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Contactless card Daily Limit Now £30
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Big changes for merchants taking VISA Debit cards

Merchants will find that their bills for taking cards will change.  This is because the charges for VISA debit cards are changing, in most cases, from fixed fee to a % of the transaction.
Some merchant acquirers have already advised their merchant base and it is expected the rest will over the coming weeks.
The reason for the change is that VISA has changed the way that card issuers charge the merchant acquirers.  
For each transaction that the merchant takes with a card holder, part of the charges that the merchant pays the acquirer is paid to the card issuer.  This is called the interchange rate.  
From April 1 2015 the interchange rate for VISA debit cards will be calculated as a percentage of the transaction, rather than a fixed fee per transaction.  
This is in line with how charging on all credit cards has always been done.
 
For merchants who take low value transactions (under £35) this will probably mean a cost saving. For higher value transactions this could mean higher charges on using debit cards.
 
For more information on how it could affect you, please contact BritPay on support@britpay.co.uk, through our website or on 01753 4800 38
 
Ken Hansen
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Paying at the Pump
Over the years we have become used to some Service Stations offering the motorist the opportunity to pay at the pump using their card or going inside and paying at a manned till.  
In the early days there was a lot of discussion over the two approaches to retailing fuel.
Should the retailer go for fuel sales only and clear the pumps for the next customer for higher fuel sales throughput or should they encourage the customer inside to and tempt them to buy the usually higher margin items inside the shop?  We are seeing both strategies adopted as the humble Service Station shop becomes a branded convenience store for supermarket chains such as Tesco or a 24 hour fuel outlet like ASDA.
Lately, I have seen more forecourts offering both.  You can choose whether you pay at the pump or pay in the shop.  Personally I dislike the time it takes to stop and refuel so for me please bring on the convenience of automated card payment at the pumps! Others can enjoy the shop because now we do have a choice.
Ken Hansen
BritPay
www.britpay.co.uk
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 Dealing with Banks
One of the toughest issues that face the small business owner is their relationship with their bank. Bankers as a breed have never quite understood that they are suppliers in a customer/bank relationship.
The normal bank homepage facade promises humans on the other side but when you become a customer, the reality is quite different.  I write this while trying to change our company accounts over from expensive commercial online to a cheaper bulk standard online business service.
The start point suggests phoning our “relationship manager” but that was a wasted exercise.  Tony is a wonderful human being, friendly to the point of best mate but his knowledge of most things banking leaves a lot to be desired.  Although a 20 year corporate veteran, Tony has not got a clue about anything related to the internet or “online”.  His usual way is to fob you off with the telephone number of a different department.   Even after getting a phone number, virtually every time the contact given was not related to what I was after.  Why did I even bother?
 Last resort; look online.  Fantastic, I found a link and a form to fill in.  As I was trying to change two business bank accounts, I filled in two forms.  Guess what?  You have to print the forms and send them to the bank by mail. Two weeks later, nothing has happened.
I phoned the bank again to follow up.  Eventually, after chatting to Tony, Kelly and Marie, I found out that you cannot have two accounts linked to one login so we will have to stay on the expensive service.
Experience tells me that as I fill in the switching forms for most new banks that it will probably be the same, but in a flush of optimism I dream of actually getting some satisfactory service from our banking brethren.
 
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New UK Merchant Services Pricing

Some of you may be aware that there are two new merchant services pricing changes in the first half of this year which are:-
1.      VISA Debit charges will change from a fixed pence rate to a percentage rate plus a fixed pence rate.  Up until now the debit card transaction attracted the cheapest rate for a merchant.  With a percentage applied the debit card cost will be similar to a credit card.  It is not yet known if there will be a cap on the amount for a high value transaction.  At least one bank acquirer has decided not to cap the charge.  This change will be introduced by March this year for all merchants.
2.      Mastercard have announced that they will remove the exception differential between their personal credit cards and their premium business cards.  This means that all their credit cards will be charged at the lower personal card rate.  This change will apply to all merchants and will be introduced by the end of April.
There are other changes to the pricing structure planned to be introduction by the end of the year.  We will keep you abreast of these and all other industry changes.
Please contact us on 01753 4800 38
or visit our website on www.britpay.co.uk
Ken Hansen
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Card Terminal Accessories and Google Ranking
Most companies understand both the importance and the difficulty of raising their Google profile so that they appear on the first page of a search.  Small companies find this especially hard because they either have to spend serious money or invest a lot of time on social networking sites and many other ways to get their internet branding to the forefront.
Providing merchant services is a very competitive business.  We compete directly with acquirer banks who have well known high street names and lots of cash to splash on improving their Google rankings.  Our starting ranking was on about page 56 and I think the last time we looked it had probably improved about 10 pages.
At this point we did start getting orders for our Verifone accessories and particularly charging cradles for portable and mobile terminals.  Orders and queries have come in both from the UK, from a number of countries in Europe, Canada, South Africa and Brazil.  
We speculated on how our most recent customers had found us.  It was surprising and amusing to discover that the key words “Verifone Cradle” put us not only on the first page but also in number two spot - ranked just behind Verifone who is the main supplier.
The lesson, I believe, is that key words are critical and often not the most obvious words which will work best on Google.
To find out more about our fine range of  Ingenico and VeriFone accessories which complement our terminal products, please contact us on 01753 4800 38 or visit our website www.britpay.co.uk
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