168 hours a week!  Really?

After getting my 75th reminder to say Parashas Hamon (before 9am!) I started thinking about just how many hours of our day/week we invest into “work”.

 

Since the Depression, when free time became equated with unemployment and “full time employment” was established as key a value; working 40 hours a week became the norm.

 

Today many employers consider full-time fewer hours (35 hours, or 37.5 hours).  With the introduction of Obamacare, a new definition to the “full-time” was born = 30 hours a week.

 

Yet while the definition of full-time may be shrinking, Americans are working longer hours than at any time since statistics have been kept, and longer than anywhere else in the industrialized world.

 

In the last 10 years we are swimming against an even stronger current. The work day no longer ends when we leave the office!  Our phones and laptops keep us attached to our work 24 hours a day.

 

We are slowly turning into non-stop workaholics and it doesn’t do any good for our physical, mental, or spiritual health.

 

People with a healthy view of work may work long hours but are not constantly worrying about it. Such people may put in 12 hours, close their laptop, and go do something else.  However a workaholic will put in the same 12 hours but remain anxious about some of the tasks or decisions after work hours are over.

 

A true workaholic gets high from the adrenaline and cortisol, and without work, they go through withdrawal.  It’s the inability to turn off, such as thinking through a work problem while watching your kid ride a bike for the first time.

 

A workaholic is someone who is on the ski slopes dreaming about being back in the office. A healthy worker is someone in the office who dreams about being on the ski slopes.

 

So here we are in the twenty-first century.  Our jobs now serve the function that traditionally belonged to religion: They are the place where we seek answers to the perennial questions “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” and “What’s it all for?”  Life outside the workplace has lost vitality and meaning, work has ceased being a means to an end and become an end in itself.

 

I’ve recently taken on a new commitment to be home by 6pm at least 3 times a week.  For those of you wondering what the heck I’m talking about – kudos to you!  But for those nodding their heads along – please share your feedback what you do to keep your work from taking over your life.

 

Happy Tuesday & Happy Selling!

Kevin

How many hours a week do you work?

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Here at Banquest Payment Systems we often get calls from our merchants asking why a specific credit card transaction was declined.  They entered all the information correctly and it still came back as declined.  Why?

 

Most of the time the issue tends to be on the customer side rather than the merchant side.

 

The most common reasons for a credit card decline is because the cardholder reached their credit limit or failed to pay their bill. The issuing bank simply won’t let them borrow any more money until they’ve made a payment.  There are many types of limits; daily, monthly, per transaction, etc…

 

Another reason may be due to today’s advanced fraud detection tools.  If a purchase is being made outside of the customers usual geographic area, or if a transaction is significantly larger or out of habit for a particular shopper, the credit card issuer may decline the transaction due to fraud concerns.

 

All of the above declines are “Issuer Declines” for which as a merchant – there is not much you can do.  The cardholder would need to either make a payment (in the case of reaching credit limit) or contact their credit card issuer (in the case of a fraud alert).

 

However there are declines that can be due to the settings put in place by the specific merchants business.  Some merchants will set rules to decline orders with billing addresses or security codes that do not match the correct information on file.  Such declines are really not a credit card decline (the card may actually be approved and authorized for the amount requested) but rather it’s the merchant who is choosing not to capture and go through with the transaction.

 

We are always available to help our merchants determine the reason for a decline.  Feel free to reach out to support@banquest.com or 855-323-8300.

 

Happy Tuesday & Happy Selling!

Kevin

 

P.S. Former President Barack Obama’s credit card was declined when dining out in NYC!  Click HERE to hear him tell the story.

Card Declined

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You’re about to give your credit card to make a payment when the merchant says, “Credit card transactions are an extra 3%.”

 

This is called a credit card surcharge. Though it’s annoying, there’s a reason merchants add it: to cover their costs.  You’ll rarely see surcharges at large retailers. But you could see them at mom-and-pop establishments, where bottom lines are more sensitive to credit card processing fees.
Is it legal for the merchant to charge you an extra surcharge?

In most States, merchants aren’t barred by law from adding surcharges.  According to the Durbin Amendment of the Dodd–Frank Act, retailers are allowed to add a surcharge on credit card transactions. (They are not allowed to add surcharges on debit card or prepaid card transactions.)

 

Merchants are also allowed to require minimum purchases for credit card purchases — up to $10.

 

However, Surcharges are illegal across the board in these 9 states:

Colorado

Connecticut

Florida

Kansas

Maine

Massachusetts

New York

Oklahoma

Texas

 

Does it make sense for you to pay an extra 3% to use your credit card?

That really depends on why you wish to use your credit card in the first place.  If it’s simply for convenience, it might not make sense for you to pay an extra 3% for this convenience.  However if you need the 30 – 45 day cash float that your credit card afford you, then it might be the only way you can make the purchase.  Additionally, some savvy business owners may have a credit card that earns them 2% cash back and the cash back money is tax free (grey area…Speak to your Accountant.).  If you’re in a high tax bracket, it may be well worth it to pay 3% and get back 2% of that tax free.

 

Does it make sense for business owners to pass on the fee?

It really comes down to your customers. If you implement a surcharge, it comes at the risk of losing customers who are put off by additional charges for credit card.

 

When consumers were asked would they pay extra to use a credit card at a business, 64% said they wouldn’t pay an extra fee. Additionally, credit cards have become a standard method of payment in virtually every industry and every large corporation accepts credit cards without surcharging.

 

Finally, if your fees are too high, it might be time to look for a new processor. If you’re already a Banquest client, let us know how we can help you when it comes to surcharges. If you’re not a client but interested in how we can support your business, click here to contact us today!

 

It’s our mission to reduce the costs and headaches associated with credit card processing, so we’d be honored to earn your business.
Happy Tuesday & Happy Selling!
Kevin

Credit Card Surcharging

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I debated with myself before writing this blog: is it really necessary?  Is there anyone out there that doesn’t already know this information?

 

Unfortunately we and our colleagues in the payment processing industry deal with this all the time.  My staff, who unfortunately has to clean up these messes, insist that many of the abusers are truly innocent.  They simply don’t know that what they are doing is wrong.

 

What I am referring to is the practice of charging or swiping ones own credit card to their own business – as a quick way to get funds into their bank account. (i.e. a business owner is short $20,000 for payroll, so he swipes his own credit card for $20,000 and has the funds in his account the next day! Sometimes there may even be legitimate reasons for doing so such as when someone owns multiple businesses and he is using his card from business A to pay business B.)

 

I’m not here to discuss whether or not this is a financially good idea in terms of the % rate… (It’s not!)

 

The credit card processors strictly prohibit such transactions and will terminate any account that processes such a transaction.  They’re pretty good about catching them too.  Sometimes the processor will place the merchant on a blacklist that is shared with all US processors ensuring that this business will never get approved for a merchant account anywhere.

 

In short:  never charge your own (or your family or business partners) credit card to your own merchant account.  

 

Happy Tuesday & Happy Selling!
Kevin

Charging your own card?

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