The Green Sheet Online Edition
August 11, 2008 • Issue 08:08:01
Keep alert with merchant accounts
ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) are all too familiar with that handful of merchants in their portfolios who cause them the most grief. Maybe certain merchants forget to close their batch payments every day, or electronic transactions at their businesses are downgraded a little too often.
Based on such complaints, the brain trust at Mercury Payment Systems LLC developed MercuryAlerts, an e-mail notification service that alerts its ISO and MLS resellers to processing problems with their merchants.
If batch payments are open too long, or excessive and potentially fraudulent purchase amounts are transacted, or merchants are key-entering card numbers too often at the POS - which may mean merchants are operating faulty POS terminals - resellers will know about it within a day with MercuryAlerts, the company noted.
The system is customizable to reseller preferences. Resellers control the parameters of the alerts - what types of problems or trends MercuryAlerts should track for any given merchant. Resellers also control who receives the e-mail notifications - if they want alerts delivered to certain merchants only.
"I think bottom line, [MercuryAlerts] is a powerful tool that can detect processing irregularities, ... and that enables resellers to proactively provide excellent customer service that no one else can deliver," said Wendy Graham, Mercury's Media Relations Manager.
For example, one Mercury reseller was working with a large grocery store chain. One of about 100 stores in the chain was causing problems because it was not closing its batches consistently, causing processing snafus and major headaches for the reseller.
"And so when he heard about MercuryAlerts, he immediately signed up just for this merchant, and he had his settings to be notified every 48 hours," Graham said. "And he did get a notification that this problem-child store had forgotten to close their batch again. So he immediately went back in and customized the settings for 24 hours.
"He gets a daily notice on this store because he doesn't want it to get out of control like it did the last time. A perfect example of how, for a particular store, you can get a daily update."
MercuryAlerts also functions as a risk mitigation tool. The system can tabulate the amount of transactions keyed into a POS terminal. If someone is "manually typing in all these card numbers in through the POS, they can get notifications if it exceeds a certain percent," said Glen McDaniel, Director of Software Development at Mercury.
The system was only recently taken out of beta testing and has already been effective in flagging "employee issues" involving workers who tried to put money on their own cards, McDaniel stated. MercuryAlerts notified resellers "when that was actually happening," he said.
MercuryAlerts is a free, value-added service that comes bundled with the Durango, Colo.-based processor's other processing capabilities. According to Mercury, the e-mail notification feature is a first-in-class product, with no competitors offering a similar service.
"The feedback has just been extraordinary," said Kyle Ouzts, Reseller Channel Manager at Mercury. "This feature allows our resellers to differentiate themselves from the competition, as well as merchants to partner with a processor who's going to bring value-added services to assist with getting the best processing value for their buck."
Mercury Payment Systems LLC
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