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New Merchant FAQs

Click the questions below to get answers to many of the most common questions asked by new merchants like you. Or, unhide all of the answers on this page.

Activation Help

I am having trouble setting up my terminal or software. Who can help me?

If you have received your equipment, reprogram kit, or PC software but need help getting started, please call Elavon’s Activation Assistance Hotline at (866) 451-4007. The line is open Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST.

What should I expect when I call the Activation Assistance Hotline?

A Merchant Trainer will go through the following steps:

  • Walk you through of the contents of the Getting Started Kit
  • Verify your Merchant Identification Number (MID) and Business name (DBA)
  • Verify your address, phone and fax numbers
  • Verify your email address
  • Verify all card types and services that are processed (ex: Visa, Mastercard, ECS, EGC, etc.)
  • Begin set up and training process

Whether you choose to be trained by one of our staff or elect to begin processing on your own, it is recommended that you review all kit materials prior to processing transactions.

Types of Cards

What types of cards can I accept?

There are several types of cards that you may be set up to accept. If you are not set up to accept any of the following specific cards and would like to be, please contact your Sales Representative.

  • Credit Card: Cards that are associated with a line of credit. These cards include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Network, Diners Club International, UnionPay and JCB.
  • Debit Card: Cards that are associated with a depository account rather than a line of credit. These Cards can be PIN-based, Signature-based or a combination of the two. Signature-based debit cards are processed just like a credit card, however, PIN-based cards require the cardholder to enter a PIN number through a PIN pad either integrated or attached to your point-of-sale solution.

Processing a Transaction

What are the different kinds of sales transactions I may need to perform?

  1. Card Present “Retail” transactions occur when the card and the consumer are physically present at the time of sale. There are two ways in which card present transactions can be processed.
    • Card Swiped Transactions: Whenever possible you want to swipe cards through your POS device. Transactions that are “card swiped” cost less than other transactions and offer more chargeback protection.
    • Key-Entered (Manual) Transactions: Transactions that are processed with the card present should only be key-entered when your POS device is unable to read the card. In these circumstances you can manually enter the card information to process a sale. Always obtain a manual card imprint for card present transactions that are key-entered.
  2. Card-Not-Present [Mail Order (MO), Telephone Order (TO), and Electronic Commerce (EC)] Transactions occur when the card is not physically presented to you at the time of sale. It is important that you ensure your POS device is set up to properly process Card-Not-Present transactions in order to minimize chargebacks or transaction disputes.

How do I process a card swiped transaction?

To process a card swiped transaction, follow these steps:

  1. Follow all prompts and enter all data elements.
  2. Make sure the card is valid. Check the card’s expiration date and other features to ensure that the card is valid.
  3. Swipe the card through the POS device. If the card is successfully swiped, the POS device may prompt you to enter the last four digits of the card number. This process compares the account number in the magnetic stripe with the account number embossed on the card.
  4. Enter the amount of the transaction.
  5. Obtain the authorization code. Have the cardholder sign the transaction receipt, and then compare the signature on the receipt to the signature on the card. If you cannot tell whether the signatures are similar, ask for an alternate form of identification. If you do not feel the signatures match you may opt to perform a “Code 10” Authorization (make Code 10 Authorization a hot link to that pdf).
  6. Return the card and the customer copy of the transaction receipt to the cardholder.

What do I do if the POS device cannot read the magnetic stripe?

Press the appropriate key to initiate a manual transaction. When you are prompted by the POS device, enter the card number and expiration date embossed on the front of the card. Make an imprint of the card on a paper transaction receipt to prove that the card was present during the transaction. Keep the imprinted transaction receipt with the electronically printed transaction receipt from the POS device. Ensure that the paper transaction receipt contains all of the information related to the transaction, such as the transaction amount, transaction date, merchant information, authorization code, and cardholder’s signature. For complete details about manual transactions and what information is required to be on paper transaction receipts, please refer to Chapter 2 of the Merchant Operating Guide.

Why should I swipe customer cards whenever possible?

Swiped cards clear at lower rates than hand-entered transactions. Voice authorizations do not capture the information necessary for lower interchange rates and can generate downgrades.

How do I process a manual (paper) transaction?

To correctly process a paper transaction receipt, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the card is valid. Check the card’s expiration date and other features to ensure that the card is valid.
  2. Imprint the transaction receipt. Make a legible imprint of the card on all copies of the transaction receipt.
  3. Call for authorization. Call the voice authorization number provided on the sticker on your POS device and have the following information available:
    • Card account number
    • MID
    • Amount of sale (dollars and cents)
    • Card expiration date
  4. Write the approval code in the space provided on the transaction receipt. The approval code is required.
  5. Have the cardholder sign the transaction receipt, and then compare signatures.
  6. Return the card and the cardholder copy of the transaction receipt to the cardholder. Make sure to keep the merchant copy of the transaction receipt for your records.
  7. Storage of paper drafts. It is important to keep copies of your transaction receipts in a safe place, filed by transaction date. This is especially important for quickly locating a receipt if questions arise and for managing your PCI compliance requirements.

How do I process a Card-Not-Present transaction?

Card Not Present Transactions include Mail Order (MO), Telephone Order (TO), and Electronic Commerce(EC) Transactions. These Transactions occur when the Card is not physically presented to the Merchant at the time of a sale. You must be authorized by us to process Card Not Present Transactions.

Before you process Card-Not-Present transactions you must obtain the following information from the cardholder:

  • Cardholder account number
  • Card expiration date
  • Cardholder’s billing and shipping address (if different)
  • Cardholder’s telephone number
  • CVV2 / CVC2 / CID number (security code)

Follow the instructions on your POS device to ensure that you are initiating a Card-Not-Present transaction. Please take note of the following two tools that are intended to provide greater security for Card-Not-Present transactions:

  • Verifying the Card Validation Code (CVV2 / CVC2 / CID number): This is a security service that is offered in order to help minimize unauthorized card activity. If your POS device is properly set up for Card-Not-Present transactions you will receive either a “match” or “no match” response with the authorization. It is within your discretion whether you process a “no match” response. This is a tool to help you minimize chargeback risk, however in either case you are responsible for any risk associated with processing the transaction. Often customers do not know what this number is.
    • For Visa or MasterCard, the number is located on the back of the card in the signature panel after the last 4-digits of the card number.
    • For American Express, the 4-digit number is located on the front of the card, right above the account number.
  • Address Verification Service (AVS): If your POS device is set up for AVS, it will prompt you to enter the zip code of the cardholder to verify the cardholder’s billing address. A result code is generated indicating whether the address given by the cardholder matches (exactly, partially, or not at all) the address that the issuer has on file for the card. A response of “exactly” means it is more likely that the card is being used by the authorized cardholder. A “partially” or “not at all” response means you should consider whether or not to process the transaction. The decision to process a transaction, regardless of the response received, is up to you as you are responsible for any risk associated with processing a transaction.

When should I not honor a card?

You must not honor any card if:

  1. The card has expired;
  2. The signature on the transaction receipt does not correspond with the signature on the card or if the signature panel on the card is blank, or uses language to the effect of “see id”; or
  3. The account number embossed on the card does not match the account number on the card’s magnetic stripe. If you still suspect fraud or are suspicious of the transaction or the cardholder, you may perform a Code 10 Authorization.
  4. If you still suspect fraud or are suspicious of the transaction or the cardholder, you may perform a Code 10 Authorization.

What is Code 10?

Code 10 is a term used by the Card Associations to refer to suspicious or questionable transactions, cards, or cardholders. If you are suspicious of a card transaction, contact your Voice Authorization Center and request a Code 10 authorization. Using the term “Code 10” allows you to call the Voice Authorization Center to question the transaction without alerting the cardholder. Follow the instructions given to you on how to proceed to minimize any discomfort between you and the cardholder. Click here for more information about Code 10.

What is a void transaction and when do I perform one?

A void can be performed if a transaction is run incorrectly or a customer changes his mind after a transaction has been run. Void transactions generally need to be run on the same POS device that the sale was run on and can only be performed if the Transaction has not already been settled. If you void a transaction, the cardholder will not see the sale or the void on their card statement, it is as if the transaction never happened. For instructions on how to perform a void on your POS device refer to the Quick Reference or User Guide provided with your POS device. These guides can be accessed from our Library.

Authorization

What is authorization?

You must request authorization from the issuer to accept a card for payment. You must obtain an authorization code before completing any transaction. An authorization request is made via one of the following two methods:

  • Electronic Authorization: Swipe a card through or manually enter a card number into a POS device. Then, the POS device sends the transaction information electronically to the issuer for authorization.
  • Voice Authorization: Call the Voice Authorization Center, which then communicates the transaction information electronically to the issuer. An operator or an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) unit will provide you with the authorization code given by the issuer. More about voice authorizations is below.

Where can I find the voice authorization telephone number?

The voice authorization toll-free telephone numbers are located on a sticker on your POS device.

What is an authorization for?

An authorization request is required for every transaction to determine if:

  • The card number is valid;
  • The card has been reported lost or stolen; and/or
  • Sufficient credit or funds are available

An authorization code does not guarantee that a transaction will not be disputed later. If there is not a Voice Authorization sticker on your POS, contact Merchant Services at customerservice@merchantconnect.com or 800-725-1243. An authorization code does not:

  • Guarantee that you, the merchant, will receive final payment for a transaction;
  • Guarantee that the cardholder will not dispute the transaction later (all card transactions are subject to chargebacks even when an approval code has been obtained);
  • Protect you from chargebacks for unauthorized transactions or disputes regarding the quality of goods or services; or
  • Waive any provision of the Agreement or otherwise validate a fraudulent transaction or a transaction involving the use of an expired card.

When I process a card, what authorization responses might I get?

  • Approval - Most common, this response indicates that the transaction has been approved and you may complete the transaction. This authorization response is alpha/numeric and is usually 6 characters.
  • Decline - The card issuer has declined the transaction and you should ask for an alternate form of payment. The cardholder should contact the issuer for any questions regarding the decline.
  • Decline Pick-Up - The issuer has declined the transaction and requests that the card not be returned to the cardholder. See “What do I do if I get a decline pick-up authorization response” below.
  • Referral or card auth - The issuer is requesting that you call the Voice Authorization Center, which will either provide an approval code or ask the merchant to request additional information from the cardholder (e.g., mother’s maiden name). The Voice Authorization Center will provide this information to the issuer who will either approve or decline the transaction. See the “Voice Authorization” section for more information.

What do I do if I get a decline pick-up authorization response?

If you receive a decline pick-up authorization response, do not complete the transaction. If you are instructed to retain the card, follow these procedures:

  • Maintain a record of the card number in your files.
  • Cut the card through the account number lengthwise without damaging the magnetic stripe.
  • Send the following information to the address listed below:
    • Merchant’s name, Merchant Identification Number, telephone number, and address
    • Employee’s name, telephone number, address
    • Card account number
    • Reason for recovery

Exception Processing
Attn: Card Pick Up
Elavon, Inc.
7300 Chapman Highway
Knoxville, TN 37920

Be sure you do not challenge the card user. Avoid any physical confrontation with anyone who may be using a lost, stolen, or otherwise invalid card. Do not jeopardize your safety or that of your employees or customers. Once this person leaves your location, note in writing his or her physical characteristics and any other relevant identification information. Keep in mind that a reward may be offered by the issuer for the recovery and return of a lost, stolen, or otherwise invalid card.

Receipts

How do I change information on my receipt or adjust the font or type size?

For help with changing the information on your receipt, please contact Merchant Services at customerservice@merchantconnect.com or 800-725-1243.

How do I order paper for my equipment?

Supplies like paper can be ordered by calling into Merchant Services at 800-725-1243 and pressing Option 3. You will need to provide your Merchant Identification (MID) number, terminal type and printer type.

You can also order supplies at www.MerchantConnect.com. Once you have registered and are logged in, supplies can be ordered through My Account >> Supplies and Equipment >> Order Supplies.

How long do I need to save transaction receipts?

Transaction receipts are required for all transaction types and must be retained for a minimum of two (2) years (or such longer period as the card rules or the laws may require). Transaction receipts should be stored in a safe, secure area in order to comply with PCI Requirements and organized in chronological order by transaction date.

Settlement

What is a batch and what is settlement?

Settlement is the final step in processing a transaction. A group of transactions is called a batch, and the process for sending these transactions to us is called settlement. When you settle a batch, information for each transaction is sent to clearing networks across the country and sometimes around the world. Based on each card number, we send information about a transaction to the corresponding issuer so they can charge the cardholder. Then, funds for the transaction are deposited into your settlement or DDA account, which occurs when you send all of your card transactions to the servicer for payment. During settlement, you are paid and cardholders are billed for previously-approved transactions.

How do I settle the daily batch?

To settle the daily batch, perform the following steps:

  1. Total the day’s transaction receipts and credit transaction receipts.
  2. Verify that the transaction receipts equal the POS device totals.
    • a) You may print a totals report from your POS device to assist you with balancing. For more information about balancing, refer to the instructions that came with your POS device or look at the Quick Reference Guide for your device.
    • b) If the totals do not balance, then do the following:
      • i) Compare the transaction receipts to the individual entries in the POS device.
      • ii) Make any necessary adjustments before transmitting or closing the batch. To make adjustments, refer to the instructions for your POS device.
  3. Close the Batch according to the instructions for your POS device.

When should I settle?

It’s important that you settle your transactions each and every day to obtain the most favorable pricing. This is the opportunity to review and confirm your transactions. Also, you will not be funded for transactions until they have been settled. Higher rates could apply to transactions not settled the same day. For transactions where the card is present, settling in two days versus one day can cost you money. If the settlement time extends past two days, this can cost you even more.

What is auto settle and how do I turn auto settle on or off?

When you activate auto settle, your terminal has a set time to dial out to the Host/Stratus for settlement. For help with your auto settle function, please contact Merchant Services at customerservice@merchantconnect.com or 800-725-1243.

How do I change where the settlements are sent or my DDA (checking) account information?

One of the most important pieces of information we have regarding your account is your checking account (Demand Deposit Account/DDA) information. If you would like to update your business checking account number that we have on file, please complete a DDA Change Form and include a copy of a voided check with it. This will ensure that you avoid any delays.

How do I access batch reports?

MerchantConnect, our web-based real-time reporting service, allows you to manage transaction data from multiple locations or multiple merchant accounts via any standard web browser (e.g., Internet Explorer). It brings together all the information you need to better manage your electronic payment processing activity. MerchantConnect provides recent deposits and other information about your account activity, including batch details, chargeback and retrieval status and deposit history. The last 30 days of batches are kept on file. If you require earlier batch reports, please contact Merchant Services at customerservice@merchantconnect.com or 800-725-1243.

Getting Paid

How do I get paid for card transactions?

Here is the seven step process:

  1. Your business: Sends all approved, un-settled transactions (known as the open batch) in the POS device to the servicer host to close or settle the batch.
  2. Servicer host: Sends Visa and MasterCard card transactions (and, if applicable, Discover Network Transactions) to interchange and other card transactions to the appropriate issuer (e.g., American Express transactions to American Express). If the transactions are not sent to interchange, go to step 4.
  3. Interchange: Sends transaction data to the appropriate issuer.
  4. Issuer: Posts the transaction to the cardholder’s account. The issuer either sends to interchange the difference between the transaction amount and the interchange fee charged to the servicer, or sends the funds to your Demand Deposit Account (DDA) (see step 7).
  5. Interchange: Sends the difference between the transaction amount and the interchange fees to the servicer host.
  6. Servicer Host: Sends a message to the Automated Clearing House (ACH) to pay you for the transactions.
  7. Automated Clearing House (ACH): Sends the funds from the servicer to your DDA via electronic transfer. Fees are debited from your DDA on a monthly or daily basis.

How long does settlement take?

This process can take two or more business days (excluding holidays) unless you are set up for delayed funding.

Why are my fees debited daily and not monthly?

Please contact Merchant Services at customerservice@merchantconnect.com or 800-725-1243.

Do I need to send in a check or money order for my fees each month?

No. Your processing fees will be automatically deducted from the demand deposit account (DDA) that you have designated.

How much money should I keep in my Demand Deposit Account (DDA) to cover fees, chargebacks and other adjustments that may occur?

In exchange for your transaction processing services, you are charged a percentage of each transaction (known as a discount), along with transaction fees, authorization fees, and any other fees specified in the agreement. Fees are deducted from your DDA on either a monthly or a daily basis. We recommend that you keep five percent (5%) of your average monthly processing volume available in your account to cover monthly fees and the possibility of chargebacks. Keep in mind that this is only a recommendation and your business may require additional available funds. For example, businesses that conduct high-risk transactions (such as Card-Not-Present or those with future delivery of products or services) should consider maintaining a higher percentage of their average monthly processing volume in their account).

Reading a Statement

What are Card Association fees?

VISA and MasterCard have introduced card 'Brand Usage' fees for accessing their processing networks. Effective July 1, 2009 VISA implements fees related to network authorization access, as well as punitive fees for mis-use of authorization services. These fees are grouped together and reflect on your statement as 'Card Association Fees'. The fees can be minimized and penalties can be avoided by following best practices at the point of sale. Abuse is generally described in two areas:

  • Authorizations that are not accompanied by a settlement record. Note that the use of a low-value authorization to test the validity of the card is the most common problem.
  • Forcing or settling a transaction without an authorization.

How can I minimize Card Association fees?

While most authorization and clearing transactions are processed correctly, those that are not can impact a cardholder's option to buy, cause confusion at the point of sale, and impair the effectiveness of automated risk and processing intelligence systems. Recent revisions to the Card Associations' Operating Regulations support correct processing behavior to help maintain payment system quality and integrity and reduce potential negative impacts. Fee assessment will be based on effectively matching authorizations to clearing/settlement items. In order to minimize the fees, merchants are encouraged to follow these best practices:

  • Limit one authorization for each settled transaction.
  • To verify cardholder account status, perform a zero value account verification transaction instead of $1.00 authorization transaction.
  • Don't force the settlement of any transactions without a valid authorization.
  • Void authorizations within your outstanding batches if they are not going to be settled.

There can be exceptions to the simplified best practices outlined above. For example, lodging and MO/TO businesses often require more than one authorization in the course of ordinary card acceptance.

Interchange and Downgrades

What is Interchange?

When you settle your transactions each day, Elavon's network routes them to the respective Card Associations (Visa, MasterCard, Discover) and Debit Networks through interchange. Every transaction is assigned an Interchange category based on card type (credit, debit, rewards, purchasing) industry type (retail, e-commerce, etc) and qualification elements (swiped card, key entered, etc). Interchange is the system where transactions are submitted for payment from the servicer or merchant processor to the card issuer or Debit Network. The Card Associations and Debit Networks establish the rules and manage the interchange of all transactions. Interchange also represents the fees paid by the servicer to the card issuer. Fees depend upon the interchange qualification that is assigned to each transaction by the associations for processing transactions. These fees are paid at the time the transaction is exchanged and vary based on processing method utilized. For example, it is significantly more expensive to process a hand-keyed transaction than a card-swiped transaction. Read more about Interchange here.

Why do different transactions get charged different interchange rates?

Interchange and Card Association fees vary in amount based on industry type, the degree to which cards are authorized, and the timeliness of remitting a sale for payment. There are several rates that may apply to your transactions, depending on your method of processing each transaction. When setting rate qualification criteria, the Card Associations consider the card product (card type) used in the transaction, how the transaction data is entered into the terminal, the time of settlement versus time of authorization.

Card Associations quote the lowest interchange rate for a transaction, assuming that a number of requirements (which vary according to the card type, the type of business accepting the card payment, and the transaction channel) are met. Transactions that meet all of the requirements for your industry are charged the Qualified Rate, which is also called the “QUAL rate”. You will pay the lowest or best discount rate for qualified transactions. Click here to learn more about these requirements for various industries. If one or more of these requirements are not met, the transaction is categorized at a more expensive interchange level. This is referred to as a “downgrade.”

What is a downgrade?

Card Associations quote the lowest interchange rate for a transaction, assuming that a number of requirements (which vary according to the card type, the type of business accepting the card payment, and the transaction channel) are met. If one or more of these requirements are not met, the transaction is categorized at a more expensive interchange level. This is referred to as a “downgrade.”

What are some common situations that cause downgrades?

  • You make a significant number of transactions by keypad entry rather than swiping cards through a POS device.
  • Your business model changed since setting up your merchant account, and now you offer different products and services, or provide your customers more ways to pay for orders.
  • Your business operates in an industry where card payments were uncommon in the past but are growing.
  • You request transaction authorizations over the telephone (“voice authorization”).
  • You routinely settle transactions more than 24 hours after they are authorized.
  • Transaction authorization and settlement amounts frequently differ.
  • A significant portion of your customers pay with business, commercial or purchasing cards (cards issued in their business’ name), but you don’t capture Levels II and III data (detailed payment information) for these transactions.
  • You have Card-Not-Present transactions, such as payments taken over the Internet or by phone or mail.

Refunds

How do I process refunds?

A refund for a transaction must be processed by issuing a credit to the card on which the original purchase was made. You must also prepare a credit transaction receipt for the amount of credit issued. Do not refund a card purchase with cash or check. Do not refund cash or check purchases to a card.

If you have a special policy regarding returns or refunds, make sure that the policy is:

  • Clearly posted at the point-of-sale
  • Printed on the transaction receipt using letters approximately ¼ inch high and in close proximity to the signature line

How do I get the full card number for a refund?

For help with refunds, please contact Merchant Services at customerservice@merchantconnect.com or 800-725-1243.

Chargebacks

What is a chargeback, and how do I avoid it?

A chargeback is a transaction disputed by the cardholder or an issuer. If you receive a chargeback, we debit your DDA for the amount of the transaction, including any applicable currency fluctuations, and send you a chargeback notice. This notice includes the details of the transaction as well as specific instructions on how to respond. Click here for more information on chargebacks, including how to avoid them.

Security Requirements & PCI

What security requirements do I have to comply with?

You, and any third party vendors that you utilize, must comply with all applicable requirements of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard, including Visa’s Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP), MasterCard’s Site Data Protection Program (SDP) and the Discover Information Security & Compliance (DISC) program. You must remain in compliance with these standards as they change. Click here for more information on fraud and PCI compliance.

What is PCI?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements designed to ensure that ALL companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. Essentially any merchant that has a Merchant ID (MID). The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) was launched on September 7, 2006 to manage the ongoing evolution of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards with focus on improving payment account security throughout the transaction process. The PCI DSS is administered and managed by the PCI SSC (www.pcisecuritystandards.org), an independent body that was created by the major payment card brands (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB.). Click here for more about PCI and fraud prevention.

Does PCI apply to me?

All merchants are required to comply with PCI-DSS, which includes completing the Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ). The SAQ is a validation tool used to assist merchants with meeting their PCI-DSS compliance requirements. Non-compliance may result in additional costs and expenses for your business.

How do I comply with PCI?

Elavon has teamed with TrustWave – a Visa® and MasterCard® accredited Qualified Security Assessor and Approved Scanning Vendor – to help you comply with current industry security standards for your electronic payment solution. Click here for more information about Fighting Fraud.

What are the penalties for noncompliance?

If you do not comply with the security requirements of the Card Associations, you put your organization at risk of payment card compromise. In the event that your business is compromised, you may be subject to fines that range from $10,000 to $500,000 or more per incident. You will also be liable for the cost of the required forensic investigations, fraudulent purchases, and the cost of re-issuing cards. You may also lose your credit card acceptance privileges.

What are PCI fees?

Elavon charges an annual fee to cover the costs of monitoring and ensuring customer data is handled securely in order to comply with PCI requirements. Included in this fee is up to $100,000 of data breach insurance in the event that credit card information is stolen from the merchant. The fee varies depending on the terminal type, methods for transacting (web vs retail, etc). For example, wireless machines, e-commerce, software, and terminals that dial through an Internet connection have higher PCI fees than dial-up terminals that use a phone line because they require more resources to maintain PCI compliance. Elavon will impose additional fees for each month that your account has not been validated as PCI compliant or in any given month your account is deemed non-compliant. You must maintain your compliant status once it is obtained in order to prevent these fees.

Wireless

I have a wireless terminal that seems to be slow. Is it working properly?

Be advised that wireless technology typically takes longer to process transactions than wired technology.

What are wireless fees?

Just like the user of a wireless phone must pay a regular fee to a wireless carrier for wireless service, the user of a wireless terminal must pay a regular fee for wireless service. For more information about wireless fees, please contact Merchant Services at customerservice@merchantconnect.com or 800-725-1243.

Changes

I need to update my DBA information (my Business Name)?

To update your DBA, please complete and submit a DBA Change Form. Be sure to complete the pertinent information and obtain the appropriate signatures to avoid any delays in processing the change.

How can I change my SIC code?

Typically merchants need to verify they have the correct SIC code designated for their account if you are noticing that all of their transactions are downgrading. If you need to change your SIC code, please contact Merchant Services at customerservice@merchantconnect.com or 800-725-1243.

I need to accept tips. How can I do that?

If your business model changes and you now need to accept tips, please contact Merchant Services at customerservice@merchantconnect.com or 800-725-1243.

How do I update the time on my POS device?

Please click here to view instructions about changing the time on your point of sale device.

Adding Services

How do I add Amex/Discover?

To add Amex/Discover, please Contact your Sales Representative.

Why should I add Debit and how do I do it?

Offer your customers the option of paying for merchandise and services with their Debit cards. Unlike credit card transactions that are priced as a percent of the total sales amount, PIN-based debit transactions carry a flat fee. If your average sales price is over $35, you will typically benefit by accepting PIN-based debit. Most solutions will require the addition of an affordable PIN pad.

To accept debit payments, or for more information, contact your Sales Representative.

What is Electronic Check Service and how do I add it?

With our Electronic Check Service, you can reduce the cost and risk of accepting paper checks by converting them into electronic check transactions, so you eliminate reconciliation hassles and receive funds in 24–48 hours. To get ECS, or for more information, contact your Sales Representative.

How do I offer electronic Gift Cards?

Gift cards help attract new customers, increase revenue, and generate repeat business. Unlike paper gift certificates, gift cards retain their full value. Plus, studies have proven that over 60% of recipients spend more than the face value on the gift card, making it a program that pays for itself in no time. In addition to simply merchandising gift cards, you can use them as promotional vehicles, corporate gift sales, and store credits. Whether you start with just a few cards for a single location, or design your own custom program and processing features across a large chain, Elavon’s EGC program gives you the freedom to tailor an affordable solution that’s most effective for you. To offer electronic gift cards, or for more information, contact your Sales Representative.

Equipment Upgrade

Is the terminal your business uses in compliance with the latest industry regulations like account number truncation?

If your terminal is a VeriFone Zon Jr. XL, VeriFone Tranz 330, VeriFone Tranz 380, VeriFone Tranz 420 or 460, it may be time to consider an upgrade.

How do I know if I need to consider an upgrade?

Here are several reasons:

  • The terminal you are currently using was designed in the 1980’s (see list above)
  • The receipt prints the entire card holder account number
  • You need to batch out more than once a day
  • Your printer is separate from the point of sale terminal and takes up a lot of room on your counter
  • Your printer frequently jams or breaks down
  • You’ve incurred additional fees on your monthly statement because of card not present transactions
  • You’ve incurred many chargebacks as a result of phone order or non-swipe transactions
  • You want to accept electronic gift cards

I am ready to upgrade. What should I do?

Please contact your Sales Representative.

Other

How do I order supplies?

Supplies like paper can be ordered by calling Merchant Services at 800-725-1243 and pressing Option 3. You will need to provide your Merchant Identification number, terminal type and printer type.

You can also order supplies at www.MerchantConnect.com. Once you have registered and are logged in, supplies can be ordered through My Account >> Supplies and Equipment >> Order Supplies.

How do I make my shopping cart compatible with my payment processing software?

Please visit our Virtual Merchant Support Section or contact our Software & Internet Support group at (800) 377-3962 and choose Option 2.

Why did I get all these VISA and MasterCard stickers?

You must prominently display the most current versions of the Credit Card Association’s and EFT network’s names, symbols, and/or service marks, as appropriate, at or near the POS device. If you accept cards online for e-commerce transactions, you must display such names, symbols and/or service marks on your website’s payment screens.

Can I set a minimum purchase amount?

Yes, a purchase minimum can be set not to exceed $10.

What are some of the other restrictions I should know about?

You may not disburse cash (except on debit card transactions), or require cardholders to provide any personal information (e.g., phone number or address). Merchant may only process transactions for the location registered with us and may not process transactions for any other business or location.

What is laundering?

Factoring (also known as laundering) occurs when you process another person’s transactions through your merchant account. Processing transactions which belong to another person or business is in violation of your merchant agreement and is prohibited by law in many states. Factoring may result in the termination of your card acceptance privileges. Be wary of the “fellow business person” who offers to pay you to process card transactions in return for a fee. These transactions are often questionable or fraudulent. These schemes typically result in a flood of chargebacks which are debited from your DDA. By the time you realize this has occurred, the other business will most likely have relocated under a different name. To protect you from these schemes and the devastating losses that ensue, educate yourself and your staff about this serious problem and immediately report factoring propositions to us or to the U.S. Secret Service. Remember, you are responsible for all transactions processed using your MID, so make sure that all transactions processed through your account represent transactions between you and the cardholder.

Does Elavon ever send emails requesting sensitive information in response to an email?

No! Please be aware that phishing emails are sent from fraudsters who are trying to access confidential information about you or your business. Elavon would never request that you provide your Social Security Number, Tax ID Number or other sensitive information in response to an email. If you receive a suspicious email, don’t click on any links in the email or provide any information. If you receive suspicious email that uses Elavon’s name please notify us immediately by emailing techsupp@elavon.com or calling 1.800.377.3962.

Merchant Operating Guide

Read simple, easy to-read instructions for processing card transactions and minimizing the risk of fraud to your business.