Sunday, April 21, 2024


Service, Support and Collaboration Separate Payment Partners From a Payment Processor


Fuel retailers and wholesalers can drastically reduce their out-of-pocket costs by collaborating with a payment partner rather than a payment
processor to manage their digital transactions. That’s the advice from Jon Gilbert, Director of Ecommerce and Partner Development at Qualpay.

“As a partner, Qualpay offers corporate best practices consultation and guidance on financial transaction processing rules and regulations, and, perhaps most importantly, acts as a sounding board for its clients. Their questions often revolve around how they might implement surcharges or convenience fees, what to look for to smooth the transition of a newly acquired company, or how to reduce expenses to increase their company’s valuation for prospective purchasers,” Gilbert explains.

If not set up properly, the rates on traditional credit cards can be very expensive, which makes surcharges and convenience fees a hot topic as they can help offset credit card acceptance costs. Also, marketers  may have commercial end-users that utilize business cards for payments, which tend to fall outside of programs specific for the energy industry and are more expensive to accept. With this in mind, marketers may want to pass those fees to the customer through surcharges or convenience fees.

This raises several questions and issues to consider. At the top of the list is the fact that several states prohibit surcharges. Some card brands require the provider to register and notify them before implementing surcharges. While commercial customers often accept the surcharge without question, residential customers may quickly take their business elsewhere to avoid it. Thus, a company needs to be able to exclude certain classes of accounts. Additionally, the fuel provider’s back-end software needs to manage the data effectively to make the process work.

Qualpay’s approach is to review all these points with their clients, educating them on the possibilities. “We have a good understanding of the entire process. We know that energy marketers are tied to their software partners, and it’s good to understand which systems can handle surcharges. We work with their current providers to roll out the service in a compliant manner including assistance in  registering with the card brands. In addition, Qualpay keeps our customers compliant; for example, our software won’t accept cards subject to a surcharge in states where it is prohibited,” Gilbert says.

The partnership between Qualpay and its clients starts from day one. The initial consultation allows Qualpay to gain a deeper understanding of how the marketer accepts payments and identifies areas for greater efficiencies. Consolidating credit card and ACH payments through a single integrated solution is one such option, making tracking, reporting, and processing easier.

Companies looking toward an eventual sale are wise to reduce expenses as soon as possible. Many have been using outdated payment processors and paying unnecessarily high fees. “It’s good practice to review your rates, and change processing platforms when appropriate to reduce your fees. When you think about valuation, it’s the story of profit and cost. You increase profit by growth or by decreasing costs. Qualpay can help decrease your costs significantly while helping achieve operational efficiencies. We also help make the data migration from the old platform to ours as easy and seamless as possible,” Gilbert continued.

The importance of data migration cannot be understated and it can be a bit of a balancing act. For buyers, these larger companies need to quickly migrate the credit card data from the purchased company’s legacy processor to their preferred provider. Making sure that automated payments remain uninterrupted is a top concern along with providing controllers, administrators and dispatchers login and reporting access. “With Qualpay, you effortlessly transition from day one, with all your payment data seamlessly migrated. Your existing automated processes remain uninterrupted and accessible under a single sign-on,” Gilbert said proudly.

Another valuable service Qualpay offers its client-partners is fraud assistance, particularly against the practice known as carding. With carding, criminal operations purchase a batch of stolen credit cards from the dark web and use bots to try to authorize transactions on any site with a payment page. The website can be hit with several thousand authorizations for small charges of $0.25 or $1.00, which, when transaction fees are added, can become devastatingly expensive. Qualpay not only provides immediate support should an attack occur, but also provides its clients with recommendations to make the payment pages less susceptible, such as setting minimum payment amounts and “spending the extra nickel per transaction” to enforce Address Verification Service (AVS).

For more information about Qualpay’s services, contact Jon Gilbert at (207) 321-1150 or email jon@qualpay.com.

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