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4 Ways to Lower Your Rate when Processing Credit Cards

Posted Tuesday, April 3, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

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Several factors affect the actual cost of accepting payment with a credit card – industry, customer card type, processing method, settlement time, etc. Many variables impact what your customer’s card actually costs you. So, how do you lower your rate when processing credit cards? Here are 4 ways to lower your rate when processing credit cards.

PPI Members have access to a wide variety of benefits, business tools, market data, educational opportunities, and discount programs designed to help you succeed in today’s competitive market. Click Here for more information regarding PPI Membership Benefits Program.

What is the Best Rate?

While there are many things that separate one credit card processor from another, pricing is a huge factor that has an immediate impact on you, the merchant. However, with over 1200 separate interchange rates, the age-old question of “What rate do you offer?” requires a much more detailed response. Several factors affect the actual cost of accepting payment with a credit card – industry, customer card type, processing method, settlement time, etc. Many variables impact what your customer’s card actually costs you. So, how do you lower your rate when processing credit cards?

4 Ways to Lower Your Rate

Just because there are over 1000 different rates, and numerous factors that impact the cost of accepting any given credit card, doesn’t mean you are helpless in reducing your costs. There are definitely best practices that can help you reduce costs, and improve your bottom line. Here are 4 ways to lower your rate when processing credit cards.

  1. Swipe or Dip – If you have a customer in front of you, swiping or dipping the card will get you a lower rate than manually keying in the same card. Interchange rates are closely related to risk – the more risk a transaction holds, typically the more expensive it is. By keying in a card manually, the card-brands (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express) see that as card-not-present. Any time a card is considered to be away from the point of sale, higher risk is implied, thus a higher cost for that transaction. Long story short: if you can see the whites of their eyes, swipe or dip the card. Do everything you can to avoid manually keying in a transaction.

  2. Data, Data, Data – If you operate in a card-not-present world (e-commerce or mail / telephone orders), the more customer information you can provide, the lower your rate will be. With every transaction, providing the AVS information, which is the customers’ street address and zip code, will help qualify your transactions at the lowest possible rate. Even greater savings can be achieved with Level III interchange. This is unique to business and purchasing cards. Lowering the rate to this level requires a substantial amount of data to be submitted, usually from a specialized gateway like the one offered by BASYS Processing.

  3. Settlement Times – Setting your terminal up for auto-settlement is a quick update to any piece of equipment and can help improve your situation immediately. Many merchants have not been taught that leaving transactions un-settled in a terminal for more than 24 hours actually makes those transactions cost more! Except for very unusual circumstances, your processor should set your equipment to auto settle at the same time every day.

  4. Right Tool for the Job – While the credit card terminal is still the standard means to accept a card payment, there are numerous other solutions, frequently unique to an industry. There are systems designed to accept credit cards specifically for e-commerce businesses, and systems that are designed just for restaurants. Other systems are designed to operate in a business-to-business (B2B) environment, or for companies whose primary sales are recurring monthly payments. Just because the terminal you’ve been using for the last 5 years technically works, that doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for you right now. We recommend continually working with your credit card processor to learn what options are available to you, and ensure you’re using the solution that can offer you the lowest rate qualifications and other helpful functionalities.

Stay Engaged

While these are some general way you can lower your rate and control your costs, the most important thing is to stay engaged. Just because you’ve always paid certain fees, doesn’t mean those are fees you should still be paying.

BASYS Processing would be happy to provide you with a FREE SAVINGS ANALYSIS to show you how we can drive down your rates, ensure you are using a processing system that is the best fit for your business, and improve your overall credit card processing experience.

If you have any questions about the credit card industry – lowering your rate, EMV chip card acceptance, chargebacks, PCI Compliance, mobile processing – please reach out to us. We can be a tremendous resource for your business. To speak with us, simply call (800) 386-0711 and ask for Derek Wiedenmeyer. Or send an email to

Learn more at BASYS and connect with us online at:

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Ask the Technical Experts!

Posted Friday, March 30, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

Your Questions Answered by the Technical Experts!alt text

One of the benefits of membership is the technical expertise provided by Printing Industries of America. Our technical experts from the Center for Technology and Research discuss common production problems and issues. The Center for Technology and Research helps members with environmental, health, and safety concerns; consulting and on-site technical assistance; Technical Association of the Graphic Arts; technology training; and simulators.

Q: The regulations regarding storing and disposing of hazardous waste are very confusing. What can I do to make hazardous management less of a headache?

A: Hazardous waste is one of the most complex regulations to understand, as well as the scariest. There are a few organizational steps that can be used to meet your compliance goals. First make sure you have an EPA ID number; this gives you permission to generate hazardous waste. Second, create waste profiles for each stream of waste generated in your facility. Third, keep all waste manifests from your hauler in a central location. There should be three copies for each shipment: a generator manifest, a return copy manifest from the hauler, and a land disposal restrictions form, otherwise known as a land ban form. Finally, make sure that your accumulation areas are up to snuff. Drums must be properly labeled, stored to prevent damage and leakage, and closed unless being filled or drained. If you maintain these steps, hazardous waste should no longer be a frustrating task.

Q: A customer is insisting we use a scan of a poor quality bar code for their job. We have told the customer that the scan of the bar code would not be of sufficient quality to ensure readability. Do you have any information on quality for printing barcodes?

A: Bar codes should be created with software that generates vector files. A vector file is a mathematical formula, which is interpreted by the RIP and creates a high-quality image at the RIP’s resolution. Scanning an existing bar to a bitmap file is not going to provide the same quality as a vector generated bar code. If a bar code is scanned, it should be scanned as if it were line art, at least 1200 dpi and saved as a bitmap. Saving the file as a grayscale will result in an image with pixilated soft(not sharp)edges on the bar code bars.

Q: How real is the notion of “lights out” production?

A: It is fantasy to think that print manufactories will soon be operating plants in the dark with few workers. But it is true that workflows and equipment are becoming more automated. With enough time, technology, expertise, and perseverance, it is possible to develop workflows in which files are received through websites and are evaluated, queued up, and printed on digital presses with relatively little human involvement. While there are still plenty of jobs that cannot be automated, progressive companies are working to automate the ones that can be. Our Automation Ready! virtual conference on May 10 will provide insight into the steps needed to increase your print automation. More information at

Printing Industries Resources:Offering unbiased and confidential results, Printing Industries of America provides a range of testing and laboratory services to help solve printing-related problems. For more information, please contact Jim Workman at 800-910-4283, ext. 710 (direct 412-259-1710), visit email labservices@printing.orgor

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Printing Industries of America Statement on Crucial Postal Reform Efforts

Posted Friday, March 23, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

Pittsburgh, PA — Following today’s introduction of the Postal Reform Act of 2018, Printing Industries of America President and CEO Michael Makin.

“Printing Industries of America (PIA) applauds today’s bipartisan introduction of the Postal Reform Act of 2018 in the Senate. The original sponsors of this bill, Senators Carper (DE), Heitkamp (ND), McCaskill (MO), and Moran (KS), have worked diligently to put progress over politics in this attempt to solve a serious policy problem. PIA and its members appreciate their efforts.”

“This legislation addresses overdue financial stabilization measures to ensure the United States Postal Service (USPS) can continue operating as a valued delivery channel for PIA member companies. The legislation also includes provisions to improve rural mail delivery service in communities where print communications and postal mail is especially vital to consumers and to commerce.”

“PIA is hopeful that today’s bill introduction signals the Senate’s awareness of the serious time sensitivity in passing postal reform legislation. Currently, the USPS balance sheet is swimming in red ink due almost entirely to statutory requirements that it pre-fund retiree health benefits up to 75 years at a cost of tens of billions of dollars.”

“Meanwhile, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) is barreling to a conclusion of its 10-year rate review process, and–barring legislation to financially stabilize the USPS—is expected to raise postage stamps up to 64 cents over the next five years. For business mail that generates over 90 percent of USPS revenue, the new PRC-directed postal rates could be even higher. This is a collision course that would be bad for individual postal customers, the printing industry and its supply chain partners, and, ultimately, the future viability of a user-fee-based national postal system.”

“The Senate bill introduced today joins other Congressional postal reform efforts supported by PIA. PIA has urged passage of similar bipartisan House legislation (approved last year by a Congressional committee, but stalled in the lawmaking process). Just this week, PIA urged Republican and Democrat leaders in the House and Senate to include postal reform as part of the omnibus government funding bill; this was rejected. Bottom line: time is slipping away to salvage a postal rate system that is affordable and predictable. Congress must act soon.”

“PIA represents an industry comprised of companies employing 800,000 workers in every state and district. The vast majority of PIA member companies manufacture printed material that enters the mail stream and depend on a viable USPS to deliver their products. PIA urges Congress to move expeditiously to pass postal reform legislation. We stand ready to continue providing policy input and business-focused solutions to lawmakers as the Postal Reform Act of 2018 and similar bills move through the legislative process.”

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Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2018 by Laura Weber.

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GPA, the market leader in substrate solutions for digital, offset, and wide format printing, announces their plans for GlobalShop 2018, taking place from March 27-29 in Chicago, Ill. GPA’s experts will showcase techniques for using substrates to help brands and campaigns thrive at their booth, #2038.

With stunning samples on display, GPA aims to inspire showgoers with new ideas for creating powerful messages that drive sales, product awareness, and mindshare. This year, the products making their debut include:

  • GPA Metalized Styrene - with the appearance of metal at a fraction of the weight and cost, GPA Metalized Styrene is perfect for creating high-end signage and point-of-purchase displays.
  • AlumiGraphics® GLOW - glow-in-the-dark aluminum foil media that offers striking luminescence and a slip-resistant surface for floor graphics that command attention even in pitch-black conditions.
  • Ultra Digital® Gold and Silver Rigid Vinyl - substrates with an opulent metallic luster that add an air of indulgence to point-of-purchase signage, packaging, and loyalty and gift cards.
  • Folex® Platinum and Gold Pressure Sensitive Polyester - substrates with a precious metal shimmer that allows luxury brands to convey their value through premium product labels and retail displays.

These items are only a few of the unique substrates that can be used to build brand awareness on windows, walls, floors, and more. Whatever attendees’ promotional needs are - whether high end or economical, short-term or permanent - GPA has solutions to advance the retail marketing community.

About GPAGPA redefines the boundaries of print by providing innovative substrates, personalized business solutions, and unparalleled support to the graphics arts industry. Founded in 1940, their offering complements the widest range of printing technologies, including HP Indigo, Xerox and other dry toner, wide format, offset, and desktop printing, to help make impactful visions a reality. GPA is part of Fedrigoni Group, a leading international manufacturer and converter of value-added specialty papers founded in 1888. For more information on GPA or the products it offers, visit or contact Customer Support at 800-395-9000.

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PIA Responds to Tariff Announcements on Uncoated Groundwood Paper; Monitoring Industry Impact of Potential Aluminum Tariffs

Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

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In response to the announcement by the Department of Commerce regarding preliminary anti-dumping duties on Canadian imports of Uncoated Groundwood (UGW) Paper, Printing Industries of America President and CEO Michael Makin made the following statement:

“Yesterday, the Department of Commerce announced preliminary anti-dumping duties of up to 22.16 percent on Canadian imports of Uncoated Groundwood (UGW) Paper. This is compounded by preliminary countervailing duties averaging 6.5 percent on the same product announced in January. These tariffs will negatively impact paper used for newsprint, directories, book publishing, and advertising circulars, raising costs for production and, ultimately, print customers. In an industry in which it is difficult to absorb forced cost increases, the effect will likely be less production, fewer pages printed, a faster shift to digital content of news and books, and more diversion of advertising from print to electronic platforms.

All of this havoc has been caused by one company in the paper industry filing a trade remedy case alleging unfair trade practices by Canada. The majority of U.S. newsprint manufacturers, the trade associations representing the industry, and U.S. customers oppose the trade petition on UGW paper.

Demand for newsprint has declined by 75 percent in North America since 2000 due to electronic diversion and change of customer reading habits, not because of unfair competition. PIA believes firmly in the power of print to deliver news and information, and its member companies work daily to innovate and maintain print’s relevance in today’s world of multi-channel communication delivery. Tariffs on Canadian UGW paper will unnecessarily burden printing companies and their customers with cost headaches while forcing alternatives to print.

PIA and its allies in the Stop Tariffs on Printers and Publishers (STOPP) Coalition have gone directly to the Department of Commerce and Capitol Hill to make the case opposing tariffs on UGW paper imported from Canada and will continue to urge the Trump Administration to reject this trade case in light of the harmful impact such tariffs will have on a key segment of the American manufacturing economy.”

Additionally, Makin made the following statement regarding the recently announced Trump Administration policy on imported steel and aluminum:

“Promoting job growth in domestic manufacturing is at the core of PIA’s mission and we appreciate President Trump highlighting the importance of the manufacturing sector and its workers. However, there are 800,000 jobs associated with the U.S. printing industry and PIA’s first and foremost goal is to ensure the companies that provide those jobs are able to purchase equipment—including printing plates made of aluminum—without higher production costs associated with potential tariffs. PIA is closely monitoring the details of the recently announced steel and aluminum tariff to determine potential negative impact on printing facilities, possible exemptions for key components of printing equipment, and other aspects of the tariff case as the specifics of the policy unfold.”

A video statement from Michael Makin in response to the announcement can be found Here. Mr. Makin is also available for further interview.

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