Manual CC Processing
SpaBoom defaults to taking the customer's CC over the Internet, and securely storing it for your access at a later date. This enables you to access the customer's CC information and process it manually with your existing, offline merchant account.
This option is perfect for low-volume organizations, or those desiring to evaluate SpaBoom before investing further into an online merchant account. To use it, your existing merchant account must be able to processes CCs without the need for a card code (i.e. CVV2 number for Visa).
Advantages: Cheaper for low-volume customers who don't want to incur the expense of a second merchant account for online CC processing.
- You must process the CCs manually in your retail location, which adds an additional step for selling GCs. This also means valid GCs are printed by customers before the CCs are processed.
- 30 day window to process: if you do not process the credit card within 30 days of the purchase, SpaBoom automatically hides the CC number for security. There is no way to reveal the CC number after 30 days - to obtain payment for that GC, you will need to contact the purchaser. We never hide the purchaser's information.
- Finally, the credit card companies prohibit anyone from asking for the card code and storing that number on a computer. Therefore, SpaBoom does not obtain the card code for you in a manual CC transaction. So, if your existing merchant account requires the card code flat-out, or requires the card code to receive a qualified rate, you may need to look at other CC processing options (further discussed below).
Options when Offline Merchant Account Provider requires the Card Code
- Talk with your merchant account provider, to see if there are other options available with that provider. Tell them about SpaBoom, and the GCs transactions it is generating for you.
- Run some tests. We've heard of instances where a dummy card code can be used, yet the transaction will still be successfully processed by the merchant account provider.
- If you have no options with your existing merchant account provider, is it time to switch? Note that there are many competitively priced merchant account providers who do not require the card code. Contact SpaBoom to help answer your questions, as well as provide you with ideas on potential merchant account vendors to consider.
- Consider acquiring an online merchant account, which SpaBoom can tie into for automated CC processing. Using Authorize.Net or PayPal, SpaBoom does request the card code from the customer, and then passes that on to your online merchant account.
Options when Offline Merchant Account Provider requires the Card Code to receive a Qualified Rate
- Talk with your merchant account provider, and make sure they've fully explained the difference between qualified (the cheapest rate), mid-qual and non-qualified transactions. What are the price differences and what determines the classification of a transaction. The goal here is to make sure your merchant account provider is doing this correctly for you, they aren't lumping your non-card code transactions into non-qualified transactions, and there aren't other options for you to get the better rate. Remember that rates are always negotiable with merchant account providers.
- Once you have the rates, you can compare against other merchant account providers. Is it time to switch? There are some high-quality merchant account providers whose difference between qualified and mid-qual is only .25%.
- Can you process CCs online? If you have an Internet connection in the office, and you don't need phone processing, you might want to consider going with PayPal. Their discount rates aren't bad, with a flat monthly fee of only $20 (which is less than most other merchant account providers). SpaBoom can tie directly into PayPal (if you pick the Web Payments Pro account), so you don't even have to handle the SpaBoom GC sales CC processing manually like you do today.
- Finally, this is the status quo option: If the difference in your qualified versus mid-qual rates are less than 1%, you're still saving money over others who have a second merchant account if your transactions are less than $7,500/month or so.