Hope you all enjoyed your Bank Holiday yesterday – I missed you and wondered how I had once answered my phone all the time and treated feet!!!! Delighted to hear my phone diverting to RTR this morning every time it rang!!!! 😊
The end of Rip-off bank charges: all charges for paying by card to be banned!
Card payment charges to be banned
The media is all-over how this impacts the customer, without being aware that the business is just passing on a cost from the bank. Most businesses charge a percentage on credit cards because the merchant companies who transfer the funds will make a percentage charge to them. So on a £500 item, flight, or booking the merchant will charge about £7.50. Plus the business will be paying a monthly fee, a set fee on all debit card transactions and for the terminal (card machine).
There is a lower risk of card fraud than there was with cheques, and there is less labour involved on the merchant side so it beats me why they started to charge more to do debit and credit card transactions in the first place. Nowadays the charges for cheques and cash to be banked are higher so you would expect the debit and credit charges to be reduced.
Big businesses can negotiate a reduced fee with the banks but sme’s don’t earn as much for the banks, so they are charged the full rates. You can shop around to find a better rate for an SME, but at the end of the day if you are a small business you will pay proportionately more for any service.
Sme’s are really being kicked around here.
So who should pay for the transaction the customer or the business?
You know how it is. You’re driving. You need to call someone at their office. They have an IVR (choose 1 for sales, 2 for accounts….). How to do it? I’m assuming you use Bluetooth, hands-free, and the person you need to call is in your contacts.
To put in an extension – just add a PAWS to the number.
In contacts go to the contact and choose edit.
Pick the number you are going to edit, then tap the +*# key, bottom left.
Then tap pause (under number1) This enters a pause in the dialling, which shows as a comma in the number display.
Enter the extension number
You should then see the call number as something like 1234567891,345.
One way round it is Pre-Payment of a deposit or full fee in advance. It seems to jog the client’s memory and even if it doesn’t you have still got your fee.
As virtual receptionists working with many clinics we know that all clinics will have some patients who fail to attend. This is a potential loss of income for the therapist and it can be difficult to get a fee for a missed appointment.
How it works
For Pre-Payment you must have a merchant account and the account issuer will give you information about setting up a virtual terminal, which is the portal that takes payment for your bank account over the internet. If your clients can book online from your website you can make prepayment a requirement of the booking.
If your customers like to phone in we can take the payment for you
we take their details, book the appointment and tell them we need to take a deposit.
We then link securely to your merchant terminal, and take the card details and payment.
Card security is vital if you are taking prepayments
PCI compliance is the standard of security that the Payment Card Industry require of you and us. Not surprising this is quite strict.
Among other things it requires us to ensure that nobody working here can store data on anyone’s credit or debit card. When taking a payment we pause call recording to ensure that we have no record of their card numbers etc. Staff do not keep paper and pen on their desks or mobile phones in the office.
We keep no record of the transaction at all except the fact that there has been one and the date/time. So you can be confident that your clients data is safe.
We take data protection and client confidentiality extremely seriously
As a virtual reception service we use passwords so much we use an Identity and Access Management System to make it easier. But at home and for personal use it can be a bit of a nightmare. Obviously, we need them, but remembering all the different passwords for different stuff, and how secure are they?
There are a few password testing sites – Kaspersky and “how secure is my password”, which show how frighteningly insecure your password is.
Should you have a different password for everything? I don’t think you can, there are so many things you need passwords for it would be impossible to remember all the variations. You could have one for financials and one for social stuff. But make it as secure as possible and stick with it would be my advice.
So – to create a secure password.
Don’t’ include names, words or mnemonics. You could use the first letter of children or siblings names, or the countries on the west coast of Africa.
Add in some random numbers.
Stick in a symbol somewhere in the middle.
Then you can test it against the sites mentioned above.
And now you just have to remember which sites you have updated.