How to Save Cash at Invoicing
BY Peter Brickman
Asphalt producers want to be sure they’re always paying the most competitive credit card acceptance rates and fees while doing business. National Credit Card Processing Group (NCCP Group) has focused heavily on asphalt plants, vertically integrated asphalt paving companies and aggregate recycling facilities nationwide, noting that too many producers, liquid suppliers and hauling companies have been giving money away without realizing it and without knowing why. Over the years, NCCP Group has saved asphalt-related companies—from suppliers to paving companies to construction aggregates producers—thousands of dollars every month. They not only focus on saving companies money, but they like to educate the owners, controllers and CFOs on what really controls the rates and fees paid each month.
Many people have not been educated about the credit card processing industry and that lack of knowledge results in throwing money away. With advisory board members and partners from the heavy civil and highway industry operating asphalt plants, NCCP Group’s co-founders personally knew many companies overpaid to accept credit cards in the asphalt and aggregate supply industries. Being that they own asphalt plants and aggregate recycling facilities, they were well aware of the challenges that these asphalt and aggregate recycling suppliers were facing and they wanted to do something about it.
While it’s in the best interest of most credit card processors and banks that offer credit card processing to keep CFOs and owners from understanding too much, NCCP Group operates differently. At NCCP Group, they wish to educate customers so they always pay a fair price and understand all the costs associated with accepting payments via credit card. Transparency and honesty sells, especially in a business-to-business (B2B) environment.
B2B Interchange Optimizer
The asphalt supply and construction aggregates industries are predominately B2B type industries. In these, and other, industries, purchasing and corporate cards are eligible for significant savings when processed with enhanced Level 2 and Level 3 data. In other words, if Asphalt Company A processes a payment and does so with copious amounts of information on the client, the rates built into the back end of the transaction can be lower than processing the payment with less information.
When the B2B rates are built into the back end of the transaction through your payment gateway, and/or your credit card terminal, the NCCP proprietary B2B solution can verify that the additional Level 2 and Level 3 transaction data needed for those payments is provided during the authorization, ensuring Asphalt Company A receives the best possible rate.
If Paving Contractor B pays his $50,000 invoice with his corporate credit card without B2B rates, Asphalt Company A could be losing money in fees that he doesn’t need to lose. If he gives away 2.79 percent out of that transaction, he loses $1,395, meaning he netted only $48,605.
If Asphalt Company A processed that same $50,000 charge and it qualified under NCCP Group’s B2B rates, thus giving away 2.10 percent of the transaction, Asphalt Company A would have lost only $1,050. For this example transaction, he would have saved $345 by running the paving contractor’s card on the proper B2B platform.
When a merchant can show MasterCard and Visa that he knows more about the customer, the card brands supporting those cards lower the rates. Level 2 and Level 3 data on the B2B app can include a merchant category code (MCC), product code, and so on. The rule of thumb is that the higher the risk, the higher the rate; the lower the risk, the lower the rate. This is why merchants—asphalt producers, in our case—give away more money out of a transaction when they key in a credit card number rather than “swipe” the physical card at a credit card terminal.
The asphalt supply and construction aggregates industries also operate predominantly in a “card not present” environment. Producers should learn how to run credit card transactions in a card not present environment to save additional money. That process involves entering all the necessary data including billing zip code, billing street address and CVV code, all on a B2B rate program.
Richard Riccelli, who is the president of Riccelli Northern in Syracuse, New York, has set up his three asphalt plants and three concrete plants with NCCP Group for over a year now. He has seen real savings once educated on exactly what controls the rates and fees.
“I didn’t know about what Interchange plus was and what B2B rates were,” Riccelli shared. “We were around 3.5 percent overall and now with NCCP Group we are sitting at 2.5 percent overall, so saving 1 percent was tremendous for us. We key enter all our transactions and take a large amount of corporate and purchasing cards so the B2B was huge for us. The payment gateway—MX Merchant—that Peter put us on is super user friendly; my staff in the office loves it and it has helped them a lot with reconciling our daily and monthly credit card charges. We store our customers’ credit card info safely and compliantly now on the payment gateway and that reduces our liability with exposing credit card numbers in and around the office.”
The premier payments partner—Priority Payment Systems—is the MX Merchant gateway that Riccelli referenced. This is the gateway that has become popular in the asphalt and aggregate supply industries. MX Merchant has the B2B app already built into it and can be used when processing card-not-present charges. As Riccelli said, it has helped with reconciliation for the controllers and folks in the office and has also reduced liability for companies that still have credit card information written down on paper or stored in files, which is not compliant and has risk associated with it from a liability standpoint.
For Riccelli, the setup was simple. “Switching to NCCP Group was very easy as well. We sent Peter our merchant statement. He did a complete review on our current rates and fees and showed us where and how he was going to lower them and how much we would save every month. From that point he sent us an application. We filled it out and sent it back with a voided check for each facility and a day later we were processing cards on a new payment gateway that had the B2B rates built into it already. We have multiple companies—all separate entities—and when we login to our payment gateway all the companies are there and we just choose which one we are putting in a charge for. It was really seamless and I must say Peter and our relationship manager Erica made the switch pleasurable.”
Peter Brickman is the founder and president of National Credit Card Processing Group, Huntington, New York. For more information, contact him at (631) 923-2586 or email@example.com.