Invoices Made Easy - Credit Card FAQ

If you've looked into accepting credit cards before and thought it was complicated, well, we agree. If you're just getting started we want to warn you up front that the fees charged by credit card processors can be confusing. We've assembled a little information here that we hope you will find helpful. If you have further questions about online payments, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Invoices Made Easy does not process credit card transactions. What Invoices Made Easy DOES do is interface to a Payment Gateway who then processes the transaction. What this means is that you will have to work directly with a credit card processor in order to accept credit cards. While we encourage you to shop around, we do have an online application that offers very competative rates. Be sure to include Invoices Made Easy in your search when you do your comparison shopping.

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What do I need to get started accepting online payments with Invoices Made Easy?
What is an Internet Merchant Account?
What is a Payment Gateway?
What Payment Gateways does Invoices Made Easy support?
What should I look for in an Internet Merchant Account provider?
What pitfalls should I avoid when shopping for an Internet Merchant Account?
What if the Internet Merchant Account provider offers a Payment Gateway?
What is a Discount Rate?
What is a Transaction Fee?
What is the Address Verification System (AVS)?

What do I need to get started accepting online payments with Invoices Made Easy?
You must have a Payment Gateway and an Internet Merchant Account in order to accept online payments with Invoices Made Easy.
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What is an Internet Merchant Account?
All merchants who accept credit card payments must have an account on the credit card processing network. In order to accept payments over the internet, you must have a special kind of merchant account called an Internet Merchant Account. Since all internet payments are considered "card not present" (i.e. the card is not physically presented to the merchant for payment) you can expect to pay slightly higher rates. There are literally thousands of companies who offer Internet Merchant Accounts. See what to look for in an Internet Merchant Account provider and pitfalls to avoid when selecting an Internet Merchant Account Provider.
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What is a Payment Gateway?
A Payment Gateway is a secure "bridge" between the internet and the credit card processing network. The credit card processing network is (obviously) not directly accessible from the internet. A few companies have taken the time to create a secure connection between the internet and the credit card network. One of the largest is a company called Authorize.Net. Authorize.Net is the preferred Payment Gateway for Invoices Made Easy.
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What Payment Gateways does Invoices Made Easy support?
We currently support only the Authorize.Net payment gateway.
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What should I look for in an Internet Merchant Account provider?
It would be nice if the answer to this question was simply "the lowest rate". However, reading the rate tables from merchant account providers can be extremely difficult (if not impossible). Here are a few things to look for:

  • No startup fee - Many providers offer free set-up, so be wary of providers who ask for money up front.
  • Low Statement Fee (most charge up to $10/month)
  • Low Discount Rate (try to get lower than 2%)
  • Low Transaction Fee (try to get lower than $0.25)
  • Low (or no) monthly minimum (some charge up to $25/month)
  • Less stringent AVS rules.

When comparing Discount Rates and Transaction Fees it's important to know what your average transaction amount will be. If you expect small transactions (under $30) you probably want a lower Transaction Fee. If you expect larger transactions (over $30) you probably want a lower Discount Rate. Many providers charge a Monthly Minimum. If your Transaction Fees and Discount Rate does not add up to more than the minimum in a particular month, they'll charge you the minimum.

Some providers will advertise really low rates, but be careful. They may require AVS in order to get those low rates and may charge much, much more for transactions without AVS. You need to decide if you want to require AVS (and what level of AVS) before you sign up with a provider that requires it.
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What pitfalls should I avoid when shopping for an Internet Merchant Account?
The main thing to watch out for is, of course, the fine print. Some providers (e.g. Chase PaymentTech) want you to sign a 3 year contract and charge a $250 "termination fee" if you cancel early. Many providers require no contract and have no termination fees.
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What if the Internet Merchant Account provider offers a Payment Gateway?
Since WebWorks Software, LLC is an Associate Reseller of Authorize.Net services, we obviously prefer that you sign up for your Payment Gateway through us. However, any Authorize.Net payment gateway account will work so if your Internet Merchant Account provider offers you a better deal, take it. Just be sure it is an Authorize.Net payment gateway, since that's the only one we support.
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What is a Discount Rate?
A Discount Rate is the percentage of the transaction amount that the merchant (you) pays for the privilege of having the credit card network process your payment. So if your Discount Rate was 2% and a customer paid you $50, you would pay the merchant account provider $1 for that transaction. Well, you will really pay more than that because they are also going to charge you a Transaction Fee.
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What is a Transaction Fee?
A Transaction Fee is a flat rate that the merchant (you) pays for each transaction submitted to the credit card processing network. A typical Transaction Fee is $0.25.
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What is the Address Verification System (AVS)?
The Address Verification System (AVS) attempts to prevent fraud by requiring that the customer enter the credit card billing address along with the card number and card verification code when they make a payment. If the address entered by the customer does not match the billing address on the credit card, the transaction may be declined. Most providers offer a lower Discount Rate for transactions that include AVS information because they are less likely to be fraudulent transactions. At the same time, those providers normally charge a small fee ($0.05) for each AVS transaction in addition to the standard transaction charge. Make sure to ask about this verification transaction charge.
There are a few different ways you can set up AVS with Authorize.Net and Invoices Made Easy:

  • Require AVS - The customer must enter address information. The transaction will be declined if no address is provided.
  • Optional AVS - The customer has the option to enter address information, but can leave it blank. The transaction will be declined if the address does not match, but will be accepted if no address is entered at all.
  • No AVS - The customer will not be prompted for address information.
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Contact Us
If you still have questions (or corrections), please contact us by email at:
help@InvoicesMadeEasy.com