Mistakes that Merchants Make With Merchant Accounts

Article Written by : Manufacturing Strategy 

If you have a good amount of customer coming through your doors, you will need to have a merchant account. A merchant account allows you to accept credit card and debit card payment through a credit card terminal. Many business owners will hop right in and sign the first contract they are given without even thinking about it. This is just one popular mistake merchants make when it comes to these types of accounts but there are ways to avoid them

You will need to compare various companies before you sign up with one of them. The best way to check a company out is through the Better Business Bureau. The BBB can let you know if the provider has a history of complaints or if they have complaints that have gone unresolved. Once you have a contract, be sure to read and understand each detail, especially the fine print.

Sure a credit card company representative can provide you with a sales pitch to get you to sign up with their company. But be sure what ever it is that they offer you, that you get it in writing. You certain do not want to be conned into something and then end up with extravagant fees. If an offer sounds to good to be true, it most likely is. If it is true, get in down on paper.

Pay attention to that nasty cancellation fee. This fee is normally an extravagant amount because the company wants to keep you in the contract. The fee is assessed if you cancel your contract early. It is important to remember these tips so you don’t make any mistakes that will cost you money.

How to Fight Credit Card Chargebacks

Article Written by : Merchant Capital Inc

Here is a situation which you may be able to relate with. Jack is the owner of a small floral delivery company in the heart of his downtown neighborhood. He recently subscribed for a merchant account so he could take credit cards as payment. He soon found it was a great decision since his sales went up by 33% in just two weeks. But soon after, jack noticed several credit card chargebacks.

The chargebacks all seemed to be for various reasons. One customer claimed they never received their delivery so they disputed the transaction with their credit card company. Another customer said the flowers were delivered but in rough shape by the time they got to her and still another disputed the charge because the flowers were not what they ordered.

The sad part is that all these claims were frivolous. Jack had a reputation of having high quality floral arrangements as well as a trusted courier for his deliveries. Jack was a victim of customers who wanted something for nothing. If you find yourself in this situation, there are some things you can do to fight credit card chargebacks.

One important step to take is to get a signature for all deliveries made. Be sure the courier is aware of this when he sets out on his deliveries. For customers who claim they never received their delivery, all you need to do is show a copy of the signed delivery receipt. For those who state their delivery was in poor condition upon arrival, showing the part of the receipt stating the customer can receive a refund as long as their return their purchase in a certain amount of time.

You don’t have to let dishonest customers take advantage of you. Stand up for your reputation by proving them wrong!

A scheme that stretched across the globe: Fraud cases raise questions about the work of attorneys whose clients later faced criminal charges


Article Written by : How To Accept Credit Cards Online 

(Times Union (Albany, NY) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 26–SARATOGA SPRINGS — The money was supposed to come from overseas: a $100 million deal to finance a ski resort in Utah.

The wealthy investor on the other end of the telephone line listened closely to three men from Saratoga County, including an attorney, who cast themselves as international financiers with access to billions.

The investor, Brent Ferrin, who lives in Park City, Utah, was skeptical. The men making the pitch were speaking in garbled sentences about Latvian banks, Patriot Act restrictions and shadowy European bank executives who, it would turn out, actually lived in Las Vegas.

But Ferrin played along. He questioned why the paper work for a major international loan was being handled by a “personal injury lawyer” from Saratoga Springs.

The attorney, John M. Hogan Jr., jumped in to defend himself.

“Let me tell you why,” Hogan said. “Because I, I am tenacious. I don’t let go of things when I get my hands onto them. I was for, did they say I was an accountant before I was a lawyer? … And did they tell you that ah, I don’t like to lose and that I’m a bulldog? That’s what people call me.”

Unbeknownst to Hogan and his partners in the deal, Ferrin was recording every word for the FBI.

It wasn’t the first time Hogan, 73, a member of a longtime Saratoga Springs law firm, played a role, knowingly or not, in a questionable loan deal, court records show. But like several upstate New York attorneys who figured in recent federal investigations of real estate and mortgage fraud, Hogan was not charged.

Indeed, a months-long Times Union examination has uncovered instances in which federal authorities investigated the roles of lawyers and other licensed professionals embroiled in schemes involving mortgage or bank fraud, without bringing charges.

It comes as other lawyers and their clients, who have been prosecuted in upstate federal courts, are accusing the Justice Department of being selective in its prosecutions and of failing to pursue potential conspirators due to a mix of whimsical decision-making and limited law enforcement resources.

As the U.S. economy is reeling in the wake of years of sloppy mortgage lending, the government’s decision to limit its prosecutions has exposed a gap in law enforcement priorities. It also highlights a shift in focus by the FBI and Justice Department toward combating terrorism and child pornography.

In June, that issue bubbled up in a federal courtroom in Albany as U.S. District Judge Gary L. Sharpe sentenced two men, Thomas Disonell and Matthew Kupic, to prison for a series of mortgage fraud crimes that could have put them behind bars for much longer than the 24 months they received. Sharpe reacted strongly as the government sought to credit the men for cooperation that was never used to prosecute anyone else.

“This case caused me to crack an eyebrow,” Sharpe declared on the bench that day. “How can they do what they did without the complicity of the lawyers that are involved in the closing? … I’m not oblivious to the fact that the criminal cases filed with the FBI as the investigating agency is almost nil compared to what they were before 9/11. I know where their resources are. And I’m not attacking that one iota. … But I happen to know that the amount of time and energy invested in white-collar fraud in criminal investigations is not what it was prior to 9/11.”

Andrew T. Baxter, acting U.S. attorney for New York’s Northern District, while declining to comment on any specific case, said it is not a matter of being selective. He said that “attorney-client privilege can make it more difficult to gather evidence.”

“In investigating a fraudulent scheme, a key issue as to every subject is the strength of the evidence of the knowledge of the fraudulent nature of relevant transactions and the criminal intent of those involved,” Baxter said. “The fact that a subject of an investigation is a lawyer or licensed professional may affect our ability to prove knowledge and intent.”

Still, the Saratoga County case and others like it have exposed a trend in which people accused of federal fraud-related charges turned to attorneys and other professionals who, unwittingly or not, allegedly helped them complete their crimes.

In 2005, a year after Ferrin recorded his telephone conversation with Hogan, two other men on the conference call that day, Philip Rechnitzer of Clifton Park and Ronald Persaud of Saratoga Springs, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Albany. The indictment accused them of bilking Ferrin and other investors of more than $1.6 million. Persaud’s wife, Indranie, his ex-wife, Esther, and their son, Shawn, a student at Albany Law School, also were indicted.

The charges allege numerous investors lost money while seeking financing for high-end development projects like theme parks, Caribbean resorts and even a Lake George hotel.

The investors have testified in federal court they believed they were dealing with high-powered financiers who had access to billions of dollars in overseas funding, and not a husband-and-wife team from upstate New York who were having financial troubles.

In 2004, at a time when Esther Persaud was claiming to be the managing director of at least three overseas banks, she listed her job as an office manager and stated she had $50 cash on hand when she filed for bankruptcy in Albany. Ronald Persaud, whom prosecutors have cast as the ringleader, also filed for bankruptcy that year, claiming assets of under $11,000. It took place at a time when federal prosecutors say he was fabricating official-looking European bank notes purported to be worth billions of dollars and using those, often with local lawyers at his side, to convince investors to give him money to secure multimillion-dollar loans.

Defense attorneys in the case say lawyers were integral in the deals. As the ongoing trial of Ronald and Esther Persaud opened two weeks ago, their criminal attorneys cast blame on at least five business attorneys, including Hogan. Their pitch to the jury in Albany is that lawyers approved documents and wire transfers, and handed over the fraudulent bank notes to investors. The only attorney charged in connection with the scheme was William Tessitore, who lost his law license and pleaded guilty to bank fraud Aug. 11, admitting he looted $624,000 from his escrow accounts.

Prosecutors agree that the presence of attorneys is exactly why many victims fell for the scheme, but they have been silent on whether any of the other attorneys violated any laws. In their trial briefs and other court filings in the Persaud case, they make clear that “the subject fraud was advanced through the assistance of attorneys” and “attorney accounts were used to receive alleged wire fraud proceeds.”

According to court records in the case, and the testimony of witnesses at Persaud’s trial, Hogan played a key role. He served as a point of contact for duped investors and attended at least one purported “closing” for a loan in Zurich, Switzerland, that never took place.

Also, Hogan’s law firm helped Ronald and Esther Persaud file for bankruptcy in 2004. Early that year, Ronald Persaud listed assets of less than $11,000 and his job as a “mortgage consultant” while months later he was posing as an overseas banker during conversations with Hogan and investors. The bankruptcy documents make no mention of Persaud’s purported work as an international financier.

“Hogan, by virtue of his law license and his status as a member in good standing of the bar, gave the outward appearance of legitimacy to the fraud conspiracy,” according to a government memorandum filed in Persaud’s case.

Still, court records and an FBI document shared with the Times Union show Hogan wasn’t the only attorney who aided — if unwittingly — in the alleged crimes of Rechnitzer and Persaud.

Anthony Ianniello, a well-known real estate lawyer in Clifton Park, handled the closing on a mortgage in which Persaud’s wife, Indranie, a $40,000-a-year postal worker, sharply inflated her income on loan documents so her husband could secretly obtain an $890,000 home in Saratoga Springs. Ianniello also set up a partnership through which Persaud purchased a $135,000 Porsche coupe a year after filing for bankruptcy, and with the proceeds of his alleged crimes, according to the indictment.

There is no indication that Ianniello knew Indranie Persaud was committing mortgage fraud. Ianniello declined to comment.

But the Porsche deal raised suspicions of authorities. A state motor vehicle investigator who examined the Porsche transaction, and Ianniello’s files, concluded in a government report that “the unsatisfactory and illogical explanations provided by the attorney, lead him to the conclusion that the Porsche transaction was ‘classic money laundering to hide an asset,’ ” according to a memo filed in court by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Ianniello was never charged.

Last year, Ianniello was called in for an interview with the FBI and federal prosecutors. He appeared alone. An FBI report detailing Ianniello’s responses to questions indicates he gave carefully worded answers about his dealings with the Persauds, for whom he had handled dozens of real estate transactions. The FBI report indicates Ianniello said he was unaware Ronald Persaud and his wife had laundered money through Ianniello’s private attorney escrow accounts.

“He also did not know why money would be transferred from Latvia,” the FBI report states. “Ianiello advised that he never dreamed there was a Latvian bank involved. … He did not recall his staff telling him about these transfers. … He stated that he was busy and preoccupied.”

Both Ianniello and Hogan are listed as witnesses by the government in the ongoing trial of Ronald, Esther and Shawn Persaud in U.S. District Court in Albany. It’s unclear whether they will testify.

During a conference in court Thursday, U.S. District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy asked prosecutors whether Hogan would be able to testify this week. The judge told the attorneys that based on what has transpired in the courtroom, including new information that Hogan was allegedly a member of the board of directors of at least one of the shell banks controlled by the Persauds in Scandinavia, that Hogan could put himself in legal jeopardy by testifying.

“He’s in danger,” McAvoy told the attorneys, referring to Hogan.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas A. Capezza responded that the government had not offered Hogan an immunity deal.

“We will have backup witnesses in the event something happens with John Hogan,” Capezza told the judge.

Three Advantages Mobile Credit Card Processing Bring to Small Business

As businesses become more agile, merchant credit card processing with a mobile component becomes a necessity. Retail businesses can carry stock in a warehouse and deploy in a shipping crate on a busy city street, or at a festival, assuming they have a means to process transactions. It’s not always feasible to go cash only. It makes you a target for theft, and it hurts your potential business from customers who no longer carry cash. As mobile wallets catch on, those people are growing in volume. Here are three reasons why businesses are making the switch.


As internet connectivity becomes ubiquitous, it becomes easier for businesses to bring their locations to the people. Mobile credit card processing allows for merchants to accept payments anywhere they can get connectivity, including over 3 or 4G networks. Coupled with affordable rates, merchants can even use such a system in-store at a mall or a brick and mortar retail location.

It helps retailers better service customers with prompt checkout times and consultation all wrapped up into a single transaction. The only drawback is that the system depends on connectivity. If the Internet goes down, these merchants have a problem. That’s why most systems rely on backups, first looking for Wi-Fi connections and then utilizing mobile connections if Wi-Fi fails.


Mobile credit card systems are an excellent choice for small business credit card processing because they often don’t require much additional hardware. Most mobile systems rely on a card reader, which can be clipped onto mobile phones or tablets sales people can carry around. The costs to deploy such a system may not be as high as the costs of a credit card terminal. Plus, the system removes the need for a POS system entirely.


Another reason more businesses are choosing mobile payment systems is because they have become more commonplace. Early technology didn’t encourage multiple devices, so it was hard for retailers to be sure their payment platform could service every customer. Now that Apple and Google have jumped on the mobile wallet band wagon, there are more options than ever to send payments over the Internet.

People have also become a lot more familiar with the technology, encouraging them to try it out for themselves. As more people learn it’s safe to utilize a mobile device for payments, this payment platform will only see improved adoption rates.

Final Thoughts

Retailers can benefit greatly from being on the cusp of innovation in payment processing. When customers can get immediate fulfillment, retail can compete on solid footing with e-commerce.
Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc. is a payment processing company with mobile and POS solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Tips to Help Find the Right Credit Card Processor

There are many credit card processing services available, and finding the right one isn’t as simple as looking for the lowest rates. Rates can be misleading for a number of reasons, and shouldn’t be the only factor in making such a life changing decision for your business. In this brief guide, we’ll look at some practical tips you can use to find an excellent merchant account that provides the best possible services for your business.

Step One: Figure Out What You’re paying

You want to do your best to avoid junk fees from your merchant service provider. Understand that whoever you work with is going to charge you, often something like an administrative or processing fee, but these shouldn’t contribute much to the rate structure. What adds to your costs are junk fees like annual fees, or monthly minimum penalties. Also, be wary of volume discounts that promise great rates for certain sales quotas. When in doubt, don’t sign onto something you don’t think you can meet.

Step Two: Setup and Accepting Cards

Unless you need serious implementation of your software, setup should be free. Usually the merchant account will provide some system of over-the-phone support to assist you in your store or online. American Express cards shouldn’t add much more than about $.15 to your overall costs, so it may be worth accepting them. Credit card terminals may cost if you want additional features, but are mostly included with the fees you already pay.

Step Three: Risk

If you’re deemed a high risk merchant, some of these rules don’t apply to you. Your rates will be higher than most others, and you may be paying additional fees that appear to be junk, but actually provide some form of insurance to the merchant bank. If you’re in this situation, don’t get discouraged. Talk to competitors and shop for a good rate.

Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc. provides the solutions for store owners to accept credit cards online or in store.

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