This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
BREAKINGNEWS


07


etailers continue to pay high charges for accepting card payments as a result of both lofty processing rates and the additional costs such as charge-backs and write-offs that frequently occur, writes Glynn Davies of RetailInsider.com exclusively for Retail Technology. James Hallewell, founder of the


Card Processing Advisory Service (CPRAS), recently suggested that changing merchant service provider could save a retailer up to 40% in processing charges. He cited one retailer with


annual sales of £160 million that was paying card fees of £500,000 per year, which CPRAS helped reduce to £200,000. Hallewell said part of the problem is that, “if you go out looking for the best price, then the acquirer banks quote in a different fashion, so it’s difficult to get like-for-like comparisons, which means it is not very transparent”. Scott Thomson, director of


payments consultancy QPQ and lingerie retailer Pour Moi, also maintains additional charges can be even more onerous than the rates charged on the different card types.


RETAIL CARD CHARGES MOUNT R


“The lowest rate does not mean the lowest cost,” explained Thomson. “Retailers must consider carefully all the services offered by their acquirer, as well as the sophistication of their own administration systems. Without the necessary monitoring of transactions, then any benefit of lower rates may be totally absorbed by the cost of charge- backs, write offs and the handling of customer queries.” The issue of charges is arguably more acute for smaller operators, as Thomson said they pay on average 100% to 300% more than the larger chains: “One would expect some differentiation but in these days of electronic transactions the cost differential amounts to profiteering on a gigantic scale.” Robert Jarrett, professional


services and membership director at the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA), said there is another more onerous card payments problem emerging that is adversely affecting all sizes of merchant. It involves the proliferation of ‘premium’ cards, where 20


years ago, there were only two rates of ‘interchange’ - the charge administered between banks for accepting card-based transactions – on plain vanilla Visa and MasterCard cards.Today there are now more than 200 card derivatives. “These premium cards have broadened the concerns [over payment charges] for all retailers. Although obviously the larger merchants can deal with it better,” Jarrett suggested. But he also pointed to some positive changes on the horizon for the retail sector. On 24 May MasterCard appealed against a European Commission judgement that cross-border interchange was anti-competitive. After losing this appeal it has again appealed (for a final time) against the latter decision. Jarrett said that, ahead of any


outcome, “the Treasury is waking up to the situation in terms of domestic charges”. He added: “It [the EU court case] has been going on for 15 years and we are coming to the situation where Europe will legislate.”


u After a successful trial, DFS is now rolling out the latest Giant iTab touchscreen system from Touch2view to a select number of stores across the UK, providing app and e-commerce interactivity and customer engagement for multichannel selling instore. “We feel that the Giant iTab significantly evolves our kiosk experience to the next level,” said Russell Harte, DFS head of multichannel development and delivery.


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 RETAIL TECHNOLOGY


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40