FAQs

Credit Card Processing (18)

What contractual obligations will I have with Servistree?

With Servistree Merchant Services and Credit Card Processing, you'll never be under any contractual obligation, yearly, monthly or otherwise. We'll always do everything within our power to exceed your expectations, but should you decide to cancel your account anyway, all we require is a simple email with your authorization to close your account.

Are there any cancellation or early termination fees of any kind?

No, Nada, Zero, None. We only want to do business with people who want to do business with us. We treat are clients how we like to be treated. We make it easy to sign up and easy to close your account. All we require is a simple email with your authorization to close your account and your account will be closed within 48 hrs,

Why should I choose Servistree Merchant Services and Credit Card Processing over a company like Square or PayPal, who offer me a flat rate to pay on all of my cards?

Certain companies offer flat rate billing structures exclusively. While this may seem appealing, most flat rate programs are priced well above actual cost on popular interchange categories.
When a merchant is on a flat rate billing structure, they don't get to take advantage of lower priced card types. At Servistree we provide cost plus billing as well as flat rate billing to meet your individual needs and ensure you are paying the lowest rates possible. Your dedicated Sales Professional will show you the best solution for you.

Click here for more info and to learn from a specialist.

What are Merchant Services?

Servistree merchant services encompass all the business services we provide along with credit card processing. From payment processing, e-commerce, POS (point-of-sale) systems, and website integration to our 24/7 US based customer support and dedicated local representatives.

Often interchanged with the term credit card processing, merchant account or merchant services are a type of financial service that allows businesses of all sizes to accept any form of non cash payment for goods or services.

How long does it take to establish an account through you?

The average time from our receipt of your signed, completed application to your equipment delivery is less than 7 days. This time-frame covers credit underwriting, account establishment, and shipping time. Equipment is sent 2nd-day air, unless expedited shipment is requested (additional expenses may apply). Upon receipt of equipment, customer training is available immediately upon request and is typically completed in less than 3 days.

Do you help me get started?

Yes, one of our exceptional representatives will make sure you have all the information you need to get started. He or she will walk you through the simple equipment installation process, as well as explain how to use it. Our customer service center is available 24/7 to help, too.

Why do you need a credit check and/or my financials as part of the setup process?

Credit checks and business underwriting are required by certain payment networks and are necessary to determine if the business and business owners are financially responsible.

When can I begin processing?

Once you receive your equipment and go through a brief telephone training process, you can activate your account and begin processing right away. Your equipment is typically received within 2 business days after account approval.

How long does it take to get the money from my credit card purchases?

Funds are electronically deposited via an Automated Clearing House (ACH) transaction into your designated bank deposit account, typically within 2 banking days. We also provide same business day and next business day funding for an additional monthly fee.

When do you charge my account for charges and fees?

Your designated bank account will be charged for all related fees on or around the 5th of the month following the activity, via an Automated Clearing House (ACH) transaction. The details of your charges will appear on your statement that would be received the first full business week of the month following the activity.

What is interchange and how does it affect my processing costs?

Multiple entities are responsible for the complete end-to-end processing of your credit card transactions. These include the card associations (MasterCard and VISA), a card-issuing bank, a processing bank, a service organization, a telecommunications network, and a settlement bank. Your pricing or discount rate reflects the various fees earned by each of the parties to enable you to securely accept credit cards. Interchange fees affect all industries and are evaluated annually based on an analysis of industry costs and economic conditions. Although Interchange fees are applied to all credit card processors equally, they fluctuate in amount based on a variety of factors. Discuss these with your sales representative to find out what options your business may have.

How can I save money on my credit card transactions?

Retail businesses can keep transaction costs to a minimum by taking steps to ensure they process "retail qualified" transactions. The "retail qualified rate" is the least expensive discount rate and in most cases it applies to a transaction in which you physically swipe the card and receive an electronic authorization for the transaction. In addition, for a transaction to be charged the "retail qualified rate" you must settle the transaction (electronically transmit the transaction for payment by the issuing bank) within 24 hours.

What about controlling card costs for non-retail businesses?

Processing costs are higher for non-retail businesses where the purchases are made with the customer in the card-not-present environment, but you can keep the costs to a minimum by "batching" or depositing in a timely manner and providing any additional information required by Visa and MasterCard on each of your transactions. Required transaction data will vary based on business type and processing environment but includes things like invoice or PO

What is a chargeback?

A chargeback is a transaction disputed by the cardholder or card issuer. There are many reasons for chargebacks, but the most common are returned merchandise, terminated services, disputes, errors, or fraud. Merchants must be able to provide proof that a valid transaction and payment card sale was completed in accordance with the applicable card network regulations or risk having their account debited for the disputed amount.

How can I avoid chargebacks?

To avoid chargebacks, act promptly if contacted directly by the cardholder to resolve a dispute. By working directly with the cardholder, you can avoid costly fees and processing costs as well as promote goodwill with your customer. It is important to carefully track and manage the chargebacks that you receive, and know your representment rights. A chargeback translates into extra processing time and cost, a narrower profit margin for the sale, and possibly a loss of revenue.  

I want to get my money faster. How can I make this happen?

We provide next business day funding and same day funding up to $25,000.00 per batch  for an additional monthly fee. If you are interested in the service, please contact us to learn more.

What do I do if there's a dispute (Chargebacks and Retrievals)

A chargeback is a transaction disputed by the cardholder or card issuer. Businesses must be able to provide proof that the disputed transaction is valid and in accordance with Visa/MasterCard regulations or risk having their account debited for the disputed amount.

If you receive a chargeback, we will debit your DDA for the amount of the transaction, including any applicable currency fluctuations, and send you a chargeback notice. This notice includes the details of the transaction as well as specific instructions on how to respond. A business receiving a chargeback notice must provide proof that the transaction is valid and satisfactory to the rules/regulations of Visa/MasterCard to get money back. Receiving a chargeback notice can also mean extra processing time and cost to you, a narrower profit margin, and possibly a loss of revenue. That’s why it’s important to carefully track and manage the chargebacks that you receive, avoid future chargebacks, and know your representment rights.

After being notified by a cardholder about a disputed transaction, the cardholder's issuing bank may order a copy of that particular sales draft through us to determine what occurred at the point of sale. This is called a copy request or retrieval. A retrieval request most often occurs when a cardholder loses their copy of the transaction receipt, does not remember the transaction or questions the transaction for any reason.

What are some best practices for credit card processing?
  • To avoid chargebacks, act promptly if contacted directly by the cardholder to resolve a dispute.
  • If the cardholder does not contact you, respond to inquiries with as much information as possible about the sales transaction in question.
  • Limit one authorization for each settled transaction.
  • Obtain an authorization code. Refuse to process a transaction when you receive a declined code during authorization.
  • To verify cardholder account status, perform a zero value account verification transaction instead of $1.00 authorization transaction.
  • Include a description of the goods or services on the transaction receipt.
  • Deliver merchandise or services before charging the card.
  • Include the CVV2/CVC2 and AVS codes for card not present transactions, if applicable.
  • Submit transaction receipts on the same day the transactions are authorized.
  • Make sure an imprint appears on a manual transaction receipt or that the relevant transaction information appears on the terminal-generated transaction receipt.
  • Do not accept expired cards or cards having effective dates after the date of the transaction.
  • Void authorizations within your outstanding batches if they are not going to be settled.
  • Call for Voice Authorization if you are still suspicious of the cardholder, card, or transaction after receiving an approval code.

PCI Compliance Credit Card Processing (4)

What is the PCI DSS?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements for enhancing payment account data security. These standards were developed by the PCI Security Standards Council, which was founded by American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa International to facilitate industry-wide adoption of consistent data security measures on a global basis.

Why was the PCI DSS created?

The PCI DSS requirements for security management, policies, procedures, network architecture, software design and other critical protective measures is intended to proactively protect customer account data.

I have never heard of PCI Compliance before, is this new?

No. Merchants have been advised to take the PCI Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) to identify potential security risks in order to achieve PCI compliance since 2008. The framework of the PCI data security standard is not new and has been required in different forms for some time now and continues to evolve.

What does this mean to me and my business?

All entities, merchants and service providers that store, process, or transmit cardholder data must meet PCI DSS requirements. Requirements for certification vary depending on the number of transactions an entity processes, and the manner in which they are processed.


Gift Cards & Loyalty Program (39)

What is Fanfare Gift and Loyalty Program?

Fanfare is an easy-to-use marketing and customer loyalty program that integrates loyalty rewards, gift cards, and real-time offer and promotional / prepaid-cards. Fanfare enables you to attract new buyers and encourage them to become high-frequency shoppers. With demonstrable bottom-line impact, real-time rewards, at-a-glance consumer analytics and an effortless customer experience for your shoppers, Fanfare is the next generation in consumer engagement, loyalty and retention programs.

How does Fanfare help my business?

With Fanfare, you can acquire new shoppers and turn them into loyal members, who visit your business more frequently—and spend more when they do. You can use the program to help you re-engage with past shoppers who haven’t purchased from you in a while, too. Fanfare lets you customize your loyalty program to drive the business you want. You can also create special offers and promotions quickly and easily and make them available to your shoppers with a click of a button.

How does Fanfare attract new customers?

Fanfare provides you with the option to use promotional cards to attract new customers. Promotional cards offer an innovative, targeted, and cost-effective way to extend your marketing efforts. With promotional card campaigns, you can load a small dollar amount onto a card, and then distribute the cards in the community, at schools, parks, local events, or even other business to invite new shoppers to visit your business. Since any monetary value loaded on the cards isn’t realized until the card is used, promotional cards provide a targeted marketing campaign for little investment.

How Does Fanfare Work?

When your shoppers make purchases at your store, they accumulate points for every dollar they spend until they accumulate enough points for a reward.  Your sales representative will provide recommendations for your loyalty program points and rewards based on your industry and average ticket size. These recommendations have been proven to motivate shoppers to become repeat customers while achieving positive returns for your business. In addition, you can set up time-based offers through your Business Dashboard and make them available to your loyalty program members.

How does Fanfare work on my point of sale terminal?

Fanfare is a seamless addition to the existing point-of-sale check out process. Shoppers are either prompted to join your loyalty program or recognized as existing members. Once an existing loyalty program member has been identified either through the use a payment card, phone number or loyalty card, a current offer is automatically presented to them for use. Shoppers also can choose to save an offer for use at another time.

Are loyalty cards required for my consumers?

Loyalty cards are not needed to join your Fanfare program. In fact, the Basic Loyalty program identifies program members by the phone number or payment card that they have set up as their program ID.  If you prefer to offer your shoppers loyalty cards, they are available.

Is Fanfare free for my customers?

Yes, the Fanfare solution is absolutely free for shoppers to join, whether in your store or online through your branded Member Website.

How can my customers join my Fanfare program?

Fanfare offers your customers a variety of enrollment options that let them participate when and how they are most comfortable. First, your customers are prompted to join your program during checkout—they can join quickly and simply by providing their phone number, using their payment card or your loyalty card as their program identification. Shoppers can also visit your branded Member Website to enroll, check their rewards and offers, and set up other ways to earn loyalty points such as adding a loyalty and payment card.

What kind of training is available for my staff and me?

We have a dedicated training team which will be available to work with your location(s) via teleconference to ensure you understand your program details and functionality. When you set up a Fanfare program, we will also send you a Fanfare Welcome Kit to help you promote your program, and online resources are available, including best practices and tools to help simplify the conversation you’ll have with shoppers to invite them to join your loyalty program.

What is the difference between a promotional card and a gift card?

With a promotional card, you would typically load a small dollar amount to multiple cards through the Fanfare Business Dashboard. Promotional cards can then be distributed to potential new shoppers in the community, at schools, parks, local events or even at other businesses to invite new shoppers to visit your business. Gift cards have a specific dollar value loaded to them when one of your customers wants to give the gift of a shopping at your business. You customers provide you with payment and the gift card is easily loaded with that amount through the terminal at checkout.

How does end-of-day reconciliation work with Fanfare?

End-of-day reconciliation for loyalty offers will work the same as any discount currently provided to customers. Summary and detail transaction reports can be pulled from the terminal to show the total amount of discounts given and gift cards sold, and can be used to balance the drawer at the end of the day. Copies of terminal receipts will also reflect any discounts applied to the original sales amount.

How does Servistree help merchants promote their loyalty program?

By integrating into the payment stream, all customers are automatically presented an invitation to join your loyalty program!  Even if a customer chooses not to join at checkout, every receipt you print will show the link to your Member Website. Customers can visit your branded website and join anytime.   We’ll also provide a Fanfare Welcome Kit of promotional resources to help kick-start your program.  You also have access to customizable materials that you can print as needed such as bag stuffers and posters – just add your business information and print.

Can consumers still join my Fanfare program even if they decline to join at the POS?

Absolutely! Fanfare offers multiple enrollment methods so even if customers decline to join at checkout, the URL to your branded Fanfare Member Website is printed on every receipt. Encourage all shoppers to visit your Fanfare Member Website to complete registration, select their participation options and track their rewards.

Does Fanfare handle commercial payment cards differently than consumer payment cards?

Fanfare does not distinguish between commercial and consumer payment cards.  Major brand credit and debit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and others are included in the program.  This includes Corporate Purchasing Cards and Business Credit Cards.  EBT cards are not included in the program.

Can I order customized marketing material for my business’s Fanfare program?

We’ll provide you with access to templates for bag stuffers, posters and counter cards that can be customized with your logo, business name, loyalty program name and URL for your branded Member Website and then printed from your desktop or local print shop.

Can Fanfare accommodate multiple terminals and multiple locations?

Yes, Fanfare supports businesses with 10 or fewer locations with five or fewer terminals per location.  As long as each participating location is offering the same customer loyalty program and can support the necessary hardware, you can issue rewards and gift cards at one location that can be redeemed at any other participating location.

Can my customers earn points at all my stores and use them at any location? Can points be used across multiple locations?

Yes, Fanfare lets shoppers earn points at any location and those points are applied to that member’s loyalty reward. Once loyalty rewards are earned, they can be redeemed at any location. For example, Annie’s Bagels loyalty offer is “Spend $50, Get $5 off”. If a shopper spends $40 at Annie’s Bagels on Main Street and then $10 at Annie’s Bagels Downtown, that shopper will have earned the $5 off loyalty reward and will have the option to use it at the Downtown location or save it for later use at either location.

What is the Fanfare Member Website and How Does it help shoppers?

The Fanfare Member Website is a convenient online tool that lets your customers complete the registration process, track their progress towards loyalty rewards and check out new offers available to them. Each Member Website has a custom URL that reflects your business’ name and is specific to your shoppers.  In the Member Website, your customers can provide valuable demographic information such as address, email and birthday that can be used to support your Fanfare loyalty and offers program. To help promote your Member Website, the URL will print on each receipt.

If I set up an enrollment offer, how many times will any specific customer be able to use it at checkout?

Enrollment rewards are one-time use. Once the customer redeems it, the reward will no longer be available on their loyalty account.

What is considered a “qualified purchase” towards loyalty points? What amount is credited to my loyalty members when they make a purchase?

All purchases for registered loyalty program members will be qualified purchases towards loyalty rewards in the Fanfare program. Delivery and other fees as well as sales tax will be included in the total credited amount unless you choose to use the terminal to calculate sales tax. In that case, taxes may be excluded from the amount given as loyalty credit. Loyalty credits accrue based on a 1:1 ratio of dollar spent or number of visits depending on the type of loyalty program you have established.

Can loyalty points accrue if my customer pays with cash or a check instead of a payment card or loyalty card?

Yes, customers can be awarded loyalty points if they pay with cash or a check.

If I decide to offer my customers an enrollment promotion that is presented during the checkout process on the terminal, can I change it to an online registration offer? What about the reverse?

The most recently earned reward or offer is presented at checkout. For talech, up to five offers may be presented from which the customer can choose.

Can I change loyalty programs / rewards? How?

Once you have established a loyalty program and started enrolling your customers, we recommend that you do not change your core loyalty program. Making changes to an established program could negatively impact your existing loyalty members and any points or rewards that have been earned. Instead, you may want to create new offers through your Business Dashboard to enhance and optimize your existing loyalty program.  If you still feel that changes need to be made to the core loyalty program, please contact Customer Service at 1-800-725-1243.

If a consumer has qualified for more than one reward or offer, which one is presented during checkout?

The most recently earned reward or offer is presented at the terminal during checkout.

Can a shopper use a different offer other than the one shown at checkout?

Customers may use different offers than the ones shown at checkout if they are available and the customer is eligible.

Can a shopper use more than one offer or reward at a time?

No, the customer may only use one reward during a transaction but it does not need to be the one presented during checkout.

Can I set up or customize my own loyalty program? What about time-based offers?

Your sales representative will provide recommendations for your customer loyalty program based on your industry and average ticket size. These recommendations have been proven to achieve positive returns while motivating your customers to join; however, it is possible to customize a program. If you wish to set up custom values, please discuss those with your sales representative before finalizing your program.

You can set up time-based offers anytime through your Business Dashboard.

What kind of equipment does Fanfare require?

Fanfare is available on the following terminals and devices:

  • talech
  • Ingenico
    • Ingenico iCT220 terminal
    • Ingenico iCT250 terminal
    • Ingenico iWL250 wireless terminal
    • Ingenico iWL220B Bluetooth terminal
    • Ingenico iPP320 customer-facing PIN pad (recommended)
    • VeriFone
    • VeriFone VX520 terminal
    • VeriFone VX820 customer-facing PIN pad (recommended)

Additionally, Fanfare Gift programs are available for use with Converge.

Is an internet or IP connection required? What happens if my internet is down? If I call for an authorization, are my customers credited with loyalty points?

An IP connection is required for all Fanfare programs except the Fanfare Basic Gift package. If the internet is down, you can call Customer Service at 1-800-725-1243 and a transaction can be conducted on your behalf.

Do I need a consumer-facing PIN pad? What if I don’t have a PIN pad?

Although recommended, a consumer-facing PIN pad is not necessary to operate the Fanfare program.  You and your sales staff can read the terminal prompts to your customers and enter their responses for them, or you can turn the terminal towards your customers when needed. With a PIN pad, your customers are presented options to join your loyalty program; they can respond and answer enrollment questions on their own, and will be automatically shown any rewards or offers they have earned.

What are the minimum browser requirements to use my Business Dashboard to view my program metrics, rewards, offers and customer information?

For the best online experience, view your Business Dashboard in Internet Explorer 7 or higher or the latest version of Chrome, Safari or Firefox.

I am having trouble accessing my Business Dashboard. What should I do?

Your Fanfare Business Dashboard can be accessed at https://admin.fanfareloyalty.com/. There is a Forgot Password link that can be used if you cannot recall your password.  If you do not have access to the email address you used to signup, call Fanfare Customer Support at 1-800-725-1243.

Is there a mobile version of my Business Dashboard? My Member Website?

Both websites are compatible with mobile phones and tablets and can be accessed through the device’s browser.

Can I still use Fanfare if I don’t use Servistree for processing?

One of the benefits of the Fanfare solution is that it’s integrated into the transaction flow of the point of sale terminals and devices that support it. That means there’s no extra process or separate equipment required and the Fanfare program enrollment options, offers and rewards are always presented to your customers. In order to access all the benefits of Fanfare for you and your customers this seamless integration, you will need to process payments with Servistree’s processor Elavon.

Can I access my Business Dashboard, program metrics or consumer data if I cancel my Fanfare program or leave Elavon?

As Fanfare is seamlessly integrated into the Elavon payment stream, if you cancel your loyalty program or leave Servistree, your Business Dashboard and all related Fanfare data will no longer be available to you and the Member Website will not be available for your customers. Please contact Fanfare customer support at 1-800-725-1243 if you need to cancel your loyalty program.

If my customers register or use a payment card as a program ID, will they be spammed?

Not at all. Consumers will not be spammed if they add a payment card to their loyalty account.  This information is used only as an account identifier and is not shared with third parties.

Is my customers’ information safe? How is their online privacy protected?

Protecting the privacy of our customer is a matter of great importance to us.  Within Servistree and our processor Elavon and our affiliates, we restrict access to your Personal Information to those employees who need to know that information to provide products and services to you. We have established physical, technical and administrative security processes that are commensurate with the sensitivity of the information collected to safeguard Personal Information and we employ an independent auditing firm to test the effectiveness of the systems and practices that we have in place. Recognizing that technology is continually developing, Elavon implements new procedures and technology improvements on an ongoing basis to further safeguard your Personal Information.

Who has access to my customers’ personal information?

If you offer a Fanfare loyalty program, you’ll only have access to information that your customers choose to provide in the Member Website. Elavon has access to that information only if your customer opts in for communications from Elavon as part of their online registration. None of your customers’ information is shared with third parties.

Will you be contacting my loyalty members? If so, how and when?

If you create or edit an offer within your Business Dashboard, Elavon will send an email to your registered loyalty members who have provided an email address and consented to receive emails. The email will be sent on your behalf, identifying your business and the offer to your customers.