Across the Board

Blog on e-business and online payments.

All posts by Jan:

New look, better sharing

We’re happy to finish this week with two small updates. The first one is just cosmetics, but if you’re a regular visitor to our blog, you’ll surely notice it.
Yep, we have new icons! Our own, hand drawn ones. And since the blog is called “Across the Board“, we wanted to make the icons look a little like drawn and a whiteboard or a chalkboard. Though we managed to achieve that in big pictures, the effect almost vanished after resizing them to icon-size. Either way, we like the new pictures and hope you’ll like them as well. Notice, that some of the pictures have changed and the new ones are more adequate, which should make it easier to navigate.

The second change should be an even better treat. We changed all the social media buttons. Now it’s easier and more comfortable for you to share our posts with your friends.
So here’s what happened: we got rid of the social buttons on the bottom of all posts. Instead of them you now have a floating box with sharing buttons on each post page. If you find anything interesting , you can promote our blog by spreading the word on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and tumblr.

Update: What’s more, you can now share our posts also on delicious, digg, reddit, Hacker News, via e-mail and everything else you choose using addThis.

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Solo card deactivation

SoloSince the 31st March 2011 card issuers do not accept Solo cards anymore. This is a result of MasterCard’s Maestro Alignment Migration program. To make the long story short – here are the details:

What’s the migration program?

In general, it means that MasterCard is cleaning its Maestro closet. Apart from the changes to Solo Card Scheme, this also includes the fact that domestic Maestro users are being transferred to the international Maestro platform. Maestro UK is quite a significant transfer here. It’s now sort of aligned under Maestro International, so merchants shall offer Maestro International without distinction into domestic UK.

I’m a merchant – what does this mean for me?

If you haven’t done this already, you should stop offering Solo as a payment method; also remove the Solo card type and logo wherever it is displayed. Furthermore, you should be aware of some issues.

What about card numbers?

All BINs from ranges 676703676799 are ceased since the 31st March 2011. Also two BINs in the “6767” range have been allocated to Maestro cards, and these are: 676770 and 676774. This information is particularly important if you validate BIN ranges.

This information means that also PayLane stopped offering Solo as a payment method.

For further information you should contact your acquiring bank.

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John Maynard Keynes said: “If you owe your bank…”

“If you owe your bank a hundred pounds, you have a problem. But if you owe a million, it has.”

– John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes of Tilton

As quoted in The Economist (13 February 1982), p. 11

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Cracking the credit card code

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Easter… by the numbers

BunnyWishing you all the best and a Happy Easter, we just wouldn’t be ourselves not presenting something colorful here. So there’s a nice infographic below, but that’s not all… If you’d like to see at least a few photos of our last day (and see what was very yummy ;)) before Easter at work, visit our Facebook profile.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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Glossary: Card Security Code

Card Security Code – usually called CVV (Visa) or CVC (MasterCard); it’s a three or four digit code located on a credit card, but not encoded on the magnetic stripe. If a client can provide such a code, it proves that he actually is in possession of the credit card and didn’t use, for example, a card number generator or a copy (skimmed) of the card.

The most common code is CVV2 (or CVC2) used in card-not-present transactions. For Visa, MasterCard, JCB, Diners Club and Discover credit and debit cards, this is a three digit code printed on the back of the card. American Express differs a bit – they have a four digit code printed above the credit card number.

Also the names of the code differ. Apart from CSC we have:

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The Value of being LinkedIn

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Glossary: Issuer

Issuer is an institution from which the consumer gets his credit card. Usually it’s simply a bank (hence the popular term issuing bank), but it might also be e.g. a credit union. Such bank is associated with credit card brands, like Visa, MasterCard or American Express.

The issuing bank is actually the institution, which grants you the credit. So they are the ones, who check your credit history, debts. And later they decide what your credit limit is.

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How to reduce the risk of chargebacks

I want my money backA chargeback means returning funds to a customer. It’s forced by the issuing bank and causes merchants a lot of problems, wasting their time and money. So obviously nobody likes a chargeback. Most merchants will do a lot, to avoid them. Even if their policy doesn’t allow refunds, they’ll probably give one to a client just to make him cancel the chargeback request.

So how to avoid chargebacks?

I won’t delude you that there is one efficient method. Sorry, chargebacks are troublemakers for all merchants and it’s going to stay that way – at least for some time. But it doesn’t mean, that you can’t do anything to avoid them.

If you get a chargeback request, than you usually have some time to prove your innocence. This means convincing the bank, that the client’s request is unjustified.

But that’s fighting the symptoms. It’s just saving your hide, not avoiding the danger. Let’s focus on the causes.

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French connection – the true story

Is it rewarding to take care about good quality and prices? ‘Sure’, you’d probably say. ‘It attracts the costumers, puts you ahead of others and so on’. That’s all true. But about a month ago I learned at work about one more advantage.

Every day a catering company delivers breakfasts for us. About 9:30 AM two guys walk into our kitchen with a few boxes filled with a large variety of different sandwiches, salads, cocktails etc. They sell the food at reasonable prices, we get to choose from different products, sizes, tastes.

And everybody was happy that way. That is until one day.

A snail

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