

In restaurants and hair salons, hotels and taxicab companies, tipping is part of the everyday practice of doing business.

But as much as employees love receiving tips, business owners would rather avoid the headaches of creating tip pools, calculating tip payouts, and keeping accurate records, for both the IRS and other government agencies that oversee how and when these funds can be collected.

As there has recently been more action in the courts concerning the Fair Labor Standards Act requirements for tipped employees, this seems like a good time to review the current laws on who can participate in tip pools and whether certain deductions may be made from tips.

1. Minimum wage is required – but can also be avoided

Employers are allowed to take a “tip credit” for employees who regularly receive tips, allowing them to reduce their hourly salary to as little as $2.13. This may be acceptable only when combined income from wages and tips is equal or above minimum wage, and when all tips go into a tip pool.

2. What constitutes a tipped employee?

A decision handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit stated that any employee could be included in a tip pool if it can be expected that the customer intended the employee to receive a portion of the tip. But how can you be sure of that? You can’t, of course, so some businesses try to clarify the designations by only including employees that have some direct contact with customers. In other words, if you serve the cheesecake to the customer’s table, you’re in the pool. If you put the whipped cream on top of the cake back in the kitchen, you may be left out.

3. Can employers deduct fees from tips paid with a credit card? 

Another Fifth Circuit decision decided that employers could retain 3.25% of tips paid by credit card. Some restaurant owners tried to take even more, to offset the costs of purchasing and using equipment that processes credit cards. The court said no.

Tip Processing Made Easier

Given all of these other considerations, business owners can benefit from anything that makes the tip calculation and payment more accurate and less time-consuming. That’s TIPS by Cliq®. More than just a tip reporting system, it’s a simple, easy to use solution for owners/managers that also provides tip distribution to employees on a VISA® payroll card.

Find out more about TIPS by Cliq®

Satisfying Buyers and Suppliers with ACH

The best outcome in any business transaction is one that makes all parties involved happy.

With B2B payments, it is often the case that what vendors need most to manage incoming payments may be a different priority from those shared by business owners or corporate buyers.

Suppliers always want to be paid yesterday. Buyers prefer to control payment terms in whatever way makes it more convenient for them.

Fortunately, there is one solution that delivers for both: ACH.

Now buyers who want more extended payment terms can still rely on the ages-old custom of writing a paper check, which they can send out when its convenient, knowing they still have a day or two to make sure it’s covered.

That may generate some cash flow issues with suppliers but ACH makes it easier to manage them. An electronic payment solution tracks when money comes in and goes out from a bank account.

While commercial cards offer the same visibility, they also require an interchange fee that industries with low profit margins would prefer to avoid.

Speed, cash visibility, and no added cost burdens – that’s why ACH may be the best option available for satisfying buyers and suppliers.

Find out more about ACH solutions available from Cliq

Paycards and the Unbanked

Let’s face it – paycards have their supporters and their detractors. But while these discussions take place among financial experts and industry observers, there are tens of thousands of people who rely on a paycard every day to support themselves and their families.

These are the unbanked. Their reasons for not wishing to have a checking account may vary, but that decision should not stand in the way of getting paid for the work they do.

These folks have other options, such as getting paid in cash. But that can be dangerous, especially for workers who leave their place of employment late at night, and may have to walk or take a bus home. Street crime is a sad reality in our cities and if someone has their cash stolen there is no way for that loss to be reimbursed.

Those funds are protected when they are added to a paycard. There is a paper trail from the employer and a means to stop payment should the password for a paycard be stolen or hacked.

Checks are also safer than cash, but the unbanked employee still needs a place to cash them. Check-cashing businesses charge a fee for their services – why should these employees be penalized for not having a checking account?

Fortunately, while paycard debates may continue, their popularity continues to increase, and not just among the unbanked. Many millennials prefer the convenience of cards to cash and checks even if they have a bank account. That trend is likely to continue and will have a positive impact on the unbanked as well, as there will be less of a stigma over ‘special treatment’ afforded them when it comes to payday.

One thing is for certain – there will always be a percentage of the population that is looking for other options. Paycards provide a fast and easy way for them to join the workforce and access their funds.

Find out more about Cliq’s paycard solutions

Why the Smallest Business Still Needs Automated Payment Processing

“Time is money” may be a cliché, but in business it’s also indisputable.

Automated payment collection and processing offers a faster solution than the old-fashioned method of collecting payments through invoices. But today’s small companies may not think it makes that much difference. In fact, one industry expert estimates that no more than 5% of small service providers in the U.S. are currently using end-to-end automation for payment processing.

The irony is that these are the types of companies that would benefit most from ditching their manual business processes.

A small company only has a few employees, so every hour spent on invoicing, running back and forth to the bank and other tasks is time taken away from servicing current customers and finding new ones.

Without an automated system, the billing process takes longer and is subject to more errors. And since employees may not have time to chase down every late payment, some invoices typically never get paid at all. For a company that may require every incoming dollar to expand or even just to stay afloat, that type of loss can be devastating.

An automated payment processing solution is not only convenient but also affordable, and once these company owners realize how efficiently they can now collect customer payments, without the tedious administrative work and with no lapses in cash flow, they will wonder why they didn’t make the switch sooner.

With a small business, whether there is ten employees or just one, every customer counts and every job deserves fast payment. Automated payment processing can play a critical role in keeping these businesses in business.

Find out more about payment processing solutions from Cliq