‘Safe selling’ and how to protect yourself from potential mis-sell claims

Winning new business is key to your success, however it is important to win the right business, not just any because, like us human, there are many different types or organisations out there, good and bad.

It is important to do your research before you meet with a new customer, this will ensure that you do not waste your time, because lets’ face it your time is valuable, going to meet a potential customer that isn’t a suitable candidate for merchant services.  Think of it as a first date, if you were going to meet someone for the first time you would want to know as much about them as possible before you walk into the bar or coffee shop. You would have already established on paper if you are compatible, have similar interests and have a good idea of what you want to find out about them so that you can make a judgement call as to whether you would like to go on a second date with them. It is the same with new customer, the more you know and research them the more you will know whether it will be a waste of time going in and talking to them.

Our suggestions on the important things you should know about the merchant before you walk into their business are as follows:

  • Business name and contact information
  • Owner’s name and title
  • SIC code(s) the business is categorised under – This will help you identify whether they are in a high-risk category or a merchant category that will require additional documentation
  • Annual revenue – This type of information is available at CRO in Ireland. It’s useful to know approximately how much annual revenue is produced by the business so that you don’t waste time trying to find solutions for businesses that are too small
  • Do they already accept credit cards?
  • What is their credit rating? – This information is available via Experian
  • List of nearby businesses – There may be other business in their locality that you can also visit, or you may already have a customer in their area that you can refer them to for a testimonial
  • List of competitors

Merchants you should be wary of:

  • High Risk Merchants
  • Merchants that hardly do any card processing at all – although this can also be an opportunity, you’re going to spend just as much if not more of your time, on the small processing merchants as you will on larger clients and you won’t make much in terms of recurring revenue.

What counts as mis-selling?

Mis-selling simply means:

  • Given unsuitable advice
  • The risks were not explained
  • The costs were not explained
  • The correct information was not given to ensure that the correct product was selected

For example: You were looking to buy a new laptop. You told the shop assistant that you planned to watch DVDs on it, and they recommended a model. Then you took it home, and found that it didn’t have a DVD drive. There’s nothing wrong with the laptop itself – it’s not faulty – but it’s not what you needed. The laptop was mis-sold to you.

How to avoid mis-selling claims

You are advising merchants on what is the best card payment service for their business, therefore you must ensure that you know their needs prior to recommending a product, explain what it can and can’t do and ensure that they know all the risks.

For example: if your customer was interested in a Wi-Fi Terminal, do they require a wireless access point? do they have good wireless reception? do their customers have access to the Wi-Fi too or is it secure (as this will be required for PCI compliance). The type of building they have may have an impact on the strength of the Wi-Fi signal. Ensure that the customer knows any potential pitfalls as well as the benefits.

It is important that you are upfront and honest with the merchant about everything associated with merchant services including all the costs.

We have put together a simple confirmation checklist which can be used to ensure that the merchant is aware of everything associated with merchant services, ensuring that as a reseller you are protected against mis-selling claims.

Merchant Name:

I confirm that all the information supplied as part of this application process is a true representation of my business and I have answered all questions honestly. If any of this information changes I know that I need to inform NetPay of those changes immediately.

I confirm I have received a copy of the NetPay “What you need to know…” help sheet. I understand that NetPay will be responsible for managing my relationship and that First Data Merchant Services are responsible for the banking aspect of my service and VLS (Virtual Lease Services) will be responsible for the billing for my terminal device(s).

I understand that the terminal device(s) I have will at all times remain the property of NetPay and at the end of the service I must return the terminal device to NetPay otherwise the value of the terminal will be charged to me.

I confirm that I will hold appropriate insurance for the terminal device to cover any replacement or repair costs as a result of any loss of damage that is sustained during the term of my agreement. I have had PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standards) explained to me and understand the importance of this to my business and acknowledged I am required to become compliant and may incur penalties if I choose not to become compliant which are levied by the acquiring bank and the card schemes.

I accept that I will be responsible for any liability that incurs as a result of a data breach when I am not operating my business in a PCI DSS compliant manner.

I acknowledge that my agreement is for _______ months and the monthly charge for my terminal(s) will be _________ +VAT.

If I want to cancel the agreement before the end of this term I acknowledge I will be liable for the remainder of this agreement.

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