B2B Credit Card Processing

Business-to-business processing, also known as B2B payment processing, are card transactions that occur between businesses rather than individuals. As a business owner, you are probably looking for ways to save money and protect your brand. When working between businesses you can actually save money with payment solutions from Interchange Pros. 

Every year trillions of dollars are passed from consumers to merchants via credit card payments. In 2016 there were 37.3 billion credit card transactions in the United States, and that number rose to 40.8 billion in 2017 according to a Federal Reserve Payments study. B2B companies can see a lot of savings on each B2B payment they receive simply by switching over to more robust B2B payment solutions.

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What are interchange fees, and how do they affect how I accept B2B payments?

Essentially, when another company uses a business credit card to make a payment, the issuing bank charges a fee for the privilege of using them before they send the money for the purchase to your merchant account. You pay this every time you process a B2B credit card, and over time you can find yourself paying enormous credit card processing fees. Wouldn’t you rather have more money in your bank account? 

Certainly, nobody is going to start resorting to cash, so companies need to think about the savings they can enjoy on processing costs. The amount that credit card brands take in fees whenever you process business credit card payments can be lower if your equipment processes the transactions with Level 3 or Level 2 data.

Why is it worth looking into a new payment solution?

B2B credit card processing falls into three different data Levels: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Each requires a certain amount of information, or data, in order to qualify for that level, and the more details that are given to qualify that transaction for a higher data level, the lower the interchange rate charged.

Level 1 processing only requires the merchant name, purchase amount, date, and billing ZIP Code. You are probably familiar with this when you purchase items online and have to provide that information before your goods are shipped, or when you go to the gas station and you are required to type in your ZIP Code when using a credit card. But the average person is not making the kind of purchases that occur between businesses, and certainly not in the massive amounts that companies ship to each other so they can carry on their operations. For this reason, to make these transactions more secure, businesses need to provide more information. To qualify for Level 2 transactions the business must provide:

  • Customer code (purchasing cards only)
  • Invoice number
  • Merchant postal code
  • Merchant tax ID
  • Order number
  • Sales tax amount
  • Tax indicator

To qualify for Level 3, the following data needs to be provided:

  • Debit or credit indicator
  • Discount amount
  • Discount per line item and line item total
  • Duty amount
  • Extended price
  • Freight/shipping amount
  • Invoice number
  • Item commodity code
  • Product/SKU description
  • Product code
  • Postal code
  • Quantity
  • Unit of measure
  • Unit price

If I collect that information, will my transactions automatically qualify for the lowest interchange rates?

Analysing the data

The additional Level 2 and Level 3 information must be submitted properly through the system with every transaction.  Interchange Pros enters the necessary data for every transaction to ensure the best interchange qualification level.  Each credit card issuer has different requirements for different levels of data processing, so what qualifies for Level 2 data processing by Discover is very different from what Visa or MasterCard requires. For example, Discover doesn’t offer a lower rate for Level 2 and Level 3 processing. American Express only supports Level 1 and Level 2 processing but not Level 3 processing.

There are different types of cards that can be used for making payments. Consumers have their own individual debit and credit cards, but when it comes to organizations there are three types: business cards, purchasing cards, and corporate cards.

What are the interchange rates?

The rates themselves vary between the different credit card companies, the two main credit cards being Visa and MasterCard. Every time you accept a payment from a credit card, you have to pay the issuing bank for the privilege of accepting payments through them. These are among the many fees that credit card companies charge merchants. 

For corporate, b2b, or purchasing cards:  When you collect the least amount of data, you pay Level 1 fees which are around 2.95% plus $.10 per transaction. However, when you switch over to an advanced payment processing system that automatically submits additional transaction data, you can realize lower fees. For example, if you process a transaction at Level 2 rates, you will pay 2.20% plus $.10 for that transaction. But you can see a rate of 1.80% plus $.10 per transaction when you process a payment using Level 3 data when processing MasterCard or Visa payments. MasterCard and Visa have slightly different rates, but you will still see an increase in savings as you asked for more information. You can see how you can enjoy enormous savings on credit card processing by switching over to Level 2 and Level 3 processing.

Won’t it disrupt my payment processing with other companies while making the switch?

Interchange Pros provides the most seamless payment processing system on the market today.  What you have to look forward to when you set up your new credit card system with Interchange Pros is qualifying for lower interchange rates every time you process a business, corporate, or purchasing card.  However, you may be using a software system already that handles all of your transactions.  Interchange Pros integrates directly into thousands of different software systems, so you may not have to change your sales process at all!  Businesses sometimes have anxiety about switching over, but using the right platform means you can smoothly integrate the new system into your current operations without disrupting business. By working with our credit card processing system that supports B2B payments, we automatically fill in the data fields that are required for Level 2 and Level 3 processing so you can sit back and enjoy the savings.

At Interchange Pros we have many years of experience helping companies to save on their merchant processing fees. We would be happy to review your current system and make recommendations on how you can lower your interchange rates. Our customers rave about how we have been able to help them switch over smoothly and quickly without any disruption to their business.

Keeping Card-Not-Present Transactions Secure

When card payments are made in person at a store or at a business, the cashier can ask the customer for their ID or to type in a PIN to verify their identity, and ensure that they are the authorized user of the card. The card is physically present with the merchant at the time they accept the customer’s payment. But when an order comes in through the internet, a phone inquiry, fax or mail, then you need to ensure that the transaction is secure and that your software is capable of gathering the necessary Level 3 data to complete the payment. These are called card-not-present transactions because the card itself and the cardholder are not physically present with the merchant when the payment is sent from one business to another. Providing Level 2 or 3 data is one of the best business solutions to ensure that the purchase is being made by an authorized user from the purchasing business. 

Protecting Your Brand With Secure B2B Payment Processing

We want to help our clients get the lowest rate possible by taking advantage of the additional data a business can ask for so they can see greater savings. Our team has developed a secure payment processing program that is easy to integrate into your current accounting system and provides solutions for business to business payments and expenses that come along with these transactions. Our staff will also work with you to help you keep identifying cost-saving opportunities and to expand your acceptance methods. You will see major discounts on fees from major credit card brands. Call us now for your consultation.