The Payment Advisor

"The Payment Advisor" is a monthly Q&A column to which readers can submit questions about card transaction systems, electronic funds transfer, check acceptance and processing, wireless transactions, international funds transfer, and other payment issues. To participate, e-mail questions to [email protected]. Also watch for quarterly articles on related topics.

When should I start thinking about payment acceptance for a new facility?

The sooner the better. As soon as you have decided to build a new facility, consider how you will handle payments. One of the major issues to contemplate is how your management system will integrate with the available payment options. Does your software have an integrated payment module? Does the system handle checks and credit cards? Does it handle debit as well as traditional credit cards? Does it offer a choice of payment-service providers?

How does facility location relate to the types of payments I should expect?

Based on population, some areas have a greater likelihood of cash transactions. These days, areas with a higher probability for cash dealings are migrating to the use of debit cards. Since debit cards link to an actual banking account, they are easier to secure than credit cards, which represent an open line of credit.

How do the regulations set by MasterCard and Visa for credit-card acceptance affect facility construction?

The rules and regulations related to the acceptance of payment cards require detailed facility planning, as they involve security issues. The physical structure of the building must take into consideration operation policies and protocols, as well as the transmittal of credit-card information.

What other payment-related items should I consider when planning a new facility?

Carefully evaluate the communications systems available in the area, such as satellite and high-speed Internet, as these will affect your payment options. You should also know in advance if you will be locked to a single communications provider or have multiple choices for service.

Ross Federgreen is a co-founder of CSRSI, which provides an integrated approach to the analysis, design, implementation, deployment and management of electronic transaction services and systems. Since 1999, the company has helped more than 350 public and private institutions reduce the cost of acquiring money and minimize the liability exposure related to payment transactions and customer data. For more information, call 866.462.7774, ext. 1; e-mail [email protected]; visit

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