All your merchant services questions answered.
Bankcard International Group provides low, medium, and high risk merchant services to hard to place merchants. We offer merchant services combined with the best in class service and professionalism your business deserves. Our promise to you:
Truth in Pricing
We are committed to providing your business with transparency in pricing with NO hidden fees, NO unexpected rate increases – ever, NO bull.
Top Notch Service
Putting the service back into merchant services. We will treat you and your business with respect, honesty, and credibility at all times. We will provide you with top notch customer service and the absolute best merchant account solution for your business and industry type.
We will only utilize time tested and proven solutions that provide your business with the confidence and stability it requires so that you can do what you do best – grow your business, not worry about the security of your processing.
Now lets answer the top High Risk Payment Processing questions!
Acquiring banks are appropriately named as they acquire (or accept) credit card transactions from card issuing banks that provide consumers with credit cards. An acquiring bank is responsible for underwriting a “merchant account” for any business that it allows to accept credit card payments. In doing so, acquiring banks assume the risk associated with the transactions they process and fund. In the event that a business is unable to refund a reversal, chargeback, or refund the acquiring bank is liable to provide those funds to the cardholder.
Applying for a merchant account is relatively simple but you do need to be prepared to provide documentation to show that you are a legitimate business with good intentions.
Since merchant accounts are a function of the banking system and are susceptible to fraud they are required to adhere to federal guidelines including the Patriot Act and KYCC (Know Your Customer’s Customer) oversight. You will be required to provide your business information, personal identification, and credit information so the bank can verify your ability to be approved for an account.
No, you do not. If you would like to accept American Express simply let us know and we will take care of it for you at the time of application (unless you process more than $1,000,000 annually in Amex transactions).
A discount rate is actually the opposite of a discount! A discount rate is the rate you are charged for the processing of a credit card transaction. When a purchase is made with a credit card the acquiring bank is essentially “fronting” the proceeds to you, the merchant, and waiting for the banking system to reimburse them (which can take up to 10 days). For providing you with this service they charge a ‘discount rate’ or a rate at which accounts receivable is paid (discounted) before its maturity date. The discount rate is a blend of both a percentage of the amount charged and a per item fee.
Believe it or not, Check Payment Processing is actually the fastest growing sector of payment processing! Whether you need to accept check payments online, over the phone, or in person Bankcard International Group can help you! We even offer international businesses the ability to accept check payments domestically.
This is the term given to the process of validating whether funds are available on a credit or debit card. When you process a credit card transaction, a response comes back from the issuing bank with either an ‘approved’ or ‘declined’ authorization attempt by the issuing bank.
If the authorization is approved, funds are available in the customer’s account. Once an authorization is approved, a six or seven digit authorization code will be provided. If the authorization is declined there are either not enough funds in the customer’s bank account (if a debit card), the customer has reached their credit limit, or there is some other problem with the credit card. Authorizations “hold” the transaction funds until the day’s sales are “batched”, at which time it is finalized for processing and funding.
Merchants use their true DBA/Trade name as the descriptor. However, they do have the option to choose whether they want their DBA or legal name as the descriptor.
Funding time frame is typically next business day.
For example, if a merchant submits a batch on Monday evening, the merchant can expect funds to deposit to their bank account on Tuesday evening/early Wednesday morning, depending on time zone.
Legal counsel for the bank and processor has carefully reviewed all compliance aspects and if buyer/seller transact in the sale and purchase of Cannabis, where it is deemed legal, our solution is compliant. Points that help in a sustainable cannabis payment processing solution that make ours legal are:
- At the present time, only point of purchase PIN based debit transactions are accepted ensuring a card present purchase.
- “Preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors;We require that dispensaries have all applicable cannabis license(s), that the licenses are active and that the merchant business is in good standing with their local jurisdictions, and that they are compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. Since federal marijuana laws still technically deem marijuana illegal, these laws exist in obvious contradiction to state and local legislation. Our legal counsel has advised that, assuming merchants are compliant with state and local laws and regulations, our underwriting criteria and ongoing monitoring programs should, in addition to other legal compliance topics, focus on the eight federal “enforcement priorities” as outlined in the Cole Memo released in August 2013, which are namely the following:
- Preventing revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels;
- Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states;Unlike Point of Banking/Cashless ATM solutions, Point of Purchase, the dispensary is properly underwritten with full KYCC being performed and verification of MRB license is current, with periodic reviews. There is no masking of the merchant's true business to our clearing bank unlike many Point of Banking systems.
- Preventing state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;
- Preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana;
- Preventing drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;
- Preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands; and
- Preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.”
- Our payment platform operates on the pin debit networks only and not the credit card networks like other solutions that are being offered.
- In addition we have taken steps to ensure that the chain of custody and flow of funds never touch a source that does not have proper BSA/AML policies and procedures in place for the industry.
- A debit card is directly linked to a cardholder’s checking or similar type of cash account. When a cardholder pays for something using a debit card, funds are immediately debited from the cardholder’s account.
- A credit card is linked to a line of credit issued to a particular cardholder based on a financial institution’s evaluation of the cardholder’s creditworthiness. The cardholder pays for goods by charging against the line of available credit. The cardholder is not immediately responsible for the payment/transfer of funds—instead, the credit card network assumes the risk and the cardholder pays off any balance owed at a later date. The majority of credit cards on the market are issued by major national/international financial institutions who do not (yet) support the industry.
Debit cards are different from credit cards. The Visa or Mastercard brand on the front of a debit card is in place to facilitate "PIN-less" transactions AKA signature Debit transactions. For cannabis, as this time, signature debit is not available because these transactions are routed through Interchange on federally regulated card brand rails.
PIN Debit transactions are processed differently. The issuing banks (the debit cardholder’s bank/financial institution) partner with a debit card network to “issue” cards programmed to be processed according to a certain network’s debit transaction routing protocols. However, this is only part of the picture, as secondary and sometimes tertiary debit networks (typically “regional” networks like STAR, NYCE, etc.) are also supported. For example, if a Chase customer attempts to charge their Visa-branded debit card—and Visa’s in-house debit network, Interlink, is not supported—the debit card will seek an authorization through another network such as Maestro, STAR, etc.—whichever the issuing bank has partnered with as an alternative network.
It is possible that a bank like Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, etc. has partnered with both Visa and Mastercard’s debit networks to allow a cardholder access to both of these debit networks, Interlink and Maestro, respectively, giving the “front-of-the-card” brand/network the “first” position, while giving the other brand the second position (e.g., if Brand #1 is declined, then run Brand #2, etc.).
Look on the back of your Debit card and you will likely see multiple network logos.
Federal law (see Section 1075 of the Dodd-Frank Act, also known as the “Durbin Amendment”) requires that “[an issuing bank] or payment card network shall not…restrict the number of payment card networks on which electronic debit transactions may be processed to (i) 1 such network; or (ii) 2 or more such networks which are owned by (I) affiliated persons; or (II) networks affiliates with such issuer.”
Debit network prioritization is also subject to the particular card processor’s BIN-level hierarchy. For example, if a processor hierarchy is set to prioritize NYCE over Interlink, and the card is NYCE-enabled, the debit card will route to the NYCE debit network first, even though the primary card network may be Interlink.
Cashless ATMs are designed to make transactions appear like cash withdrawals at ATM machines. This is an obvious means of working around certain Card Brand rules, which may result in account termination at any time. Moreover, transactions are typically denominated in $5 or $10 increments, which creates an awkward customer experience due to the “illegitimate” feeling of the transaction. This is not the trajectory for sustainable cannabis payments.
Our true Point-of-Purchase solution is a true PIN-Debit environment, where a cardholder is required to enter their PIN in order for the transaction to be processed.
This is in contrast to “offline” debit transactions which may be processed at a later time over credit card networks despite being a “debit” transaction.
PIN-Debit transactions are processed immediately and are true point-of-sale/purchase transactions just like you experience at the grocery store or anywhere else.
The OCC stands for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The OCC supervises national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and associations of foreign banks.The OCC pursues a number of main objectives:
- To foster competition by allowing banks to offer new products and services
- To ensure the safety and soundness of the national banking system
- To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of OCC supervision especially to reduce the regulatory burden
- To ensure fair and equal access to financial services to all Americans
- To enforce anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism finance laws that apply to national banks and federally licensed branches and agencies of international banks
- To investigate misconduct committed by institution-affiliated parties of national banks, including officers, directors, employees, agents and independent contractors (including appraisers, attorneys and accountants).
No. At this time it is illegal to accept credit cards for cannabis - regardless of the method. Until there is federal change cannabis merchant accounts are simply unsupportable.
Offices that are offering to provide credit card processing for cannabis are doing so under false pretenses and are masking the true nature of the business from the processor and or acquiring bank. Doing so is fraudulent and can constitute money laundering.