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Ira Chandler

Ira Chandler

CTO

Curbstone Corporation


In 1993, Ira Chandler wrote the first commercial card software for the AS/400. Twenty-four years later, the company is still dedicated to the IBM i.


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As a middleware SaaS provider for companies on the IBM i OS, we sit between you, the merchant, and your acquirer who charges you processing fees. Your “acquirer” is the company with whom you have a signed agreement for your “merchant account.” They provide you access to the banking industry, handle your funds, and levy fees. Though Curbstone is not an
acquirer, some truths have become evident over our 25 years on this IBM I platform.
 
Two Things
Your processing fees are controlled by two things:
• Content of your transactions, their “qualification”
• Timeliness of settlement
 
For example, if you do not include an invoice number, or neglect to attempt an address match, the rules charge you a higher rate. If you take B2B corporate purchasing cards without submitting Level II or Level III data with the settlement, you are heavily downgraded. If you don’t settle the same day, by three days, or by seven or 10 days (MC/Visa), you will also pay more. These
downgrades add up.
 
Do You Pay Too Much?
Add up your total card transactions for a long period, three months or a year. Add up the total fees you paid the bank/acquirer and divide that by the transaction total. That is your effective rate. Often, it is higher than the rate promised, which rarely includes common downgrades. Use that to shop competitively for the best rate and service.
 
Bucket Rate?
If your bank/acquirer doesn’t admit they charge downgrades, they’re giving you a “bucket” rate. That prevents you from the benefit of providing timely, quality transactions and paying lower fees. Often, they will also claim they “pass through” interchange, which is can be another way of charging “bucket” rates. Quality and timeliness don’t matter since they expect and charge you for the worst.
 
Tiers and Tears
Bank/acquirers are different levels, with Tier One being the biggest. Others are typically ISOs (Independent Sales Organizations) under a Tier One acquirer. If you haven’t received a formal quote based on actual transaction analysis from a Tier One acquirer, you pay too much.
 
You Better Shop Around
Acquirers with quality service will gladly take months of your existing fee reports, analyze them and provide a firm rate quote. In some cases, acquirers provide better rates if they know the middleware doing the authorization and settlement, having experience with the transaction quality. Curbstone supports most U.S. Acquirers and ISOs if they process through our certified communication networks.
 
Conclusion
Card fee savings directly add to your profit. Investigate how you can save big bucks with just a little paperwork.