Merchant accounts and credit card processing systems can be very confusing for business owners seeking new solutions. There is an awful lot of information to wade through when you begin shopping for a credit card solution and without some basic information about what exactly you’re looking (which many credit card companies leave out intentionally) it can become a frustrating experience and you may either give up or just ” go with that one” because you’re really not sure what would be the best. I’d like to provide that basic information in this article so that you can be prepared when faced with such decisions.
What’s happening in 3.6?
USBSwiper 3.6 is a small, but very important release. We are now offering PayLeap merchant account services in addition to our existing integration with PayPal Virtual Terminal, PayFlow Pro, and Authorize.Net gateways.
Why is this important?
Up until now, USBSwiper has been and add-on package to provide card swipe solutions to merchants with existing merchant accounts. PayPal Virtual Terminal / Payments Pro has always been our primary focus and will continue to be included in our development moving forward. The PayPal system does not acknowledge Card-Present transactions, though, and as such, do not provide the lowest possible rate for swiped transactions the way a traditional merchant account does. With the addition of our PayLeap merchant account options, USBSwiper can now provide and Interchange-Plus merchant account Powered by PayLeap that may suit your business better than PayPal.
Where can I get more information?
Don’t let the small jump from 3.2 to 3.3 fool you. The new USBSwiper is packed with feature requests! Take a look at what’s included…
PCI Compliance Updates
In previous versions, credit card data was encrypted, however, it was still stored internally within USBSwiper. With version 3.3 this is no longer the case. Card data is only stored until it’s successfully processed, at which point the data is wiped clean from USBSwiper and only “display” fields are shown (ie. xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-4532).
Invoice Items Updates
The drop-down list in the items area of invoices now sorts alphabetically instead of numerically on the internal ID. Also, the custom item ID field can be edited directly on the Invoices screen to add items rather than through the drop-down list or the search area. This way you can quickly add items if you know your own ID or if you have a bar-code system in place.
Authorization Features Now Included
USBSwiper 3.3 includes the ability to authorize a credit card prior to capturing the final order amount. This feature was requested mostly from restaurant owners who would typically need to apply a tip after authorization the customer’s credit card. You may configure USBSwiper to automatically authorize all new invoices or you may set each individual invoice to authorize only when necessary. The authorization is just for $1.00 and immediately releases the authorization back to the bank. It’s simply used to ensure the card is valid.
Sales Tax, Discount Codes, Handling Fee Updates
These features have been completely revamped to allow multiple options for each. You may now set up a complete table of all sales tax rates you might need. For example, if you charge different rates for different counties/cities you can easily include them. Also, inventory items may be marked as Taxable to ensure only the items you need to tax are included in the sales tax calculations. Discount Codes and Handling Fees can be maintained much like sales tax. You can add as many different codes as you like and each can be either flat-rate or percentage based. You may set defaults for each within your Setup screen and you may adjust invoice individually as well.
Version 3.3 now allows you to adjust the currency processed on the invoice. You may set a default currency within your Setup screen and you may also adjust the currency on each individual invoice as needed.
More General Updates
- Internal notes from USBSwiper are now included in requests to PayPal so they can be seen in the PayPal transaction details.
- Partial refunds and the ability to leave refund notes has been included. Multiple partial refunds are also available up to the original full amount.
- Added option to print invoices without displaying the options dialog so you don’t have to say OK when you print an invoice. This option can be set within your Setup screen via a check box.
- Fixed invoice items so that if you edit the name(s) on the invoice screen it reflects on receipts and in PayPal transaction details. Previously, it would still use the name that was stored in Products.
- Added last 4 digits of credit card number and the PayPal transaction ID to all receipts.
- Added shipping address information on Invoices. If shipping information is included it’s passed to PayPal accordingly.
- Re-activating a software license no longer creates additional Setup records, therefore, you can re-activate without causing confguration problems.
- Fixed a bug where a validation error would occur when switching to Key mode after having already swiped a credit card.
- Added options to the payment type field to help maintain all types of transactions: Cash, Check, Money Order, Other.
All API credentials and credit card swipe data is now masked and encrypted within the software. You will no longer be able to see this information anywhere on screen.
Previously, the only way you could add items to your invoices was to click on the ID column of the list within the invoice and select products from the drop down list provided. This worked well if you’re only dealing with a couple of items but was horrible for handling any real type of inventory at all.
You can still add items using the ID drop down menu, however, there is now a feature to search for an item by Item ID, Name, or Price. You simply click an Add Item button on the returned item to add it to your current invoice. This allows you to add items much more quickly and without the hassle of the drop down.
Previously when an error was returned trying to charge a credit card you had to click into the log in order to find the error information. Now, anytime an error is returned it will be displayed immediately in a pop-up dialog so you know right away what went wrong without any confusion or extra clicks involved.
Receipt Printing Updates
There are now layouts to handle the following receipt printer sizes: 2.25″, 3″, 4″ and full 8.5″ x 11″. Also, the receipt layouts now dynamically adjust according to the number of items on them so you’re not wasting any of your receipt paper roll!
The items on the invoice and receipts have been adjusted to sort first by price (high to low) and then by name (alphabetically).
Automated Features Updates
We have added options in your Setup panel which allow you to activate the automation of various tasks within USBSwiper. The following features are available…
- Automatically include sales tax / handling fees on all new invoices.
- Automatically process the credit card upon swiping so you don’t have to click the process button!
- Automatically print receipts upon a successful transaction.