VEMS webshop never charges anyone's credit card, ever.
We simply cannot! We do not ever receive the customer's card number. (different than purchasing at a local shop, where the merchant's magnetic reader in the POS equipment sees the cardnr). Do not ever send your cardnumber to us (or anyone, especially via non-encrypted email).
How does it work than?
- We have set up a path (gateway => our bank).
- [here] when you choose Visa/Mastercard and click Pay (browser is directed to secure https gateway server), enter your card details and than confirm your payment. That way:
- You charge your card, and let the specified (USD) amount on this path (most of which hopefully reaches our bank account finally)
- card payment via this gateway is like a transfer; initiated by the cardholder and under the control of the cardholder bank (which approves or rejects).
- The real difference is that merchant sees the card payment APPROVAL (information) immediately (without receiving the money immediately!) and merchant pays ~2.5% fee and cardholder is charged ~1% when card currency is not USD.
- We can only passively watch a report showing what's happening
- how much was paid. In the comment we check orderid=..., or other well identifiable comment so we service the WebShop order.
What can go wrong?
- customer pays twice. Simple solution: DO NOT PAY TWICE
- after you click confirm, do not restart the payment procedure. If in doubts for some reason, query in [webshop contact form] and provide Order-ID, payment value (and perhaps the last 4 digits of cardnumber but not the full cardnumber !) so we can verify that you successfully completed the transaction
- bank charges slightly more. During payment, you see the value in USD (clearing works in USD)
- It's fairly impossible to know in advance the rate the cardholder bank would use. Banks do not use xe.com rates, but usually within 1% for card transactions
- The most extreme so far: a GBP bank took +5.3% more GBP (+ the merchant is charged 2.5% for card transaction). Luckily this is very rare. So the total fees (7.8%) of the worse extreme card payment fee equals the Paypal fee in the average case: as Paypal charges 4,8, or 12% depending on 0, 1 or 2 currency exchange happens in the path from the customer to merchant
- Cardholder bank locks the amount at the time of payment approval (lock == cannot spend it == equivalent as if it was removed from the account). On the account monthly statement the transaction might appear later than expected (eg. 2010 January instead of 2009 December).
- While this might be confusing, if it's not double-charged, or accompanies some suspected real problem, please do NOT report that "it appeared later on the statement". Thank you.
Prefer card to Paypal payment: Card payment fee (with the hidden fees) is high, but Paypal is even more expensive (worst case and the average case also)
Paypal charges 4,8, or 12% total fee depending on 0, 1 or 2 currency exchange happens in the path from the customer to merchant. This is largely invisible to the customer (most part deducted at the merchant side).
- Beware: paypal tries to trick users to accept payment in 3d currency (eg. EUR, when GBP is paid to an USA or HUF account). You can and should avoid 2 currency exchanges: always accept in original or target currency (never in 3d currency even if Paypal offers so!)
- 4% transaction fee +4% fee currency exchange fee (hidden in exchange rate) usually applies, and cannot be avoided internationally (when using Paypal).
- Because of certain restrictions (for withdrawal, and spending with a card linked to the Paypal account) the original currency is often useless for the merchant on his Paypal account.
- Hint: avoid paypal if you can.
- Otherwise request a card for your paypal account (visa or mastercard). It can be used at much more places (including local shops and ATM), and using card is better than paypal for you and the merchant as well
- Merchants often charge a part of the payment fee, eg. 2..3% for Paypal to discourage customers and limit paypal in utilizing it's monopoly and raising fees and hidden fees further.
Minor details for "power-users"
While we cannot charge your card, with the card payment to ACMV LLC,
- we can void a transaction (costs approximately 0.5 USD total) at least within 1-2 hours
- or we can refund some of it, than we waive appr 5% (=2 * 2.5%)
- Merchant can actually see the card expiry date, and the last 4 digits of the cardnumber
- useful so the customer can identify himself with this to merchant if needed. Server hosting companies often request this authentication method during support requests that result in significant configuration modification. Obviously the last 4 digits is not enough info for the merchant to charge the card.
Banking system - monopolistic or real competition among banks ?
The real difference between transfer and card payment : merchant sees the card payment APPROVAL (information) immediately (without receiving the money immediately!) and merchant pays ~2.5% fee and cardholder is sometimes charged ~1% (hidden in the exchange rate when card currency is not USD).
- Most people do not know about the privately owned FED - and think that banking somehow hasn't been monopolized (or not yet).
- FED (since the "Federal Reseve Act" USA law, 1913 December ) creates hundreds of billions of USA Dollar (digital and paper money too!) out of thin air for the private owner's benefit and controls the banking worldwide through the control of money supply.
- The illusion of competition is very important in banking
If there were real competition among banks, some banks would offer digitally signed transfer certificates - straightforward with strong public key (asymmetric) cryptography.
- This 30+ year old technology is widely available, and banks already use this technology elsewhere (eg. between each other).
- a digital signature would provide immediate information of the transfer approval to the merchant. Merchant would see an international IBAN / wire transfer approval immediately: as quickly as a card payment approval.
- This would obviously decrease card-transaction related profits at Visa and Mastercard (another case of illusion of competition)
- If the competition were real (not illusoric), banks would not care aboute decreased Visa/Mastercard profits and most banks would start providing digitally signed transfer certificates instead of the totally ridiculous "webbank-screen-capture" that they also knows is ridiculous.
- we've asked dozens of banks through the years to provide digital signatures: bank technicians know that it should be that way, they could implement it, but the bank won't provide it - for a reason that people might understand or not.
Other details: another Paypal fraud:
Card processing gateway: we originally contracted with verisign (~500 transactions /month included in the monthly fee), and things went smooth.
- than paypal acquired verisign (without our consent), and things degraded. At one point paypal charged ~360 USD claiming thousands of 0.01 USD (!!!) transactions, charging us 0.20 USD for each.
- Note that 0.01 USD transactions are obviously fraudulent because the transaction fee we pay is 0.20 USD so if someone "pays us" 0.01 USD, we get -0.19 USD (the beneficiary is paypal !)
- We asked Paypal repeatedly in writing that no transactions should be allowed below 2 USD (remember the gateway is operated by [Paypal]) so only they can apply this.
- but unfortunately Paypal knowingly and intentionally lets through (wether they are closely complicit in generating them or not) these obviously fraudulent 0.01 USD transactions despite our repeated explicite written request.
This is nothing compared to the other Paypal gateway issue that resulted in appr 50000 USD (yes, fifty thousand USD!) in 2009 Q4 that was charged from cardholders but not appeared on the merchant's account.
Read about VisaMastercardCriminalNetwork