Latest Phone Scam Asks for Merchant Account Information

October 18th, 2013 No comments

It is important to protect merchant account information just as you would your banking information or any other sensitive personal information unscrupulous individuals have learned how to exploit merchant account information which can be utilized for their own illegal profit.

One common scenario is a telephone scam wherein someone posing as a representative from a card brand informs you that there has been a mistake by your processor and they can help correct the overcharge of interchange rates.  In order to assist you, they offer to contact your processor directly but require you to confirm your merchant account information.  In the wrong hands, the merchant account information can be utilized to commit fraud.  Your terminal ID information can be used to process fraudulent returns that will debit against your account.  It is also possible for it to be used to “test” stolen card information, which can cause liability issues if the stolen info is used at another location to complete a fraudulent purchase.

Fortunately this scam is easily thwarted by simply not giving out your account information to anyone, regardless of who they say they are.  In addition, regularly review transaction activity for unusual activity such as unauthorized returns or unsettled pre-authorizations.  Mercury provides free online reports as a one stop resource for reviewing all account activity.

If at any time you suspect that you are a victim of fraud or you would like a free tutorial of Mercury’s online reporting tool, please contact Mercury at 800-846-4472 and we will be happy to assist you.

Live from Money 2020: The Future of Mobile Payments

October 8th, 2013 No comments

Today, Mercury executives held a briefing at Money2020 for more than 100 Mercury partners on “The Future of Mobile Payments.” Both CEO Matt Taylor and John Berkley, senior vice president of product, said making the transition to mobile payments has to be easier for consumers than using plastic cards in order to become ubiquitous.

“We are at an inflection point in the payments industry,” said Mercury CEO Matt Taylor. “Just 10 years ago, most transactions were conducted in cash. Now, we live in a smart device era and Mercury is focused on helping our partners succeed by delivering innovative technology that merchants and consumers will use.”

Mercury research shows that 60 percent of merchants want mobile/tablet payment technologies. This is a disruptive time in the payments industry, and developers need to be supporting mobile payment technologies as they continue to expand.

“Right now, 54 percent of all consumer purchases take place at local independent merchants,” said John Berkley, senior vice president of product, Mercury. “Merchant simplicity is paramount and this is why the Mercury Network is essential. The entire ecosystem needs to be a part of this movement.”

Mercury’s mobile payment approach is based on five areas: 1. Enable simple value-adds to merchants, unify with other merchant services. 2. Leverage POS integration and VAR relationships 3. Be wallet technology agnostic 4. Work with leading mobile wallet providers. (Such as PayPal and Paydiant)

Mercury also announced a new developer portal that is coming soon which will act as a hub of information for the Mercury Network.  In development also for 2014 is a next-gen Mercury Gift  program that will leverage native capabilities and offer a reloadable rewards program and mobile prepaid capabilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live from Money 2020: PayPal, POS & Main Street Realities

October 7th, 2013 No comments

This week, Mercury is in Las Vegas at Money 2020 – the industry’s largest event for emerging payment types.

Today, Mercury CEO Matt Taylor spoke to more than 500 conference attendees about the challenges “Main Street” merchants face when adopting alternative payments and the importance of the value chain for implementation success.

Joined by executives from Split Bread, PayPal and ShopKeep, the presentation focused on how merchants need guidance from technology providers and that the focus on the customer experience is new to the to the point-of-sale world. The industry is moving from the cash and credit era into the “Smart Device Era,” driven by consumers browsing their smartphones.

“Right now, four out of five consumers are using their smartphones when they shop,” said Mercury CEO Matt Taylor. “Merchants need trusted technology advisors to help them adopt alternative payments in their stores to give the consumers what they want. It’s our job to lay out the fundamentals and it will take a value chain to deliver to consumers. According to our research, 65 percent of merchants are planning a POS upgrade within three years.”

David Silverglide operates Split Bread, a cashless eatery in San Francisco. The payment system allows guests to order from their table with their smartphone and have their food brought directly to them. This system has been a great success.

“We created a guest experience that keeps customers coming back,” said Silverglide. “We wanted an integrated system that eliminates complexity and is device agnostic.”

Sliverglide added that having a simple-to-use, seamless experience at the cash register is the key to adding new payment types and building customer business. “The POS is my IT system.”

A growing number of ISVs are developing tools for merchants to help them grow their customer base.  ShopKeep has created a popular iPad POS system for quick serve restaurants.

“We wanted to give merchants the tools for seamless integration,” said Todd Lasher, leader of the channel business, ShopKeep. “Merchants want to work with strong and trusted partners with shared goals in the right ecosystem.”

“Smartphones are part of our personal lives now,” said Josh Goines, general manager, PayPal. “Consumers want a simple and secure transaction that saves time and money.”

The bottom line: mobile payments adoption must occur within a strong value chain, merchants must rely on the advice of trusted technology providers and merchants need a seamless and easy integration for mobile payment technology integration.

Is iPay on the Way? What Apple’s Fingerprint ID Means for Mobile Payments

September 11th, 2013 No comments

APPLE iPhone5s Unveiling Sept 10, 2013 

by John Berkley, Senior Vice President, Product

Apple unveiled an update to its popular iPhone earlier today to much fanfare. Just as the rumor-mill suggested, the new iPhone 5C will include Touch ID – a fingerprint sensor built into the home button. The fingerprint sensor can be used to unlock the phone or make payments.

iPods, iPads, now iPay? There is massive speculation in the media right now about if this new technology will be the killer mobile payments app that the industry has been pining for. While the “fingerprint to pay” idea offers some compelling reasons for consumers to put their plastic cards away, if Apple is to have any success in mobile payments, it will have to come from point-of-sale (POS) partnership – something we have yet to see them do. “Fingerprint to pay” has to be just as easy on the merchant as it is on the consumer.

Small Businesses Will Make or Break Mobile Payment Adoption

Small businesses in America account for 54% of all sales. If a 16-year-old barista can’t figure out how to ring up a fingerprint sale at her employer’s coffee shop, consumers will stop trying to use their iPhones to pay and go back to swiping cards. No one wants to be the jerk that holds up the line.

Local merchants do not have technology staff, marketing time or payments expertise. They need fast, easy and proven solutions to compete with mass retailers. That’s why they rely so heavily on their local POS reseller to tell them what payments integrations work best for their business type and their POS software.

PayPal’s Beacon: A Different Look at Mobile Payments

POS integration is what PayPal has in mind with its new Beacon device for hands-free check-ins and payments. The device was designed specifically to scale across point-of-sale systems with the intent that it will be an open platform for merchants to create ways to connect and potentially bring in customers to their stores.

Mobile payments are clearly at a tipping point. Hardware and software integrations that take the merchant experience just as seriously as the consumer experience will be the future leaders of the payments industry.

MercuryActivate Allows Merchants to Accept Payments Same Day As Enrollment

August 5th, 2013 No comments
MercuryActivate

MercuryActivate takes the headache out of merchant enrollment by allowing developers to quickly onboard new merchants for payment processing through a web-based form. Mercury is the first payment processor to offer this automated merchant enrollment process in the form of an API.

The API streamlines the enrollment process to avoid lengthy data collection. Merchants spend a few minutes completing the online form and begin accepting payments the same day.

Read our news about MercuryActivate to find out more: http://www.mercurypay.com/mercury-introduces-mercuryactivate-to-drive-merchant-enrollment-online/

Welcome to the Smart Device Era

July 10th, 2013 No comments

Small merchants are embracing new payment technologies as we enter the “smart device era.” In fact, two-thirds of retailers plan to implement a mobile, online or in-store outreach strategy to target smart phone shoppers within the next three years. And by the end of 2017, mobile payments will reach $90 billion dollars.

We’re beginning a new era where tablets, smart phones and other forms of alternative payments are transforming the point-of-sale into a point-of-purchase experience, and a valuable new tool for merchants. The infographic below shows how payments have evolved over the past 50 years as new technologies and regulations are introduced and consumer habits change.

The Evolution of Main Street

Professional Networking Drives Business: Plug In!

June 4th, 2013 No comments

Networking is an important cornerstone in the success of any business. By networking in your specific industry you reach new customers, build a base of business referrals, stay up to date on trends and new technologies, and form strategic partnerships with other businesses.

Relationships are the key factor in successful networking activities. People do business with those they know and trust. Building those relationships takes time and active participation, but the payoff is a network of resources for your business.

Successful businesses use a variety of strategies for networking. Professional organizations within your industry are a great way to fast track the networking process. The network already exists. You simply plug yourself into it by participating.

In today’s online world, social media often takes center stage in the networking world. Social media is an excellent way to reach your customers and begin two-way conversations with a wider audience. But social media is not a substitute for traditional networking methods. Think of social media as a valuable supplement to your networking efforts rather than a stand-alone approach.

Getting face time with your network is the best way to build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships. Attending industry conferences is a sure way to interact with your network. Conferences can put you in touch with existing customers, potential customers, and other businesses with complimentary services and technologies.

At Mercury® we take networking very seriously. It’s the core of our business. We foster our own success by investing in the success of partnering businesses. We rely on our carefully crafted relationships to develop and deploy our solutions industry wide.

One of our most important networking strategies is through our membership and participation in The Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA). The RSPA is a well developed and well known professional networking association dedicated to the retail technology industry.

The RSPA provides a variety of resources for professionals in our industry including legal assistance, business and health insurance, industry specific education and training, scholarships, discounts on various business supplies and services, and inclusion in a diverse member directory.

Mercury’s top networking event is The RSPA’s annual RetailNOW convention and expo. Mercury exhibits along with 174 other top industry players featuring emerging technologies, new business trends, and the latest products in the retail technology industry.
Attending the industry’s premier convention provides us with the most important opportunity we have to network with our partners, customers, and competitors.

In the true spirit of networking, Mercury has partnered with the RSPA to offer free RSPA memberships to our partners who join the RSPA for the first time. If you’re working with us, and haven’t joined the RSPA, we’ll pay your annual membership as well as your registration to RetailNOW 2013 in Las Vegas August 4-7, 2013. Join and start networking today in earnest. Contact Mercury for more details or click here to enroll!

Mercury Wins First Place for “New POS” Idea at Payments Conference

March 29th, 2013 No comments

Small and medium-sized merchants are being overwhelmed with new ways to pay, new standards and regulations and more options at the point of sale than ever before. It was an attempt to tackle this challenge that brought together Mercury Payment Systems, Barclaycard and others, to brainstorm an idea for what the new point of sale should be. Our idea took first place at a recent industry conference.

The conference, the “Innovation Project,” organized by Pymnts.com, brought together the top minds in the payments industry for a two-day summit on the future of commerce.

The ThinkAThon competition brought together teams from across the industry to compete to solve a modern day payment problems with new ideas.

Our challenge: How can merchants, issuers, acquirers, networks and perhaps even consumers work together to reach the best solution most efficiently?

The answer we found was in mobile phone numbers. In addition to a pass code, the number could replace the 16-digit credit or debit card number to supplement the POS.

The idea is that the new POS technology would be built on an open platform that attach all personalized payment preferences, loyalty information, shopping preferences, etc. to the new payment token – mobile phone number and PIN.

This provides a common means for merchants to issue loyalty, offers, etc., while also protecting the consumer’s identity and information.

Of course, in order for this idea to work, we believe acquirers will need to create deployment standards for this platform, networks will need to adapt their rules so as to accept this new consumer identification system, and merchants will need to deploy it across all channels and train consumers.

No one on our team took on the challenge to build the open network (yet), but we are honored that the industry took notice of our idea. Mobile-empowered consumers are driving changes with how merchants interact with their customers.

It was an interesting challenge and we congratulate all the winners.

Mercury Named Best Payment Processor Fifth Year Running

January 30th, 2013 No comments

Integrity. It’s something many businesses talk about but few live up to. That’s why we’re so excited to announce that our reseller partners have selected Mercury Payment Systems as a 2013 Best Channel Vendor by Business Solutions Magazine. Again. This is the fifth year in a row we’ve won this award.

We are so honored that this esteemed award, determined by BSM readers, recognizes Mercury for product reliability and service and support for our payment processing services.

 

 

Mercury was selected to win the award in an annual reader’s survey to determine the best channel vendors. VAR subscribers rated vendor partners across seven categories:

  • Adequate margins
  • Channel friendly
  • Channel program
  • Product features
  • Product innovation
  • Product reliability
  • Service and support

As an organization, we are deeply committed to nurturing strong relationships with our channel partners. We look to provide our partners with the best solutions, services and support that complement their business and allow them to remain competitive.

This award not only validates that we’re on the right track, it shows us that our partners value our relationships as much as we value theirs.

Thank you for awarding our integrity. We’ll make sure we spend every day of 2013 living up to our reputation.

Find Social Loyalty Solutions to Build Business and Win $500 at NRF’s Big Show 2013

January 14th, 2013 No comments

Mercury is making it even simpler for retailers and merchants to increase revenue and customer retention though social and mobile technology. We’ll be demonstrating our MecuryLoyalty program, as well as emerging technologies and security innovations at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show, now through Jan. 16 at Jacob K Javits Convention Center in New York, located at Booth #2461.

MercuryLoyalty was designed specifically to give small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) the same loyalty marketing opportunities as big box retailers. Using MercuryLoyalty, merchants of all sizes can attract new customers and retain and grow their existing customer base by improving customer engagement – all automatically through their existing POS system.

“Existing customers are an amazing source for incremental revenue, yet many merchants miss out because creating and maintaining an effective customer loyalty program has been too cost-prohibitive and complicated,” said John Berkley, senior vice president of product management for Mercury, who will be demonstrating Mercury’s technology at the show.

“With an ever-expanding list of mobile and social payment options, it can be confusing for merchants to know which solution is best for the future of their business. MercuryLoyalty takes the guess work out of process by integrating emerging commerce technologies with whichever solution they already have, thereby extending their existing investment,” Berkley said.

Mercury pioneered the model of direct POS integration with its payment processing technology, and has more than a decade of experience in making the process seamless for ISVs across all verticals.

Mercury employs a dedicated integration team to support developers through the entire integration process, so regardless of the platform they’re integrating to, Mercury has the tools, expertise and support processes in place to get the job done efficiently. This ensures Mercury’s partner can make more money and better serve their customers, faster.

MercuryLoyalty is the industry’s first card-less loyalty solution that integrates mobile and social technology into the point-of-sale. For merchants using MercuryLoyalty, customers simply sign in at the POS using a mobile device and are instantly credited and rewarded for their transaction.

The data from the purchase is bundled with their previous shopping history – including info from any previous card-based loyalty system – and stored in memory for the life of the POS. In addition, MercuryLoyalty supports Mercury’s patent-pending, closed-loop coupon redemption process.

Together, these tools provide cumulative intelligence that helps merchants reduce operating costs and support issues while creating highly customized offers to loyal customers based on past purchases and anticipated future needs.

Stop by Booth 2461 and enter a drawing for a $500 Visa gift card. We look forward to seeing you there!